Inline JetXpert Moves from the Lab into the Printed Electronics Production Line
Imagexpert has now successfully implemented the new Inline JetXpert into a production printer, with the first 10 systems delivered and installed at a customer site last year. The customer is developing printed electronics, for which accurate drop size and placement during the manufacturing process is critical. After experimenting with the Inline JetXpert in the lab, the systems are now being integrated into production printers for inline jetting visualization and analysis. There are many complex factors to printed electronics printers that can’t be easily replicated in a lab: such as the clean-room environment, fluid handling across dozens of heads, or electrostatic effects. With the Inline JetXpert, the user is able to study the jetting in real world situations for optimization and quality assurance.
The Inline JetXpert’s unique design makes it perfect for integration into wide format printers. The optics and lighting are angled upwards so that they sit slightly below the nozzle plate of the printhead. This means that unlike other dropwatchers, there is no limit to the width of the printhead bank that can be analyzed. With this system, the customer is now able to visualize and measure the jetting from each nozzle across dozens of printheads within their production printers.
The Inline JetXpert’s angled design also provides unique insight for printheads with recessed nozzle plates, like the Konica Minolta KM1024i. There is a protruding lip around the edge of the printhead, obstructing the view of the nozzles and jets close to the nozzle plate when visualized from the side. The Inline JetXpert looks up at just enough of an angle to clear the lip, providing a crystal-clear view of the nozzles. This allows the manufacturer to study wetting, debris or damage, and other potential causes of missing jets that are otherwise invisible.
Analyze Drop Volume and Velocity
Ensure uniformity across all rows of printheads in production, even on printheads with recessed nozzle plates. One such printhead, the Konica Minolta KM1024i, is shown here.
The Inline JetXpert has already been embraced by several manufacturers in the printed electronics industry, and ImageXpert looks forward to building on its success in 2021. For questions or a demonstration of the system, please contact ImageXpert directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.