ATDs success in the wallboard industry continues to grow. ATD has installed more of its latest generation high resolution wallboard stack printers in plants in Hungary and Finland, adding those already installed in France, Belgium, Germany, Poland and Romania.
Several years ago one of the world’s leading producers of drywall (plasterboard) wanted to improve their brand image by printing high-resolution text and graphics onto each stack of product they manufacture.
The specification called for a printed area up to 500mm high on stacks up to 5 metres in length.
ATD was selected to design and install the systems, based on our IP8000 High Resolution Industrial Inkjet Printer.
The system had to automatically adjust for different stack sizes, be robust enough to print on a moving stack, and avoid damage from mis-aligned stacks.
The systems work 24/7, and are engineered to tolerate the environment inside the factories, and to cope with climatic condition from hot central European summers to cold Scandinavian winters.
Each factory’s production control system is different and the printer includes drivers and interfaces for Siemens, Rockwell and Omron PLC networks, and to SQLServer databases.
Operation is fully automatic and the printer will re-configure itself during product changes, selecting the correct message layout and physical position for the new product.
ATD faced a number of engineering challenges to ensure system safety, performance and reliability. The print head contains five Trident 100mm high resolution print engines and each of these engines independently adjusts to compensate for variations in the position of boards within the stack and the overall stack face position. This design provides optimum print quality at all times, with a resolution of 1280 pixels vertically, allowing very high quality images and logos.
ATD also designed the guarding for the systems, and the interfaces to the plant’s safety systems.
The ATD stack printer has automated maintenance and can be programmed to self clean at specified intervals, which virtually eliminates operator intervention. No ink is wasted during the cleaning process, un-printed ink is filtered and recycled back in to the ink reservoir. Up to 20,000 stacks can be printed from 3Litre bottle of ATD ink.