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Inkjet Design & Operational Issues

(Inks, Substrates & Subsystems)

Real World Experiences on System Tuning, Debug, and Development 

September 6, 2019

Embassy Suites Chicago – Lombard/Oak Brook, Illinois, USA

Print3 Logo with no shadow.jpg

Inkjet Design & Operational Issues - Inks, Substrates & Subsystems

Course Focus

Successful inkjet printing applications result from the marriage of inks, substrates, and printer. IMI’s Inkjet Design & Operational Issues - Inks, Substrates & Subsystems course addresses the real world trade-offs that are required to make the end user customer successful.


The course will be helpful for senior executives, commercial managers, development teams, end users, and others looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of:


  • Printer design and common design mistakes that can appear to be ink related

  • How inks constrain the printer and printhead design. In other words, what are the trade-offs the engineers and system developers make and how does it affect ink requirements

  • Pictures of real world print defects, common causes, and debug methods

  • How new generation ink supply systems can degrade inks or remove certain ink additives

  • Successful printhead maintenance methods and how ink formulation can help

  • Real world experiences of course leader Rob Roger’s 20 years of inkjet experience in all aspects of system design, program management, field service, and printhead technical support roles in a variety of markets and printer types.

This course will provide unique understanding of inkjet’s capabilities, idiosyncrasies, and functionality. If you are faced with developing, implementing or operating state-of-the-art inkjet systems, you want to take this course – it can provide knowledge and insights simply not available elsewhere as well as saving time and financial resources in your development and implementation efforts! Don’t Miss Out!

This course is being held immediately following IMI's Inkjet Age of Materials Conference 2019 on September 6, 2019.

Inkjet Design & Operational Issues - Inks, Substrates & Subsystems

Course Outline

Friday, September 6, 2019

8:00 a.m.                     Registration 

8:30 a.m.                     Course Session Begins

Introduction & course overview

Real world experience overview: System tuning, debugging, and development

Printhead selection

Jetting Process: Tuning of jetting parameters to increase reliability & print speed

Maintenance methods

Common print defects, causes, & debug process

Process development:  Marriage of ink, substrate, printhead, & printer

Suppliers & users must understand constraints/problems of others!

Key issues: Jetting requirements, drop spread issues, stitch, nozzle compensation, surface tension challenges, etc.

Why printhead stitch and nozzle compensation are difficult

Trade-offs that are made to optimize the system: It takes the ink, substrate, printhead, and printer suppliers to make           a viable system.  In a new & emerging field, it normally takes sacrifices in all areas.

Jetting Process: How it works and real-world methods to improve reliability & jetting speed

Physics of jetting process explained with videos

Common questions answered: What limits jetting frequency, best real word drop shape,

                                                  why printheads degrade, etc.

Printhead Selection

Printhead types & list of suppliers

List of common printing & deposition applications

Advantages/Disadvantages of printheads: “Things the printhead companies won’t tell you”

Opinion of best printheads for specific applications: Group discussion encouraged

12:00 Noon                   Networking Luncheon

1:00 p.m.                      Course Reconvenes

How to fine tune jetting parameters for reliable, high speed performance

Dual tuning method: Drop shape & reliability testing

Difference in ink supply systems & printhead electronics can make a big

difference in tuning methods & resulting wave form

Avoiding jetting frequencies when possible

Basic effect of ink properties on tuning

Long term reliability testing methods

Printhead maintenance: Strategies to maintain print quality

List of various printhead maintenance strategies: wiping, firing nozzles in gutter, vacuum purge, sub-jetting to                       oscillate meniscus, etc.

Videos & pictures with explanation of successful systems

Ink formulation types that make the process easier

Nozzle compensation challenges & methods: Using neighboring nozzles to compensate for nozzle outages.

Ink supply functions/design choices that stress & potentially degrade inks/fluids

Common recirculating & direct ink supply design/operation

Causes of ink degradation

Bubble formation/foaming during recirculation that may appear to be ink problem

Ink degradation from improper degas methods

Image Quality Problems: Common image defects & causes with debug method

Pictures of real-world image quality problems with causes

Recommended debug method for common types of issues for quick diagnosis 

Problems with printer design that look like ink problems

Printhead maintenance systems: Why it often looks like the ink is the problem but it’s really a system design issue

Printhead to substrate height or air turbulence that looks like a misting/satellite drop problem

Poor fire pulse shape causing jetting issues

Ink cooling during high coverage printing (heaters can’t keep up) resulting in lower ink temperature

            and poor jetting (very common)

Nozzle contamination/poor printhead maintenance procedures/design 

& more

Printer design problems or users’ factory conditions that look like substrate issues

Time to cure/dry is too long so it causes retraction and small circular areas without ink (“fish eyes”)

Mold release on molded parts

Silicon spray in factories (very common)

& more

Group roundtable on common questions & discussion of attendees’ projects

Nozzle compensation challenges?

