Digital Printing of Textiles (Woodhead Publishing in Textiles)

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Inkjet printers cannot use flocks, glitters or devore techniques yet. Fabric variety is still quite limited. Final production and markets must be carefully considered. Clothing manufacturers need colour variations: CMYK four-colour processing will not do.

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Unfortunately many salespeople are commissioning many more samples, because it's cheap, fast and easy and improves their success rate enormously. However, there is one very big problem emerging here, since when the successful samples arrive at the production part of the process, in Unlike in the traditional process, they are not ready for immediate production, as they have to go through the screen engraving process. Since ITMA , there has been production machinery capable of linear metres per hour, but integration is still a way off.

Often the computer-produced designs are impossible to prepare for production machinery, or the data files given to the computer-aided manufacture separation artists are so complex and mixed up that they have to rescan the printed sample in order to produce the separated colour film properly.

It's so tempting for salespeople and stylists to rush out thousands of samples made available by this new, fast, flexible technology, but caution must be taken. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the designer. Always start with and remember the final means of production, then design accordingly. It is necessary to understand the potential in these systems. Reproduction of a design is fine but you need to go beyond the normal hand-drawn images if using the programs on the system. The Ratti group set up a centre for study and research, which aided in the group's success; the keywords being innovation, sophisticated product, unique product and lead, never follow.

Although these early CAD programs were not at the levels of the first knit programs, they were able to produce paper colour proofs which could be transferred to production screens when successful. Although it all worked very well it wasn't easy, because in the s people were working with relatively primitive and very expensive computers compared to now. Only big industry could afford them.

It was a unique studio experience and not available to many. Some saw computers as restricting creativity, although the screen engravers embraced it and in fact remain world leaders due to their early involvement with the technology. But the results produced were what changed things.

It's the same position today; it's time to demystify the myths surrounding digital technology. Finally there is the freedom. New generations don't have as many phobias about these technologies and techniques. They understand that they don't have to lose time photocopying, 24 Digital printing of textiles cutting, pasting, and struggling with repeats. They have more time for the truly creative part of a designer's work.

Now designers are in direct control. With today's technology there is no longer a barrier between creativity and the production of the design on fabric or any surface. This new technology allows designers to take control of the end result, to prevent it from being changed down the production line. All the industrial preparation processes can be eliminated; it will be faster, more competitive, more creative. Designers such as garment and interior designers can also work with customers in a much more efficient and integrated way.

Digital methods give the advantages of speed, communication of ideas, last-minute ideas, and beating the competition on the catwalk with a unique product. Designers and customers have total control over the final product. Before this technology the human touch was stifled. So where does that leave designers? The new technology has to be embraced, as the competition doesn't hesitate.

For example, in Korea they really are up to speed on this technology; they recognise the potential. A design can be completed on the other side of the world and 36 hours later a disc with the design on it can be in a factory in South Korea, slotted into an engraving system, and in production a day later. That's serious mass production, from limited edition boutiques to high streets all over the world if required. More people need to adopt the technology and learn how to use it to increase efficiency and avoid one person doing the work and four others telling them where to cut and what to move.

By getting hands-on experience, people have more control; the programs are getting easier and easier to work with. New professional and craft roles are being defined. It's so important that skilled designers transfer their skills to the excellence that the technology allows. The final means of production must always be taken into account although inkjet printers are now up to production speed, the majority of products will still be produced on a large scale by low-technology methods such as screen printing.

It is also necessary to take into account how the market works at present. The market expects a collection of fabrics to have prints with colourways, groups or families of colours, clearly separated backgrounds, etc. This sums up the present situation, with inkjet printers being used mostly for design sampling as they save expensive screen-making time and costs, but this can cause problems. A design made on the computer can create more problems than it solves.

It is necessary to start from zero and think like a textile designer, deciding from the start that the design will have, for example, three greens, four reds and a background, and that it should be adaptable to different colourways. The future will be very different. The reason why the Italian textile industry was so successful over the last 50 years was that it always used the latest technology available in the best creative way.

That's why it's so important that the creative process advances alongside, if not ahead of, the technology. History tells us that the connection between art and industry is very important. Or maybe it started with the lithographers. We can also now produce limited edition garments as we don't have to engrave screens or keep a stock or a warehouse full, or manufacture thousands of garments to sell only a percentage of them. The new technologies allow true production on demand.

There are also new and exciting developments that link the creation of a textile design and the pattern, cut and design of the garment. This opens up the possibility of textile designs that follow, or decide, the form of the garment. Not only the most advanced European design research projects, but major players like Levi's are now using body scanners to produce individual 26 Digital printing of textiles patterns for garments based on each person's measurements. Link this to CAD textile design and inkjet printing and things will really change.

New opportunities appear every month. It is necessary to scramble it so it can't be downloaded directly, but these ciphers can be overcome.

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So there's nothing stopping anyone, working from anywhere, from producing high-quality unique work, available to the mass market or the limited edition market. And finally, in the fashion business, when most people hear the words digital design, the first thing that pops into their minds is designs made by robots. Many people do not even realise that designs have been produced digitally, thanks to the human touch. It is therefore a nonimpact printing method. Much of the fundamental theory behind the ink jet technology was developed at the end of the nineteenth century by Lord Rayleigh Rayleigh, but the development of the technology itself did not start until the late s and s.

