by Lara Copeland, contributing writer, Plastics Decorating

Standard Machines, Inc. (SMI) – the machine division at Comdec, located in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and the originator of the building block (modular) approach for pad printing equipment – has updated its SMI 6090 digital UV printer. It is more stable due to its servo motor, where the previous printer’s head was moved by the tooling bed where parts sit.

“This means you don’t have to worry about parts moving during printing,” said Chris Blanken, VP of sales at SMI.

The machine features three print heads, which allow for 18-channel printing, CMYK, LCLM, W and V. One print head is for colors, another is for white ink laydown and the other is for clear coating. The industrial inkjet printer also has a new graphics program. “This allows for extremely accurate control of color options required in printing,” Blanken explained.

The SMI 6090 also offers a continuous ink supply system, economical reservoirs and ink dampening with degassing valve. Head cleaning can take place during operation, and ink re-circulation prevents the print head from clogging. The printing grid alignment is within the graphics program.

One important advantage of the updated equipment is the printing effect exceeds that of the previous model. “The printing and varnish effect are incredible, and the varnish effect really highlights the blink effect,” Blanken commented.

The printer has an added heating system for the color ink, which can be utilized when the temperature is low for printing. A distance detector was added to distinguish the distance between the printing materials and the print head, and it shows the numbers directly. An acrylic safety mask has been added to make it a more operator-friendly printer.

Several features help users overcome a number of possible challenges. For instance, the machine has a rotational option for printing on tubular products. The one-key automatic ink siphoning system means there is no manual siphoning, which saves the user time. The vacuum table holds product tooling in registration, and the machine automatically adjusts the height to prevent damage of the print head caused by hitting the product. The printer also is cost-effective.

“The SMI 6090 prints one part at basically the same cost as printing 1,000 parts,” Blanken added. There are no makeready charges or major set-up costs to be amortized over longer runs, so this printer works for big and small runs – including individual photos.

Blanken is pleased with the printer, saying it has achieved many advancements. “The clear coating can make water on the ocean look incredibly real,” he said. “It can make tears in eyes look real – in fact, it’s a great printer to use for cosmetics.”

Additionally, it utilizes an active UV curing system, so the ink is cured when the print is finished, which helps prevent scratching and marking. Customers also are satisfied with the new technology because it is more flexible with orders.

Technical details

The SMI 6090 measures 140 x 140 x 90 cm and weighs 260 kg. Printing details include resolution of 5670 x 1440 dpi, 8 channel CMYK, LCLM. Printing height is about 18 cm for the printing materials.