by Lara Copeland, writer, Plastics Decorating
Offering its customers customizable and name-brand digital printing equipment, Innovative Digital Systems (IDS), Indian Trail, North Carolina, is a digital print integration company that specializes in industrial digital print solutions. With more than 30 years of experience in the production decoration industry, IDS offers a total decorating solution for any digital printing application. Creating simplified workflow and ease of operation, the newest machine to come to IDS’s line of custom equipment is the Revolution 360°T.
The UV LED-curable inkjet printer was engineered specifically for decorators printing on cylindrical flat wall objects in addition to tapered/conical objects. Vaughn Pollman, general manager at IDS, pointed out that, “Drinkware has been imprinted for years using screen, pad and transfer technology, and the Revolution 360°T provides the benefits of lower set-up costs, low waste, quicker changeovers and more design freedom with CMYK+W+Varnish printing at resolution up to 1200 x 900 dpi.”
Additionally, the machine allows users to offer lower minimums and increased customization for customers. With multicolor printing, users do not need to compromise their designs to only one- or two-color artwork. “Unlike other print methods,” Pollman added, “the Revolution 360°T is capable of handling variable data as well.”
Users also benefit from the use of Prop65 compliant inks and surface pretreatments. This allows them to achieve dishwasher-durable print on glass and metal substrates. “These qualities of the machine open up more opportunities for sales and allow users to provide more premium imprint to their customers,” Pollman said.
The big production challenges the new technology helps users overcome include adhesion and quick changeovers. Typically considered hard-to-print substrates, glass and metals print without issue on the new machine. Pollman commented that imprinting these materials in a digital process is a new and emerging technology. “Aside from selling machinery and supplies, we also offer contract print services, so we use these machines on a daily basis,” he continued. “Our in-house engineers are constantly working on solutions to maximize manufacturing efficiencies.” Unlike many other print methods, changeovers are quick, simple and help users achieve premium print quality.
This printer has impressed customers with its small footprint, making it perfect for both small shops and larger industrial printers building work cells. Multiple repeat customers have bought the Revolution 360°T and integrated it into their operations. According to Pollman, these customers are continually adding more machines to increase their capabilities and redundancies. “Ultimately, our customers can increase their bottom line with the printer by expanding their print capabilities and providing a new product decoration solution to their customers.”
With start-up costs for new digital technology no longer out of reach for many decorators, “digital printing is the future of imprinting,” Pollman said. “And it is quickly taking the place of other print methods.” Especially for short runs, digital can outpace other decoration methods, and this provides a more dynamic imprint at a competitive price. He also noted that in recent years, digital print technology has developed from printing on simple flat surfaces to round and cylindrical objects. “As the technology continues to grow, so will its ability to imprint new and emerging products across many markets,” he noted.
The Revolution 360°T has four printheads: piezoelectric DOD grayscale printheads, automatic voltage and temperature control, and Ricoh Gen 4. The maximum resolution is 1200 x 900 dpi. The maximum print size is 180 mm in height, and the length varies based on the product diameter.