CleverIR ACE: High Speed Printing

The need for speed in printing applications



In printing equipment, the objective is to increase printingspeed, while maintaining (or even improving) print qualityand consistency. Printers that achieve this goal allow formore print jobs in one day, resulting in increased profitability. Solution: Accurate and reliable infrared temperature sensors play a rolein achieving this.
For high speed printing processes, the limiting factor on
the productivity of the equipment is usually the drying / curing time. To maximize the speed without quality loss, it is important to be able to determine quickly when the substrate is sufficiently dry or cured.

For instance: the surface temperature of a “wet” substrate will change (rise) very slowly as constant heat is applied to the product. This occurs because the moisture in the substrate absorbs much of the heat energy as it evaporates. At the point that the substrate becomes “dry”, however, the same constant heat supply will quickly raise the temperature until it reaches the same as the surrounding air. This is called the dry-out point.


The challenge is to increase printing speeds by optimizing the drying process: even with increased speeds it must be assured that the printed substrate is dried in the same speed. If the printed substrate is not dried sufficiently, the end result will be poor quality.
Assuring sufficient drying can only be achieved when the dry out point of the printed substrate is measured and controlled with infrared temperature sensors. Contact sensors cannot be used in such dynamic systems.

This requires infrared temperature sensors that:

• Are accurate within the relevant temperature range

• Remain stable in changing ambient temperatures

• Have fast response time to monitor high printing speeds and provide quick feedback

• Allow for cleaning of the lens

• Yield reproducible results: consistency is key to finetune the drying process

• Are small size to be mounted in confined spaces of drying equipment



CleverIR’s ACE sensor platform is ideally suitable to monitor and control drying processes. The innovative ACE sensor
is the smallest non-contact infrared temperature sensor available on the market and distinguishes itself by its “performance beyond belief”.

This means:    

• unprecedented consistency:

• repeatability error < 0,1 ̊C (0.18 ̊F)

• interchangeability error ± 0,3 ̊C (0.54 ̊F)

• ambient temperature up to 100 ̊C (212 ̊F), meaning the sensor will generate reproducible and reliable readings even in changing ambient conditions.

The sensor can be calibrated and optimized for specific (drying) applications. Airpurge cooling and cleaning is available, and the long-term stability of the sensors assure printers will run smoothly for prolonged periods of time

So, let’s wrap up:

Choosing the ACE sensor platform to optimize your printing and drying processes, has many advantages:

• increased production by increasing the drying speed

• increased quality of the printed product

• less down time

• reduced costs as processes are automated and no operator is required

• increased profitability and return of investment for the printing equipment

Download this Application Note as PDF