Sun Chemical launches new wide-format inkjet ink

July 28, 2015

The ink manufacturer has produced a “low-odour” inkjet ink for the North American market.sun chemical streamline

PIWorld reported on the launch of the OEM-compatible solvent-based inkjet ink in Sun Chemical’s Streamline range, with the “low-odour” inkjet aimed at the North American market. The ESL HPQ inks are “the first inkjet products to benefit from Sun Chemical’s innovative new low-odour chemistry”, and are designed for the Roland Soljet Pro 2, Pro 3 and VersaCAMM printers.

The inks are also compatible with the Mutoh ValueJet and other eco-solvent machines that use Epson’s DX 4 to DX 7 piezo inkjet printheads, and Sun Chemical stated that “extensive tests throughout a six-month period with customers in Europe” have “demonstrated the long-term performance of these inks in a broad range of machine installations”. The Streamline range was launched in 2014, and are “designed specifically” for wide-format printers.

Customers already using the company’s ESL HPQ inks “can switch to the new low-odour versions” without needing to flush out machines, as the inks “are fully inter-compatible”, and the inks are available in CMYK, light cyan and magenta with flush solutions, in 440ml cartridges and one litre bottles. The company noted that the inks “offer the same level of quality, performance and colour integrity quality printing, but at a lower cost”.

In turn, it stated that the inks are “carefully matched to the original products for both colour shade and strength”, as well as “physical properties”, while print providers can “use their existing printer settings when converting from the solvent-based inkjet inks”.

Penny Holland, Vice President of Marketing for Sun Chemical’s North American Inks, stated: “The industry is seeing a boom in entrepreneurial start-up companies using wide format printers and these companies tend to occupy smaller offices. Because many of our customers now work in closer proximity to the printer, they really need low-odour inkjet ink cartridges installed in the printer.”

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New technology prints medical diagnostics with inkjet

July 24, 2015

The XylemDx system “could make it possible for a medical diagnostic test” to be printed on “a single sheet of paper”.

Nick Rollings, Principal Engineer at Cambridge Consultants, with the XylemDx

Nick Rollings, Principal Engineer at Cambridge Consultants, with the XylemDx

Cambridge News and The Engineer reported on the technology from UK company Cambridge Consultants, which could “pave the way for sophisticated low-cost tests that can be adapted at the touch of a button” and printed “in quantities ranging from one to millions”. Users can customise the technology with modules, which enable the tests to be altered “for particular strains of diseases”, and printed “easily and cheaply onto a single sheet of paper”.

The XylemDx solution configures each piece of paper with “a bespoke set of test modules”, including electronic, thermal, fluidic or optical, and then folds them “concertina-style” into a test cartridge shape”. It then prints using inkjet techniques with wax to “lay down fluidic pathways” – electronic ink that contains “silver nanoparticles” for electric connectivity.

These cartridges can take blood, urine, saliva or mucus samples and utilise readers “from complex diagnostic instruments” to smartphone readers. The technology could, in essence, allow patients to have “personalised tests carried out” at medical surgeries or pharmacies. The company said that it “opens up the possibility of low-cost prototyping and development for diagnostic testing companies”, and is “currently awaiting regulatory approval”.

John Pritchard, Head of Diagnostics at Cambridge Consultants, stated: “Diagnostic tests underpin crucial healthcare decisions so it’s vital they are as fast, accurate, flexible and cost-effective as possible. Early diagnosis and better monitoring of conditions reduce expensive complications and keep people out of hospital – as well as improving quality of life.

“Cambridge Consultants has a rich history of inkjet printing. We’ve now brought that expertise to the world of POC diagnostics. Combined with our extensive scientific and engineering knowledge – including our long track record in the low-cost, high-performance optics that many of these tests require – it’s resulted in a radical new way of providing diagnostics on demand.”

Nick Rollings, the company’s Principal Engineer, added: “The vision is that a patient would go to the pharmacy and describe their symptoms, the pharmacist would look online at the database of tests, and download the relevant one. The test could be fabricated on site, and handed to the patient to use at home or in the pharmacy. The wax in the substrate contains the spread of the liquid, and we can create any pathway you desire.

