Xaar plc, the world leader in industrial inkjet technology, is delighted to announce that its collaboration with Guangdong Dowstone Technology Co Ltd in China has produced a digital decoration solution for the Chinese polished tile market. Both companies have been working together to optimise Dowstone’s range of Soluble Salts ceramic inks for the Xaar 1002 GS12 and Xaar 1002 GS40 printheads, and are delighted to confirm that these inks are now formally approved. This means that tile manufacturers producing highly polished tiles used in commercial heavy “traffic” locations such as shopping malls and public buildings can benefit from the advantages of digital printing as well as Xaar’s leading technology.
Although digital technology is considered the norm for the decoration of the majority of ceramic tiles, manufacturers who produce the very hard-wearing tiles which are subject to high footfall in public spaces like shopping malls and public buildings have, until now, been unable to benefit from the many advantages of Xaar’s digital technology. Unlike existing hydrocarbon inks used for digital tile decoration, which mostly sit on top of the tiles, the new Soluble Salts inks penetrate the body of the tiles so that the tiles can be polished and re-polished over and over again, and are consequently suitable for these high footfall public spaces.
This latest development from Xaar and Dowstone comes in response to customer demand. With access to the Xaar 1002 GS12 or GS40 printheads, combined with Dowstone’s range of Soluble Salts inks, manufacturers of highly polished tiles now have the opportunity to cut production costs, reduce waste, reduce work-in-progress and stocks of finished products; and they can improve responsiveness to design changes and customer demand. Also possible is the production of higher-quality tiles that offer more realistic reproduction of marble and other natural materials. An added bonus is that glaze is not required.
The partnership with Guangdong Dowstone Technology is an exciting move for Xaar. Dowstone is a substantial organisation dedicated to R&D with a particular focus on the research, development and manufacture of new types of inorganic non-metallic glazed materials including glaze, pigments, ceramic ink and auxiliary materials.
Dowstone’s new Soluble Salts inks have been approved for use in the Xaar 1002 GS12 and Xaar 1002 GS40. These printheads provide the high volume laydown required by the Soluble Salts technology. “Our printheads lead the way in this application”, comments Bob Bobertz, Xaar’s General Manager in China. “Our Xaar 1002 GS12 and GS40 printheads are ideal because both are designed to deliver the higher volume ink laydown required to produce these highly polished tiles. In addition, Xaar’s unique TF Technology™ inside the printheads is unrivalled in terms of reliability, which is essential for all ceramic tile manufacturing applications”.