After previewing the technology at drupa in mid-2016, Xaar plc has launched the Xaar 502 product family of greyscale piezoelectric drop-on-demand print heads designed for a range of applications. The first release from this print head family is the Xaar 502 GS15 O optimized for Coding and Marking applications.
The 502 GS15 O print head, explains Xaar, meets the needs of manufacturers developing machines to print high-quality, late-stage product identification like text, product data, bar codes and graphics onto secondary packaging or directly onto shaped products and primary packaging.
Xaar states this print head delivers a step change in product identification technology by combining binary and greyscale capabilities in one wide-swathe (70.5 mm) print head. With the ability to print drop sizes from 15-75 pL, the print head can print up to six grey levels for high-resolution, intense blacks on low contrast surfaces such as cardboard outer boxes. The Xaar 502 GS15 0 works with porous or semi-porous outer packaging and cardboard, giving the ability to better manage ink usage.
“The Xaar 502 GS15 O is the pinnacle of 25 years of Xaar’s investment in developing piezoelectric drop-on-demand printheads,” said Simon Kirk, Senior Product Manager at Xaar. “Today brand owners and retailers expect to be able to put larger, more detailed, more brand-orientated product identification text and graphics onto their packaging. Another key driver for manufacturers is to have more control over ink usage while delivering higher resolution print on cardboard. This new wide-swathe greyscale inkjet printhead delivers the superb performance needed to achieve this.”
The Xaar 502 family utilizes Xaar’s latest piezoelectric drop-on-demand actuator design, PrecisionPlus, which, explains the company, provides a long throw distance and increases stability and robustness of the print head. Combined with the optimized nozzle guard to support automated maintenance routines, the Xaar 502 family of print heads is positioned for use in demanding and harsh factory environments.
Also included in the 502 print head family is Xaar’s TF Technology which can be run in Pulsed mode. This optional new mode recirculates ink behind the nozzles during non-printing periods only.
The Xaar 502 GS15 O is compatible with a range of oil-based inks popular for use in coding and marking applications, including the latest addition to Xaar’s ink portfolio black mineral oil-free (MOF) SunJet IK822. This ink is designed for use on secondary packaging, with an ability to break down easily during recycling.
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