An Interview with Tom Roetker of Memjet
Following Memjet’s announcement of their new color print engine earlier this week, we were granted to the opportunity to go one-on-one with a member of their team to gather more information. Below is the transcript of our interview, conducted via email, with Mr. Tom Roetker, vice president of engineering, Memjet Labels.
1)In the press release, it states "the ink delivery system is highly flexible and compatible with a wide range of ink supply cartridges, including customer specific solutions." Can you expand on this a little bit?
OEMs have a desire to make a printer to fit their market needs, and this new print engine offers several off the shelf sizes of ink consumables from 100ml to 2 liters or they can design their own ink tanks. This allows OEMs to offer consumables to end users that fit how the printer is used.
2) It appears that once again, Memjet is poised to "disrupt" the industry with this new technology. What type of costs are involved in purchasing either the fully-assembled kit, or purchasing in parts?
There is no standard cost because Memjet allows the OEM to pick the parts that they need to complete their product so they pay for only the parts that they need. This allows OEMs to design a cost competitive machine that matches the unique needs of their market.
3)When many people think of Sirius, the first thing that may come to mind is the sat. radio provider. Can you talk a little bit about how that name was created/chosen, and is there any significance with the 12G, as well?
Sirius is a name used by Memjet for communication with our OEM customers so they have an easy to remember name to communicate about their needs. As Sirius is the brightest night star, the development team selected this name to represent a bright new way to offer flexible, high performance printing technology.
4) When could interested parties hope to begin using this type of technology? Do you have (Without getting too specific) any partners lined up who have already been working with this technology?
Since the system is modular, the Sirius design allows more differentiation opportunities for the OEM. They have more flexibility around incorporating the printing engine into their system. This allows fast integration of various material handling systems to integrate with the print engine and it allows a lot of freedom to print on any surface that can be moved under the print head.
For example, the first OEM to introduce a product using this technology is Trojan Label. Their Trojan 2 product is a mini press to serve customers who want to offer roll to roll production of labels and are not ready to purchase a large capacity digital press. As additional OEMs release products using this print engine, they will have a high degree of differentiation from bench top up to and including mini presses due to the flexibility around what can be printed on, the wide variety of ways OEM?s can transport the object being printed on, and the ability to integrate finishing stations with the print engine.
5) I know from previous conversations with Memjet that the printhead itself is very scalable. Is this new print engine equally scalable?
Yes, this engine uses Memjet?s page wide printhead technology which allows OEMs to add performance as new printhead and ink technology advances are released. For example, OEMs can quickly switch to higher performance print heads, offer advances in printing software such as RIPs and advanced half toning, and offer new inks with unique capabilities with minimal or no upgrade cost to end users.
Tom Roetker is the vice president of engineering Memjet Labels. Tom directs product development of print mechanisms for label printing applications. Additionally, he leads the development of high speed print engines for label printing and various industrial printing applications and develpos new MEMS devices, fluidics control and management hardware, embedded software for high speed image processing, image science software, color science software.