Domino Printing Sciences has firmly established its environmental credentials thanks to the innovative design of its V120i and V230i thermal transfer overprinting (TTO) systems. Unlike most TTO printers on the market, Domino’s V120i and V230i units do not require compressed air to operate, using instead stepper motors to control the printhead pressure and movement that is so critical in delivering a consistent high quality print.
“Compressed air is one of the most expensive services in a production plant and can have a substantial impact on the environment in terms of emissions output,” explains Peter Lister, Product Manager for TTO at Domino. “Over 10% of electricity consumed by the UK industry is used for compressed air, and 40% of these generation costs are typically wasted on inefficient and leaking systems. When reviewing these figures, it becomes clear that there are significant savings to be made by cutting down on compressed air usage where possible.”
There are consequently clear benefits in not using compressed air technology in TTO systems. It eliminates the cost of running and maintaining a compressed air supply to the coding area. In some cases where no factory air supply even exists it can avoid the need to install one at all. Installation, maintenance and repair costs are avoided while the issue of leaks is eliminated. These leaks can cost up to 20-30% of the annual printer consumables usage*, which inevitably has a major impact on the operational efficiency.
A TTO unit that does not rely on compressed air makes for a more mobile solution, as only an electric supply is required, and is more suitable for use in factories where no compressed air supplies are available.
Furthermore, an all-electric system is simpler to install and set up due to the automated printhead positioning and alignment function which gives optimum set up at the press of a button without the need for tools and shims.
Peter goes on to explain the advantages of investing in such innovative approaches: “Our V120i and V230i TTO systems use electric motors instead of pneumatics to control their printhead pressure and movement. Somewhat surprisingly these units actually use less electrical power than direct ribbon drive TTO systems with pneumatic printhead actuation which is a real win-win situation. Thanks to the dancing arm ribbon drive system, the stepper motors are not powered when stationary and energy is therefore not needlessly consumed while the printer is idle. In addition, the printers can deliver improved and consistent print quality right from start up to shut-down as they are not affected by fluctuations in supply air pressure.”
He concludes: “These are small innovations that make a big difference to the convenience and performance of Domino’s TTO equipment.”
(*) Cost of air calculation based on a compressed air supply line feeding 10 printers containing two small 1.6mm leaks, each at an annual cost of £860.