Following Xerox’s acquisition of industrial inkjet provider Impika in 2013, Bytes Document Solutions, the authorised distributor of Xerox in South Africa, has introduced Impika products to the local market. Impika’s aqueous inkjet systems complement Xerox’s broad portfolio of colour printing technology for customers in graphic communications.

The production inkjet market is projected to grow 21% annually through 2015, according to market research firm IT Strategies. By adding Impika technology to its offerings, Xerox now has the industry’s broadest range of digital presses, strengthening its leadership in digital colour production printing.

“Impika is a leader in production inkjet printing solutions used for industrial, commercial, security, label and package printing,” says Charl Vogel, national sales manager, Xerox production systems group direct, Bytes Document Solutions.

“Its portfolio of water-based inkjet presses, based on proprietary technology, complement Xerox’s CiPress production inkjet systems, the only high-speed waterless inkjet presses available today. With Impika as part of our set of solutions, we are serving the graphic communication marketplace better with digital products, solutions and resources to meet the needs of print providers so they can satisfy their clients and grow their businesses.”

Product lines include iPrint, a range of continuous feed production printers that print at speeds as fast as 375 meters per minute, and iPress, a range of graphic communications digital presses with resolutions of up to 2400 x 1200 dpi.

Impika has modular and configurable monochrome and colour products, with a large number of print engines and printing solutions for various applications in five target markets:

* Industrial printing – Decoration of various industrial substrates and manufactured products
* Commercial printing – High-speed personalisation of transaction or promotion documents (invoices, bank statements, bills and insurance forms, advertising inserts)
* Security printing – Personalisation of security documents (identity cards, passports, car licenses)
* Labels – Graphic printing on all kinds of labels (pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics)
* Packaging – Decoration of different types of packaging (cardboard, film, metal, glass.

The printing solutions are fully digital and exclusively based on drop-on-demand piezoelectric inkjet technology.

“The mastery of the technology enables Impika to offer a broad printing spectrum, including inkjet solutions and special fluids deposit solutions,” says Vogel. “These printing solutions offer a wide range of applications for decoration, microelectronics and biomedical markets.”

Rather than using heat to vaporise ink into the paper, piezo printing technology uses pressure to force ink onto the paper. There are a number of benefits to this. Piezoelectricity is an electric force created by placing mechanical stress on certain components. In a piezo inkjet printer, a small bit of ink is put into a chamber that, when charged, changes shape, generating pressure and forcing the ink out through the nozzle.

The technology is especially popular in commercial printers, such as those used to print the “use by” dates on cartons or bottles of milk and fruit juice.

“The technology’s extreme durability and low cost of operation make it perfect for commercial print applications,” Vogel adds.

“In addition, the fact that it does not need to use volatile ink that reacts to heat makes it usable with a much wider range of ink formulations than thermal inkjet printing. Piezo printers tend to also be much less susceptible to clogging due to ink residue build-up.

“They offer all the benefits of thermal inkjet printers; they are quiet and fast with excellent print quality and the potential for stunning photographic printing. Where they differ, is that they last longer with less need for print head maintenance.”