Bobst has teamed up with Radex to form a new company, Mouvent, to provide digital solutions for Bobst. Radex was set up by the founders of Graph-Tech back in 2014 after that company was sold to Domino with the stated purpose of developing OEM inkjet print solutions for other manufacturers.
The idea is that Mouvent will develop a complete range of digital printing presses for Bobst. This will include developing the software, inks and coatings for various substrates, as well as the actual printers themselves. It’s a sensible arrangement as it means that Bobst has essentially bought in a complete team of proven experts to develop its future inkjet presses.
Radex has developed an integrated print solution, which it calls a cluster, that can be repurposed for different applications, ranging from textiles to folding carton and flexible packaging. These clusters appear to be proprietary print modules that integrate parts of existing print heads – specifically the Fujifilm Samba heads. Nonetheless, Mouvent is promising that the printers it develops with these clusters will be much smaller than other machines in each category, with lower costs and faster changeovers.
The first fruit of this is an 8-colour digital textile printer, the TX801, which can deliver up to 2000 dpi optical resolution. Mouvent appears to have integrated Fuji’s Samba print head technology into a compact print array that’s able to drop 16 g/sqm of ink in a single pass. The TX801 is a 1.8m wide scanning machine though Mouvent claims that up to 50 percent of the print jobs can be completed in a single pass. It can print onto knitted, woven and non-woven textiles at up to 200sqm/hr. It can handle roll diameters up to 400 mm.
Ghislain Segard, Mouvent’s marketing & sales manager for Textile Machines, says that it will offer a competitive price per square metre, adding: “The TX801 enables crisp, colorful, very high printing quality in a cost-effective way for short to medium print runs on a wide range of textile materials. Not only is this machine a major advance on traditional textile printing but also on existing digital methods, with a noticeable leap forward in quality, industrialization and reliability.”
There are also several new label printers that will be shown at the Label Expo show. This includes two high speed webfed UV ink printers and an inkjet label press. The web presses use seven colours and print on various substrates such as paper, self-adhesive labels and flexible materials. The two models, LB701 UV and LB702 UV, offer respective widths up to 170mm and 340 mm. It appears that Mouvent has used a single cluster for each colour for the LB701 and two clusters per colour for the LB702, to double the print width. Production speeds for both can reach up to 100 m/min with a native resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi and an optical resolution of 2,000 dpi. There is some suggestion that Mouvent is also developing a narrow web label press that will use water-based inks.