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Hybrid Printing – The Future of Direct Mail?

Andy hadn’t heard much reporting on the process of adding inkjet printing heads to existing equipment - so he went out looking for it. He’s covered the latest and greatest on inkjet finshing , and he visited one of the largest UK direct mail printers to see how they’re utilizing the technology.

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Discussion

By David Loos on Mar 16, 2011

MCS demonstrated the MCS Eagle Inkjet with two 4.25” Kyocera heads stitched together offering a solid 8.5” of print at Graph Expo last year. One PC can drive two of these 8.5” heads, for a total of 17” of print. We had the printer in-line with a bindery, (unwinding, imaging, cutting and folding).
I agree with your thoughts. We have had the most interest and sales in the flexo markets, and in the mailing bindery areas.
http://www.mcspro.com/Videos/MCS%20Eagle%208%20inch%20head%20LQ.wmv

 

By David Loos on Mar 16, 2011

MCS demonstrated the MCS Eagle Inkjet with two 4.25” Kyocera heads stitched together offering a solid 8.5” of print at Graph Expo last year. One PC can drive two of these 8.5” heads, for a total of 17” of print. We had the printer in-line with a bindery, (unwinding, imaging, cutting and folding).
I agree with your thoughts. We have had the most interest and sales in the flexo markets, and in the mailing bindery areas.
http://www.mcspro.com/Videos/MCS%20Eagle%208%20inch%20head%20LQ.wmv

 

By Buck Crowley on Mar 16, 2011

Andy's comments are all very valid but they are a look at the present.
Most "new print heads" have been in high volume usage for years in areas such as wide-format, office and packaging. Many of the web-printing heads are the same as a successful low-cost workgroup printers.
Inkjet has been printing on every conceivable substrate for years.
Stitching heads together is fundamental in inkjet printing. The standard has been ½”, anything wider is often a stitched array.
At 1000fpm, most inkjet drops are still 10 times faster than the web.

As to the fourth point: who will do the integration of the print heads? The answer is the same people who have been putting on press accessories for years. I don’t think there is any press auxiliary that is simpler to add to a web press than inkjet.
On expensive, inkjet is inherently inexpensive, it is only the current rate of adoption, due to tough economy that makes the cost high.
Putting the print heads into a finishing operation works too (good point Andy!). What is a waste is the 1000’s of standalone inkjet systems in printing plants. The inkjets should be bolted on the folder or the jet-press or the bindery or any upstream process including the press.
Thank You Andy – keep up the good work.
Buck @ BuckAutomation.com

 

By Buck Crowley on Mar 16, 2011

Andy's comments are all very valid but they are a look at the present.
Most "new print heads" have been in high volume usage for years in areas such as wide-format, office and packaging. Many of the web-printing heads are the same as a successful low-cost workgroup printers.
Inkjet has been printing on every conceivable substrate for years.
Stitching heads together is fundamental in inkjet printing. The standard has been ½”, anything wider is often a stitched array.
At 1000fpm, most inkjet drops are still 10 times faster than the web.

As to the fourth point: who will do the integration of the print heads? The answer is the same people who have been putting on press accessories for years. I don’t think there is any press auxiliary that is simpler to add to a web press than inkjet.
On expensive, inkjet is inherently inexpensive, it is only the current rate of adoption, due to tough economy that makes the cost high.
Putting the print heads into a finishing operation works too (good point Andy!). What is a waste is the 1000’s of standalone inkjet systems in printing plants. The inkjets should be bolted on the folder or the jet-press or the bindery or any upstream process including the press.
Thank You Andy – keep up the good work.
Buck @ BuckAutomation.com

 

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