Xaar has launched its first aqueous printhead at Drupa with what it believes is a “world leading” specification for a host of print applications. A new partnership with Ricoh has also been announced.
The Cambridge headquartered manufacturer announced its new Xaar 5601 family at the show. It had been known as the P4 while under development.
The first printhead, the 5601 3p0, will be available at the end of the year.
The 160mm-wide high-speed single-pass printhead has 5,680 nozzles. It has a linear speed of 2m/sec, equating to 800sqm/hour.
The printhead can run solvent or aqueous ink at 600dpi (two-colours) or 1,200dpi (one-colour). Drop size is 3pl-21pl with eight greyscales.
“No other printhead on the market offers all of this,” said Xaar chief executive Doug Edwards (pictured below with sample output from the new head). “Productivity, quality and cost – it has all three.”
Thin Film product manager Jason Remnant said the printhead was also easy to integrate thanks to its new shape and “plug and print” connectivity. “The interlocking ‘z’ structure has significant benefits in terms of space saving,” he explained.
Xaar is meeting with potential OEM partners during the show. Target markets include textiles, laminates, commercial printing, and graphics.
“It’s creating a lot of interest from all sorts of OEMs. From some of the biggest textile machinery companies worldwide, to commercial printing OEMs,” Edwards added.
Xaar’s AcuDrp technology allows OEMs to finely tune drop volume and velocity, for highly-sensitive applications such as advanced manufacturing.
The strategic partnership with Ricoh involves co-operation on development and go-to-market for certain Thin Film printheads requiring silicon MEMs.
“We found out that we had the same interests and looked at ways of putting together some of the assets we have,” explained chief technology officer Ramon Borrell.
Edwards said it would involve Xaar outsourcing a proportion of the manufacturing to Ricoh.
The first product to come out of the partnership is the Xaar 1201 GS2p5, a 27mm-wide, 30sqm/hour head aimed at the Chinese market for simple wide-format graphics and soft signage.