Claudia Istel

Digital printing – opportunities and challenges in heavy clay ceramics

More than 30 years ago, the first digital printing systems were available for use in the graphic arts industry. In ceramics, the first digital printing system was put into operation in a tile factory in Spain in 2000. In tile production, 80% of the entire industry worldwide switched from screen and rotary printing to digital printing within a period of ten years. Today, digital printing is established and most of the problems that initially made handling difficult have been solved.

1 Mode of operation of digital printers in ceramics

All ceramic printers are based on a similar functional principle, that is “Drop-on-Demand“ (DoD). This means that a piezo-controlled printhead ejects the corresponding amount of ink as required. The print is always made contactless onto the surface to be decorated – from a distance of 3 to 9 mm, depending on the depth of focus.

The printheads are integrated in an ink circuit (»2) consisting of heating elements, pumps and filters. In respect of hardware, this circuit is responsible for the printing result. Depending on the printer and the...

Related articles:

Issue 2016-8

Digital printing for roofing tiles

Thanks to inkjet printing, it is possible to individually design surfaces. With this process, a wide variety of design in optimum quality is not only possible in the ceramic tile industry. In the...

Issue 2017-6 Timo Ruwoldt

Digital printing for clay roofing tiles

1 Introduction In the digital printing process, a digital printer is used to apply ceramic inks in small drops (drop-on-demand technology) to the glazed surface. In this way, the required design can...

Issue 2019-6

Digital printing – opportunities and challenges in heavy clay ceramics

This talk addresses the opportunities and challenges with regard to commissioning a digital printing system in the heavy clay ceramics industry. In addition to essential introductory information on...


Patents November 2013

1. Raw material mixture for production of silicate brick 2. Thermo-insulating mass 3. Ceramic mass for production of bricks 4. Engobe 5. Ceramic mass of light colour for facing brick 6. Engobe...

Issue 2010-02 A good product deserves its name

Habareb promotional banderoler for palletized products

The Haba Company in Steyr, Austria, has come up with a promotional banderole for palletized products – and filled a market gap in the process. Wrapped around the package, a coloured sleeve up to 300...