CASE STUDY: WinJet II Improvements
A major Z-Tec customer with a number of the older WinJet printing systems expressed a desire for improving the system with several suggestions:
- Design and develop a capping station to eliminate the need to remove HP cartridges and store over the weekend, and reinstall prior to shift beginning on Monday morning.
- Design and develop an automated wiping mechanism to wipe HP cartridges in place without the need for the operator to lock out the drive, remove the cartridge(s), wipe and reinstall. The wipe-in-place mechanism would eliminate the need to lock out the transfer and reduce the downtime associated with cartridges not printing properly due to dust and contamination build-up.
- Develop a different ink formulation to increase de-cap time, i.e. the amount of time the cartridge can sit idle and then start printing without streaking or poor print quality until the dried up ink on the nozzles begins to flow again.
Z-Tec personnel designed and developed an integrated capping/wiping station, which became a standard part of the WinJet II system. The system caps cartridges in place over prolonged shutdown periods, eliminating the need for removing and storing cartridges.
The wiping portion of the station allows for a brief shutdown without the need to lock out and wipes the cartridges in place, minimizing the downtime and additional handling required for manual cleaning of cartridges.
In collaboration with an ink manufacturer, Z-Tec developed and tested the Z-Ink, which is now used in a number of both the WinJet and WinJet II systems. The Z-Ink exhibits a significant improvement in de-capping time as well as other desirable properties. In conjunction with the Z-Ink development, Z-Tec also redesigned the bulk ink system to optimize the ink delivery and significantly prolonging the life of the cartridges, thus reducing overall operating costs for our customers.