Ink jet has three basic components, all of which need to work well in order to produce an acceptable output. These pieces are the print head, the ink, and the medium. The objective of this chapter is to review the ink jet state of the art from the print head standpoint.

We start in the next section by describing the ink jet technology classes and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of two of the most prevalent technologies. In Section 3. Section 3. Finally, in Section 3. In CIJ, ink is squirted through nozzles at a constant speed by applying a constant pressure. The jet of ink is naturally unstable and breaks up into droplets shortly after leaving the nozzle.

The drops are left to go to the medium or deflected to a gutter for recirculation depending on the image being printed. The deflection is usually achieved by electrically charging the drops and applying an electric field to control the trajectory. In DOD ink jet, drops are ejected only when needed to form the image.

The two main drop ejector mechanisms used to generate drops are piezoelectric ink 30 Digital printing of textiles 3. In PIJ, the volume of an ink chamber inside the nozzle is quickly reduced by means of a piezoelectric actuator, which squeezes the ink droplet out of the nozzle. In TIJ, an electrical heater located inside each nozzle is used to raise the temperature of the ink to the point of bubble nucleation. The explosive expansion of the vapor bubble propels the ink outside the nozzle.

Figure 3. Without any other intervention, the breakup would occur randomly and would result in droplets of variable sizes. This is usually corrected by providing a periodic excitation to the nozzle in the time domain that translates into a spatial perturbation in the jet of fluid. The combination of the jet velocity and frequency of the excitation determines the droplet size, which can be controlled to very high accuracy. In the traditional CIJ approach, a piezoelectric transducer is coupled to the print head to provide the periodic excitation.

The oscillations are therefore mechanical in nature. After leaving the nozzle, the drops are electrically charged by an amount that depends on the image to be printed. There are two ways of deflecting the drops in piezoelectric-driven CIJ. In the binary deflection method the droplets are directed either to a single pixel location in the medium or to the recirculating gutter. In the multiple-deflection method the deflection is variable so the drops can address several pixels. These two concepts are illustrated in Figs 3. Hertz of Sweden who invented it Hertz et al.

In the Hertz method the amount of ink deposited per pixel is variable. The drops not intended to reach the medium are charged and deflected to a gutter. The printing drops are given a smaller charge to prevent them from merging in flight. Iris Graphics has successfully commercialized this technology on digital color proofers. The company is now part of Kodak. Kodak has recently disclosed a CIJ system in which thermal pulses are used to uniformly break up the jet of ink Hawkins, ; Anagnostopoulos et al.

In this version of the technology, each nozzle has an annular electrical heater that is pulsed at a certain frequency. The heat generated raises the temperature of the ink jet in the vicinity of the nozzle and locally lowers the viscosity of the ink. Because the heating pulse is periodic in time and the jet velocity is constant, the resulting jet breaks up into equally sized drops in a reproducible way.

This type of drop ejector is illustrated in Fig. The thermal CIJ technology lends itself to several deflection mechanisms. One could certainly charge the drops and use the standard electric field-driven method to achieve the deflection. Another option disclosed by Kodak is air deflection in combination with modulation of the drop size by the heating pulse so that when no drops are needed their size is reduced and an air current deflects them to a gutter.

A third approach is based on dividing the annular heater that controls the drop breakup into two independently controlled heaters placed on diametrically opposite sides of the nozzle. By applying different energy to each heater, the direction of the jet can be steered at will. Because of the complexities associated with conventional CIJ charge and deflection, ink recirculation, pressurization such print heads tend to be costly. On the other hand, because the nozzles are actively refilled by the positive pressure operation, the operating frequencies of these devices are typically at least an order of magnitude higher than in DOD systems.

For these reasons, CIJ systems are generally used in industrial applications. In either case, when a voltage is applied to the electrodes of the piezoelectric element the volume of the chamber is typically reduced, which results in a droplet of ink being squirted out of the nozzle. The classes, shown in Fig. In shear mode ink jet, the electric field is perpendicular to the poling direction of the piezoelectric material see Fig. The application of this field produces a shear motion in the piezoelectric material that makes the membrane move like an oil can.

Xaar's drop ejectors Temple et 3. Unlike Spectra's version of the technology, the walls approaching each other cause the volume reduction in the chambers during firing. In bend mode piezoelectric ink jet, the electric field and poling directions are parallel. The piezoelectric material is placed on the membrane and the membrane moves like an oil can.

This configuration is illustrated in Fig. Print heads made by companies such as PicoJet and Xerox Tektronix as well as some of Epson's print heads operate in this mode. In the push mode piezoelectric ink jet used by Trident, the electric field and polarization vectors are also parallel but the membrane is placed in the expanding direction of the piezoelectric material see Fig. In the squeeze mode the drop ejector is a hollow tube of piezoelectric material.

Upon the application of an electric field, the inside volume of the tube firing chamber decreases its radius and ejects the ink in the direction of its axis Fig. A novel way of configuring a piezoelectric drop ejector has been disclosed by The Technology Partnership Arnott et al. In this configuration the piezoelectric elements are mounted on the nozzle plate see Fig.

