Bobst and Radex reveal new Mouvent Cluster technology for digital inkjet printing

The Mouvent Cluster.
The Mouvent Cluster is the basic building block for all Mouvent printers.
Piero Pierantozzi.
Piero Pierantozzi.

Mouvent – a new company founded by a joint venture between Bobst and Radex and focused exclusively on digital print using pioneering digital technology – has revealed the groundbreaking technology behind its range of new digital printers. The Mouvent Cluster is a radical new approach, said the companies, that uses clusters instead of fixed-size print bars by colour, arranging them in a modular, scalable matrix. The result is one system that can be simply and easily adapted for all substrates of all widths for all markets.

“This is game-changing technology,” said Piero Pierantozzi, Co-founder of Mouvent. “Until now, printing systems have been tailor-made to the requirements of each industry. Cluster technology is completely flexible and can be adapted and used for any market and any substrate. We believe this will completely revolutionize digital printing, making it more accessible, more flexible, cheaper and simpler, while maintaining the highest quality standards.”

Mouvent Cluster multi-pass technology.
Mouvent Cluster multi-pass technology. For multi-pass or scanning-type machines, the Cluster passes over the substrates with up to 8 different colours.

The cluster technology was developed by Radex, a company owned by multiple stakeholders with a long track record in the field of DOD (Drop-On-Demand) inkjet digital printing. Radex and Bobst created Mouvent as a joint venture in June of this year. The cluster technology is the centerpiece of revolutionary new printers developed by Mouvent for a wide variety of markets – such as textiles, labels, corrugated board, flexible packaging, folding carton and more.

Mouvent has already unveiled some of its machines, including the 8-colour digital textile printer, the TX801, which we posted on this site in mid-July. It’s associated with the highest print resolution of up to 2,000 dpi and the highest productivity in the market, with an output of up to 200 sq.m./hr., at the lowest cost per square metre produced. In multi-pass machines like the TX801, the cluster moves across the up to 1,800-mm-wide substrate at 100 m/min and can apply up to 16 g/sqm of ink, with one colour per printhead and up to 8 colours per cluster.

Mouvent Cluster single-pass technology.
Mouvent Cluster single-pass technology. In single-pass set-ups, the substrates pass underneath a fixed cluster and all printheads apply the same ink.

Mouvent has also announced its first range of label printing solutions, which include two new, high-speed 7-colour UV ink printers (the LB701-UV and LB702-UV) and a groundbreaking water-based ink digital inkjet label printer in the narrow web segment. With single-pass printers like these, the substrate is running through at up to 100m/min. below the fixed clusters, at one colour per cluster. Each Mouvent Cluster prints up to 170 mm wide. Additional clusters can be added (so two clusters is 340 mm wide, and so on) in theory without any limit. Therefore, whatever the substrate width, the technology can be adapted accordingly. their estimated life cycle is  10,000 operating hours, plus, they’re very light in weight (around 1.8 kg) and can be easily replaced.

Mouvent Matrix single-pass technology. The individual clusters can be combined into a modular, scalable matrix– each row a new colour, each additional cluster an extension of the printing width by 170 mm.
Mouvent Matrix single-pass technology. The individual clusters can be combined into a modular, scalable matrix with each row a new colour, and each additional cluster an extension of the printing width by 170 mm.

Beyond its digital printing presses, Mouvent offers another fully integrated, complete solution – it develops, engineers, tests, and industrializes digital printers based on the Mouvent Cluster. It writes the software around the printers, develops inks and coatings for various substrates, and provides a full servicing offering. The company is also promising a new standard in inkjet label production cost and quality, in ink pricing, head durability, quality and machine performance. “By using the same clusters, the same software, the same spare parts, and the same ink systems for all machines, we can design them as simple and as compact as possible, while keeping operating costs for our customers at a minimum and predictable,” Pierantozzi added. “Simplicity is our engineering philosophy.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.