Screen Printing - June/July 2018 - 31
machines for digital printing on large sheets of glass, which
are designed to deliver both single-pass and multipass print
speeds with high resolution and multicolor print quality.
Tecglass's F Type F K Series line makes it possible to print
glass sheets up to 47.2 x 177.2 inches in a single pass, and
larger sizes in multiple passes, in just a few seconds. This
line is suitable for mass printing of frames, logos, patterns,
and graphic motifs on all types of glass, most notably for the
automotive and household appliance industries and interior
design. The system can be upgraded to seven color channels, with up to 36 printheads in dual-color technology, or 72
single printheads at 1000 nozzles per color. A high flowrate
ink-recirculation system means that heads don't need to be
cleaned, according to Tecglass, while the system's Simultaneous Drying Technology offers automatic drying of the
glass sheet concurrent with printing. The entire line was
engineered to optimize and simplify printing operations for
continuous cycle production, where it is essential to have a
machine that combines high precision and efficiency.
Other firms have also developed digital print systems
specifically for glass printing. For instance, KBA-Kammann
and Machines Dubuit have been developing inkjet decoration systems for glass bottles and containers since 2014,
driving packaging applications. Dip-Tech (sedak in Germany
and Tianjin Northglass in China) supply inkjet glass printers
for both external and internal architectural and automotive
applications, together with suitable inks and curing units to
provide fully integrated systems.
In 2017, Dip-Tech was acquired by the Ferro Group, as
part of a strategy to expand the parent company's glass printing business. In an official release on the acquisition, Dieter
Binder, VP of Ferro's Performance Colors and Glass business,
and VP for Europe, comments: "The addition of Dip-Tech to
Ferro expands our offering to the fast-growing digital glass
printing segment. Together, we look forward to actively shaping change in the glass industry."
Interior décor was the biggest industrial printing market in 2012;
printed electronics is forecast to soon outpace it. Top, © Getty Images;
bottom, courtesy of Wim Zoomer.
In functional markets, like glass printing, established suppliers may be part of a wider manufacturing company or a
specialist contract supplier. In Japan, traditional print companies have taken shares of the electronics and lifestyle print
sectors, but this is not the case in the rest of the world.
There are complex routes to market and supply chains
across industrial and functional print segments. As the topic is
featured more often in conferences and exhibitions, the routes
to market are expanding. Users are looking for innovation and
process efficiencies, providing many opportunities for print
companies and for their suppliers. Greater coverage of the
topics in the trade press and events is raising awareness of
the established players, which might improve their print and
decoration using new techniques from new suppliers.
As part of the wider functional and industrial print movement, glass printing is in good company. It's not only an
area with opportunities for market growth and promising
signs of development: The broader technology and market
advances of functional and industrial print will add momentum to this interesting sector of the print industry over the
For more information on Smithers Pira's market report,
"The Future of Functional and Industrial Printing to 2022,"
see smitherspira.com/industry-market-reports or contact
Sean Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUNE / JULY 2018