“Inkjet is fundamentally changing the way we manufacture products; it is changing industry as a whole, it is moving us towards industry 4.0," says Steve Knight, co-founder of TheIJC. "One of the world’s biggest manufacturing countries, the USA is home to companies such as Dover Corporation, EFI, Fujifilm Dimatix, HP or Kodak. With technology providers and brand owners increasingly visiting our European editions, there is a high demand that we bring the conference across the Atlantic."
Jointly organized with ESMA, the European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association, with support of drupa exhibition, the conference was inaugurated in 2014, and last year’s edition attracted over 500 attendees. This development reflects the market dynamics.
Mainstream commercial print has been migrating to the digital world and the same holds true for industrial and functional print applications. TheIJC is inclusive to all market sectors but remains focused on core technologies – both in inkjet engineering and chemistry – which enable the digital shift.
The Chicago event opens with interactive workshops, offered for free to all conference delegates. The “Introduction to Inkjet” session, developed by iPrint Institute at the University of Fribourg, looks in detail at printhead operation, drop formation, ink types and system performance issues. Chaired by professor Hitoshi Ujiie from the Jefferson University, the “Digital textile printing” workshop discusses and shares information on current affairs, including the development of colorants, fabric preparations, fixation and finishing, textile supply chains and workflow optimization.
Conference program: Two days, two tracks
The conference program opens on April 12 and is grouped into key inkjet topics: Track one being focused on printheads, hardware, software and integration technologies; while track two is focused on inkjet ink, ink components, laboratory testing, curing surface science and application related topics.
Track one includes Randy Vandagriff, president of Kodak Enterprise Inkjet Systems (“Kodak technology advancements: Expanding the boundaries of digital print”), James Gill from Fujifilm Dimatix (“Overview of piezo actuation and importance of waveform development”), Julien Bussi from Caldera (“How big data may be applied to digital print industry”), Graham Vlcek, president of operations at Industrial Inkjet USA and Masao Tachibana, co-founder of Seiko Instruments (“Recirculation technology in high discharge big pigment applications”).
Track two includes Brian Fauber from Sun Chemical (“Aqueous ink solutions for digitally printed packaging”), Daisuke Hamada from Kao Collins (“Advances in water based ink solutions”), Jo Ann Arceneaux from Allnex (“Water-based energy curable compositions for graphics applications, including food packaging and inkjet inks”), David Ridealgh from Amazon Filters (“Optimizing the manufacturing process of bulk digital ink”) and Raymond Sanedrin from Krüss (“Recent experimental advances in characterizing inks and substrates optimizing inkjet processes and ink adhesion”).
Altogether, 38 technical speeches will be held on two tracks during two conference days.
The goal of TheIJC is to “close the loop” on the technical side and to provide a very broad mix of technologies, ranging from the physics of the printhead through high-speed data electronics, sophisticated software for nozzle mapping, to ink formulation and surface sciences. They all come together to develop products for very diverse applications, in graphics, packaging textiles, ceramics, bio-medical, pharmaceuticals, additive manufacturing and others.