Xaar subsidiary Engineered Printing Solutions (EPS) has launched the Roto-Jet cylindrical object inkjet printer for mid-range promotional applications.
Launched and becoming commercially available at last month’s Pack Expo in Las Vegas, the Roto-Jet will be handed its European debut at InPrint, Munich in mid-November. Targeting 20 US and 20 European sales in its first year, the machine is priced from around $400,000 (£300,000) in standard configuration or $440,000 with varnish option.
The Roto-Jet represents EPS’ first major launch since it was acquired by Xaar last year, which signalled the beginning of an ambitious push by the Cambridge-headquartered printhead manufacturer to double turnover by 2020. The strategy also saw it open a dedicated 3D printing centre.
Xaar will be announcing a new product of its own at InPrint, with more information available nearer the time.
“This is the first machine that is a deviation from our bespoke business where we focus on custom-made equipment,” said EPS founder and president Julian Joffe.
“We saw that there was a market for a mid-range production machine for bottles, cans and cups. There are single product printers where you load a single cup at a time and you might get two to three products a minute if that and then there are very sophisticated high-speed units in the $1.5m dollar price range that are very rigid and set for a single product. So we looked for something in that medium product range that was flexible for potential customers.”
Initially running at 800 parts per hour in monochrome mode at Pack Expo, the Roto-Jet can now run at the same speed in full colour mode, printing on glass, metal or plastic and taking objects up to 150mm in diameter and 250mm in length. It is driven by a patented single-servo driving rotation system and EPS says it has perfect registration accuracy.
Utilising Xaar’s 1003 printheads driven by its TF technology, the machine features a synchronised printing and curing operation, which prints six colours (CMYK plus white and optional varnish). Ink is circulated within the printheads directly past the back of the nozzle during drop ejection at what Xaar said is the highest flow rate in the industry.
The machine is multi-fixtured, built with up to eight fixtures enabling it to process up to eight items in a cycle, and is configured with a motion conveying unit, allowing different stoppages to be programmed along the conveyor, along with automatic loading, unloading, pre-treatment and post-curing. Makeready times with eight fixtures are at around 25 to 30 minutes but for shorter-run jobs it can run with fewer fixtures.
Joffe added that while Xaar had been a “great influence” in terms of the processing, the design for the machine had been in place for a while before the acquisition, with development beginning in earnest in January 2017.