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Improved technology for ceramic decoration has PSPs eyeing this sector as digital’s non-contact process allows for printing on thinner, lighter substrates, and the demand for customized décor grows. Since Kerajet introduced the first inkjet printer dedicated to tile decoration in 1999, developments in printhead technology have had ceramics manufacturers turning quickly from screen printing to inkjet, drawn by digital’s ease of use, flexibility of design, reduced waste, and quick ROI.

“The first step was to mimic what screen printing could do: put color on tile,” says Seiko’s Esteban Marin. Now digital is making its own advances, including special effects like textures and matte and gloss finishes. Harsh, inorganic inks may eventually see a rival, as well: “Pay attention when someone says ‘water-based,’” Marin adds.

Workflow is also set to improve, according to Xaar’s ceramic specialist, Gillian Ewers. “We see a future where the whole of the production line is digital,” she says.

Here are a range of options for printing on ceramic, from tile industry favorites to more versatile UV options.

Cretaprint C4
Announced at last September’s Tecnargilla ceramics show, the Cretaprint C4 features Xaar 1002 GS40 printheads, a lighter, more compact frame with eight individual bars, a new ink system for faster and easier refilling, an automatic tile thickness laser detector, and double tile printing. Available in up to 29-in. widths, the C4 also includes EFI Fiery proServer v 1.4 Digital Front-End, color management software designed for ceramic tile printing.

Gamma 75 HD-NR
This modular addition to Durst’s Gamma line of ceramic printers offers custom configuration and allows for flexibility for future upgrades. The N-series features increased ink recirculation for constant drop volume and max. productivity, as well as quoted print speeds up to 295 ft/min. Durst’s patented transversal interlacing printhead configuration, designed to improve print uniformity and color stability, allows for flexibility in design selection and production, according to the company. Available in widths up to 28 in.


Kerajet 1400
Featuring multiple Xaar 1002 GS40 printheads and continuous ink circulation, the 55-in. Kerajet 1400 holds up to 12 removable printing bars and prints at speeds up to 295 ft/min. Also available in the 28-in. 700 model, the series includes Kerajet Master technology that allows users to control a full manufacturing line from one machine. According to the company, one master printer can regulate any number of Kerajet machines with unlimited ink configurations. Also designed for compatibility with any glaze.

TeckVersa Series
The TeckVersa printer series, designed for tile printing on any shape or surface up to 1.5 in. thick, features an anti-crash device that protects its Spectra Polaris 512 printheads, as well as the ability to shift between sizes and images without stopping production. The machine prints in grayscale at a resolution of 800 dpi. Additional features include built-in, specialized color management software; an adjustable bench height; and TexPrint RIP software. Available in three models: the 28-in. TeckVersa 700, the 40-in. TeckVersa 1100 (pictured), and the 56-in. TeckVersa 1400.

Direct Jet 1024UVMVP15
With capabilities for inline printing, the creation of Braille signage, and bottle printing with the EasyCyl attachment, the Direct Jet 1024UVMVP15 is DCS’ largest model yet and also prints on wood, metal, ceramic tile, plastic, glass, and more, up to 15 in. thick with a max. print area of 10 x 24 in. Prints in 6 colors, including white and clear, and features LED sensors that automatically adjust printhead height.

ValueJet 426UF
This tabletop UV-LED printer prints on a variety of materials from ceramic tile to 3D objects up to 2.75 in. thick. The 13 x 19-in. bed prints up to 6 colors, including white and varnish for textured prints, at a reported speed of 89 sq ft/hr (720 dpi) and a variable drop size of 3.7 pL. Also includes a vacuum table for stability.

VersaUV LEF-20
Designed for printing on everything from promotional items and electronics devices to specialty media such as wood and ceramic, the VersaUV LEF-20 benchtop flatbed accepts objects up to 3.94 in. thick. Roland’s flexible Eco-UV inks have been engineered to conform to corners and curves, and are available in CMYK, clear, and white; users can also choose a matte or gloss finish. The LEF-20 allows users to save specific media settings for up to 20 jobs, and features low-heat LED lamps, a laser alignment system, and a max. print size of 14 x 21 in.

Anapurna M2500i
The Anapurna M2500i UV printer features six 12-pL and two 30-pL Konica Minolta KM1024i printheads, an automatic board feeder, and print speeds up to 1237 sq ft/hr. The 98-in. hybrid prints on uncoated rigid media up to 1.77 in. thick, including corrugated boards, plastics, exhibition panels, wood, and ceramic; personalized items such as DVDs and beer coasters; and roll media. Also includes Asanti workflow software, the option for multiple board or borderless printing, and 6 ink colors.


Dip-Tech AR6000
Designed for digital in-glass printing, Dip-Tech’s AR6000 combines the use of ceramic inks with digital print technology to create single-pass, multi-color designs. The 110-in. machine prints at up to a quoted 818 sq ft/hr and a resolution of 720 dpi. Capable of printing on glass up to 19 mm thick, the AR6000 allows for an unlimited number of panes per installation and features an automated ink management system, as well as an optional built-in dryer kit.



Printvinyl Scored Print Media

New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.

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