“It seems a long time since we demonstrated the first concept machine at drupa 2004 together with our partner Inca Digital Printers, but we have made a lot of positive progress since,” said Stefan Slembrouck, business manager for Sun Chemical’s Digital Print Solutions division. “In order to validate that the initial technology was stable in a realistic corrugated environment with dust, temperature changes and humidity, we built an alpha press with a full print width of 1,040mm. This prototype was installed in the UK in 2006 and has since been demonstrated to dozens of corrugated packaging printers.
“Over the last two years, we have used the crucial feedback from these demonstrations to develop a beta press which can be used as a full production machine and meet the market’s requirements for high print quality and productivity. We are delighted to announce our partnership with IMG Digipack, a company which is ideally positioned to offer added value corrugated printing to sheet converters and end users and validate the technology.”
“IMG Digipack mainly serves a special sheet plant customer group (IMG partner plants) of our corrugated machinery company, IMG Klett GmbH,” said Detlef Hulverscheidt, IMG Digipack managing director. “By using FastJet, we can now help them to enhance further their offering of small and medium order sizes for the multicolour printed boxes for the shelf ready packaging market. In conjunction with our leading boxmakers, BoxKing GT and BoxKing Fusion, the future-oriented sheet plant is able to print and convert tool-less within hours.”
FastJet was developed five years ago by Sun Chemical and Inca Digital Printers. The core technology is based on fixed color arrays, with nearly 500 print heads that allow full color printing at less than one second per square meter.
The press uses UV inkjet inks that have been designed specifically for FastJet. The inks, produced by SunJet, are extremely stable, produce vibrant, glossy colors and are virtually odor free.
FastJet was developed for printing corrugated sheets, particularly within the fast growing market for multi-color, shelf-ready packaging and display applications. It is capable of printing thousands of square meters per hour in full color, and economically serves the packaging market with short and medium run orders. It enables corrugated printers to better respond to the ever increasing demand for smaller, just-in-time jobs, as well as opening up new markets for customized packaging and display materials.
“It is a milestone for our company to see the first FastJet production press commissioned at a customer site,” said Bill Baxter, managing director of Inca Digital. “But now it has printed the first 10,000 sheets, even we are pleased with how consistently the press prints at high speed without nozzle loss.”
Visitors to drupa will have an opportunity throughout the show to visit the FastJet installation for a full demonstration.
A second FastJet press is currently being commissioned in the UK and a third will go to the U.S. later in 2008.