“If you take a Word document, you would think nothing of printing two or 2,000 copies of the document, whereas with the current state of the art in diagnostics you have to set up a production line. That is fine if you have a diagnostic test that will be used in really high volumes, but with the FDA pushing for what they call companion diagnostics – where a diagnostic test accompanies every single drug – you may have a niche application area that may only sell 300 tests a year.”

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Jet Tec launches new Canon inkjet series

July 14, 2015

JetTec_C545_546_V2The UK remanufacturer has released new inkjets for a range of Canon machines.

The new inkjets are the Canon PG-545 XL and PG-546 XL cartridges, which are used in the PIXMA iP2850, MG2450, MG2550, MG2555, MG2950 and MX495 printers. The company previously released remanufactured Epson and Brother cartridges earlier this year, and noted that it has “more than 700 products in [its] product portfolio” alongside “years of knowledge and remanufacturing experience”.

Jet Tec added that it “heavily invests into research and development”, with “consistently high standards” ensuring the “best quality inkjets and toners are produced”, while two and three year guarantees “reinforce the confidence that they have in their products”. It concluded that it “pride[s] itself on being a lead within [the] industry, and having had a particularly productive year so far, Jet Tec hopes to continue to develop new and exciting products to launch throughout 2015”.

Phil Sneath, Commercial Manager at Jet Tec, stated: “The remanufactured Canon PG-545XL and CL-546XL cartridges are key additions to our remanufactured inkjet product range. The installed base of this series of Canon printers is continuing to grow with the printers being attractively priced.”

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HP promotes inkjet printers in offices

July 6, 2015

hplogonewThe historical idea that inkjet is too expensive and the devices are too slow for an office environment “wasn’t true then, and it’s definitely not true now”.

The HP-sponsored article on the IT Pro website says inkjet technology has developed “radically” over recent years, giving as examples HP’s PageWide technology and (HP’s) OfficeJet X series of printers, which “are delivering up to double the speed of comparable laser printers for half the running costs”.

Businesses need to change from thinking about the costs of ink in the office to considering the costs of deciding not to use ink, as the “tried-and-tested option” may lead to companies spending more than they need to, and so “adding needlessly to their environmental impact” and spurning business opportunities.

Inkjets have also overtaken laser printers in terms of speed, because HP’s OfficeJet Enterprise X585 series can print monochrome and colour pages at speeds of up to 75ppm. This is “far in excess of any comparable laser printer” and doubles the speed of many premium business models.

Environmental impact is another motive for choosing ink, the piece says. Laser printing “requires a lot of heat and energy”, and adding to this the emissions involved in printing and imaging drums and engines that may not last for the printer’s lifespan, as well as the size of toner cartridges and packaging, and laser “can’t compare” with inkjet in terms of environmental costs.

The OfficeJet Pro X or Enterprise X series printers also use up to 84 percent less energy than some equivalent laser print devices, and run on under half the energy consumed by an 18W light bulb over a year. Inkjets generate 94 percent less supply and packaging waste in a year compared to lasers. The IT Pro article anticipates a customer could save 55 percent of their carbon footprint by using the OfficeJet X series, and cites a recent IDC/HP study showed “you could save the equivalent of 189 litres of petrol over 100,000 pages”.

The piece also notes that some people think that only laser printers can produce high-quality prints, yet inkjet can deliver sharp graphics and rich black output. The OfficeJet Pro X and Enterprise models use pigment inks, producing water and smear-resistant prints, and inkjet devices are able to produce “bright, vibrant colours even on plain paper”, and so are suitable for colour reports or proofing marketing materials, as well as proposals, reports, memos, forms and fact sheets.

Reliability and low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are also elements where inkjet has gained an advantage, as the PageWide technology uses fewer moving parts, while an optical detection system works to check the volume, speed and trajectory of the ink drops each second to ensure each nozzle is working properly. A built-in service station cleans, wipes and protect each of them throughout the lifetime of the printer.