The simplicity of the fluid path achieved in this concept should result in significant cost advantages as well as robustness against the presence of air bubbles in the ink path. To our knowledge, this concept has not yet been commercialized. In the piezoelectric print head designed by Aprion, the actuator chamber is made out of a porous metal layer e. The concept is illustrated in Fig. In piezoelectric ink jet, waveforms with various levels of complexity can be used to control the whole ejection process Lubinsky et al.

Pre-pulses can be timed to get the nozzle meniscus to bulge out or in, thereby increasing or reducing the ink present in the front channel. This results in larger or smaller droplets, respectively. More complex waveforms are also used to effectively increase or decrease the drop volume by pumping small droplets that merge into a single larger drop shortly after leaving the nozzle.

In principle, all of these techniques are capable of adjusting the drop volume over an order of magnitude, though this is not very common in commercial products. This causes a vapor bubble to violently nucleate and expand, ejecting an ink droplet through the nozzle orifice. Water tends to cause more explosive bubble growth than other solvents. For this reason, TIJ favors waterbased inks.

The TIJ process resembles an explosion. Once the bubble nucleates and starts expanding, there is no point in continuing to provide power to the heater because the bubble is a poor thermal conductor. Thus, the pulse is usually tailored to stop shortly after bubble nucleation.

As the bubble expands it cools and its pressure which starts at over 70 atmospheres in water based inks drops quickly. The bubble reaches its maximum size and then, just as violently, it collapses, retracting the meniscus to a region inside the channel. After the bubble collapses, capillary action drives the refill process, which continues until the channel is full again, ready to fire. Because of its explosive nature, there is little control over the process beyond the pulse length and power applied. Techniques of providing a short pre-pulse or train of pre-pulses to pre-warm the ink in the vicinity of the heater are sometimes used.

With these techniques, one can control or modify in a limited way the total ejected ink volume. Canon introduced in a sideshooter version with multiple heaters that enables drop modulation. A top view of this design is shown in Fig. Sony has developed a roof-shooter type drop ejector Eguchi et al. This feature can be used to control the directionality of the ejected drop. Energy-efficient configurations with suspended heaters have also been proposed Kubby, ; Hideyuki et al. In these configurations 3. Finally, Canon has disclosed in a series of patents see, for example, Kudo et al. This feature would be expected to enhance the energy efficiency of the drop ejector see Fig.

The fabrication methods used to make TIJ print heads are typically those that are used by the semiconductor industry. This enables the possibility of building a substantial amount of the drive and control electronics into the print head. This, coupled with the batch processing economies of IC fabrication techniques, results in low cost, multi-nozzle print head arrays. In this section we give a sampling of this wide range of ideas by describing five of them. A more detailed description can be found in the book by Stephen F.

Pond Pond, Similar to a piezoelectric transducer, an electric field can be used directly to move the membrane of an ink chamber and thus produce drop ejection. This is the principle of operation of an electrostatic ink jet drop ejector shown in Fig. Xerox has developed an ink jet technology in which an acoustic excitation is focused on the free surface of the ink in order to eject a drop Quate et al.

One advantage of this technology is that, in principle, no nozzle structure is needed. On the other hand, the ink level has to be tightly controlled 3. The technology has been demonstrated, but to our knowledge no product has been commercialized to date. The thermo-mechanical ink jet technology disclosed is another example of drop on demand ink jet Silverbrook, ; Trauernicht et al. The principle of operation is based on the sudden motion of a composite structure caused by differing coefficients of thermal expansion induced by the heating of an electric resistor.

Many embodiments have been disclosed for this concept. In one embodiment the motion of a paddle immersed in the ink behind the nozzle initiates the drop ejection process see Fig. In another, the nozzle structure itself is made to move inward thereby generating a drop. To our knowledge this method is not yet commercial. Equilibrium is achieved in the nonprinting state between a negative pressure provided at the ink supply and a standby electric field generated by an extraction electrode located in front of the 3. When a drop is needed, a higher potential is applied to the extraction electrode, causing the drop ejection.

A collection electrode behind the medium is also required to guide the drop to the medium. Casio commercialized this technology in the early seventies but, to our knowledge, no product is being sold at the present time. Silverbrook has disclosed in a series of patents assigned to Kodak Silverbrook, the concept we refer to in Fig. This driving force can be a positive head pressure or a high voltage differential, both of which would cause the ejection of drops if the ink surface tension were lowered.

When an electrical heating element is positioned at the nozzle is activated, the ink temperature increases, lowering the surface tension of the ink and inducing the ejection of a drop. We are not aware of any commercial product that utilizes this technology. The displacement that can be achieved with a piezoelectric material sets a limit to the packing density of nozzles in PIJ.

Current techniques and operating voltages typically produce displacements on the order of 0. Thus to generate a volume change of 30 pL i. In reality, the situation is worse because the change in chamber volume required to eject a drop of a given size is 44 Digital printing of textiles on the order of twice the drop volume. For this reason the native resolution i. Of course this problem can be dealt with by laying out extensive two-dimensional arrays of nozzles but at a cost of substantially more real estate. Another advantage of TIJ mentioned previously is that semiconductor fabrication techniques are used to manufacture these types of heads.

