Robe Lighting Ltd. is an innovative Czech-based manufacturer of high quality, mobile lighting equipment. These devices are shipped all over the world for entertainment, aesthetic or architectural use. The company has installed a Linx CJ400 printer for a special lens printing requirement.
Part of the production of lighting devices involves the preparation of suitable optical lenses that amplify and change the size of the cone of light. Robe Lighting identified the need to dye the sidewalls of the lens reflector lights to black. This process improves the optical properties of the lenses to guide the light. The lenses range from a diameter of 34 mm to 35 mm, with a height of 8 mm. Around three to four thousand colour-modified lenses are produced each month.
Printing onto the lenses requires a high degree of accuracy. In addition, as the lenses are of several types and sizes, it was necessary to create a solution that would be both flexible and work effectively within Robe’s systems.
Linx distributor Bottling Printing worked with Robe Lighting to adapt a Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) solution to the customer’s requirements. CIJ is traditionally used for industrial coding and marking, but was easily modified by Bottling Printing for this unique application.
A Linx CJ400 CIJ printer was selected to print a solid coverage of ink onto the lens. The lens is fitted onto a rotating mandrel, and printing is initiated manually by a switch which also starts the mandrel spinning. During rotation ink is applied from the Linx printhead to the side of the lens. To adequately cover the lens the cycles are repeated two to three times. Linx ink T551 is used due to its quick drying properties, which mean the lens is ready for manual handling immediately after printing.
Robe Lighting is now looking to use the Linx CJ400 to lay ink onto larger lenses with a diameter up to 64mm.