September 4th, 2020
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Inkjet is not one technology, it is a symphony. No instrument plays in isolation and harmony can only be achieved with all elements interacting. Each technology contributes, each component is needed, but a single substitution or alteration introduces a chain reaction causing many changes to be required to bring the system back into balance.

A balanced inkjet system has outstanding performance and reliability, and it is changing the way we print. Just as the “inkjet circle”, TheIJC offers guidance for both newcomers and professionals from different domains who want to broaden their know-how. Inaugurated in 2014, the event has grown to the world’s largest inkjet knowledge platform for key industry players and leading research institutes. Their cumulated expertise provides for a strongly technical conference programme and unique networking opportunities.

Driven by research and by technology, inkjet continues to change the manufacturing process. The widespread adoption of this technology was confirmed during the inaugural event in autumn 2014. Almost 300 attendees, mostly machinery manufacturers, brand owners and suppliers have gathered for the first time in Swissôtel (now Crowne Plaza) Düsseldorf/Neuss for two days and two tracks of technical talks and hours of networking. The event attracted both industry and academic institutions who presented their research and provided technology updates.

“After five events in Europe and the successful introduction of TheIJC in the USA in 2018, we have been observing the constant global growth of inkjet. Our community expands as more and more manufacturing processes feel the impact of digital print technology and investigate implementing inkjet into their specific applications,” says Steve Knight from Digital Direct Technologies, co-founder of the conference.

Organised by ESMA (European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association), Digital Direct, with an ongoing support of drupa and in media partnership with “Specialist Printing Worldwide”, TheIJC has grown from to 525 participants during the 2018 edition. “Building this conference has been a dynamic process with a global approach to all those who are involved in hardware, chemistry, software and related developments. Each presenting company or research institute contributes to the high technical level of the conference programme and the invaluable social networking aspect. The role of TheIJC is to provide an optimal environment for creative exchange between experts from various fields, as well as to initiate and enhance business relationships,” says Peter Buttiens, CEO of ESMA.

Meteor Inkjet Ltd takes digital printing of labels, packaging and books to a new level with the launch of eLab Pro, a scalable industrial inkjet RIP solution in a complete, plug and play package.  

Powered by Harlequin®, the world’s fastest RIP, eLab Pro builds upon the success of Meteor’s eLab, an essential RIP configuration tool. Designed for developers of industrial inkjet systems, eLab Pro works seamlessly with Meteor’s inkjet printhead drive electronics and software offering an attractive, intuitive graphical user interface with the ability to command the RIP directly from the print controller or printer Digital Front End (DFE). Including an out-of-the box DFE and a comprehensive set of ready-made configurations such as QR code generation with variable data imposition, print system builders can be up and running in minutes. 

eLab Pro delivers all the benefits people have come to expect from Meteor including integrated, ultra-fast access to ScreenPro™, a multi-level screening engine developed by sister company Global Graphics Software that corrects inkjet print imperfections, and MetCal, wizard-driven software that automates printer calibration and runs Meteor’s exclusive nozzle-out compensation technologies. eLab Pro also works alongside popular VDP PDF products including Harlequin VariData™, STEPZ by Hybrid Software and Variegator by Xitron®.

Operating efficiently on the same PC as MetPrint or any DFE running Meteor’s PrintEngine, eLab Pro can significantly reduce the cost of computing power and switches for industrial print applications.  Used together with a spectrophotometer (not included) and ICC profile creation software such as that provided by ColorLogic or X-Rite, colour management and precision spot colour matching capabilities are available. For the ultimate in high-speed book printing or adding variable data to labels and packaging, eLab Pro is available with Meteor’s Scalable RIP Farm where multiple RIPS run in parallel.

Clive Ayling, Meteor’s Managing Director comments, “After an enormously successful beta test period, we’re excited to launch eLab Pro which is available immediately. This is the perfect tool for industrial inkjet customers, with a great GUI and a seamless interface to any Meteor-based workflow.”

Jonathan “JW” Wilson, Meteor’s Head of Business Development adds, “Existing eLab customers will be pleased to know that we’ve made it extremely easy to upgrade to eLab Pro with complete access to all previously developed configuration files. Customers can contact me or their local account manager for upgrade details.”

TheIJC, the world’s biggest meeting point for all involved in industrial inkjet technology is getting ready for their 2021 events, on 22-23 May in Chicago and 29-30 October in Düsseldorf. Developers, integrators, researchers, chemists, printers, brand owners, innovators and everyone else attending will receive a free day ticket for drupa 2020.

The cooperation between TheIJC and drupa dates back to 2014. Since then, The Inkjet Conference opens the doors to the core technology that is being rapidly implemented into a wide range of industrial print applications, served by machines on display during the drupa exhibition. „It is our great pleasure to support as enabling partner TheIJC in Düsseldorf and Chicago since the inaugural editions. The positive development for the second edition of the conference in Chicago clearly underlines the ongoing growth of inkjet into new areas and the significant potential for our industry in terms of new applications. Our engagement clearly expresses the long-term and very fruitful partnership with ESMA and the international inkjet community, underscoring the positive impact of that fast changing technology on drupa 2020”, says Sabine Geldermann, Director drupa.

The upcoming US edition of the conference features two tracks of presentations which cover all aspects of industrial inkjet engineering and chemistry, from printhead architecture and system integration, through to image quality software, ink formulation, waveform measurement, curing techniques and the latest research projects. Labels and packaging enjoy special focus this year with five sessions dedicated to direct to container printing, new solutions for product decoration, as well as market trends. 

“We consider inkjet as a technology and inkjet as an application. In some areas the technology and the application can be considered as mature production processes, while in others this is still a disruptive technology with novel application fields. TheIJC has maintained its position as the event where all aspects of the evolution of both the core technology and the application are covered,” says Steve Knight, co-founder of TheIJC. 



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