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Durst Offers Single-Pass Gamma 60

Designed specifically for the tile-decorating market.




Durst”?s new Packaging & Industrial Group has unveiled its latest printer”?the Gamma 60. Designed specifically for the tile-decorating market, the Gamma 60 is an industrial-strength single-pass printer that not only prints very fast, but also can print variable decoration onto the tiles at the same time. The Gamma 60 is set up in the standard production path of tile manufacturing: The raw materials are prepped; the tile is pressed and formed; any optional layers”?glazes, etc.”?are applied and fired; the tile is printed (which is where the Gamma 60 resides in the “workflow”?); a protective layer might be added; and then the tile goes through final kiln firing.

The printer generates top speed of 230 sq ft/min (or 13,800 sq ft/hr), although it generally operates at a more standard production speed of 95 sq ft/min (or 5700 sq ft/hr). The Gamma 60 offers resolutions from 206 to 824 dpi and has a maximum print area of 22-in. wide x 42-in. long.

Moving that much material to/from the printer at high speeds, and printing variable data in a single-pass, requires a whole new delivery system, Durst points out. The Gamma 60 is the first machine to use the company”?s new Synchronized Inline Printing System (SIPS), comprising four full-width fixed CMYK printhead modules matched with a belt transport system whose function is “synchronized”? with the overall tile production workflow. The printhead configuration achieves its resolution via the design and placement of printheads within the SIPS system. Durst has partnered with Spanish ceramics ink manufacturer Torrecid ( to develop and produce the system”?s 4-color pigmented ceramic inks.

SIPS also utilizes a heavy-duty, non-stop, non-touch, drop-on-demand process to a) “cope”? with the hostile tile-production environment; b) print edge-to-edge, and, c) eliminate tile breakage that can occur with traditional ceramic-decoration processes. Its new proprietary software features on-the-fly, full random printing for an unlimited number of different tiles from given designs with full color-management control.

“Generally, output from Durst”?s photographic and large-format UV inkjet printers is the final product to the customer”?a banner, a vehicle wrap, an image. But the platforms [Gamma 60 and Rhopac] developed by our Packaging & Industrial Group are just part of the production of a final product,”? says Christopher Howard, head of US Packaging & Industrial business. “For these applications, imaging is one step in the workflow.”?

The Gamma 60 is expected to be available in the US in the first half of 2007. No US pricing has been announced.




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