It is therefore possible to integrate the electronics necessary to drive the heaters into the print head. This has been difficult to achieve with PIJ print heads and, to our knowledge, no such devices have yet been commercialized. For the two reasons stated above, TIJ print heads tend to be more compact and less costly than their PIJ counterparts.

A problem intrinsic to ink jet technology is the detrimental effect on jetting of the presence of trapped air bubbles in the ink system. A bubble is a compliant element in the system and can absorb a substantial portion of the driving pressure pulse, rendering it totally or partially ineffective. There are many possible sources of air bubbles in ink jet devices. Air dissolved in the ink can nucleate at rough surfaces and sharp edges.

Particulates suspended in the ink can also lead to air bubble nucleation. Another source of trapped bubbles is the presence of corners in the ink delivery system that can be difficult to fill in the priming process. PIJ waveforms typically tend to create areas of low pressure in the ink in portions of the firing cycle which tend to exsolve air through a process called rectified diffusion. Rectified diffusion occurs because the rate of diffusion of a gas toward the liquid during the compression portion of the cycle is smaller than the rate at which the gas leaves the liquid in the low pressure portion, causing the bubble to grow.

Finally, the heating of the ink during the firing pulse in TIJ devices also causes air ex-solution. The main reason for this is that TIJ devices have the drop generator energy source very close to the nozzle, which tends to flush air bubbles away from the critical regions more effectively. The ink path from the firing chamber to the nozzle tends to be more complex in commercial PIJ devices and in most cases degassed ink is used.

An advantage of piezoelectric ink jet relative to thermal ink jet is ink latitude. Though examples of drop ejection of non-aqueous fluids from thermal ink jet devices have been disclosed, all commercially available TIJ print heads fire aqueous inks. Piezoelectric heads, on the other hand, can easily fire any fluid, within a given range of operating viscosity and surface tension.

For this reason, most industrial non-conventional applications of ink jet use piezoelectric technology. UV inks, phase-change inks and solvent-based inks, for example, are jetted with PIJ devices. As discussed in Section 3. Prepulsing techniques can be used in thermal ink jet to affect the volume of the drop Becerra et al. The management of the waste heat is an important issue in thermal ink jet.

In TIJ devices only a small fraction of the heat generated by the heater is ejected with the drop in one cycle. Therefore, unless measures are taken to control this problem, the temperature of the head increases with use and duty cycle. As the temperature increases, the ink viscosity decreases and the thermal energy stored in the superheated layer of ink at the time of bubble nucleation increases Freire, The end result of these effects is that the drop volume drifts upward, causing print quality issues.

In contrast, for piezoelectric devices, most of the energy dissipation occurs in the driver electronics that are typically thermally disconnected from the actual print head. Thus, the operation of piezoelectric devices is naturally more isothermal. Two failure modes unique to TIJ contribute to this difference. These deposits tend to thermally insulate the heater, causing non-uniform nucleation. Over time, drop ejection failure occurs. Bubble collapse is another cause of drop ejector failure in TIJ. This process is very violent and can erode the heater surface through a phenomenon called cavitation damage.

Ink formulation and coating the heater surface with highly durable materials are common practices that bring the drop ejector lifetime up to acceptable levels for TIJ applications. These factors can be loosely grouped in four categories: image quality, cost, printer productivity or throughput , and ink latitude.

In this section we discuss these topics and, in some cases, introduce metrics that can help in the technology selection process. In general, the lower the drop volume, the finer are the details that can be imaged. This is because, given the ink and medium, the drop volume determines the size of the printed dot. As expected, the drop 46 Digital printing of textiles volumes ejected by commercial print heads have come down significantly over time. The first drop-on-demand thermal ink jet print heads for desktop applications produced drop volumes in excess of pL.

When addressing print quality, drop volume should not be confused with resolution. Often the addressable points are located in a rectangular grid. In such cases, two resolutions are quoted, one for each of the orthogonal directions. This means that the dots are placed at a dpi spacing i. It follows that increasing the resolution improves print quality but only up to a point. If the resolution is increased to the point that the dot diameter is much larger than the resolution, the print quality improvement is insignificant and other problems related to drying time and speed could be generated.

Moreover, the resolution is essentially a feature of the system. Gray scale i. We believe, however, that drop volume in this case the smallest achievable one is still the appropriate metric to describe image quality even in print heads with gray scale capabilities.

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This is because the ability to eject larger drop volumes does not impact image quality but, rather, productivity in solid tones and regions of high area coverage. Given the ink and media, the productivity of the printer is determined by the operating frequency and the total number of nozzles in the printer. For this reason, a metric frequently used to normalize cost is the cost per nozzle. The cost of ownership or running cost is obviously impacted by the price of the ink and media, but the print head lifetime is also a factor in this cost because it determines how often the print head needs to be replaced.

It is common for print head manufacturers to test their print heads to failure with a recommended ink and use Weibull statistics to determine a minimum life. Many factors can affect print head lifetime. They can range from contamination in the ink delivery system to loss of hydrophobicity of the print head nozzle plate. Therefore, unless the manufacturer's recommended ink is used, the quoted minimum life cannot be taken for granted and reliability tests will be needed.

