Mimaki has announced a new concept called Digital printing connection, designed to incorporate its inkjet printers into production lines, for unattended on-demand production and mass customisation.

The concept uses 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 what it calls MDL commands and it Mimaki Job Controller for communicating with peripheral devices. The company says MDL commands can control Mimaki printers from customer production systems and peripheral equipment.

Using the MDL commands controls the position and height of the print substrate table and the operation of the printer. It also provides the information on remaining ink amounts and errors of the printer. The company says customers using the MDL commands can build an optimum system according to their development of software using Mimaki technical information from its software development information kit

The Mimaki Job Controller incorporates software to communicate with the printer automatically for transmission of 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.

Mimaki says 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. The company believes this new possibility will lead to a future of on-demand production and mass customisation.

Mimaki will exhibit a digital printing connection concept model this week at ISA, the International Sign Expo2018 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

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