By Industrial Print Magazine Staff
Part 2 of 2
Inkatronic, based in Leonding, Austria, develops specialized inkjet printing systems for commercial and industrial applications like housing components, concrete slabs, garden tiles, and ornamental urns. Founded in 2017 by Goerg Boedler, CEO, Inkatronic, the company regularly works with Global Inkjet Systems (GIS), using its drive electronics in both prototype and commercial inkjet printing systems.
GIS is a global leader in developing tailored software and system components for industrial markets, with over 15 years of proven innovation in the field. GIS technology is production capable and designed to work reliably in 24/7 rugged industrial settings for key industrial printing applications such as product decoration, labels, textiles, direct to shape, packaging, three-dimensional (3D) printing, and materials deposition. With continuous investment in research and development, a collaborative approach offers original equipment manufacturers and integrators the control and performance needed to print faster, smarter, and better.
The company’s Prototyping Centre provides an opportunity for Inkatronic to test both printing and production in small quantities. It is able to determine the right printer, ink, and topcoat for the job in a real-world type of setting.
“To say our work is unique is an understatement. Every customer with whom we partner has a specific printing requirement that needs thorough understanding, investigation, and testing. Our focus is always on printing process optimization, ensuring reproducibility and precise quality and color management, and whether it is enhancing an existing product or delivering a turnkey solution from scratch, the attention to detail is the same,” explains Boedler.
The Prototyping Centre addresses the fact that each situation Inkatronic comes across is full of multiple variables, and almost always different than the last job. For example, it recently worked on a request in Ecuador for a housing panel—the customer required a new system that would decorate four-meter PVC profiles for interior design elements in a single pass. Another job, based in Austria, required an inkjet-applied wood protection layer and color printing on 4×16-meter cross-laminate timber panels.
“Both had unique requirements according to the design and desired application, and we were able to apply our knowledge to recommend the correct coordination of chemistry and manufacturers for pre- and post-treatment and printing, as well as embark on in-house testing in our Prototyping Centre to provide test prints and a final system to meet all print requirements,” shares Boedler.
GIS played a pivotal role when Inkatronic was tasked with decorating urns for a customer. The customer in question approached the company to provide them with an automated solution that could deliver quicker application technique and time to market. Prior to implementing an automated solution the customer was hand painting designs on the urns.
“The challenge here was to address the tricky convex and concave print areas and ensure a comprehensive ink coating all around,” notes Boedler.
After investigating several inkjet options, Inkatronic collaborated with GIS and other industry partners to develop a compact jet system, referred to as Contour Jet. A prototype, it proved successful and the original design was upgraded to include a three-axis printing system that resulted in improved cover and technique printing.
“Part of this development is a recirculating ink delivery system, capable of maintaining the ink supply under constantly changing jetting directions as the inkjet head, mounted on a robotic arm, moves and jets at different angles,” says Boedler.
Assessing Current Systems
While prototyping various systems are a large part of Inkatronic’s offerings, it also conducts technology updates and enhancements to inkjet systems—bringing them to a technical level not thought possible. If customers feel like they are paying too much for ink or want to modernize their inkjet system, Inkatronic offers the facilities and capabilities to complete a full system assessment and project roadmap.
To address this part of the business, Inkatronic has been busy over the last 18 months creating tools and solutions for its customers. These include a tailor-made software workflow package and a comprehensive library with print-ready designs, for example 3D prints like the texture of a wooden surface.
Inkatronic is an innovative industrial inkjet innovator that collaborates closely with its customers to design the solutions specifically for their needs. It employs solutions from GIS to achieve prototypes as well as updates to existing inkjet systems. Combined, GIS and Inkatronic are paving the way on the road to industrial digital printing.
Feb2022, Industrial Print Magazine