Ajusteel will incorporate to its facilities the first digital press from Barberán
Personalization has been rising for over a decade transcending from a trend into a given. Nowadays tailoring is one of the fundamental values on goods because of how it refers to the consumer only and how it improves its experience with it, as it has been shown during fairs such as IFA 2019, where customization has been focal.
In this context, a new Jetmaster will land in the city of Gumi in the coming months. It is the first Barberán digital printer to be installed in South Korea, and the second in Asia, after the installation, six months ago, in Greentec, for the deco sector in China. Responsible for this is Ajusteel, a company with 25 years of experience dedicated to the production of steel products for home appliances. They have factories in the Korean country itself, in its Chinese neighbour and in Mexico, and points of sale in the United States and Japan: they settle in an emerging market niche with a demand for products of high personalization and quality in crescendo.
Why step over to single-pass digital printing? Mr. Taeil Kim, director of development and research, tells us. “So far we have used multi-pass digital injection presses. But this multi-pass injection press has a productivity of 23, 30 pieces per hour; very low productivity, unable to manage the amount of customer production. That is why the move to single-pass.” After a market study on the offer of single-pass printers, Ajusteel decided to acquire Jetmaster for its long and recognized trajectory since in 2007 it presented the first printer based on this technology. “Since we started to be interested in this market, we had Barberán in mind. They had the most experience in customer supply.”
“Single-pass printing has a much higher productivity. In terms of quality, in addition, after testing it, it is much superior. We sent samples to our customers, LG and Samsung, and they approved it: the quality is the best. So now that we will increase the quantity, this solution is the one that can best take over and manage production.”
The Jetmaster 1750 is a digital press that allows printing without contact with the substrate, increasing the production rate and improving quality because of the elimination of pollution. With a total working width of 1750mm you can print over large dimension pieces or print up to 4 queues of simultaneous projects according to the width of the substrate, optimizing production and minimizing the expense of resources. Ajusteel will also incorporate a 420mm wide printer in its factories to carry out ink and image tests.
Barberán tailor their machinery to the needs of each client. In this case, due to the peculiarities of the substrate (sheet metal), they have worked with the Sakata ink supplier to improve the characteristics of the inks that will be used. The Jetmaster uses UV curing inks, has injection heads and prints in six colors (CMYK and light cyan / light magenta or orange / violet), which broadens the color spectrum to cover 90% of Pantone colors. To achieve an impeccable impression, they have worked to improve the resistance to achieve flexible and opaque inks that do not lose brightness or definition when handling the final product.
Ajusteel will use digital printing to customize home appliances, such as refrigerators, air conditioning machines or microwaves, for big customers (LG and Samsung among others), and for products from the construction sector. “Right now, very few customers get digital printing on metal; many of them use only rolled metal. Ajusteel, with the Jetmaster machine, will have a very wide market. Because in the markets we are in, a different technique has been used and they have a lower productivity […] so we expect that the production with digital printing will expand a lot, and that the product has a great transformation and greater impact on the final customer .”