Armor Industrial Coding & Printing
The Research & Development Department at Armor Industrial Coding & Printing is certainly one of the most impressive in the field of Thermal Transfer, with a 35-person team, and three laboratories covering an area of 1,000 m² at the Thermal Transfer Industrial and Expertise Centre. All Armor production sites throughout the world include an Applications Department.
Thanks to an annual investment of 4% of turnover, Armor is equipped with leading-edge technology and an R&D team in possession of various and highly-specialized skills.
The main objectives of Research and Development are:
- To develop new products according to the specifications supplied by the Marketing Department, while taking into account market standards and requirements, printer characteristics and specific applications - all of which must be compatible with production facilities
- To support production, particularly by making proposals for the improvement and optimization of manufacturing processes. For example SolFree® - the first 100% solvent-free process - is a tangible demonstration of R&D being fully integrated into the various stages of production
- To select raw materials, and to anticipate and follow regulations regarding chemical products (RoHS, REACH, etc.)
To attain these objectives, R&D is structured around four key areas:
- Chemistry: designers of tomorrow's products, experts in formulations and raw materials
- Applications: guarantors of product performance levels, experts in printers and print quality
- Industrialization: experts in grinding, coating and slitting, guarantors of compatibility between products and production facility
- Quality Support: provides the link between Customers, Production, Quality and the other three key areas.
Today it is the diversity of skills and the dynamism, combined with the experience of these teams, which have helped confirm the positive image of Armor products. It also enables us to offer our customers the widest product range on the market.
Armor Office Printing
Research and Development has always been at the heart of the Armor Office Printing activity. It is by investing, every single year, in its competences that Armor Office Printing became the leader on its market. More than €1.5 M is invested in R&D at the two Industrial and Expertise Centres (laser and inkjet) every year. Armor Office Printing is one of the few manufacturers in its field to have genuine legal expertise in intellectual property. This is an integral part of R&D, with a view to always developing products that are respectful of patents registered by OEMs.
The main R&D missions for the two Industrial and Expertise Centres:
- To develop new high-potential products following market research on printer/cartridge releases by original brands
- To design a new compatible printer cartridge solution which will guarantee the end user optimum performance and the highest print quality, similar to that of the OEM
- To study all the patents registered on original cartridges, so as to design - right from the outset - a compatible solution which takes these patents into account and complies with them
- To carry out in-depth analysis of all the technical performances of the original cartridges. Performances which become benchmarks for the development of Armor compatible products
- To support production with optimization of the industrialization process, throughout the life of the product
- To anticipate and respond to the necessary product modifications when new patents are registered on a cartridge during the course of its life
- To guarantee the final print quality by supporting all quality teams associated with each stage of industrialization
The Armor Office Printing R&D Department is organised around two Industrial and Expertise Centres:
- The Laser Industrial and Expertise Centre has a 10-person team, all of whom are experts in mechanics and materials science. Their role is to evaluate all the components of cartridges and find the best components and combinations which allow us to provide a print quality similar to that of the new original cartridge. R&D designs and tests multiple combinations in order to achieve a range of potential prototypes. The prototype selected as the final solution will be the one which matches or exceeds all the technical performances specified in the specification
- The Inkjet Industrial and Expertise Centre comprises a team of 14 persons, experts in ink chemistry, electronics, mechanics and materials science. Their mission is to reinvent a solution which reproduces all the technical qualities of the original cartridge whilst taking into account the numerous patents registered for the construction of the cartridge. This is quite a feat of innovation, because it is necessary not only to create, but in addition to overcome all the technological and legal barriers of the original product, whilst meeting the requirements for efficiency in terms of production costs!