It’s just a few weeks to go before TheIJC (The Inkjet Conference) opens its doors for the 5th edition. With over 500 participants, it is the world’s leading platform for all those involved in inkjet engineering and chemistry. Three tracks and 61 technical presentations update the audience on the latest developments and technologies, whilst the networking area with 80 tabletops provides the environment to discuss projects with potential suppliers and partners. The conference takes place on 16-17 October 2018 at Crowne Plaza Düsseldorf.
“The continued growth of inkjet across all areas is driven by fast changing technical innovation. We see one technology rapidly replaced by another. Each element of inkjet has the ability to be the key disruptive component that changes the future business opportunities and potential of our industries. Software and vision systems are sometimes seen as the peripheral elements of inkjet systems and yet can be potentially as disruptive as new ink chemistry or new printheads. TheIJC offers the only opportunity to meet experts from every inkjet field,” says Steve Knight from Digital Direct Technologies, co-founder of the event.
The history of TheIJC reaches back to 2014 when for the first time ESMA (European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association) and Digital Direct Technologies opened a unique venue for OEMs, suppliers, researchers, innovators, brand owners and all those affected by the digital shift in various manufacturing processes. Since then TheIJC has been growing with an average rate of 25%, reaching 525 attendees during the last European edition in 2017. An ongoing support from drupa as the enabling partner, MS Italy as sponsor and “Specialist Printing Worldwide” as the official journal are among the key success factors.
TheIJC 2018 starts already in the afternoon of 15 October 2018 with a series of inkjet workshops available for free to all registered conference delegates. One can choose between “Introduction to inkjet”, “Spyglass on the digital factory”, “Inkjet in packaging”, “Titanium dioxide: The classification journey” and “Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe: What’s in it for me?”. All workshops are chaired by industry experts who engage in discussion with the participants.
Following the success from the previous edition, both conference days open with plenary sessions dedicated to the key advances in printhead architecture. John Corrall from Industrial Inkjet will announce a new Konica Minolta product family. Speakers from Archipelago, Fujifilm Dimatix, Kodak, Kyocera, Ricoh and Xaar will talk about their latest breakthroughs and explain mechanisms behind core inkjet technology.
With an extraordinary amount of high-level technical content, the organisers structured further presentations on three parallel tracks. Hardware components, system integration, software and vision inspection are discussed on Track One which includes i.a. innovative instruments for measurement and analysis of jetting reliability by Polytype but also Smithers Pira’s market forecasts or “Freedom To Operate” analysis by Extract Information.
Ink formulation, fluids and inkjet chemistry are presented on Track Two which also features new product launches. Kao Collins will introduce a new water-based ink with polyester resin technology targeting flexible packaging and signage applications. The particle characterisation company Microtrac will talk about their new combination instrument to monitor pigment size and overgrains.
Track Three features innovation and academic research with topics ranging from ceramic tiles, pharmaceutical applications, orodispersible films and capsules, through to printing functional elements on 3D objects or inkjet-printed perovskite photovoltaics. The submissions came from the most renowned research institutes – among them University of Cambridge, iPrint, Fraunhofer ENAS and IPA – as well as from fast growing start-ups such as Saule Technologies.
“Delivering industrial inkjet to a manufacturing scale is difficult. TheIJC is a unique forum that brings together every element needed to drive success, from the inks and technologies to the integration and end users. This communication is key in a booming industry undergoing rapid innovation and TheIJC is now firmly established as the home of such cross-industry engagement,” comments Ronan Daly from University of Cambridge and the conference Scientific Board.