Meteor collaborates with Xaar on 1201 printhead electronics

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, December 18, 2017

Meteor Inkjet and Xaar have collaborated to produce an inkjet development kit and commercial drive electronics set for the Xaar 1201 printhead.

The specially developed 'eco-system' from Melbourn, Cambridgeshire-based Meteor enables OEMs who use the 1201 to develop printers for the graphics and textiles markets to maximise the printhead performance.

The Meteor kit, which comes in a bundle with the 1201 printhead, is available to OEMs immediately. It is said to shorten their time-to-market as well as ensuring the best printhead performance possible for their own customers.

“We chose to work with Meteor Inkjet because its electronics – which are designed to be power-efficient, compact and flexible – are the perfect way to get the maximum performance from the Xaar 1201,” said Xaar senior product manager Simon Kirk.

“Whilst the printhead is a key part of any print system, there are a number of components that make up the printhead eco-system, and these play a critical part in the overall printhead performance.

“It’s therefore essential that we are able to provide our customers not just with a superb printhead, but also with a high-quality suite of electronics and software which can be used in printhead evaluation and commercial printer production.”

The 1201 is a compact greyscale printhead that prints one, two or four colours and is capable of handling aqueous, UV, hard-solvent and eco-solvent inks.

It features 1,280 nozzles that jet variable drop sizes; these are said to produce high quality graphics and textiles on a wide range of substrates at a maximum apparent resolution of 1,440dpi.

Meteor Inkjet managing director Clive Ayling said the company has worked on several Xaar printheads before.

“Water-based ink is a massive market. It wasn’t perhaps so big in the first few decades of Xaar’s life but it has become progressively more important, especially with the new market area of textiles, but also for food packaging.

“This is a major entry into new markets for them and the range of markets is enormous so to get into it really quickly they’ve gone with Meteor to produce a production-ready board with the full suite of Meteor software with it. You can go straight to making a prototype with this in hundreds of different applications.”

Earlier this year Meteor Inkjet became the first supplier to launch production-ready electronics and software to drive the Fujifilm Dimatix Samba GMA line of inkjet printheads.

The firm, which works closely with all of the major industrial inkjet printhead manufacturers, was acquired by print software developer Global Graphics in December 2016.

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