Another print head related cost that needs to be considered in the total running cost is ink royalty. Some head manufacturers would add a royalty cost that is usually computed as a percent of ink sales per print head. The required amount of ink per unit area for full area coverage printing is a function of the ink and medium. It follows that the productivity of a print head is given by the amount of ink it can deliver per unit time. Note that if the desired printing resolution is not equal to the print head native resolution, more passes will be needed or the print head would have to be placed so that the array direction is not perpendicular to the printing direction but the productivity definition stated above still limits the maximum throughput.

The productivity metric PH introduced above is clearly a print head centric metric. This is because the maximum operating frequency in state of the art DOD ink jet is in the tens of kilohertz whereas CIJ typically operates at hundreds of kilohertz. Some of the metrics introduced above can be combined to address other questions.

For example, one can define the print head productivity cost as the ratio between the head cost and its productivity. The print head productivity cost therefore measures the dollar cost of 1 liter per hour of productivity. Similarly, one can compute the productivity cost per nozzle, i. For example, the cost of CIJ print heads is high. On the other hand, they tend to be very productive because of the high frequencies at which they operate.

The productivity cost per nozzle of some CIJ systems is actually quite competitive, making them suitable for high-speed applications. As discussed in the previous section, commercial TIJ print heads are typically effective for low 48 Digital printing of textiles viscosity i. Therefore, PIJ print heads are generally used for industrial applications that require operating outside this region. We do not have a good metric to address ink latitude other than the manufacturer recommended range for the viscosity and surface tension of the fluid to be ejected.

Within PIJ heads there are certain limitations regarding the ink vehicle. Some print heads are manufactured with materials typically adhesives that are affected by the presence of water. Those heads cannot be used with aqueous inks. The conventional continuous ink jet process requires that the droplets be charged after ejection. Therefore the conductivity of the inks used in conventional CIJ heads needs to be high. In this section we provide the reader a sense of the size of the ink jet print head field by listing all the companies that we believe are actively working on print head technology.

The list was constructed from attendance at trade shows, researching the patent literature, and by Internet searches. We do not claim to have a complete list since the field is highly populated but we believe the list captures the major players. The field of TIJ print heads has been historically controlled by four companies that had enough intellectual property to practice the art. Xerox exited the TIJ business in leaving only three major players. Patent activity shows that other companies are actively pursuing this field, motivated by the expiration of the some of the first TIJ patents.

Due to the robustness required by the textile industrial application and the relatively higher viscosity of some textile inks, the textile market is currently dominated by PIJ technology. Most textile inks are also water-based so only those PIJ print heads that are water-compatible are being used. CIJ could also serve this sector, but the constraints coming from the roll-fed media combined with the high carriage speed required to take advantage of the high operating frequency of this technology make the implementation more difficult.

Stationary multiple jet arrays could solve this problem but the cost and throughput would put such a machine in a completely different class. Osiris has announced a CIJbased printer but, to our knowledge, the product is not yet commercial. Accordingly, the print heads with significant presence in the textile market are currently those offered by Aprion, Epson, and Seiko.

The table includes the type of technology and whether the company is known by the author to have commercialized any print heads. We have also included a column to capture the companies that currently serve the digital textile printer market. Note that the table is print head centric. This means that printer integrators that outsource the print head technology are not included.

A major factor is that many of the original patents are currently or will be expiring in the near future. This is an incentive for new entrants into the various areas of the technology, including print heads. Thus the market may see new players in the future which, in turn, may generate new concepts as well as drive prices down. Companies in the Far East will likely take advantage of this opportunity and we can see this trend already in the patent literature with active players such as Samsung, ITRI, and BenQ, among others. Another factor that is likely to influence the field in the future is the development of page-wide array systems.

From the early days of this technology several companies have worked on the development of a page-wide print head that could print a full page without the need of a reciprocating carriage. One key challenge of page-wide array systems is that they would operate in single-pass mode. Virtually all multi-nozzle printing systems currently have multi-pass printing modes to ensure the highest print quality by minimizing issues of directionality, missing jets, and other nozzle-to-nozzle non-uniformities in the head.

Operating in single-pass mode requires a much higher print head quality level than that needed in current products. This is one of the technical reasons why page-wide printers are not widely available. Sony has recently announced a page-wide system using its proprietary double heater TIJ technology. The printer is being sold in Japan. From their disclosure, the print bar is made out of trapezoidal two-dimensional piezoelectric nozzle arrays. In the CIJ arena, we think that the thermal excitation technology developed by Kodak is quite promising. According to Kodak's disclosures, the productivity cost per nozzle is better than for any other technology.

The ability of using the nozzle heaters to correct jet directionality in a large array of nozzles could potentially be very valuable as well. It is therefore common for literature to become dated quickly. However, the funda- Table 3. For those topics, the book by Stephen Pond Pond, is an excellent reference for further reading. Also, the paper by Hue Le Le, contains a good description of the more traditional drop ejector designs.

