42 TechnologyCase StudiesIndustrial ink delivery system

Industrial ink delivery system

Xaar is a world-leader in the design and supply of industrial inkjet printheads but urgently needed an ‘off the shelf‘ development system to boost sales of its innovative 1001 printhead.

Xaar had developed a unique through-flow print-head technology, where ink is continuously circulated through the head to ensure reliable printing of high particle contents inks.

To enable the full potential of such print-heads to be realised, a ground breaking ink delivery system was required. This system must deliver ink through the head while accurately controlling pressures and temperature, as well as ensuring continuous circulation of the throughput the system.

The fluids involved were both varied and challenging, from oil based inks for ceramic tile printing through to UV curable inks with high contents of polymer particles.

Our work started with a system level fluid dynamics and thermal analysis from first principles. This led to development of a process control system, both hardware and software, to ensure correct conditions are maintained at all times.

Hydraulic system level design enabled selection of the most appropriate components for the system such as pumps, filters and dampers. A user interface was also created to allow users to send and receive data from the system in real time.

The design was transferred successfully to Xaar’s team and used to build a commercial product.

Dr Brian Rafferty, engineering manager at Xaar said:

“42 Technology has not only helped develop Hydra, a market-winning system to boost sales of Xaar’s 1001 heads but has also optimised our product development strategies. The consultancy’s engineering team took a fresh look at our new product development process and, utilising their own in-depth experience across a variety of markets, worked with our in-house team to introduce some significant improvements. Hydra, which is already a sales success, is the first of a number of breakthrough products that we expect to deliver from this improved approach.”