Digital CtS direct exposure
Regardless of the SignTronic StencilMaster that you opt for, we can guarantee in any case that our Computer-to-Screen technology results in an optimal direct exposure in reproducible quality, with the desired resolution.
At SignTronic, and CtS exposure test always starts with a density test, as every customer has different requirements and differing parameters. Test files show the available possibilities and demonstrate what you can achieve with state-of-the-art Computer-to-Screen technology (from 3% to 97% dots on the printing form, fine lines up to 50 micron, etc.). This procedure demonstrates what meshes, emulsions, layer thicknesses, etc., are required for obtaining an optimal curing and exposure quality. At the same time, we also evaluate the process time and exposure costs - in a reproducible quality and on a binding basis!
Are you still using film for working and copying? And are you looking for alternatives to counteract the continuously rising film expenses and considerable quality losses?
Our CtS direct exposure technology is the alternative you have been looking for.
These are your advantages at a single glance:
FILM-FREE screen making without vacuum frame and without copying lamp; considerably shorter process sequences; a reduced number of work steps and as a result lower costs per screen printing form.
The technology is based on the following component modules:
- Strong UV light source
- DMD micro-mirror array
- High-quality ZEISS optics with self-focusing
- Control unit OECU
- Operating software STPrint V.4
- Servo-motors for multiple axis control
- Horizontal exposure carriage with air-cushioned shuttle
This CtS direct exposure technology is developed and manufactured by our company in the well-known Swiss quality.
The quality of the used optical equipment is of prime importance for excellent exposure results.
As we categorically refuse to compromise in this field, we only rely on the high-quality "Optics by ZEISS".
Strengths of the Zeiss optics: fast lenses with high light transmission, maximum stability and precision.
The optical engine OE guarantees an industrial direct exposure and comes in two versions:
- Version 1 - 1270 dpi and 1609 dpi
- Version 2 - 2400 dpi and 3040 dpi
The decisive advantage is that - even after many years of use and countless cleaning and maintenance services - the selected resolution remains stable and unchanged!
The core of the new fourth generation of CtS direct exposure systems developed by our company is the OECU (Optical Engine Controller Unit).
The OECU as the central control unit interlinks all the processes for the exposure head. This unit not only controls DMD's of the latest generation but also the high-precision drive units for the X- and Z-axes.
SignTronics CtS direct exposure technology is based on the micro-mirror array developed by Texas Instruments (DMD stands for Digital Micro-mirror Device).
The OECU control unit can control different DMD types (0.7 XGA 4100 / 0.95 - 1080p).
The task of the UV light source consists in fully covering the particular requirements related to screen printing. For practical purposes, this means that an important light output is needed directly on the screen, with a wavelength range as wide as possible.
Since a short time SignTronic offers the new, revolutionary and modular LED_Q4 / Gen.6 technology. This new standard offers maximum UV performance combined with a lot of flexibility and modular design. Up to 4 wavelengths can be equipped (365nm, 385nm, 395nm, 405nm). Water cooling with chiller, stand-by operation and a maximum power control between 10-100% are part of the new LED_Q4 Technology.
Based on the MODULAR-CtS-CONCEPT SignTronic offers different variants of UV light sources:
The special high power SignTronic UV CPL lamps are designed for highest demands (wavelength range between 350 nm - 420 nm, optional up to 525nm).
The compact LED DUO / Gen.4 concept with water cooling. Various UV LEDs with wavelengths of 385 mm and 405 nm are used. The MODULAR CtS CONCEPT offers each customer the best solution for him.
The RICB board (Remote Image Control Board) ensures that the StencilMaster exposure quality can be easily monitored and maintained.
Three areas are measured and if required re-adjusted:
- Checking of the basic mechanical setting of the exposure head, including measurement of the autofocus
- Light measurements on the entire exposure surface of the DMD, with automatic mask preparation
- Light measurement with automatic re-adjustment of the capacity and of the exposure speed
Depending on the planned size and application, the StencilMasters are available in four different resolutions.
The standard resolution, regardless of screen printing form size, is 1270 dpi (20 micron pixel size). Other resolutions are available as variants:
- 1609 dpi (15,78 Mikron Pixelgrösse)
- High Resolution HR2 / 2400 dpi (10,58 Mikron)
- High Resolution HR3 / 3040 dpi (8,35 Mikron)
SignTronic guarantees that the specified resolution is actually maintained according to the specifications. This means, for new machines and even years later - unchanged quality of the original resolution.
No shifting or deterioration of the resolution!
The basis for a high-quality direct exposure in highest precision is the basic construction made of high-quality and solid steel.
The multi-axis system is mounted on the steel structure, an air-bearing drive ensures vibration-free transmission and the unique drive system operates in the horizontal direction. This allows bidirectional exposure with the highest precision.
Where light hits the direct emulsion is cured. The exposure format is to be selected larger than the print format. Exposure position and orientation are freely selectable.
What information is important?
- Maximum external frame format
- Maximum exposure format
The exposure costs are composed as follows:
- Costs for the light source (UV lamp or UV-LED)
- Preventive and corrective machine maintenance
The costs of a CtS direct exposure are considerably lower than when using conventional film, as this material is rather expensive and requires a high number of process steps.
CtS direct imaging represents a technological leap. Workflows and automation reduce current costs enormously.
It is crucial that all the departments involved - ArtWork/RIP, stencil department and print shop - work hand in hand.