In a joint project with partner firms Mankiewicz and Folex, Thieme (6-T82) has developed a combined inkjet-screen print process for producing products including membranes for computer keyboards.
Keyboard manufacturers are seeing increasing demand for bespoke covers, for example with colour gradients or photo-realistic images.
The combined inkjet and screen process employs specialist membranes, digital printing inks, screen printing inks and machine technology developed in-house.
Thieme’s 3020 platform, which is available in both screen and digital versions and has a max print size of 750x1,050mm, is the basis for the new system.
According to Thieme, the system enables all layers to be built up in an industrial production process.
The inkjet system is used to apply a decorative foil on the inside of the membrane prior to further processing. This enables the layer of colour to withstand the stresses that develop during the downstream punching process without cracking.
An additional white ink as well as a UV- or solvent-based barrier coat is applied to the decorative layer via the screen printing process.