The Just Add Data Inkjet
The Atom has been specifically designed to meet an entry level price point while offering a print system capable of most traditional addressing and simple variable inkjet personalization applications.
Building on the same proven technology found in Buskro’s 2500 and 5100 series printheads, Buskro has leveraged over 25 years of piezo inkjet experience to create an all in one, fully self-contained print system. All of the ink supply, life support, image generation, and head monitoring systems are integrated inside the printhead body, making the Atom a totally free-standing, portable unit without the need for large external support cabinets. Buskro’s “Just Add Data” approach allows for interfacing with other third party software and data transmission packages to easily fit the Atom into existing production lines and work flows.
The Atom, offered in solvent (Monet, Cezanne), water-based (Legar), and UV curable (Renoir) ink choices, is available in 1″, 2.55″, and 5.1” print swaths and boasts higher speeds, as well as a lower total cost-of-ownership than cartridge-based thermal inkjet systems.
Various methods can be employed to deliver data to The Atom. Buskro has developed a simplified version of our industry-standard Compose IQ software package, which can be used to send layout information and data directly to the printer. Buskro has also entered into a partnership with Flex Systems, where the popular Flex Mail variable data printing software can be purchased or upgraded to support the Atom. The Atom can also be easily interfaced with third party data, sending software packages supporting .csv or LF/FF output protocols. In this case, Compose would still need to be used as a layout editor.
The Atom is an excellent candidate to replace aging thermal and continuous inkjet systems with a more modern print platform. Customers can leverage existing equipment such as feeders, transport systems, driers, and conveyors to upgrade and update at an affordable price.
Standard Atom vs. Hybrid Feature Comparison
Product Feature Comparison – Atom Hybrid vs. Standard Atom
- Print heads available in 1″, 2.55″ and 5.10″ of vertical print
- Choice of solvent, UV curable, or water-based inks
- Reliable high-speed printing: 40,000+ pieces per hour
- Simple, low maintenance, user-friendly system
- Access to all Compose standard and advanced features
All-encompassed, portable print solution
- Renoir (LED)
- Renoir (UV)
- Compose V10 Data and/or Layout + Laptop
- Downloadable setup and image
- Accepts serial communication for 3rd party controllers: RS232 or Ethernet option
- Speed dependent on layout size and content
- Limited text, graphics, and barcodes
- Compose V10 Atlas or Master c/w PC Module
- All optional Compose licences available
- Hybrid cable connects to IAM data port (4)
- Traditional speed capabilities for one or more Atoms
- Access to all Compose standard and advanced features
What is an Atom print system?
The Atom Print System (the “Atom”) is a portable, free standing printing device housed in an enclosure that includes the ink bottle (375ml), ink delivery and vacuum management system, a single electronic control/RIP/ Drive board and the print engine. The print engine, available in both a 2.55” (65mm) @ 300 DPI or 1” (25mm) @ 256 DPI versions, employs DOD print technology supporting both solvent and UV-curable inks which are suitable for most print media.
What are the differences between an Atom and BK17xx series controller?
The Atom has been designed as an entry level, simple print system capable of most traditional addressing and simple printing applications whereas, the BK17xx series Buskro controllers offer flexible solutions that can also handle more complex, advanced applications requiring multiple print heads/technologies such as:
- CMYK Colour
- Product tracking with coordinated printing such as read & print, duplex and multi-zone printing
- Higher resolution print heads (400 DPI)
- Support for up to 8 heads
- Automated in-place maintenance
- Variable graphics
- Post print verification
- Production and audit reports
- Fast, real time layout changes, record cuing and system parameter adjustments
- Sort, divert and compensating stacker control
- Asian character sets
What print width configurations does the Atom come in?
The Atom, equipped with proven 2500 series DOD print arrays, will be released in both 2.55” (65mm) @ 300 DPI or 1” (25mm) @ 256 DPI versions. The Atom print engine supports a variety of fluids, inclusive of solvent and UV-curable inks, suitable for most print media.
What are the benefits and advantages of the Atom?
The Atom has been designed to deliver the affordability and ease of use of thermal inkjet systems (”TIJ”) in combination with the higher production speeds, lower consumables costs and increased fluid choices offered by the more robust and industrial piezo inkjet technology. The Atom’s all in one design also makes it highly portable and extremely easy to integrate, requiring only data to print.
What is included in an Atom Print System Kit?
