Regular readers will know the Bobst subsidiary Mouvent for the series of inkjet label presses that the company launched in 2017 at the last European LabelExpo. But Mouvent’s first printer was the TX801 textile machine and at Itma Mouvent launched a faster version, the TX802.
The heart of all the Mouvent printers is the modular printhead cluster, which are built around Fujifilm Dimatix Samba heads. Mouvent buys the heads alone without any of the electronics or plumbing normally supplied with a printhead to have it jet the ink when needed. Instead, Mouvent 3D-prints its own housing, which holds four Samba heads in a line complete with all the necessary ink lines and electronics.
Reto Simmen, Mouvent’s chief business officer, comments: “We can stitch the heads together and get good registration between the heads. All the ink components are integrated in the cluster with the electronics layer on top of it. We can control the temperature and pressure that’s necessary to keep a consistent environment.” This temperature control includes a water-filled chiller tube circulated around the heads within the cluster.
The printers are capable of producing up to 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution with three drop sizes. They will take up to eight colours. Simmen adds: “The heads can lay down up to 16 grams per square metre. We can produce most of the drops in one pass so we gain some speed. This means the machine has to be very precise to hide the lines that we would otherwise hide with the next few passes. It gives us very good detail in the image so we can print very fine lines. We can produce very dense colours due to the amount of ink we can lay down.”
The original TX801 was fitted with two clusters, meaning eight heads in total. The main difference with the new TX802 is that it has four clusters, or 16 heads, doubling the speed of the printer to 100 linear mpm. However, it’s not possible to upgrade the TX801 to the newer spec as there is additional hardware around the drying in the newer machine. Both of the Mouvent printers print a 1.8m wide image on substrates up to 1.82m wide, and can handle woven, non-woven and knitted materials including cotton, silk and lycra. Currently there are reactive and acid inks available. Simmen says that polyester is a bit tricky and that Mouvent is working on both disperse and pigment inks that should be available in the near future to broaden the range of printable fabrics.
The TX801 costs €300,000, while the TX802 comes in at €450,000. Mouvent also introduced a new Digital Front End, Mouvent DFE, which covers preparation of print data and drives the printers. You can find more details on these printers and the DFE from www.mouvent.com.