New Apache printer adopts Ricoh MEMs heads

Axzyra has installed a new industrial flatbed printer – the Apache TH6090 Geni – at its demo facility in Cambridge. This is a flatbed printer that’s mainly aimed at industrial print markets for printing various items from dials to printing components, metal panels and acrylics as well as promotional items and some sign and display. 

This Apache TH6090 Geni uses Ricoh’s latest TH5241 printheads

The existing Apache Evo range use Ricoh GH2220 printheads but this printer is fitted with Ricoh’s new TH5241 printheads, which each have four channels. This means that the new Apache only needs two heads – one for the CMYK inks and one for white – down from six heads more for the Evo printer range. This in turn means that the heads can be staggered so that the white can be laid down, with the colours following, but with both being laid down in the same pass, greatly optimising the overall efficiency. 

Steve Woods, managing director of Axyra, says that these heads represent “another leap forward in quality and dot placement especially from a distance from the object surface.” The new heads also allow for faster printing with Woods estimating that the new model is 33 percent faster than the Evo models for printing just CMYK, and up to 64 percent faster for printing both colours and white ink. 

He adds that reducing the number of heads means that there is “less pipes, cables, capping stations, head clams which all adds up to a cleaner simpler designed machine, for future maintenance.”

Indeed, simplicity is a key part of the design philosophy behind the Apache printers. Thus the inks are supplied in pouches that are loaded onto the print carriage so that the back and forth movement of the carriage during printing agitates the ink without requiring any additional systems. This also allows for short ink pipes, which makes for easy maintenance with no chafing. 

Woods says that there’s no need to recirculate the white ink through the printheads: “The head array is heated to keep the viscosity of both the heads and over-head array ink pouches at an optimum temperature for fast startup. The Apache has a built in auto spit periodically into the motorised capping station. During print the inks are agitated, though we do recommend pulling the white ink pouches off their connectors and giving them a shake for 20 seconds and then placing them back on. We are running a simple short inks pipe to a proprietary tank/ damper system. Easy to replace especially when using specialist inks like fluorescents. We find you can get full nozzle check straight off without cleaning.”

The inks come from Nazdar and there’s a standard generic ink plus hard and soft ink also available. Woods says: “We can print to most materials as long as they do not have too much silicone or oil content.” There’s also a jettable primer for certain materials like acrylic, and this can be loaded into some of the channels in the white printhead (which can also be used for varnish). In addition to this there’s fluorescent magenta and yellow inks as well. Curing is via air-cooled LED lamps

There’s a choice of two bed sizes, with the TH6090 having a bed of 600 x 900mm, while the TH1012 offers a print area of 1000 x 1200mm. They will take objects up to 150mm high with a laser to automatically adjust the height of the bed. This can be further finetuned manually with Woods recommending a distance of 1mm between the heads and the material. 

The Apache printers have been developed by the South Korean company EastCore, which also has a satellite office in California. Axzyra has been seling these printers in the UK, Ireland and EU since the company was founded in 2015. You can find more details from axzyra.com.


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