Holographic ink developed for inkjet printers

November 25, 2015

HologramOffice printers can now produce the holographic images that are commonly used to tackle the counterfeiting of manufactured goods.

Scientists at ITMO University in Saint Petersburg, Russia, have developed the nanocrystalline ink, which can be loaded into an inkjet printer and then deposited onto microembossed paper, creating “unique patterned images”, EurekAlert reported.

Holograms of “practically any size” can be printed on transparent film “in a matter of minutes”, rather than over several days using conventional methods, which involve creating a master hologram, involving temperature control and vibration isolation, to be laser recorded onto a thin layer of photosensitive polymer and then embossed using a metallic matrix.

The new technique involves simply covering the microembossed paper with varnish, meaning the holographic image is exclusively seen in the areas where the protective ink is deposited.

Project supervisor Alexander Vinogradov said: “The peculiarity of our ink lies in its high refractive index in all visible range of light. The use of nanocrystalline ink forms a layer with high refractive index that helps preserve the rainbow holographic effect after the varnish or a polymer layer is applied on top.”

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OCP releases Canon MG inks

November 25, 2015

OCP Canon MGInks for the MG5700, 6800 and 7720 are available for the USA, Canada and Europe; for the 5740, 6840 and 7740 in Russia; and for the 5770 and 7770 in the Middle East.

The inks available for each of the devices are for regular cartridges: black pigment with a yield of 300 pages; black with 376 pages; cyan with 345 pages; magenta with 306 pages; and yellow with 347 pages. In the XL size, OCP now stocks: black pigment with 500 pages; black with 810 pages; cyan with 715 pages; magenta with 645 pages; and yellow with 715 pages.

Grey ink is also available for the MG7720, 7740 and 7770 models, which feature a yield of 125 pages in regular size and 289 in XL.

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Inkjet printer used to make drinks machine

November 20, 2015

The Alkomat uses an inkjet printer chassis, carriage and motors to serve alcoholic drinks.

The Alkomat machine

The Alkomat machine

Ars Technica reported on the Alkomat, built by Russian hardware hacker ‘Strn’, which can serve “up to five different drinks at a time, then offers a toast”. The machine is Wi-Fi connected and is “built on the chassis of an old inkjet printer, using the printer carriage and paper feed motors to control the movement of its nozzle”.

In turn, the system itself is powered by a microcontroller, which is connected to a Wi-Fi module, with pumps sucking alcohol from bottles “hooked up to the Alkomat’s nozzle system” thanks to a motor driver. Drinks can be selected up to “five at a time” from a webpage on a server built-in to the system, while an OLED display and buttons can also activate the machine.

‘Strn’ used a 3D printer for the front display, and built a cabinet to include all the machinery “from furniture parts designed using a CAD-CAM programme”, while recycled countertop is used with “recessed positions” for drinks glasses. A series of photosensors detect “when the glasses are present” in the recesses, with the Alkomat automatically starting “once the right number of glasses has been placed in position”.

Another piece of old machinery – a recycled CD tray motor – is used to “move the tray into position and eject the finished drinks”, while a built-in MP3 encoder “plays a little music” as a toast. ‘Strn’ added that “his next step is a better user interface” and “an Alkomat app”. You can watch the Alokmat in operation below.

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Insta Impex reveals inkjet refilling service

November 20, 2015

The Indian company is setting up cartridge refilling services in consumables stores across Mumbai.Insta Impex

Channel Times and DQ Week reported on Mumbai-based Insta Impex’ plans to open inkjet cartridge refilling kiosks at consumables dealerships across the city, using its “unique concept”. The plan will see Insta Impex work with dealers so as to refill cartridges and “provide better quality than regular manual refills and higher margins than dealing in branded cartridges”.

DQ Week noted that the kiosks act “like a demo-cum-service outlet for customers wanting to experience the controlled methods of recycling inkjet cartridges”, though only HP, Canon, Lexmark and Xerox cartridges can be refilled. The company’s Harish Lalwani has “tied up or is on the verge of finalising agreements with five dealers in Mumbai”, which will see the company’s Instafill collection points installed in stores, as each one only requires 60 square foot of space.

