Riding on the crest of the inkjet wave

Industrial Inkjet Ltd (IIJ) is experiencing growth around the world as packaging and label manufacturers globally start to surf the inkjet wave. The fast expanding Cambridge-based company, which manufactures highly-reliable digital print engines based on Konica Minolta inkjet print heads, expects to double its turnover in 2016.

Visitors to Labelexpo Americas 2016 in Rosemont, Illinois, will be able to discuss potential applications for IIJ’s technology at its booth 5801 and find out at first-hand what manufacturers across Europe, Asia, the USA and South Africa have been experiencing this year: that IIJ has both colour and mono inkjet technology that can be integrated with existing analogue presses to make high quality, variable data packaging and labels applications commercially viable.

“A number of companies in the market have been promoting ‘retrofitting’ inkjet heads onto high cost flexo machines as if this is something new, but we’ve been operating this hybrid model for years,” said John Corrall, Managing Director and founder of IIJ. “We’ve got unparalleled experience and expertise in this field and customers really see the benefits of working with us.”

New mono range_MP500i

In particular, IIJ’s high speed mono systems, which can print at up to 300 metres per minute, are beginning to gain real traction in the market. The IIJ MonoPrint print engine is ideal for high quality, late stage label and packaging customisation. As with all IIJ digital modules, the MonoPrint unit can be integrated onto most flexo presses with no more difficulty than existing analogue technology.

It is suitable for a wide range of applications, including variable text and barcodes, low migration ink, white ink, spot varnish and security inks (IR-readable, or UV-fluorescent). It has a low capital cost compared to an inkjet press, and significantly lower cost of ownership than comparable systems. This is driven by high reliability, long lasting printheads and the use of high quality inks to reduce ink usage.

Top of the range is the MonoPrint XPi, which delivers five-lane, variable data at 300 metres per minute. IIJ says this model is making real inroads with packaging markets. A range of alternative MonoPrint, and indeed ColourPrint, modules support this system, delivering options for customers in terms of speed, resolution and colours. Whatever option is chosen, these inkjet modules use the latest high speed print heads from Konica Minolta, and can achieve high standards of print quality, reliability and longevity at high speed.

IIJ new HS system

Among recent customer deals have been the installation of the first of what could total almost 100 systems in a major packaging company in Asia, a 200-metres-per-minute MonoPrint HiQ 600 dpi label printer going into a South African label printer, and multiple 562mm-wide machines going into a security printer in Thailand. It is operating in a number of diverse markets – security, packaging, labels, pharma – all of which are growing, and all of which are embracing inkjet printing technology.

All of this follows on from IIJ’s success at drupa 2016, where it was part of the Konica Minolta stand and picked up hundreds of good quality opportunities, simply though discussing the use of inkjet with visitors and providing deep technical advice.

“Inkjet is expanding rapidly into new markets and applications,” said John Corrall, “and each of these brings its own requirements that customers are determined to find out more about. Konica Minolta and IIJ provide an open-minded attitude to new projects, and a willingness to give straight technical advice without sales pressure.”