CASE STUDY Top Digitex
Digital Printing of Carpets and Wall to Wall carpets
in Squared or Strip format
UNIFORM SATURATION OF COLOR ON WALL TO WALL
As opposed to fabrics that are made up of woven and horizontal fibers, carpets and wall to wall are made of vertical fibers one next to the other and glued to the base of the carpet.
The main challenge in digital printing on carpets and wall to wall is managing to color the fiber in its entire length whatever the thickness or density to have the same color saturation in the center and borders where the threads open and fold as they are not held by other rows of fibers.
CUSTOMER: Company leader in the sector of commercial paving in high quality such as wall to wall in varying thickness for ambients with heavy traffic lke hotels, congress halls, commercial offices and airports...
PROBLEM: Companies having large machines for continuous printing were not able to print uniform samples of wall to wall in materials and thickness other than squared format.
FOR THE ENTIRE PRODUCTION LINE
The R&S Department at TOP DIGITEX has modified the Customer printing process adapt it to the production of wall to wall in squared or strip format; with F-Tex they engineered and patented which can be integrated with existing production lines to guarantee professional printing. This safeguards the investment made to purchase pre-existing machinery and makes production flexible.
It was still necessary to review and adapt each phase of the printing process and make diverse modules and processes:
1. A system combined for pre-treatment and a chemical formula for the pre-treatment reactive
2a. The printing head
2b. The centering and calibration system for placement of the print
4. A tapis roulant for automatic vaporizing
5. A computerized mechanical arm for placement in washing.
PRE-TREATMENTTOP DIGITEX has made a modular system which can test diverse treatment typologies and verify that the reactive on the square of wall to wall is homogenous. None of the traditional mechanical techniques spray, foulard and coating could color the fibers uniformly.
Numerous tests and the combination of these techniques allowed TOP DIGITEX to define the optimum process and design the machinery for pre-treatment which was ideal for the production line. Each square receives the same quantity of reactive in every square millimeter and every fiber takes the color uniformly, it was necessary to lab review the chemistry of the reactive.
THE PRINTING HEADTraditional ink-jet printing has limits in professional printing of carpets and wall to wall particularly with long fibers. The traditional piezoelectric heads in fact don’t give enough electric impulse to allow the drop of ink to penetrate deeply; even if the carpets were uniformly pre-treated the fibers didn’t get color at the base.
TOP DIGITEX in collaboration with F-Tex designed printing heads for this purpose, defining distance and power until they were able to impose the correct impulse to the nozzles to produce drops of the size, velocity and weight to color in depth the thickest and longest carpet fibers.
CENTERING AND CALIBRATION SYSTEMTraditional plotters are optimum for continuous printing but in printing for small format and single pieces they can’t ensure alignment and centering. TOP DIGITEX has studied a special printing placement system with sensors that reveal the center line, center the sub-strata, automatically correct micro mechanical movement, enable it to go straight, and reveal real dimensions and forms adapting the design directly on the RIP of the print.
VAPORIZINGThe vaporizing phase is fundamental to fix color permanently on the carpet and foresees that the sub-strata remains in the vapor chamber at elevated temperatures for a certain time.
TOP DIGITEX has engineered a carpet in fiber glass, automatically the wall to wall panel lands on it as it comes off the printer and is transported in the 10 meter long vapor chamber allowing for completely automated vaporizing.
WASHINGAs opposed to fabrics which have permeable fibers, wall to wall has a base made up of an impermeable carpet which the fibers are glued to. In the washing phase it is indispensable that water gets to the sides of the fiber.
TOP DIGITEX has automated this phase, providing his client, whose machine for washing had a water source from below, with a mechanical arm which can turn the panel upside down and leave the water repellent part on top without need for human intervention.
TOP DIGITEX calibrated the new machinery modulating the pre-treatment, printing, vaporizing and washing velocityso that each process took the least time required to guarantee a uniform print and high quality.
CUSTOMIZING YOUR PRINTING LINE
TOP DIGITEX integrating modular solutions both on a mechanical and control level is able to totally customize a traditional continuous printing production line for carpets in short fibers and transforming it for wall to wall and single piece carpets in any form (sheet, squared or strip), size or weight.
We are ready to accept more challenges and to engineer a printing line which is deal for YOUR production. Write us!