HP’s printers are also able to sustain a duty cycle of up to 6,000 pages per month, thanks to a “robust” paper handling mechanism working with the PageWide head and HP original inks help. Other features of the OfficeJet Pro X and Enterprise X printers include the JetAdmin tools used to manage laser printers, and high yield cartridges, which are capable of printing up to 10,000 monochrome pages and 6,600 in colour, meaning fewer trips to the printer to install new ink.

In addition, inkjet printers generally cost less than lasers, the article comments, a fact which applies to office as well as consumer inkjets. The price of the OfficeJet Pro x476dw MFP, which runs at 55ppm and can take on workloads of up to 4,200 pages a month, cannot be easily beaten by an equivalent laser device, the piece claims.

The HP devices also discredit the idea that the running costs of inkjet will overtake the initial savings. The HP OfficeJet Pro X and Enterprise X printers have been up to 50 per cent cheaper on cost-per-page in tests, as high-yield cartridges keeping black and white print to less than one pence (1.6 US cents/1.4 euro cents) and colour prints to around five pence (7.8 US cents/seven euro cents).


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OCP launches new Brother colour inks

July 1, 2015

ocpThe ink manufacturer has developed inks for use in a range of the OEM’s inkjet cartridges.

The colour inks are designed for use in the MFC-J4420, 4260, 5320, 5620 and 5720 machines, which utilise the LC223 (LC203), LC225 (LC205), LC227 (LC207) and LC229 (LC209) inkjet cartridges. The inks form part of the Inobella series of inks, which include a pigmented black ink and dye-based CMY inks.

The cartridges are single-tank cartridges without integrated printheads, and each features a chip for monitoring of ink levels and cartridge identification. OCP notes that “without this chip a cartridge would not be recognised [which] means that to successfully remanufacture them you either need to replace or reset the chips”.

The ink manufacturer added that the new Brother machines are “ideal for smaller workgroups”, with mobile and cloud connectivity alongside automatic duplexing, and OCP has already made the “necessary chip resetter” available for customers.

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Inkless printer developed

June 25, 2015

The device works by perforating paper with thousands of microscopic holes.Inkless

Gizmodo reported on the technology, which was developed by researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The printer currently only works at microscopic level, so you would “need to peer into an electron microscope” to view the image. For example, the Missouri S&T athletic logo (pictured left) is approximately one-billionth of a metre in size.

It prints onto “thin sandwiched material” 170 nanometres thick, consisting of two layers of silver with a layer of silica in-between. The images are created by drilling microscopic holes into the top layer of silver and shining a light through them. Through varying the location, density, and size of the holes, different colours are produced as the light is absorbed and reflected in different ways.

The researchers have refined the hole sizes to reproduce gold, green, orange, magenta, cyan and navy blue colours, and they hope to apply the technique to advanced security markings invisible to the naked eye and to information storage, offering a “light-based alternative to magnetic hard drives”.

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Nano-printing market to be driven by automotives and electronics

June 19, 2015

nanoparticlesThe market is likely to be concentrated in developed regions such as North America or Europe during the next five years.

Demand for automotives and electronic products is also high in Asia Pacific, which will lead to a gradual shift to this region over time, a report from Transparency Market Research has suggested, which WhaTech reported on. Developments in the electronics industry and advanced printing techniques will drive the nanomaterials for printing market in years to come.

The market is anticipated to “expand rapidly” up to 2020 (the report’s forecast period), while emerging economies such as India, Thailand, Malaysia and Brazil, with growing printing electronics sectors, see corresponding growth in nano-size printing. Existing printing ink manufacturers are likely to face a “major challenge” in migrating from high-resolution and low-cost printing inks to nanomaterial formulations.

Inkjet printing is the best method for printing the materials, as inkjet is “direct and assures high level of accuracy” compared to traditional printing processes, and when coupled with the nano-size elements it enables modification of shape, morphology and size to improve performance in the end-user application. Nano-sized particles enable printing on various electronic components such as solar cells.

Demands for high efficiency in electronic products is expected to drive the need for nano-printing in the USA, Mexico, Canada and Europe, while printed electronics can use “any solution-based material” such as semiconductors, metallic conductors, organic semiconductors or nanoparticles for printing applications.

