New technology extremely facilitates aircraft decorating

Dutch robot manufacturer XYREC has developed a new robot-based printing technology for aircrafts. In February, the technology was successfully demonstrated in Hamburg by printing a large digital image on an Airbus A320 fuselage. Peter Boeijink, CEO of XYREC is certain: “The demonstration marks the beginning of a new era in aircraft painting. Our partners have done a great job. This remarkable technology is the outcome of an international industrial collaboration of the best in class.”
The unique solution for decorating aircraft uses inkjet technology for digital printing and ink instead of paint. The printer will be implemented in XYREC’s automated paint robot for aircraft, which will be the largest robot in the world. It is capable of handling an entire airplane, which until now has not been possible. XYREC developed this technology in cooperation with Southwest Research Institute, Airbus and Marabu.

Printing by robot means new creative possibilities

The development of this revolutionary printer addresses a growing demand from airline operators to paint more intricate designs on their aircrafts.
The technology consists of an automated process that enables operators to decorate the full body of an aircraft in every design and all colors fast and efficiently in a fixed amount of time. Adam Hamilton, CEO of Southwest Research Institute states: “I am pleased that our research efforts provided an elegant and innovative solution for applying high-fidelity graphics”.
Current painting techniques make use of manual masking and spray guns. The result are complicated and lengthy processes. Therefore, the development offers new degrees of freedom and invites creativity. The technology will offer new and fast opportunities for branding and advertising on airplanes.
The paint for the printing technology was developed in cooperation with Marabu, a supplier for inkjet inks, primers and liquid coatings. Mr. Boeder, CEO of Marabu emphasizes: “We are very pleased that our unique ink development led to this result. We are looking forward to see a bloom in beautifully decorated aircraft”.

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The new printing technology will massively accelerate the decorating process for aircraft. Source: XYREC