Sun Chemical has launched a new UV inkjet printer designed specifically for the optical disc industry. The printer will enable optical disc decorators to handle short runs more effectively and economically as well as delivering the benefits of variable image capability disc to disc, thereby freeing up their existing printers to do what they were designed for – fast long runs.
Known simply as “Project 37”, the printer is the result of collaboration between Sun Chemical and Copytrax Technologies, a specialist manufacturer of printing and coating equipment for the professional CD/DVD duplicator market.
Project 37 is controlled by proprietary software, and incorporates a unique fixed inkjet array using 24 of Xaar’s OmniDot 318 piezoelectric, drop-on-demand, multi-pulse greyscale heads, which ensure unrivalled photo-quality resolution. The discs are presented using a linear motor driven carriage with robotic handling from input to output spindles. Project 37 runs with an average output of one disc every three seconds using specially formulated UV curing inks, therefore delivering a truly commercial solution.
The possibility to print every disc uniquely creates opportunities for the industry in security and brand protection, promotional editions, mass customisations and novelty applications. It also makes on-press proofing economically feasible.
“Project 37 delivers to the optical disc industry the quality of digital printing on a commercial scale that has long been in demand," Richard Martin, corporate vice president, Sun Chemical Screen, said. "We believe it will transform the economics of short and medium run processing. Just watching discs pass under the print heads and coming out fully cured in seconds, each with a different image, is amazing.”