Inkjet establishes its place in mainstream

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



(2004), "Inkjet establishes its place in mainstream", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 33 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Inkjet establishes its place in mainstream

Inkjet establishes its place in mainstream

Drupa 2004 has conclusively demonstrated to the printing industry the commercial success and flexibility inkjet technology can offer.

The claim has been made by inkjet manufacturer Xaar following the giant German show that has just ended.

“One of the most important developments to come out of Drupa was a widely held consensus that inkjet is no longer a sideshow,” said Ian Dinwoodie, Chief Executive, Xaar plc.

“The introduction of our Omnidot greyscale printhead range developed in conjunction with Agfa, along with announcements such as our collaborative agreement with MAN Roland, demonstrate that the industry’s major players now recognise the commercial opportunities inkjet technology presents and how it can work in tandem with – not necessarily in competition to – traditional forms of printing, thereby adding value and versatility to a commercial print house,” said Dinwoodie.

There is now a much greater understanding and focus on the huge potential for inkjet technology.

Throughout most of the halls at Drupa, visitors could see inkjet printers in action utilising a range of applications to print on an extensive range of substrates, he continued.

Digital inkjet components, media and machines have evolved at an extremely fast rate, enabling printers to produce high quality print, he contended.

“Digital inkjet is now a strong participant in the graphic arts industry and it’s predicted to continue to grow at 15 percent per year over the next five years,” Dinwoodie forecast.

Although traditionally recognised as an inkjet printhead manufacturer, Dinwoodie said the efforts Xaar has made to become a total inkjet systems provider also bore fruit at Drupa.

“The interest from visitors who came to the stand was not confined to the various printheads we launched at the show.

Many wanted to discuss with us the most effective method through which to enter the market and how we could help achieve this for them.

To this end, our range of peripherals launched at the show were well received, as was our ability to work with customers to develop new and bespoke applications and printing machines through, Vivid, our US-based applications division,” he added.

He believed that the company’s “one-stop shop” approach had removed the perceived traditional barriers such as entry cost and specialist technical expertise that is sometimes associated with inkjet technology.

“All the application example machines on our stand, including the four-color, wide format printer manufactured by Chinese OEM, Shenzhen Runtianzhi and the Kappa spot color packaging printer attracted considerable attention.

However, it was the Grapo Octopus X4 wide format UV printer, introduced to the industry for the first time at Drupa that drew an extraordinary level of interest from visitors, with over 20 orders for the machine in the first week alone,” he said.

Dinwoodie that concluded “The Octopus X4 is an excellent example of the flexibility and commercial viability of inkjet technology.

This low cost flexible machine, with the ability to print onto a wide variety of surfaces, including PVC, wood, glass, metals and textiles provides an entry level opportunity for printers.

The next few years are going to be a very exciting time for inkjet and we are looking forward to maintaining our position at the forefront of offering innovative inkjet systems.”

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