The report further anticipates that global conglomerates in the market will focus on the emerging nations as a consumer base. These include NanoInk, Applied Nanotech, NovaCentrix and The Gwent Group.

The Recycler reported on a similar study by Markets and Markets in March 2015, predicting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in value terms of 22.15 percent between 2014 and 2019. It also expects a global market value of $1.794 billion (€1.584 billion) by 2019, while currently printed circuit boards account for 15 percent of the market and displays and automotive products make up 35 percent.

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Silk inks created for smart gloves

June 19, 2015

Glove inksThe new material contains antibiotics and nanoparticles, and could turn inkjet printing into an “effective tool for therapeutics, regenerative medicine and biosensing”.

Researchers at Tufts University created the ink by using purified silk protein, or fibroin, to strengthen and protect the heat-sensitive biomolecules that have previously been researched as a medical application of inkjet printing, the institute’s news site Tufts News reported.

The polymer acts as a “cocoon” that can stabilise enzymes and antibodies and may be applied to many different mechanically robust formats. The published research was restricted to one inkjet cartridge, but the scientist think it could extend to multi-cartridge printing.

Researchers have created a “custom library” of applications for the inkjet-printable silk inks, including: bacterial-sensing polydiacetylenes (PDAs) printed on surgical gloves, with the word “contaminated” printed on the glove turning from blue to red when exposed to E. coli; gold nanoparticles printed on paper, that can be applied to photonics and biology; and enzymes printed on paper to test the ink’s ability to entrain small functional molecules.

Fiorenzo Omenetto, senior author on the paper and Associate Dean for research, said: “We thought that if we were able to develop an inkjet-printable silk solution, we would have a universal building block to generate multiple functional printed formats that could lead to a wide variety of applications in which inks remain active over time.”


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Funai Electric launches first Kodak-branded printer

June 16, 2015

Kodak VeriteThe Kodak Verite 55 is an MFP inkjet device designed to address customer dissatisfaction with expensive replacements for cartridges that run out of ink too fast.

Funai claims the new printer “provides an easy way for people to save up to 50 percent on their printing costs”, with options for an extra large (XL) colour and black cartridges with double print yield, able to print 360 colour and 400 black pages, equivalent to $50 (€44) in value compared to “other leading manufacturer’s ink cartridges”.

The machine also features wireless connectivity for printing, scanning and copying, and users can print for smartphone or table via the Kodak VERITE printer app, available on Apple and Android devices, via Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.

The Verite 55 Wireless Printer is available for $79.47 (€70.58) and ink cartridges will be available for $9.97 (€8.85) for a standard fill (200 page yield) black cartridge and $17.97 (€15.96) for a standard fill (180 page yield) colour cartridge.   XL (high yield) and XXL (extra high yield) cartridges that contain up to two and three times the page yield respectively will also be available.

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CompaTech named as Sensient’s European distributor

May 12, 2015

compatech logoThe company has been named as European distributor for the desktop inks portfolio.

Sensient Imaging Technologies SA, a business unit of Sensient Technologies Corporation which recently revealed its quarterly results, has extended its distribution agreement with CompaTech to name the Germany company as its European distributor for desktop inks. CompaTech has been distributing Sensient products “aimed at refilling desktop cartridges” in Germany since 2007, and is said to have “developed a strong network” there.

This network includes “refill shops, industrial refillers and other actors [in] the market”, and the products provided include “a full line of inks, materials and ancillary products” that help it to offer “a high level of service, dedication and efficiency”. The collaboration now expands out of Germany into the rest of Europe, with all customer orders handled by CompaTech since 1 March. The company’s warehouse will be relocated in total to Wuppertal in Germany by 1 June.

Mike Mordente, Sensient’s General Manager for Global Inks, stated: “We are very much looking forward to improving the service to our customers. We are certain that the complement of our products and the offer of CompaTech will be beneficial to the market and enhance the value of our desktop inks.”

Klaus Baumann, CEO of CompaTech, added: “It is a great recognition of our work in the last seven years, which honours the team of CompaTech. We thank you for the trust. CompaTech will be a reliable partner for Sensient in the future. We look forward to the new tasks and a good cooperation.”

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