Xennia Technology Ltd and Reggiani Macchine s.P.a. today announce the completion of a full scale demonstration model of their revolutionary diagonal multi pass digital inkjet textile printing system. This system enables reliable printing on textile substrates in an industrial production environment at unrivalled speed and with high quality.
The new system is based on proprietary technology of all partners involved in the project. The first full scale version of Xennia’s textile printing system is based around Reggiani’s wide, high accuracy belt-driven transport and incorporates Xennia’s inkjet modules, including the XenJet Auriga print engine, XenJet Aquarius fluid controllers and XenJet Centaurus and Cygnus software.
This milestone is also important for Xennia’s parent company TenCate in the development of inkjet technology for textile applications in an industrial production environment. The next step will focus on further developments in order to introduce inkjet technology for coating and finishing processes.
"Our business environment is changing fast and cooperation in innovation is key to speeding up the time to market. This new system is a fantastic example of Xennia’s module strategy working in practice," says Alan Hudd, Xennia’s Managing Director. "Using Xennia’s robust industrial inkjet modules has made it possible for the development team at Reggiani and Xennia to focus on application-specific developments, based on proven technology, allowing a very fast development from announcement of the concept in February 2010 to full scale process demonstration only 4 months later. The motion system enabling continuous transportation of the substrate through the printing machine in combination with a diagonal moving multi-pass print pattern has been developed in recent years together with our parent company TenCate. The introduction to the market of this important solution in the textiles industry through Reggiani enables us to support our projected growth in revenue from sales of modules and inks."
Antonino Tricomi, Reggiani’s Business Development Director, comments: "Using Xennia’s inkjet modules has led to an incredibly fast development time for this digital textile decoration machine; further improved from our previous developments. We look forward to making a difference in the textile printing industry by introducing this brand new digital solution to the market in record time. Xennia has proven inkjet technology experience with 14 years in the industry and their reliable modules allow for great flexibility in system design."
The revolutionary and patented combination of continuous substrate movement and diagonal printhead movement eliminates the banding issues that can occur with a normal step and scan system, makes transport design easier and allows scalable web widths. The system has a wide print carriage giving extraordinarily high throughput even on very wide webs. The system can use printheads from several manufacturers, allowing flexibility in printhead choice depending on application requirements. This first demonstrator has 16 printheads, giving a throughput of 360 m² per hour. Xennia are currently developing a second prototype with double the amount of printheads giving twice the throughput. Reggiani will commercially launch the new production systems onto the market in early 2011.
Textile decoration inks
Parallel to the machine developments, Xennia is also developing its ink portfolio for this textile application. Xennia’s XenInx Amethyst reactive dye textile decoration ink will be released for supply in September this year. XenInx Amethyst offers excellent colour performance with high vibrancy and extended colour gamut. It is an environmentally responsible aqueous ink offering excellent print quality when printed onto cotton and other textiles and is ideal for reliable use in Xennia, Reggiani and other systems. Fluid chemistry is a key element of any new development. For industrial applications it is extremely important that the inks used contribute positively to the reliability of the total system. For this reason Xennia combines inks, software and hardware knowledge in the inkjet solutions they introduce to the market.