08–10 OCTOBER 2019 | NEC | BIRMINGHAM News
Timbermark launches new product range
Timbermark ID Systems is pleased to announce a new range of hand-held thermal inkjet (TIJ) printers from Chinese manufacturer Zhuhai Bentsai Printing Technology Co. Ltd.
The B3, B30 and B80 printers each offer some exciting new features, including larger printing size, a refillable ink cartridge system, and highly competitive equipment pricing.
One of the most interesting features of the new range is the size of the print head. The standard cartridge in the B30 and B80 printers is 2.54cm (1 inch) high, which is twice the height of the classic HP ½” product. With the new larger print capability, designs have far greater impact, and visibility from a greater distance.
Additionally, the 1” cartridges are available in aqueous and solvent variants, so the printer can work on porous substrates such as paper and timber, and non-porous substrates such as metal, plastic or glass.
Timbermark sees great potential for these new products across many industries and anticipates keen interest, particularly from pallet and case making businesses.
Pallet manufacturers can use the 1”, B30 model to print stacks of assembled pallets, using the hand printer and guide rail. The ISPM HT mark is produced particularly effectively using this technique, and results in a mark that is super-sharp, sized 25mm high by 50-60 mm long, and can be applied in around 1 second.
Additionally, there is a “group print” feature, which allows the user to select multiple designs. The job is configured by the operator from the touch screen, and the printer cycles through the designs in the order selected. In this way, a pallet with a different stamp on each block can be marked without changing the printer setup, making the job as quick and as easy as stencilling, but with the quality of a desktop printer.
Oxfordshire-based Timbermark has been supplying printer products and systems to the timber industry for 16 years. Managing Director, Colin Stewart, says this handheld printer is just what many of his pallet manufacturing customers have been waiting for: “Customers like the precision and quality of mark offered by the TIJ printers, but until now the height of the mark at just half an inch has been a big drawback. The fact that the B30 can double this print size and print a high-resolution mark onto timber or even composite blocks means we can now offer the right tool for the job.”
Packing case manufacturers can use the B80 model, which has a market-leading, 100mm high print effect. This is achieved by stacking 4 of the 1” heads and synchronising the printing through a contact encoder wheel to keep the print heads in registration.
A guide rail for this printer is available in a customisable length, up to 1.8m long, to suit a variety of applications. The rails are inexpensive and are available separately, so that a series of rails can be used to produce a jig suitable for each printing job.
Customer logos can be printed to exact specifications, often for designs that would be impossible to achieve with a stencil or rubber stamp.
The system is so precise that, on most substrates, it can print a machine-readable bar code or matrix code. This opens new possibilities for accessing online documentation such as data sheets or hazardous goods info, by scanning a QR code from a smartphone.
A USB database feature can be used for printing variable data, such as writing customer addresses on the panel. The data is saved on USB as a .csv file and loaded to the device. The user can then select the starting point and assign a column of data to each variable field in the design.
Thermal inkjet has hitherto had a bit of an image problem with perceived high running costs, and this, too, is an issue that is addressed by this new product range.
Firstly, the controller has a “greyscale” setting, meaning that users can change the dot size, which affects the ink use. Customers might use this feature to adjust for bleed into the material grain, to optimise the contrast with the background substrate colour, or simply to manage the cost per print.
Secondly, there is a standard cartridge refill system, meaning that users can increase the life of the 1” cartridge with an easy-to-use ink supply and injector. The refill kits are available uniquely via e-commerce, and for now are limited to aqueous inks.
Thirdly, the equipment is value-engineered by an innovative Chinese producer, with the result that the equipment costs as little 25% of the price of some European manufacturers of similar products. This doesn’t’ mean that the equipment is of lesser quality in any way – the solution is design-led, with functionality and cost criteria factored in. The B3 printer in this new range is an example of this approach to value-engineered product design. Using a standard 12.7mm (1/2 inch) printhead, this handheld printer’s main advantage is its price competitiveness: it is available for under £600.