Case studies - decoration

Xennia’s digital industrial decoration heritage

Some examples of the many production decoration processes that Xennia has transformed by implementing digital manufacturing technology

With a near-20-year inkjet application development heritage, Xennia has worked with many customers across different industries to develop ground-breaking new digital decoration solutions. The examples outlined below give a snapshot of Xennia’s digital printing and decoration capability: a cross-section of the extensive store of knowledge and expertise at our disposal, ready for deployment with new development partners.

Ceramic tile production

Xennia was a pioneer developer in this industry, being one of the first to develop digital ceramic pigment dispersion inks in partnership with some of the major ceramic ink companies, and also developed the first reliable digital printing solution to hit the market in both Europe and China. Xennia’s hardware, software and ink technology is now used successfully in hundreds of digital ceramic printing systems across the world.

Apparel textile production

Xennia has applied its inkjet ink development expertise to digital textile printing inks, developing a reactive dye textile ink with market-leading colour and jetting performance. Xennia is also developing a range of sublimation and direct disperse textile inks.

Functional textiles and digital finishing

Xennia is working with parent company Royal TenCate to develop solutions for digital manufacturing of specialist textile products, including sun awnings and protective fabrics. This involves development of digital coatings including UV-curable pigmented inks as well as hydrophobic, self-cleaning, slow release and antimicrobial functions.

Wall covering decoration

Xennia has developed a complete digital solution for wall covering printing. The solution consists of a high speed production printing system with advanced job management software and an ink set printing full colour as well as gloss and metallic effects.

Laminated glass decoration

Laminated glass consists of a sheet of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Xennia developed a set of inks specifically for printing the PVB layer, allowing digital decoration of laminated glass with light fastness suitable for indoor and outdoor architectural applications.

Personalisation of safety helmets

Printing onto curved or three-dimensional surfaces using inkjet printheads can be challenging. For this development, construction site safety helmets needed to be printed in full colour with a robust coating including a white background to allow coloured helmets to be decorated. The solution used a 6-axis robot based motion stage for the helmets, a flame pre-treatment unit, five colour stations and a UV cure station.

Personalisation of event security wristbands

This development required fully variable data printing, including barcodes, onto the plastic wristbands used for venue security at festivals and other events. The solution developed by Xennia included a motion system for the sheets of wristbands and a printing unit including white, full colour and UV curing.

Variable printing software

Several of our development partners use our software to specify fully variable barcode data for their labelling products. The software allows a template containing both static and dynamic images, data fields and barcodes to be designed which then accesses database information and generates label images on the fly.

Printing expanded polystyrene boxes

One of our development partners required a solution for printing expanded polystyrene (EPS) boxes on demand. It was also required to print onto the sides of the boxes, so a specific solution using two side-facing print and cure stations, along with UV curable inks, was developed.

Printing onto reusable glass bottles

A major global soft drinks company that uses reusable glass bottles in some markets required a means of printing these bottles digitally with inks that were robust enough to survive use but could be removed in the existing washing and sterilisation cycle. Xennia developed a solution based on novel ink chemistry that met the required specification.

Decoration of toys and other plastic products

Several major toy, mobile phone and other manufacturers have worked with us to develop solutions for decoration of plastic parts, including ABS, PE and PP, with both UV and solvent based inks.

High precision healthcare product coding

One of the major healthcare brands needed a way to apply a high-precision mark to one of its products. The solution needed to fit in with the existing manufacturing process, as well as pass all regulatory tests. Xennia’s solution includes a specially-developed UV curable FDA compliant ink, and an advanced printing system which accepts data from the manufacturing line and applies the relevant code on a 24/7 production line.

Decoration of contact lenses

Our development partner, one of the leading contact lens brands, was interested in developing a means of digital coloration of fashion contact lenses. An FDA compliant ink set was developed which showed excellent application performance.

High temperature product coding

Xennia developed technology for coding a catalytic converter product that is subjected to 1000˚C-plus temperatures during manufacture and use. The solution included a high temperature coding ink and a printing system including an automatic barcode verification system.

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