Digital ceramic printing is an example of another market that is growing thanks to customer demands and new needs. The constant need for personalization and immediacy, to be able to produce anything original in a small amount of time is what gives objects more value nowadays.
According to Markets and Markets: “The ceramic inks market is projected to reach USD 3.7 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.2% during forecast period. The growth of the ceramic inks market can be attributed to the rising demand for decorated ceramic tiles from the construction industry. Increased awareness among consumers about international premium interior design products and improved aesthetic appeal of tiles are the factors driving the demand for ceramic tiles from the construction industry, thereby leading to the growth of the ceramic inks market across the globe.”
EFI has a long trajectory in the ceramic digital printing business; a result of all this years of research and development is the Cretaprint 5th generation hybrid ceramic printer.
The most recent version of the EFI Cretaprint is a smart ceramic printer with new options such as SCADA communication app, plant management workflow and EFI Go mobile app for status monitoring a production statistics.
What are the benefits?
EFI Cretaprint Hybrid printer is able to work with both current eco-solvent based inks as well as water-friendly inks for ceramics, which is more sustainable. For this, EFI has improved their ink delivery system to hold humidity and to avoid sedimentation. In addition e-Q5 printheads are also created with waterproof elements.
For Cretaprint Hybrid printers, EFI has also developed a hybrid integrated eco-friendly system for ceramic printing that includes: digital glazing, digital application of granilla, and color management software for ceramics.
There are a lot of benefits of using this technology: it emits les VOCs, waste management in-plant with water and no chemicals, integrated and optimized ceramic processes, etc.
EFI Cretaprint Specs
Some of the features on this version of Cretaprint are tone adjustment system, sine-tuning control, nozzle out compensation and ID printing.
ID printing allows you to create templates with information such as date and time, file name, print profile, ink temperature, printing speed, etc. With it you can monitor all this data throughout the process and helps making adjustments easier, it is also useful for producing master tiles, production control and adjustment and monitoring of printers.
EFI Ceramic Printheads
The most recent printheads for Cretaprint printers are e-D5 which are specifically designed for these printers and to guarantee better alignment and to avoid future adjustments. eD5 printheads have a new nozzle shape to provide printer uniformity by using a lower ink deviation and to decrease head obstruction. These printheads are also claimed to be faster while maintaining the printing resolution and are manufactured specially for EFI Cretacolor inks.
EFI Ceramic Inks
EFI Cretaprint uses Cretacolor inks; these are waterbased ceramic inks containing water solvent, which reduces by 73% carbon emissions and by 90% COC emission. The ink delivery system is created to work with e-D5 high-discharge and productivity printheads, and comes with total recirculation to avoid sediment.
Cretacolor inks include bright yellow and ruby red colors to expand the ceramic color gamut. For example if you combine bright yellow (lemon-yellow intensity) with cobalt blue to produce green, will make the colors stand out and even replace the need to use cyan or green ink.
EFI Ceramic Software
Part of the integrated digital ceramic printing solutions by EFI is the Fiery proServer color management software.
Fiery proServer is specially designed to work with e-D5 printheads so it helps consume less ink while creating better color separation and producing more accurate color results.
Some of the features of EFI proServer for Cretaprint are:
- Faster tile design with onscreen-editing and paper prototyping.
- Consistent results with different ink sets or conditions with conversion tools.
- ColorWise with color separating technology for saving ink that uses color management algorithms.
- Smart ink savings feature to calculate ink cost and most affordable ink combinations.
In conclusion, EFI Cretaprint Hybrid is a very versatile ceramic printer with cutting edge technology for obtaining better results. We are looking forward to seeing this printer in action soon.