The kiosks use “ionised water, imported from Germany” to clean the cartridges, while the equipment in turn “ensures that the pigment particle size of the ink is uniform”, according to Lalwani. In turn, techniques including “electric circuit testing, emptying, cleaning, centrifuging, vacuum chamber filling, pressurising and final print testing” are used.

The compact kiosks, the company adds, are designed to be used in offices, shopping centres and other “commercial places” beyond consumable stores. The concept is being promoted through brochures to existing customers and those “already in the business”, and Insta Impex aims to introduce kiosks in stores in Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai “within six months”.

Lalwani noted that refills will cost Rs 150 ($2.26/€2.11) for black and Rs 200 ($3.01/€2.82) for colour, a “fraction” of the cost for remanufactured cartridges at Rs 600 to 700 ($9.05 to $10.56/€8.47 to €9.88) and originals at Rs 900 ($13.58/€12.71). He also added that the kiosk’s purpose “is to demonstrate and distribute equipment” developed by TB Accessorios in Brazil, with whom Insta Impex have “signed an exclusive agreement” to distribute the systems.

The kiosks will cost between Rs six lakh and Rs seven lakh ($9,056 and $10,565/€8,474 and €9,886) for the end-customer, and Lalwani commented: “Being the first company in India to introduce such a concept, we are already seeing encouraging response to the initial marketing that we did in the last couple of weeks.”

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HP Instant Ink may be expanded to toner

November 17, 2015

HPInstantInk2One of the OEM’s ‘inkologists’ said the manufacturer is “analysing the market and determining the best strategy and best customer experience” when asked about expanding the technology to laser printers.

Thom Brown gave the same answer when asked about taking the innovation beyond the 300 page level, during an interview with Castle Ink. The representative said, concerning at what point the device notifies HP that it needs a replacement, that there are seven algorithms that calculate this, based on a low ink threshold and a certain time period, among other elements.

Brown also clarified that the supplies are the same page volume “regardless of plan”, although the 300-page plan user would receive supplies more often than 50-page user. There are currently 17 models capable of using the technology, with any web-enabled, ePrint printer “capable of running Instant Ink”, even if it is one or two years old.

The OEM is confident the technology “will succeed in other markets” after its success in the US, with it now expanding to Canada, the UK, Germany and France.

The ‘inkologist’ said low cost per page was one of the big benefits of the programme, as well as ink delivered straight to the customer’s door, while they can switch devices or programmes whenever they need to.

Brown added: “Customers no longer have to worry about how much ink is being used for a photo or graphic. A page is a page and it’s always the same price making it very easy to budget with a flat cost. The printer is not unique to Instant Ink-only hardware; it can be either.”

The company posed a final situation to Brown about a client who wants to change from a 300-page plan as they are not printing enough to justify the programme, asking if the cartridges would be compromised. He said that the supplies are the same size and said that “original HP inks are also designed and proven not to dry out while sitting idle even up to three months in the home and up to six months in the office”.

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Epson applies for cartridge refilling patent

November 5, 2015

The OEM’s application covers a “refilled [inkjet] cartridge and method for manufacturing” it, which could have implications for the industry.

Epson's patent application - EP 2 689 932 A3

Epson’s patent application – EP 2 689 932 A3

The European patent application – EP 2 689 932 A3 – covers a “refilled cartridge and method for manufacturing” said cartridge, with the application document providing detail on the inner workings, as well as how the air pressure works within the cartridge. It adds that the method is “provided for performing refilling of printing material after use”, with mentions of a “detection section that optically detects the printing material inside the chamber”.

In addition, the document mentions an “air introduction port that introduces outside air into the chamber”; a valve section “that opens and closes the air introduction port according to the negative pressure inside the chamber”; and a supply port “that supplies the printing material within the chamber to the outside”. The manufacturing method for the cartridge means that the “printing material is refilled into the chamber so that a designated volume of air exists after refilling of the printing material is completed”.