How does an encoder work?

Common field issues: Causes & solutions

Course registrants will be requested to submit their questions both prior to and during the course

4:00 p.m.                     Course Adjournment  

Inkjet Design & Operational Issues - Inks, Substrates & Subsystems 

Course Leader

Rob Rogers, Founder & President, Print3 Technologies, Shawnee, Kansas

Rob Rogers1.PNG

Rob Rogers is the Founder and President of Print3 Technologies, an inkjet consulting and contract engineering firm, assisting clients with their digital printing and deposition needs.


Rob has been involved in the inkjet industry for over 20 years, where he has been responsible for the design, development, and field service of a wide range of inkjet production printing systems including: wide format printers, inkjet printing presses, solar cell deposition systems, direct to container printers, etc. Rob has worked with some of the largest companies including Heidelberg, EFI, HP, Mark Andy, SunPower, and many more confidential clients.

Rob Rogers Clients.PNG

Rob formerly worked at Dimatix where he assisted international customers with new product development. Rob was a Co-Founder and Principle Engineer of Jetrion that was acquired by EFI. While at Jetrion he was responsible for multiple custom ink jet production machines and the first commercially successful label press and direct to container printer. Rob graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Inkjet Innovation Academy Sponsorships

IMI is excited to announce a sponsorship opportunity for industrial industry suppliers to position themselves “front and center” before a key group of inkjet and industrial print developers working across key application areas - PLUS distributing their message to the IMI global database of over 20,000 relevant contacts.


Our goal is to develop a “community” focused on the Inkjet Innovation Academy program course and Sponsors to generate excitement about industrial print technologies and applications developments - benefiting all inkjet industry participants and end users.


For additional information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Al Keene

Complimentary Display Space

Product demonstrations and displays by Inkjet Innovation Academy attendees are encouraged.  IMI will cooperate with all interested parties to provide appropriate space so products can be displayed and demonstrated during the Inkjet Innovation Academy breaks & receptions.  There is no charge in addition to the course registration fee to have a display table.  Interested companies should contact IMI President Al Keene to ensure that proper arrangements are made for product displays and demonstrations.


You can also reserve your display space and Suppliers’ Forum presentation slot by registering online and checking off the appropriate boxes indicating your participation.

I.T. Strategies Market Report


All participants will receive a free copy I.T. Strategies latest annual Market Report, The Numbers 2019 “Production & Industrial Print Global Statistical Summary.” Commissioned by IMI and generated from I.T. Strategies’ worldwide digital printing industry model, it provides an ongoing source of market information based on a consistent methodology and reporting structure.

About IMI

IMI sponsors conferences to assist in understanding emerging technology developments, markets and applications requirements. IMI conferences offer attendees unique opportunities for leading hardware, technology development, materials, manufacturing, software, and user companies to network and develop a more comprehensive understanding of current as well as future developments impacting successful product implementations, market entry/expansion and technology utilization. Since 1990, IMI has held over 600 programs attended by well over 25,000 technical, marketing and management personnel from companies around the world.


IMI conference programs are designed to enable attendees to obtain the latest technical, market and application information while allowing time to network with other attendees in a time and cost-efficient manner.  Attendance at an IMI conference enables attendees to meet with an industry’s leading experts in a single location over a short period of time thus maximizing information transfer efficiency and minimizing travel and time expenses.

Details on all of IMI’s activities can be found on our web site or by contacting us:

1106 Valley Crossing
Carrabassett Valley, ME  04947
Phone: +1-207-235-2225
Fax: +1-207-560-9119
Email:     Web Site:

Inkjet Design & Operational Issues
(Inks, Substrates & Subsystems)

September 6, 2019

Embassy Suites Chicago – Lombard/Oak Brook, Illinois, USA


The reference materials for this completed course are not being sold at this time. If you would like to be contacted when another IMI conference on this topic is announced, please fill out the form below, then select the "Send to IMI…" button.

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