Authors: Y. Kipman
Affilation: ImageXpert Inc., United States
Pages: 546 - 549
Keywords: inkjet, ink, drops in flight, wetting, inspection, analysis
An integrated, machine-vision system, JetXpert, has been developed for the visualization of faceplate wetting and the measurement of drops-in-flight. For print head wetting, the system uses a camera and light source set at an angle to view ink buildup and wicking on the faceplate during firing. For analysis of drops in flight, the system combines a high-powered LED strobe and control electronics, a camera, specialized optics and ImageXpert software to provide a flexible platform for analyzing the performance of any print head. The strobe is linked to the firing frequency of the print head, so while it is synchronized, it is independent of the specific print head being inspected. ImageXpert image analysis software is used for analysis of droplet characteristics including drop trajectory, velocity, radius and volume, as well as other features as desired. Volume of satellites and ligaments can also be reported. Measuring the in-flight characteristics of ink drops and visualizing faceplate wetting under different conditions can aid in optimizing system settings, ink formulation and printer performance. Manufacturers of ink jet heads, head driver electronics, inks, and integrated printing and material deposition systems can benefit from analysis of drops-in-flight.