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Inkjet MFP customers stay loyal to brand

November 4, 2015

Inkjet MFP81 percent of inkjet MFP users who rate their satisfaction with their device as ‘outstanding’ will “definitely” buy another inkjet MFP from the same brand, compared with 50 percent for all users.

A further 66 percent of customers purchase inkjet MFPs in a store while 32 percent buy them online, according to research by JD Power, SYS-con Media reported.

When choosing a brand, price was the primary factor, followed by brand reputation and previous experience with the brand. The average amount paid for one of the devices was $144 (€131).

Overall satisfaction with the devices came in at 850 (out of 1,000) in 2015, dropping seven points from the 2014 figure, with satisfaction drops in all factors year-on-year, including most notably customer service and ease of operation, which dropped 23 points and 12 points respectively.

Customers who rated overall satisfaction at 10, the maximum amount, provide 5.6 on the same scale for positive recommendations to family and friends, compared with 2.5 for those whose overall satisfaction was eight.

Christina Cooley, Director in the Diversified Services Industries Practice at JD Power, said: “Eease of operation and customer service has emerged as problematic this year. If customers who have difficulty operating their printers call customer service for help but then have a poor experience resolving their problem, the perception of printer quality is diminished.

“The printers that perform well, are dependable, and are user-friendly will have the best opportunity to delight customers and maintain loyalty and advocacy for the brand.”

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Epson invests ¥3.4 billion in printhead factory

October 21, 2015

Epson factory

A computer-created image of the new facility

Construction of the Japanese facility will begin in November 2015, with operations set to commence in autumn 2016.

The ¥3.4 billion ($28 million/€25 million) will support the factory that will triple Akita Epson’s current Micro Piezo printhead production capacity; the printheads are used in the OEM’s ink tank and business inkjet printers.

The factory floor will be 10,528 square metres wide, with some 30 employees based at the site. Takashi Mitsui, President of Akita Epson, said: “Akita Epson is an important domestic production site with advanced technological capability and a close working relationship with Epson’s corporate R&D function.

“We make a significant contribution to the manufacturing capability of the entire Epson Group, sharing with Epson’s overseas manufacturing plants the technical expertise we have gained from manufacturing core devices.

He added: “By using Epson’s original production equipment and automating and rationalising production lines, the new plant will further raise our production capability.”

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GSC Imaging launches new wide-format inks

October 20, 2015

The company has produced wide-format inks for Canon’s inkjet cartridges.

Canon's imagePROGRAF 680

Canon’s imagePROGRAF 680

The inks are designed for use in the imagePROGRAF 680, 685, 780 and 785 wide-format printers, with a new magenta ink developed for the OEM’s PFI-107M and 207M cartridges used in the machines. GSC Imaging added that the black, matte black, cyan and yellow “are exactly the same as the older PFI-102 series”, with the magenta the only colour changed.

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Chinese manufacturer develops inkjet 3D printer

October 14, 2015

Zhuhai CTCZhuhai CTC Electronic is developing a device using two resins as the main and supporting ingredients, with a printing area of roughly 200mm x 230mm x 198mm and a maximum resolution of 750 x 1,600dpi.

The printer will also have a layer thickness as low as 25 microns and will be be made available in early 2017; the launch was originally set for early 2016, but has now been set back for September of that year, Ten Links reported.

The news site said that “we can see from the frequent delays in the release of HP’s MJM products that there is indeed high demand for the technology”, although it also said that the delay by the US-based manufacturer “explain why no Chinese vendor has yet developed such high-precision devices”.

He Siyi, CTC Public Relations Manager, said the two reasons for the delay were that its partner, the University of London, was delaying the progress of developing the materials, and that the company was having problems with the software lectotype.

The company has upped its investment in the programme from CNY8 million ($1.2 million/€1.1 million) to CNY12 million ($1.8 million/€1.6 million), with the ambition of producing the beta product ahead of HP.

Siyi also confirmed that the printer will use two resins as the main and supporting ingredients, with a printing area of roughly 200mm x 230mm x 198mm and a maximum resolution of 750 x 1,600dpi.


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