New “LaserSonic” method of digital printing

By | June 15, 2009

It is rare that new printing methods are introduced, but it happened last week. The announcement came in the form of a press release that described a joint venture between MDC Max Daetwyler, the Swiss firm that pioneered the first successful laser gravure system, and Interprint GmbH, the German-based printer of fabrics, carpets, and wood for interior design. The two companies are planning to install the first press based on the technology at an Interprint plant about a year from now.

 It is clear from the press release that the LaserSonic technology is not related to either inkjet or toner-based printing. It uses “ordinary gravure and flexo inks,” including metallics, which can be either water-based or solvent-based. Because it uses standard inks, the press release says, running costs are low and the environmental impact is minimal.

The press release is available only in German, and it provides no details about the technology. It can be found here:

http://www.interprint.com/de/news/index-111.html

 Because there will probably be broad interest in this technology, I have posted an English translation of the press release at Beyond-print.net. It is here:

http://beyond-print.de/site/content/en/channel_news/news_1205.html

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6 thoughts on “New “LaserSonic” method of digital printing

  1. Pat Berger

    This could blow inkjet out of existence.

    It prints at 15.7 feet per minute now.

    In the near future ii is going to be 6.25 time faster or 98 feet per minute.

    This technology looks to be virtually maintenance free.

    No more worries about how to recycle paper substrates using this technology.

  2. George Alexander

    Thanks, Pat, for making the Aurentum connection.

    I followed up with Interprint, asking three broad questions about the technology. In response to the email I sent, I received the replies below from Gerhard Hochstein, Chief Technology Officer at Interprint, which provide some additional basic information.

    1. Is this a continuously-variable technology (like inkjet and toner devices), or is it designed to create short runs of an unchanging image (like “direct-imaging” offset presses)?

    G.H .: It is a continuosly variable technology.

    2. Could this technology be adapted to broader print markets, or is it limited to decorative and label applications?

    G.H.: The machine will be designed to work for every application with flexible materials; Target markets may be packaging, wallpaper, gift wrap …; technical concept for printing on non-flexible mateials is existing as well, although we will not build a machine for those applications in the first project phase.

    3. Can you tell me something about how this technology works?

    G.H.: Please refer to website http://www.aurentum.de; Aurentum is our Know-How-Partner. You will find more detailed information on the LaserSonic-Technology here.

    Note also that Interprint now has their own English translation of the press release up on their site. It is at:
    http://www.interprint.de/en/news/index-111.html
    It contains no new information.

  3. Pat Berger

    I looked at the patents. It most certainly is adaptable to print just about anything.
    There was and indication that the speed could go up to 390 feet per minute or 120 meter per minute.
    Imagine printing books or newspapers or wall paper with no plates at these speeds. Completed book blocks that just need a cover and bound.

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