Over the last three years, ECKART has put considerable resources into developing a family of decorative metallic digital drop-on demand (DOD) inks. The first of these was a solvent-based ink developed for Epson print engines demonstrated on a Mimaki JV3 160 at drupa 2008.
As these products will need to be tailored to specific print engines and printing machines, a whole line of products will emerge under the brand name JETFLUID. This product family comprises solvent-based and UV-curing inks for the most common piezo DOD printheads. In some cases printing machines may need to be modified to match the specific characteristics of metallic inks.
ECKART is currently working with the most important printhead manufacturers, printing machinery manufacturers and system integrators to qualify their metallic digital ink products for individual systems. At the same time, a wide variety of substrates is tested to determine their suitability for metallic printing.
This time at FESPA 2009 in Amsterdam, ECKART showed the Epson printheads on a Mimaki JV3-160 with solvent-based inks and a UV-based one pass press manufactured by JF Machines which utilizes a Xaar print engine with Xaar 1001 printheads.
The ECKART metallic digital ink production facility was due to come online by the end of May 2009, so customers can expect to see these products in the market in the very near future.