Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 47

Dimatix StarFire

the media. A wide-format, ganged
inkjet MEMS system disposes of the
travelling printhead, which significantly increases print speed while
reducing the number of print device
mechanisms (and build expense).
UNDERSTANDING TERMS
Once again, a formerly explicit term
has become a label that identifies
various machines and processes;
thus, if you explore buying "singlepass" technology, ask your contact
person to describe exactly what
they mean by the term. For example,
although single-pass usually describes
a particular print process, it is also
used to market the MEMS-type printheads, which are described as an
advanced technology that can produce
print speeds of more than 10 times
than that of traditional inkjet technology. This may be true, but a primary
problem with super high-speed processing is in media handling, not
high-speed ink application.
In addition, all large-format digital
print processes that are suitable for
signmaking must process adhesiveback vinyl, often in roll-to-roll systems.
Unfortunately, roll-to-roll print media
tends to "fly" when processed at
speeds that run 10 times faster than
traditional inkjet systems, which
is why MEMS are usually found on

flatbed printers. Therefore, even though
MEMS-type printing can reach super
speeds, it may not reach such velocity
with all machines or media. Such
characteristics do not take away from
the value of MEMS technology, but
they do add realism to the success
claims.
IMAGE QUALITY
An early view of digital print makers
was that super-fast MEMS print
systems would not match the image
quality of conventional inkjet printing.
Is this still true? When I have such
questions, I call Heather Rockow,
the energy curable business development executive for Kao Collins Inc.

(Cincinnati), a maker of single-pass
inks. Heather has strong experience
in the ink and digital-print industry
and, as well, has been my offstage
inkjet ink consultant for more than
15 years. Heather said the original
view was wrong. She said the newer,
silicone-based MEMS heads produce
excellent image quality. "If you buy
scratch-off lottery tickets, those with
all the bright and precisely printed
colors and fonts, you're buying singlepass, MEMS printed tickets," she said.
She also reminded me of popular
large-format systems that comprise
MEMS printheads.
WHAT ARE MEMS?
Micro-electro-mechanical systems
(MEMS) are sometimes described
as micro system technology (MST),
but both comprise miniaturized
mechanical and electro-mechanical
elements made with microfabrication
techniques (think nanotechnology)
and design-engineered for processing
and control mechanisms (i.e., microsensors and microactuators). Most
MEMS printhead systems begin as
inert, microfluidic structures, but in
print systems, they're often accompanied by silicon-based, piezo (compression) devices that fire high-voltage
pulses at frequencies up to 100 kHz.

Dimatix Samba

SIGNSOFTHETIMES.COM

47


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - January 2018

Signs of the Times - January 2018
Contents
From the Editor
St Update
At Large
Tech Review
Leds + Lighting
Vehicles + Vinyl
Shop Ops
Strike a Pose
Reflected Glory
Channel Your Energy
First Impression
Strictly Commercial: Brushing Up
New Products
Advertising Index
Last Look
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Intro
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - BB1
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - BB2
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Signs of the Times - January 2018
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - CT1
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - CT2
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Cover2
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 1
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Contents
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 3
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 4
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 5
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 6
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 7
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - From the Editor
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 9
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - St Update
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 11
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 12
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 13
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 14
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 15
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 16
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 17
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 18
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 19
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - At Large
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 21
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 22
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 23
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Tech Review
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 25
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Leds + Lighting
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 27
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Vehicles + Vinyl
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 29
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 30
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 31
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Shop Ops
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 33
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 34
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 35
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Reflected Glory
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 37
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 38
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 39
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 40
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 41
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Channel Your Energy
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 43
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 44
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 45
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - First Impression
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 47
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 48
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 49
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Strictly Commercial: Brushing Up
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 51
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 52
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 53
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 54
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 55
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - New Products
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 57
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 58
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 59
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 60
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 61
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 62
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 63
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 64
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 65
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 66
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 67
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 68
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 69
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 70
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 71
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 72
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 73
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 74
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 75
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 76
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 77
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 78
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 79
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 80
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 81
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - 82
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Advertising Index
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Last Look
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Cover3
Signs of the Times - January 2018 - Cover4
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