Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Digital Imaging a Reality with Current Ink-Jet Technology

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Digital Imaging a Reality with Current Ink-Jet Technology

Article excerpt

Real digital imaging - direct from a front-end system to the web - is a now a reality with current ink-jet technology, a Scitex executive says.

"This new technology ... can provide a 100% personalized paper at 1,000 feet per minute. It represents perhaps the first real digital imaging - platelets, direct computer control of ink directly to paper," Scitex Digital Printing Inc. sales manager William White told a symposium at this year's Nexpo in Las Vegas.

White described an available technology that can lay down up to I billion droplets of ink per second - with computer control of each droplet.

"Because each droplet is under computer control, literally you can produce newspapers, ROP highly zoned or targeted advertisements or specialty sections where each document can be 100% different from the one preceding it, and all at 1,000 feet per minute," White said.

Publishing houses such as Readers Digest and Publishers Clearing House are already using the technology to produce full-page direct mail pieces, White said.

It is a technology easily added to newspaper presses by installation on an existing or new tower, he added.

At the heart of this Single Row, Binary, Edge-charged Continuous Ink-Jet Technology is a modular system consisting of a data station, individual fluid systems for each printhead, an optional infrared dryer and the printheads themselves.

These printheads measure 4.25 inches and includes 240 holes per inch - each orifice capable of producing 100,000 ink droplets.

Printheads can be combined and electronically "stitched" to reach 68 inches across the web, White said.

Imaging is produced by charging or failing to charge each of the individual ink droplets. Non-charged droplets fall to the substrate while the charged droplets are recirculated through a catcher system.

There are some limitations for newspaper work. For one thing, the system is capable of producing only spot color. And the 1,000-foot-per-minute speed would probably preclude deadline production.

"Because most newspapers run faster than 1,000 fpm at night, for now the main application will be to use this technology to create either highly zoned or personalized ROP product during the day for later insertion at night, or highly value-added sections produced using the latest databases available with zoned and demographic information," White said.

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