Nagano, Japan, March 20, 2018
Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd. (Hereinafter referred to as Mimaki), headquartered in Nagano Prefecture, Tomi City; President, Kazuaki IKEDA, announced today a new development they call their "Digital printing connection" to incorporate inkjet printers into production lines, for unattended on-demand production and mass customization using communication with robots, belt conveyors, inspection devices, various sensors and other peripheral equipment such of pre/post processing devices.
As a first step, Mimaki will introduce their original "MDL commands" and "Mimaki Job Controller" for communicating with peripheral devices.
"MDL commands" are used to control Mimaki printers from customer production systems and peripheral equipment. Utilization of the "MDL commands" controls the position and height of the print substrate table and the operation of the printer, such as the start of printing. It also provides the information on remaining ink amounts and errors of the printer. For customers utilizing the "MDL commands", it is possible to build an optimum system according to their development of software using Mimaki technical information (SDK *1).
*1 SDK: Software development information kit
"Mimaki Job Controller" is a software to communicate with the printer automatically for transmission of optimal printing data and printing conditions.
When incorporating a connected printer and a robot together into a production line for feeding print jobs using a conveyor, the robot arranges jobs from the belt conveyor onto the printer to start printing after completing the job settings. Then the robot collects the printed items after printing. Therefore, the series of operations can be unmanned.
The "Digital printing connection" can incorporate industrial printers formerly used alone into the manufacturing line with their links to peripheral equipment and help to simplify the manned operation. This new possibility will lead to a future of on-demand production and mass customization.
Current production image
- Operator arranges jobs to a printer.
- Transmission of print data to the printer with RIP PC by operator.
- Confirm print completing
- Collect the printed jobs. Return to 1.
*Operator's operation is necessary except 3.
"Digital printing connection" image
- Specify jobs from user's system
- The robot automatically arranges the jobs.
- Start printing
- Robot arm automatically collects the printed jobs. Return to 2.
*Production is unmanned except 1.
"Digital printing connection" concept model
A concept model of incorporating the "Digital printing connection" will be exhibited at ISA, the International Sign Expo2018 in Orlando, Florida, USA from March 22, 2018.
SDK (Software Development Kit) as the necessary information to operate the "MDL commands" will be available for download from the Mimaki website from 22nd March 2018.
ISA International Sign Expo 2018
Period: March 22 - 24, 2018
Venue: Orange County Convention Center, Orland, Florida, USA
MIMAKI ENGINEERING CO., LTD.
Global Marketing Department
1628-1 Shigeno-Otsu, Tomi-city, Nagano 389-0512 JAPAN
Tel: +81-(0)268-80-0078 / Fax: +81-(0)268-80-0041