Industrial Inkjet (IIJ), a Cambridge-based printing company has been working with Konica Minolta for the past 18 months to develop a system that prints digital wallpapers on a wide range of typical wallpaper media, such as paper, PVC and non-woven substrates, at linear speeds of up to 70m/min.
The system is specially designed for wallpaper producers who are currently using high-speed conventional lines. The demo model is ready and is 560mm-wide but the manufacturer has further plans to redefine its dimension with widths of 1.2m, and 1.4m for the US market. IIJ will invite wallpaper producers to its premises next month to see the latest demo version of the new system running.
The company claims that its main purpose is to provide a digital module to customers on the lines of existing conventional wallpaper systems. IIJ managing director John Corrall said that while it is common to print wallpaper with inkjet, the current speeds are quite low which he wants to bring a change in.
“A year ago we built a system for printing wallpaper, we started rolling it and took samples to all the wallpaper producers but they said it was too glossy and didn’t meet standards for emissions and wash and scrub tests,” said Corrall. We then did a year’s work, talking to a lot of ink suppliers, testing a lot of inks and making miles of wallpaper and at the back end of last year we finally got to a point where we believed it was working.”