The Atom requires a number of elements to prepare it for operation on most vacuum transports including the following:
- Atom print head a) 2530 or b) 1025
- Bridge mount
- Triple-shaft bridge c/w photocue mount
- 660 DPI wheel encoder and mounting hardware
- Photocue Sensor
- Ethernet terminal server
- Compose V10 Inkjet control software c/w BKLI-ATOM and BKLI-OPT-DAT licenses
Can my existing mail management software “drive” the Atom?
The Atom can receive data from any software data management package capable of outputting serial data in either a .csv or LF/FF format. Alternatively, Buskro has developed and authored a communication protocol document that can be supplied to qualified third party vendors where more optimized performance is desired. The Atom operates in a “buffer of one” mode.
How can the Atom be integrated into my existing Buskro Print System?
There are two ways in which an Atom can accept data and operate with a Buskro inkjet controller: i) configured as a slave device via one of the available serial slave ports in concert with other installed 2500/5100 series print heads, or ii) in its intended manner, directly through the Ethernet serial port when equipped with Compose V10.
What is the Release Plan for the Atom Print System?
Buskro will conduct a series of educational Atom product presentations to its distribution partners prior to March 2014 and anticipates taking orders for the first release batch by March 3, 2014 followed by Atom unit deliveries 6 weeks thereafter in mid-April 2014.It is expected that Atom unit lead times will be reduced to 4 weeks once the aforementioned initial order of Atom units have been delivered.
What speeds can be achieved with an Atom Print System?
Although the theoretical top jetting speed of the 1” Atom head is 4.0 m/s (780 fpm), maximum achievable speeds are entirely dependent on the nature of the printed image which considers the following factors: i) amount and type of variable data, ii) size of the overall image, iii) product pitch, iv) sensor location and v) 3rd party software handshake efficiency. For typical mailing applications, the Atom production speeds will fall between TIJ and Buskro 17xx series controller results. Buskro will provide examples of the maximum speeds based on font size, number of variable characters and product dimensions.
What software packages are available to "drive" the Atom?
Currently, Buskro’s Compose V10 is the only fully supported software platform for operation of the Atom. As software partners develop and implement the Buskro communication protocol to ensure compatibility with the Atom, Buskro will keep its distribution partners informed of such developments.
How many Atom Print Systems can be supported from a single PC?
At the time of release, a single PC equipped with Compose V10 is capable of supporting a single Atom configured either as a 1” or a 2.55”. Buskro also intends to develop a 5.1”
unit to be released at a later date.
How does the TCO compare to my current TIJ/cartridge-based Print System?
Generally speaking, the capital acquisition cost of an Atom is roughly twice that of a similar capacity TIJ print system, combined with a significantly higher maintenance cost when undertaken. On the other hand, assuming an ink cartridge cost of $25, TIJ ink costs are typically 3 to 5 times higher than Atom consumables. In addition, the Atom consumable set, featuring both UV and a quick-drying solvent, typically result in 30% to 90% higher production output. Buskro has prepared and will make available an Excel TCO model that permits comparison between systems which considers the following factors:
- Capital cost of the equipment
- Consumable costs
- Maintenance/repair costs and iv) achievable production speeds.
What are the typical repair costs for an Atom Print system?
We typically indicate that the customer should factor in a repair once every one to two years. The repair costs and services are outlined in the PHR document and is dependent on the number of replaced arrays along with the type of repair service requested;
i) swap-and -return (SAR) or ii) repair-and-return (RAR). Please refer to the PHR document for details on how Buskro’s Print Head Repair Program works.
How are the layouts prepared and downloaded to the Atom?
Image layouts, identified with a .pdl extension, are prepared and transferred directly to the Atom via a serial port. Two versions of Compose V10 are available for the production of such layout files (*.pdl), namely: i) a simplified version that is only capable of producing and transferring layout file , or ii) a full version that, in addition to the ability of producing and transferring layout files, also manages and sends data record to the Atom.
Compose V10 can be installed onto any Windows 7 PC with an available Ethernet port. Layouts are configured in the same way as in traditional Compose, but must be uploaded to the Atom head using the “Send PDL” tool found in Compose V10. A dongle with the BKLI-ATOM software license is required as well as an Ethernet terminal server.
Can I Install and Operate my Atom print system on a third party transport system?
The Atom can indeed be mounted on third party transports with print quality results depending on the transport’s ability to convey the product in a stable, consistent manner. Buskro recommends a high quality vacuum base such as the Buskro BK7IB to achieve optimized print quality. Factors such as low vacuum, worn or distorted belts and poor encoder belt tracking will adversely affect print quality. It is the seller/installer’s responsibility to ensure the condition of the transport is such, that desired print results can be achieved.
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