colordyne inkjet technologies integration

Colordyne: Inkjet Integration That Works

By Pete Basiliere / Published:

As a consumer, you expect customized goods that meet your unique needs. Colordyne Inkjet bridges the gap for companies who wish to integrate inkjet technology into their printing or manufacturing systems, enabling very short-run customization.

Of Mobile Phones and Inkjet Printing

Think about your mobile phone for a moment. The phone was made in a highly automated factory, one of hundreds of thousands of identical phones. But what happened when you opened the box? First, you removed the phone, powered it up, entered your name and created a password. Then you added various apps, moved icons around the screen, and changed settings.

The result? Your mobile phone is different from every other phone on the planet.

You, and millions of other people, expect they can personalize their phones. This expectation extends to printed materials and packaging. Consumers demand customization. And as with individualized mobile phones, manufacturers of all kinds of goods must offer unique or very short runs of printed materials and packaging. Analog printing with offset or flexography can produce short runs, but inkjet technology is the process to use when high-quality, customized printing is required.

Printers and converters annually spend billions of dollars on new presses and modifications that integrate inkjet into their manufacturing systems. New printing, packaging, label, and corrugated press purchases account for most of the billions. However, integrating existing and new manufacturing lines with inkjet printing capabilities is a significant portion of the market spend.

Colordyne Inkjet enables integration. The company designs, engineers, and manufactures print engines, enabling their partners to adopt monochrome and full-color inkjet printing. Colordyne also integrates into stand-alone systems. Its customers and partners reduce their development time and costs by sourcing the print engine, control software, and physical integration components from Colordyne. As a result, consumers receive the customization they expect.

Colordyne Technologies & Colordyne Inkjet

With more than ten years of experience manufacturing inkjet systems, Colordyne is organized into two divisions. Colordyne Technologies sells productive, high-resolution digital inkjet printers and retrofits. The division offers its on-demand color inkjet systems direct to primary and secondary narrow web printing companies and brand owners. Colordyne Technologies’ inkjet printers are a cost-effective way for customers to meet the demand for affordable versioning, quick response times, wide substrate range, and excellent print durability.

Colordyne Technologies works with narrow web label converters to provide an affordable path to hybrid printing. In addition, the company spends a great deal of time educating business owners and helping them transition from analog to digital printing. With its recent development of a new UV inkjet print engine and investment in water-based pigment inkjet technology, Colordyne Technologies brings hybrid digital printing into more markets and business applications.

Colordyne’s digital print integration and development experience led it to create the Colordyne Inkjet division that focuses on manufacturers developing platforms that integrate inkjet printing. Expanding beyond its turnkey solutions for the narrow web label market, the division works with strategic integration partners (SIPs) in various industries.

Colordyne Inkjet enables a wide range of SIPs to add inkjet printing capabilities to their manufacturing systems. The SIPs build on their core competencies while leveraging Colordyne’s expertise to incorporate the latest inkjet printing technology. Customers include firms that have been hesitant to enter the digital printing space or are there now but want to leverage Colordyne’s inkjet technology and support.

“Colordyne helps manufacturers who desire a faster and more affordable pathway to digital printing. Manufacturers can avoid making a significant investment in time and money with Colordyne as a development partner. We help businesses retain their focus by layering our expertise in digital inkjet printing with their material handling application expertise.”

Andy Matter, President of Colordyne

Inkjet Integration and Innovation

Of all the imaging technologies, inkjet has the most growth potential. Inkjet (or, more broadly, jetting) technology uses range from 2D printing of papers, textiles, and electronics to bioprinting and 3D printing. University labs and printer manufacturers conduct original research while users and integrators develop novel jetting applications.

Colordyne’s more than ten years of UV-LED and water-based dye inkjet experience means the company is well-versed in inkjet engine technology and customer applications. However, not standing on its laurels, the company recently added two water-based pigment inkjet engines to its offering.

Using aqueous pigment inkjet inks, DuraFlex printheads enable four-color, single-pass printing with 1,600 dpi at speeds of up to 150 feet per minute. ChromaPlex AP printheads offer an expanded color gamut and similar print quality at speeds up to 668 feet per minute using mono-color devices that Colordyne stitches together as needed. Importantly for SIPs who use in-house service staff to maintain their systems and would otherwise have to be on-site, the Memjet printheads are user-replaceable for maximum machine uptime.

“Although printing is the last 90% of the process, do not forget the first 10%. The print is only as good as the data and imagery being converted into those little ink drops. Designing, color assignments, color space, profiles, and rip compatibility are just as important as the print hardware of the process.”