All the references cited in the text are listed below. Arnott M et al. Becerra J et al. Eguchi T et al. Fishbeck K et al. Hadimioglu B et al. Haluzak C et al. Hertz C et al. Hideyuki S et al. Kubby J , US Pat. Kudo K et al. Imaging Sci. Lee C et al. Lubinsky A et al. Newcombe G et al. Quate C et al. London Math. Silverbrook K , US Pat.

Temple S et al. Trauernicht D et al. While the processes are coupled, in the sense that the drop formation process influences the size, velocity and frequency of the impacting drops, the two processes have typically been studied separately. For that reason, the processes are described as distinct in this chapter. Topics which are important for understanding the processes in applications of inkjet printing to textile materials, in particular the role of suspended particulates and nonsmooth surfaces, are discussed in this chapter.

We begin, in Section 4. The studies described focus on slow drop formation from suspensions of noncolloidal particles in order to allow explicit consideration of the mechanical influence of particles, about which little is known. Engineering of processes has proceeded without firm scientific basis, including jetting of ceramic materials Blazdell et al. Because the conditions in such applications are more rapid and at smaller scale than those of our studies, we have focused upon the role of particles in the necking and pinchoff processes, events which are thought to be generic as they force the flow scale to that of the particles, regardless of the rate, absolute size, or the relative sizes of particle and orifice.

Note that the abundant prior study as reviewed by Eggers, and more recent and ongoing research e. We follow the discussion of drop formation with a consideration of drop impaction. The size of a printed dot in inkjet printing, which greatly affects print 54 Digital printing of textiles quality, is determined by spreading of an ink drop when it impacts the substrate Asai et al.

The study of impact dynamics is thus important in determining the ultimate spreading and will be covered in Section 4. Most prior studies have been conducted using homogeneous liquid drops impacting smooth surfaces. A general description of spreading without splashing for homogeneous liquid drops impacting on smooth surfaces is covered in Section 4. In textile printing, an understanding of the interaction of an individual drop with various textile surfaces is needed. For this reason, the interaction of an individual drop with various textile surfaces has not been studied.

However, Park used a scaled-up experiment to simulate the impaction of an ink drop on a fabric. Drop impaction on a textile-like structure is presented in Section 4. As noted, a growing number of nontraditional applications of inkjet technology contain solid particles. These particles have various purposes, depending upon the application. They serve as colorant or binder in the textile printing applications, but may also be ceramic or metallic particles in other applications.

Although progress has been made in the design, formulation and utilization of such inks, impaction of particle-laden drops on surfaces has received little attention Carr et al. In fact, only one paper was found in the refereed literature on impaction of particle-laden drops on surfaces Ok et al. An on-going investigation of the effects of particles on the impaction process is discussed in Section 4. This is by no means a complete description in the actual application, where particles may be small enough that thermal forces inducing Brownian motion and hence non-infinite Peclet number as well as colloidal forces need to be considered.

Drop formation from an orifice, regardless of flow rate and length scale of the orifice, involves the formation of a neck which connects the forming drop to the fluid remaining at the orifice. This neck thins and stretches to a thread until the action of surface tension causes a pinch-off, or bifurcation, of the thread to form Drop formation and impaction 55 the drop. This is by its very nature a continuum description of particle influence, and may only be expected to have validity above some minimum lengthscale relative to the particle size, with the width of the thread measured in particle diameters using an example relevant to the drop formation.

Here, the role of particles identified in slow drop formation and transition to slow jetting , but believed to be generic to other conditions, is considered. Given space limitations, the manner in which the particles stabilize or destabilize the necking process leading to drop formation is the primary focus. For slow drop formation, it is useful to consider a two-stage necking model. In the final pinching second stage , rapid thinning through what must ultimately be a pure liquid region occurs at a relatively localized axial location.

The two-stage process, and the difference from a pure liquid drop formation event, is illustrated by the sequences in Fig. This higher thinning rate is the result of a change from uniform thinning over the entire thread to localized thinning through the lower viscosity of the pure liquid. Here B is the thinning rate from the 56 Digital printing of textiles 4. Drop formation and impaction 57 Table 4. The fitting parameters determined are shown for the suspensions in Table 4. The second stage is found also to correspond roughly to the onset of increased fluctuations, both in the position of the minimum radius and in the length of the material attached to the orifice.

Note, however, that the few satellites formed from suspension are typically much larger, as these arise from pinch at two points through a much thicker thread. This is evidence of the fluctuations caused by the particles destabilizing the thread or column of fluid. At high Re, the drop may bounce or splash, forming secondary or satellite drops. More recently, the experimental results of Range and Feuillebois indicate that the dimensionless numbers Ohnesorge number, Oh, and Re containing viscosity are not important and can be neglected in the description of splashing.

They also point out that Ra is not the only parameter characterizing the effect of the splashing limit. The surface profile is important, but is not entirely described by Ra. A complete understanding of splashing is still not available, especially about the influence of the solid surface parameters. Clarke et al. For that reason, splashing is not discussed further in this chapter. Spreading of liquid drops on porous substrates has received much less attention even though it is common and important, for example in inkjet printing on paper and textiles.

