The PRODIJ project aims to:
* Construct a Multifunctional Multi Head flatbed (MFMHFB) test platform for ink/or fluid media interaction studies.
* Build up knowledge about ink/fluid media interactions.
* Undertake a feasibility study of applications in the area of Light Emitting Diode (LED) printing, textile sample printing, 3-D structure printing (ARDEJE applications) and high speed high volume printing and combinatorial material/coating screening (AGFA applications).
The project team consists of a Belgian multinational (AGFA-GEVAERT N.V.), which is one of the world leaders in Ink Jet (IJ)- digital proofing and wide format printing, a French SME (ARDEJE), is specialised in the development of IJ-test benches for industrial applications (packaging, special printing applications etc.) and IJ-technology characterisation equipment and the UNIVERSITE JOSEPH FOURIER (UJF) in Grenoble, known for their expertise in fluid dynamics and rheology of fluid jets and fluid jet/surface interaction.
The project has three major phases:
In the first phase, a mono- IJ-head flat bed test platform will be built with the possibility of in-situ visualisation on sub-microsecond and on micrometer level in the working range of the different applications (ARDEJE).
During this phase the study of:
* the ink/fluid head interaction is foreseen after the development of the high speed/resolution visualisation unit for drop follow and jet stability (UJF)
* the ink/fluid substrate interaction study after the development of the high speed/resolution visualisation unit for drop deposit, splash and surface wetting (AGFA -UJF)
* final optimisation of the ink/fluid-head-substrate system (ARDEJE).
In the second phase of the project, a multi-head (with 4 Ink-Jet heads) flatbed printing module will be developed after choosing the right DOD-head technology and the IJ-head steering electronics and the flatbed positioning mechatronics will be integrated(ARDEJE). Depending on the application, a different choice of IJ-head technology must be possible. The modular concept of the test bench design must make this possible.
The characterisation procedure of phase one will be combined with the multi-head printing module for studying the multi-droplet/substrate interaction (UJF-AGFA). Later in the second phase, starting in the 9th quarter, the multifunctional multi-head flatbed test platform will be optimised and evaluated as a quadrichromic-printing engine.
In the last phase of the project, the feasibility study of LED (flat panel display) printing, textile sample printing, 3-D structure printing (ARDEJE) will be covered on the basis of the MFMHFB design. The use of the MFMHFB as high-speed multidroplet ink/media interaction bench and a high throughput combinatorial materials/coating-screening engine will be checked (AGFA applications).
The PRODIJ project is covered by activities in the workpackage on ink/media interaction in a Flemish project PROFIJET (where ARDEJE and UJF have a third party role), by a follow up project in April 2003-2005 on PROFIJET and by a French project DIPSAM.
Keywords: ink jet printing, substrates, fluid jetting.