One of the main reasons was the new computer-to-glass (CTG) system, which had already attracted a great deal of attention in the run-up to the show.
The CTG system exhibited on the Thieme stand, based on a electrophotographic printing method developed by Schott, was almost unanimously declared as the "process of the future" by all visitors. "The entire glass processing sector is increasingly focusing on the topic of digital photography", commented Klaus Messmer, Sales Manager for industrial screen printing systems at Thieme. "For us this confirms that we are on the right track and that digital systems are steadily gaining in importance in the glass sector."
The machine concept on show was a monochrome system with a printing width of 914 mm however in the not-too-distant future both partners are planning the development of systems with up to four colours and a maximum printing width of 2700 mm. The application of the ceramic colours on the glass is a dry, solvent-free process which does not require power intensive drying processes - similar to the printing principle of laser printers and copying machines; the toner is already fused on the glass surface during printing. Due to the short tooling times and the high printing speed this new technology also permits economical customised batch printing in small lots.
Innovations also in conventional glass screen printing
In addition to the CTG system Thieme also presented new developments in the glass screen printing sector, including a further development of the fully-automatic THIEME 3000 GS AM screen printing system as well as a dryer module developed in collaboration with Tesoma GmbH from Saxony, which permits a particularly uniform drying process across the full working width.
"In addition to digital printing we will naturally continue to develop our successful screen printing technology", commented Klaus Messmer emphatically, "as screen printing is and will remain an important process in glass processing - and it is also our goal to stay at the top in this field."