Experimental study for inkjet systems is challenging since drops are very small and the substrates vary widely in their properties. Dynamic spreading occurs very rapidly, and penetration on porous substrates can result in further spreading. The initial spreading phase after impact occurs very rapidly relative to penetration. Hence the dominant physical processes change, as kinetic and surface energies dominate during spreading, while capillary forces dominate during penetration.

A full analysis of the penetration process is a formidable task, but some progress has been made, including a model describing the spreading and imbibition of liquid drops on a porous surface developed by Clarke et al. Before impact, the energy of the impacting drop consists of kinetic energy, surface energy, and potential energy. After impact, Drop formation and impaction 59 4.

Assuming uniform spreading, the wetted contact area remains axisymmetric circular , and spreading is characterized by the diameter, D, of the circle. Excess surface energy causes retraction to occur. As equilibrium contact angle is increased, the tendency to retract increases. Also, as Re is increased, the amount of retraction increases.

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The liquid may retract to the equilibrium position and stop, or retract through the equilibrium position and rise in the region of the initial impact. Sometimes the liquid will separate from the surface, rise a short distance and return to the surface. The liquid may spread to the equilibrium position and stop or expand through the equilibrium position until it reaches the second maximum spreading diameter which is smaller than initial maximum spreading diameter.

Since Worthington reported an investigation of drops of liquids falling vertically on a horizontal plate, there have been over published 60 Digital printing of textiles investigations on the subject. While some have been entirely experimental Bergeron et al. Numerical modeling Harlow and Shannon, ; Fukai et al. These studies provide firm understanding of the effects of impacting velocity and liquid properties, i.

One of the first correlation equations was presented by Engel Since then, there have been several efforts Ford and Furmidge, ; Chandra and Avedisian, ; Asai et al. The earlier investigations are summarized by Mao et al. Mao et al. While Pasandideh-Fard et al. Fukai et al. They improved the predictions by modifying the model to contain three empirical coefficients, which were determined by fitting to their numerical results. Park et al. The impaction studies discussed above have used a single millimeter-sized drop impinging on a smooth surface.

Very little is available to show that these results scale down to micron-sized drops used in inkjet printing, but this is an issue currently under investigation Carr et al. Drop formation and impaction 61 Table 4. For that reason, Park used scaled-up experiments to simulate the impaction of an ink drop on a fabric. A micrograph taken by SEM of a woven rayon fabric is shown in Fig. Notice that the yarn is made up of many fibers running in the warp direction.

The cross-section of the fiber is a serrated circular shape, and the fiber has lengthwise striations. Since the width of the fibers is about 25 microns, approximately 10 fibers will be on the surface of the micron-wide yarn. Circles with diameters of 20 and 80 microns are drawn on one of the warp yarns to indicate the size of typical inkjet drops. The ratio of the diameter of typical inkjet drops to the width of the rayon fibers ranges from 0. A surface was made to simulate a yarn on the fabric surface. Monofilament yarns polyester coated with ethylene tetrafluoride with diameter of about 1.

The diameter of the drops used to 4. Drop formation and impaction 63 4. Thus the ratio of diameter of the impacting drop to the diameter of the monofilament is 1. Figure 4. Tests were conducted with the impacting drop hitting the rough surface at three different locations: the center of the filament-like structure position 1 , the middle of the valley between two of the filament-like structures position 2 , and between these positions position 3. A series of images of drop impingement for the three impact positions and the smooth surface were recorded using almost identical time steps.

For the smooth surface, the liquid flows radially outward from the impact point. The spreading and retracting shapes and maximum spreading ratios thus depend on the impact position. The maximum radial spreading ratio is largest for impact position 2 while the maximum spreading ratio in the filament axial direction is the largest for position 1.

The equilibrium diameters in the radial direction for positions 2 and 3 are almost equal and are larger than for position 1 due to the noted structural barrier. We note that very recent work describing the influence of a small obstacle on a surface upon splashing of impacting drops Josserand et al.

In contrast, impaction of particle-laden drops on surfaces has received little attention despite its importance in a variety of applications including inkjet printing. In fact, only one paper was found in the 64 Digital printing of textiles 4. Amplitude and texture of roughness: 1. Research by several of the authors is being conducted to provide insight into the effect of particles on drop impaction on solid surfaces Carr et al.

The goal of the study is to develop understanding of how and why solid particles at a range of concentration affect the drop impaction process. Some of the results of the experimental study on the effects of particles on drop impaction are now discussed. For particle volume fractions typically found in inkjet inks, particles have little effect on the impact process.

Even the best-understood case of drop formation from Newtonian liquids is under active study, in part because of the new experimental tools allowing extremely high rates of imaging and numerical techniques and CPU power allowing detailed calculations of the behavior near the bifurcation, or pinch-off point.

Future research is expected to explore the process in detail for particle-laden liquids. A key reason for the slower progress in mixtures is the lack of a continuum model, although much progress has been made in this area Morris and Boulay, ; even with a reliable continuum model, such an approach is limited by the fact that eventually the intrinsic graininess of the particle-laden liquid has an influence, as in necking and bifurcation a finite-time singularity yields a flow scale going to zero, and in impacting the film resulting from a drop may be below the particle size.

