Mimaki adds 3-litre ink supply

Mimaki has introduced a new 3-Litre External Ink Supply Option for its JFX600-2513 flatbed printer to help customers move to a more automated production without the risk of running out of ink.

Mimaki has developed this 3-litre ink refill system for its JFX600 flatbed printer.

It incudes an automatic white ink agitation system and uses weight sensors to measure the remaining ink levels. The 3-litre ink tank capacity reduces the frequently required refilling tasks to enhance work efficiency. In addition, the Option enables an ink replenishment even during printing processes, further reducing printer downtime to allow for longer operating and greatly improving productivity.

Mimaki is not the first company to introduce a bulk ink supply system, but this is mostly done to reduce ink costs. However, in Mimaki’s case, this additional capacity is all about improving automation. Mimaki has developed a way to integrate its printers into other systems that go beyond printing, using its proprietary Mimaki Device Language or MDL command, which makes use of computing protocols developed for the Internet of Things, or IoT. Thus the MDL command would allow the printer to communicate directly with an automated media loading and unloading systeme so that the printer could be left to work unattended. Indeed, Mimaki already enables many of its printers to make use of the MDL commands and many of its small flatbed printers are used in more industrial settings where print is just part of a wider process.

But the JFX600 printers are a completely different proposition since they are designed to be large fast high volume production machines. That inevitably means that they’re going to get through a lot of ink, so there would be no point in automating the media transport system around the printer without also ensuring the printer had the ink to match, hence this new bulk ink supply system. As such, what we are really seeing here is Mimaki’s attempt to play in the mid-to high volume part of the large format market, which is a logical move to make.

Mark Sollman, product manager for Mimaki Europe, explains: “To be able to better connect technology, make it more intuitive and allow for a more seamless, efficient transition from when a customer places an order to its delivery has clear long-term business benefits. An automated workflow enables printers to improve their production processes, therefore reducing delivery times and allowing them the increased production capacity to take on new business. With this new 3-litre ink unit, JFX600-2513 customers can further minimise downtime and speed up delivery times especially in higher volume print environments, helping them to become more efficient, versatile and profitable.”

The JFX600 flatbed is fitted with 16 printheads with a maximum resolution of 1200 dpi. There’s a choice of inksets, depending on whether you are working with more rigid or flexible materials. The colours include CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta with either one white and a clear ink or two white channels. It can produce up to 90 sqm/hr at 600 x 600dpi with four passes in four colours. It will take media up to 2.5 x 1.3m media and up to 60mm thick and 50kg/sqm in weight. It can handle all the usual substrates that you would expect of a large UV flatbed, including resin, glass, and metal, as well as signboards. It also features 2.5D printing, enabling layers of UV ink to be printed to create a textured surface for use in higher value printing applications.

It’s not clear if Mimaki also intends to deliver ink in 30litre containers, which might also allow for bulk ink cost savings. Instead the idea appears to be the users can top-up this new tank from the standard 1-litre bottles. The 3-litre ink supply should be available from January 2023. You can find more details on the JFX600 printer from mimakieurope.com.

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