Mary Shilling, Inkjet Insight

We cannot speak of inkjet innovation without considering inkjet integration. One goes hand-in-hand with the other: printers cannot be used without software, data, color specifications, inks and mechanical assemblies. Colordyne’s sales, engineering and service personnel understand jetting technology and have experience incorporating inkjet technology to create flexible and productive manufacturing platforms. The staff leverages this expertise when collaborating with the SIP’s personnel using Colordyne’s Strategic Development Life Cycle:

  • Sales and engineering staff gain an understanding of the SIP’s markets, product lines, and go-to-market strategy
  • The modular design process enables engineering to rapidly develop new or modify existing print engines and control software
  • Guided by a technical project manager, SIP personnel work with the engineering team to develop iterative prototype designs that ensure functioning software as well as the finished assembly’s accurate fit and performance
  • Rigorous testing of material, inks, drying and any other components ensure quality printing from the moment the system is operational

SIP Partnerships at Work

More companies add digital capabilities every year and use inkjet technology to produce more monochrome and full-color applications, often within the same system. However, most SIPs building or modifying manufacturing systems do not have the detailed inkjet technology knowledge they need to be successful and cost-effective. They do not understand the hardware, ink, substrate, and software requirements or how they interact. They do not understand color and how the inks, jetting device and substrate affect appearance. While it does not know the products as well as the SIP does, Colordyne has the unique skill set, printers, and services to make the SIP successful.

“In the past year, we saw a lot of uncertainty, but digital helps companies adapt to these changes because it is an on-demand technology. Plus, inkjet is becoming more affordable, so a greater number of users and applications can move to digital print production. As a result, we anticipate the increase in digital adoption during the past year will not slow down but continue to keep pace as demands continue to require this technology to be executed timely and affordably.”

Andy Matter, President of Colordyne

SIP’s integrate inkjet technology on their platforms because it can be adapted to printing with different inks and substrates, with different images and text. The market may evolve in unexpected ways, just as mobile phones have grown in size, shape, and functionality. For that reason, Colordyne’s unique capabilities help SIPs and their customers get up to speed with the technology and its capabilities:

  • A defined yet flexible innovation and implementation methodology that adapts to the SIP’s present and future needs
  • Alliances with printhead, ink, substrate, and raster image processor technology providers that ensure the SIP’s systems cost-effectively produce high-quality output

Importantly, Colordyne does not sell an inkjet print engine and then walk away while the integrator tries to build a complete system. Instead, Colordyne provides ongoing sales, marketing, application, and service support for the printer’s life. In addition, engineers will go on-site in the development stage if necessary to understand the printing system’s intended use. By collaborating in this way, the SIPs maintain their core competency while still adopting the latest imaging technology.

This duality is a value-add for end users. Customers benefit from the SIP’s and Colordyne’s knowledge and support when adding an integrated system to their manufacturing process.

Recommendations

Printing companies and systems integrators who are planning to install inkjet technology on a production system should take the following steps:

  • Begin with the end in mind by clearly laying out how you anticipate inkjet printing will grow the revenue generated by the existing or new products manufactured with your system
  • Engage a partner like Colordyne who will help you develop the tailored systems that meet your unique needs, especially if you have multiple production lines, multiple facilities, or special jetting requirements
  • Enable clear communication of your project’s performance criteria by involving Colordyne’s engineering and sales support personnel in the design and prototyping phases

Mobile phones have no mechanical components aside from a few buttons. Yet when in consumers’ hands, your hands, they are far from identical objects. In a similar way, SIPs are challenged to enable more customization and short-run production with inkjet technology. Engaging with a firm like Colordyne Inkjet that understands and designs flexible printing systems, innovates its hardware, software, and inks, and provides support during development, implementation, and afterward will assure a successful inkjet integration project.

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About the Author

Pete Basiliere

Pete Basiliere provides research-based insights on 3D printing and digital-printing hardware, software and materials, best practices, go-to-market strategies and technology trends. Pete has more than four decades of engineering, operations management and thought-leadership experience in the printing industry. His expertise ranges from letterpress, offset and inkjet printing to 3D printing hardware, software, materials and services. Formerly Gartner’s Research Vice President – Additive Manufacturing, Pete wrote Gartner’s 3D printer market forecasts, co-authored its annual Hype Cycles for 3D Printing and either wrote or contributed to more than 100 reports on 3D printing technology, trends and uses. Before joining Gartner, Pete worked in roles as a multi-site Printing and Mailing Operations Manager for Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Purchasing Manager at direct mail fundraising firm PVA-EPVA, and Engineering Manager at NEBS (now Deluxe) where he was responsible for manufacturing equipment selection, plant layouts and new product development.

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