Studies are needed to further investigate the formation process and the impaction process. For the latter, an emphasis on smooth surfaces seems warranted for drop sizes typically found in inkjet applications, in order to determine whether experimental results for drops of millimeter size have validity down to drops on the order of 10 microns in diameter. Study is needed for pure-liquid drops, particle-laden-liquid drops and predictive models.

Numerous studies on the impacting of pure liquid drops on solid surfaces have been conducted; however, drop size has typically been about two orders of magnitude larger than drops used in inkjet printing. The larger drops ranging in size from 1 to 5 mm have been 66 Digital printing of textiles used because experimental study of the impacting and spreading process is much easier with drops of this size than with smaller drops. Demonstration that these results for the larger drop size apply for drop sizes typically found in inkjet printing is needed.

The formation process is quite well understood for pure liquids, and while added valuable knowledge will come from further work, the engineering need is less in this area. Studies of the basic influence of particulates in the drop formation and spreading, as well as the dependence on particle size, are needed, with particular emphasis on examination of drop formation at the small scales and high rates typical of inkjet applications.

Such models cannot be expected to be complete given present knowledge, but are nonetheless immediately valuable for development, and also provide a critical framework for further study and utilization of experimental results. Development of continuum models of mixture flow behavior, coupled to a statistical description of the influence of particles when the continuum description breaks down at small scales , appears to be a fruitful direction for both scientific and engineering advances in the inkjet application of solids-laden liquids.

Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. Fluid Mech. Multiphase Flow. Dispersion Sci. Colloid Interface Sci. Digital printing for textiles has a compelling value proposition, which could be leveraged into a variety of related businesses. Technology is evolving and partnerships are being created to exploit inkjet textile printing opportunities. Textile ink, inkjet printhead, color management software, fabric handling equipment and fabric pre- and post-processing technologies have been developed to work together as an optimized system. The development of these new technologies is replacing traditional screen-printing techniques and is creating new opportunities and markets that coexist with existing technology.

To meet these opportunities, DuPont offers the ArtistriTM digital printing system to the market. The printing system, developed through a partnership between DuPont, Ichinose Toshin Kogyo and Seiko Printek, meets the production level requirements for short-run textile printing.

DuPont supplies ink and color management technology and markets the system to end-users. Designers are providing more options and retailers are demanding more product choices and fewer inventories. A quick restocking of a popular design can increase profitability. As run lengths decrease, the cost of traditional screen-printing rises.

Digital printing can be cost-effective against screen printing for shorter run 70 Digital printing of textiles 5. This is because the cost of engraving screens and setup must be amortized over the length of the print run. This eliminates certain types of banding and contributes to color consistency. Its open ink system carries a five-liter reservoir and ink buffer for each of its eight print colors. It also includes an anti-sedimentation system that continuously circulates ink to keep colorants from settling out of solution, and users can replenish ink without interrupting operation.

Hollanders Printing Systems indicates that its system with a combination of techniques can achieve a high level of print-through penetration that manufacturers of flags, banners, and silk scarves require. The ColorBooster system includes color management that Hollanders says can match colors precisely.

Hollanders Printing Systems offers an open ink system with the end user selecting its ink supplier. The ColorBooster also includes a newly developed material transport system that can adjust cloth tension for each substrate and maintain tension during printing. The ColorBooster automatically step-corrects to compensate for material thickness. It includes a computer climate controlled system for the printing process.

The company claims the ColorBooster can print as many as 80, m 2 of fabric per year. The ColorBooster lists for , These include the Artrix d. These systems employ a one-liter continuous ink feeding system for each color. Textile printers can use reactive, acid, or disperse dye inks or pigment inks with this print system. It offers disperse dye in cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta, orange, green, gray, and deeper black.

The Teleios d. It employs a sticky belt and can print a maximum width of m. It carries 24 print heads, 12 on each gantry, and can print at a maximum resolution of Only nature imprints so well DReAM: the first industrial digital textile printer Suitable for all types of fabrics, from cotton to silk, DReAM is an industrial ink-jet textile printing machine, with a. March Amsterdam Contents 1. Introduction The concept of inkjet in theory is straightforward. A print head ejects tiny drops of ink onto a substrate.

However, in practice implementation of the technology is complex and requires multidisciplinary. EN Rhotex Series The most productive printing systems for industrial soft-signage. Stork Prints DSI The real cost-effective, hybrid UV inkjet label production machine Stork Prints Meeting current and future market demands Label printers today face run lengths that are continuously getting.

Shenzhen Runtianzhi Image Technology Co. It occupies a lot area of 10, square meters for the first two building project which was finished. With more than 10years experiences. Enlarge your business with Ricoh. The new Ricoh Pro L series with aqueous durable latex inks.

References

The new Ricoh Pro L series is. EN Kappa V2 Perfection in industrial digital textile printing In Durst revolutionized industrial digital textile printing with the Kappa It is a high-performance inkjet printer which offers. A: Inkjet printing is a non-impact printing process in which text and images are formed by the precise placement of really small. Your partner in sign making and digital print Over 30 years in sign making and digital print. On-Demand Printing Technologies Executive Summary Some of the most popular choices for on-demand label printing are dot matrix, ink jet, laser and thermal printing From a cost perspective, thermal printers.

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