42 TechnologyNewsXaar Ink Delivery Breakthrough

Xaar Ink Delivery Breakthrough

42 Technology has helped to develop an innovative ink delivery system for Xaar that will enable manufacturers to bring the next generation of high speed, commercial digital printing technology to market – faster and at lower cost.

The Hydra recirculating ink supply system has been designed to make it much easier to develop prototype printing systems, based on Xaar’s award-winning 1001 print-head, by removing one of the most time consuming, costly stages in the development process. In the past, manufacturers have had to spend time matching their proprietary inks, delivery system and the intended printable surface with the head. Now they can buy an ‘off-the-shelf’ unit that supports a wide range of fluid types, viscosities and operating temperatures as well as different print-head orientations.

42 Technology’s project managers and engineers worked as an integral part of Xaar’s in-house resource. A detailed product specification was agreed, concepts were developed and investigated using advanced hydraulic modelling techniques, before sub-systems were designed and tested. Only once a thorough understanding had been established was a detailed system designed and developed. This was then further optimised by Xaar’s product engineers. The resulting compact footprint unit was launched to further strengthen Xaar’s position in the fast-growing commercial inkjet printing market. During the project we also drew on our experience across a variety of markets and took a fresh look at Xaar’s new product development process introducing some significant improvements to optimise it.

Hydra delivers ink on demand to four Xaar 1001 print-heads and is easy to operate with just three buttons. It can very accurately control the ink’s operating parameters (pressure, temperature, viscosity and flow) across the head, which is essential in delivering high quality, high speed printing systems. Hydra is also scalable allowing manufacturers to rapidly develop large format 1001-enabled printing technologies by using multiple units side by side. The units are designed to handle a full range of fluid types including high viscosity and heavily pigmented inks. Xaar shipped almost 50 Hydra units in the first three months of sales and is experiencing a huge increase in demand for its 1001 print-heads.