Cambridge, UK—Meteor Inkjet Ltd, leading supplier of electronics, software, tools and services for industrial inkjet, has been granted a US patent for “Inkjet nozzle status detection” (United States Patent No. 11,504,966) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent covers a system and method for determining, in real-time, the operational status of a nozzle in a piezoelectric industrial inkjet printhead. Meteor is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hybrid Software Group PLC (Euronext:? HYSG), a leading developer of enterprise software for industrial print manufacturing.
Conventional solutions to jetting issues are often sufficient for scanning printers in applications where multiple passes can mitigate the impact of nozzle failure. But for single-pass systems running at high speed, or in applications where nozzle failure would have catastrophic consequences, existing inline imaging solutions are often complex and typically cost more than the print system itself. Additionally, because camera-based solutions identify printhead problems after-the-fact, they have limited use for predictive maintenance.
Fernando Rodriguez, Meteor’s Vice President of Technology and the primary inventor, explains, “Our invention uses real-time monitoring of electrical feedback from the nozzle after piezoelectric excitation to detect clogged or clogging print nozzles. This disruptive innovation has the potential to remove a significant barrier to implementation of inkjet in applications where the impact of nozzle failure makes inkjet unsuitable.”
Clive Ayling, Meteor’s Managing Director, adds, “Over the last few years, Meteor has undertaken basic research to identify and develop ways to monitor and improve the reliability of the industrial inkjet printing process. We are delighted that this invention has been recognised with a US patent and are confident that our ongoing investment in technological innovation will directly benefit not only our OEM customers but also the industry.”