Ink Performance & Economics

The ink utilized on digital equipment is an extremely critical component in the production of high quality graphic output. This is especially true in UV-curable digital equipment since ink density, viscosity and curing speed must be optimized for the specific print head and printer design. If ink performance is compromised, print quality will suffer and result in premature print head failure. Ultimately, it is the performance of the ink through the printer onto the specific substrate that determines the quality of the printed graphic.

Check these facts -

  • The correct economic measurement of ink cost is not the cost per liter of the ink rather it is the applied cost of ink on the graphics. Get formula.
  • A lower cost per liter of ink does not necessarily equate into a lower applied cost of ink.
  • The cost of ink consumed in non-print operations can increase the overall applied cost of ink by as much as 50%. See why.
  • The achievable color gamut of the printer can be significantly impacted by the ink formulation, specifically the pigments used and how those pigments are balanced in the ink set. Learn more.
  • Most UV digital equipment permits the ink saturation (or amount of ink printed) to be varied, altering the achievable color gamut but at a cost. Read more.
  • Most UV digital printers do not account for ink purging. Here's why.
This is a picture from an actual customer site showing over 60 liters of waste ink and cleaning solution from purging the heads on their UV digital printer.  In contrast, the automated cleaning system on Inca presses results in significantly less waste material per year. This is a picture from an actual customer site showing over 60 liters of waste ink and cleaning solution from purging the heads on their UV digital printer. In contrast, the automated cleaning system on Inca presses results in significantly less waste material per year.

Demonstration Proof Point: To fully assess the ink performance and economics on each digital printer you are considering, you need to evaluate and quantify the following:

  • Assess the ink adhesion to your critical materials at all print modes and speeds
  • Determine the end user requirements you will need to meet for the potential applications. Get List.
  • Ensure that you have real measurements of the applied cost of the ink for various types of graphics
  • Determine the maintenance procedures utilized for the print heads, the frequency, and the resulting cost of any consumables used in the procedure (such as ink)
  • Determine the color gamut and saturation levels you will need to meet your customer requirements and the resulting impact on the yield and applied cost of ink.
  • Measure the color gamut of the printer and the ink set at the various ink saturation levels and compare it to the same information for other printers you are considering.
  • If measurements to determine the applied cost of the ink are not available for the printer, talk to current owners of the printers and ask these questions.

 


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