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Reimageable Offset Master - A Close Look to the DICO Process Parameters

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The laser induced thermal transfer enables the first commercial available reimageable offset process in MAN Roland's DICOweb. Main steps of the cycle are: imaging, fixing, conditioning and de-imaging after the print run.

Two surface conditions of this closed loop are of particular importance: ready to image and ready to print. To obtain good adhesion of the image the surface has to be cleaned thoroughly. That means neither any remains of the previous image nor any other contamination should be present on the substrate. In this context we investigated the influence of the de-imaging step on the surface energy and thus the adhesion. Good lithographic properties in wet offset may be characterised by a sufficient contrast of image and background concerning ink and water reception. The DICO process comprises a special conditioning step to ensure that contrast.

An important parameter of a printing master is its run length stability. We examined the imaged print forms with a white light interferometer and developed a consistent model describing the connection of transfer parameters and achieved run length. Laser induced thermal transfer needs a well defined nip between donor ribbon and substrate. A configuration was developed in which appearing problems like dust and gas bubbling are solved in the DICO cycle.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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