Innovations in Inkjet Analysis

P. Best
ImageXpert Inc., US

Keywords: inkjet, dropwatcher, analysis, machine vision, measurement


It is a general principle that measurement is key to consistently successful innovation. Deconvolving causes of poor inkjet performance, like misting, wetting, satellites, and poor sustainability, while in production, quickly becomes very difficult and expensive. Fortunately, in the last years, new technologies have made it possible to better identify and address problems independently. Drops in flight are not only visualized but measured, using high speed strobe and cameras, capable of capturing drops only 10um in diameter, travelling at over 50 m/s. Over the last year, a fully integrated testing and printing platform, which includes drop watching and analysis, belt printing, ink supply, and even a drop weigh station, has become available. Significant automation is also now possible, including analyisis of all jets in a row, or analysis of inkjet performance at a range of frequencies. Direct imaging of drop-­‐substrate interaction is becoming available, as well. With these tools, we can expect inkjet innovation and performance improvement to continue apace, with applications in printed electronics, ceramics, textiles, 3D, medicine, and much more. Our goal in this presentation will be to give an overview of these innovative techniques, tools, and products for inkjet R&D