Single pass

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In Industry there are two printing techniques: single pass and scanning. At Alpilles Automation we use single pass technology thanks to our Iris range of industrial digital printing machines. Let’s take a closer look at this technique.

What is Single Pass printing ?

With this principle the printheads are fixed and the product moves (or the reverse, depending on the size of the product to be printed). Single pass allows for very fast print runs, saving a lot of printing time. Several products can be marked per second. To avoid passing over the same industrial substrate several times, which is usually the case with traditional printers, “single pass” technology can apply all the required ink in one go by using printheads that cover the width of the print surface in a single movement. The full name for this technique is “single pass jetting”. It was developed to increase printing speed and make it possible to print directly on to a material without any intermediate film, thus reducing production costs and the carbon footprint.

As for technical considerations, the printhead is fixed, as the material to be printed does all the travelling. This is inserted in a transport system that has very precise movements (the workflow). The single pass digital printing technique is used by all of our Iris machines.

What is scanning ?

Scanning involves doing the opposite to “single pass” printing. Accordingly, it is the printheads that move across a mobile of fixed substrate. This principle is identical to the one used in traditional office printing. The main disadvantage with it is that printing time is very long because of the high number of back-and-forths before the final result is reached.

In what areas are these two types of printing used ?

Single pass can be used in various fields and on a variety of materials, such as wood, laminates, plastic or metal.
This technology offers a better compromise between speed, print quality and flexibility in terms of printable designs.

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