Continuous ink jet technology for printing of web shaped materials and textiles

Develop continuous ink jet techn. For production printing of web-shaped mat.&Textiles,in web widths of 2-4 metres,applying the requested ink qty at effective speed faster than 10 metres per min as to compete with trad. Textile printing sys.

Although many concepts of ink jet technology can be found on the market, we have shown recently that only continuous ink jet technology is capable of applying the required ink quantities to web-shaped textile substrates at linear speeds in excess of 10 metres per minute. These throughputs are the minimum required to compete effectively with traditional textile printing systems. The concept of the new textile printing system is based on arrays of ink jet modules (each array prints one colour and is called an ink jet unit) that are mounted across the width of the fabric, perpendicularly to the material conveying movement. The ink jet units are placed at certain distances downstream from each other, with or without intermediate drying steps between colours. The technology is protected by patents, and allows printing of multiple colour designs in one single pass of the substrate. The main advantages brought to end users, in comparison with traditional systems, are: - Production costs are significantly reduced (especially for shorter runs < 1,000 m) - A minimised environmental impact - Energy costs are reduced by 90%, - Water consumption is reduced by 95%, - Rejected fluids and wasted volumes are reduced by 90%, - Maximum flexibility is possible: production cycles can be dramatically decreased, from 4-8 weeks to a few hours if necessary. The investment from the end-user will be approximately 3-8 million euro, depending on the desired printed width and the number of colour units, with a payback time of 1.5 to 2 years maximum. TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS IMAJE will develop the ink-jet units (micromechanical parts, embedded electronics and software), the core supervision system, and the ink-jettable colour ink formulations. OSIRIS will develop the process technology, design the overall system architecture, engineer the basic concepts of the sub-systems, develop the software for driving the complete system, and carry out real-scale performance tests on the project industrial demonstrator. These developments will involve working with final end users in the textile industry. COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT - ECONOMIC BENEFITS The system is developed for printing the very short and decreasing printing runs that characterise the European textile market with a short response time. The success of the project will introduce an economic revolution into the textile-printing markets. High quality and technical fabrics will be made with very short lead times and lower costs. The targeted markets are clothing, home furnishing, promotional/advertising, flooring, automobile upholstery and technical textiles. The total installed base of traditional screen-printing systems (rotary screen and flatbed) is estimated at over 8,000 units worldwide. Many of these traditional units could be substituted by the new digital system. The conservative textile industry now views new technologies as being necessary for survival. More importantly, the European industry can be more competitive with this new technology, even in the presence of countries with lower wage rates. Through an existing agreement between IMAJE and OSIRIS, IMAJE will manufacture the ink-jet modules in its Bourg-les-Valence (FRANCE) plant, before delivery to OSIRIS. OSIRIS will integrate the textile printing systems into its Hengelo (THE NETHERLANDS) site. OSIRIS will provide the system commercialisation and technical support to textile end users. IMAJE will manufacture the textile inks and deliver them to end users through its established consumables supply-chain and logistics. Keywords: ink jet printing, textile, production.
Project ID: 
3 285
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
4 470 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Printed Reel Material
Market Area: 
Textiles (synthetic and natural)

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.