Industrial inkjet is increasingly being used to digitally decorate products as an in-line step in the manufacturing process. Direct-to-Shape printing applies full-colour images, text or special effects directly onto cans, bottles, sleeves and other shaped objects. This generally requires high speed, precision printing of fixed or variable data onto a range of substrates including plastics and glass. In many cases, inkjet’s ability to print on non-flat surfaces without making contact is a distinct advantage as well as a technical challenge.
Benefits for Direct-to-Shape Printers
- The non-contact nature of inkjet technology facilitates printing onto irregular shapes not suitable for labels or conventional contact printing methods.
- Meteor’s ability to support ultra-high data rates, large image buffers and long cable lengths means that systems with printheads mounted on robotics or other complex configurations can be deployed without limitation.
- In addition to providing direct localisation, personalisation and customisation of objects, inkjet can also create stunning effects including selective varnishing, embossing and texturing.
- Short production runs become economically feasible due to lower set-up requirements and print-on-demand capability allows for reduced stock of finished goods.