Ink feeding systems

Ink feeding systems for Ritter ink cartridges

When using Ritter ink cartridges different ink feeding systems are available, which cover the application from ordinary cartridge guns to fully automated ink feeding systems. The described ink feeding systems are only a small selection to illustrate modes of function as based on Ritter cartridges.


The technotrans easy.fill is the ideal solution for simple, universal and extremly cost-effective dispensing from Ritter ink cartridges. The decisive factor for the printer ist the rapid and controlled availability of the desired level of ink discharge. Quick-release safety catches, integrated pressure regulator and operating pressure of max. 6.5 bar makes easy.fill a sound and reliable tool for ink discharge at the touch of a button that can be used on any printing machine. For uncompromising universal application easy.fill is allways fully equipped with bracket, long spirale cable, rapid-action coupling and connection socket.


The “little brother” of InkStar is handy.fill from technotrans, a semi-automated ink feed system that is a convenient way to get started with Ritter cartridges.

handy.fill boasts a compact, robust design and is available for all common makes and models of sheetfed offset presses. The system is pneumatically driven, with compressed air directly acting on the plunger of the ink cartridge. The ink can either be continuously or intermittently dispensed. Like with InkStar, the cartridge holder is transpar- entsoitiseasytoseehowmuchinkisleftin the cartridge at all times.
A crossbar with an integrated carriage makes possible to reposition the handy.fill and ensures a precise, neat dispensing of ink onto the fountain roller of each printing unit. handy.fill is particularly suited for less highly automated presses.
For the first time a special version of the handy.fill under the name InkStar Compact has been used as an integral part on a printing machine: the Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 52 und XL 75 Anicolor.
The printing ink is centrally dispensed into the ink fountain and evenly distributed by the rotational movement of the anilox roll in the innovative Anicolor inking system.


A fully automated ink feeding system of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG developed in cooperation with technotrans AG.

The system comprises three components:

  • A crossbar mounted above the printing unit.
  • A dosing unit with a transparent cartridge holder and a microprocessor-controlled metering, measuring, and control device.
  • A Ritter ink cartridge.

The cartridge holder is driven by an electric motor and travels back and forth on the crossbar. Pressurised air from the air compressor of the printing press is used to extrude the ink out of the cartridge. Ultrasound sensors are used to continuously monitor the ink levels in the ink fountain and the cartridge. When required, the ink in the fountain is automatically replenished. An individually settable, constantly maintained fill level ensures a highly stable printing process. When the ink cartridge is empty, visual and audio signals on the printer let the operator know that the cartridge needs changing. In addition, the fill level of cartridges and ink fountains is shown on the wall screen and on the touch screen display of the machine control center Prinect Press Center.
When the ink cartridge is empty the dosing unit goes to a reference position and au- tomatically opens the container. When the simple cartridge change procedure has been completed, the top of the cartridge container closes automatically at the touch of a button on the control panel. The system then reverts to fully automated dosing operation. A mechanical ink agitator, which is supplied as standard and easy to mount on the cartridge holder in a few simple manual steps, keeps the ink flowing freely. The amount of time needed for makeready of the press is signifi- cantly reduced. Whereas it takes two minutes to fill each ink fountain by hand from a can using a spatula, filling by InkStar – independ – ently of the number of printing units – takes about 4 minutes. All of the printing units are filled at the same time.
InkStar can be operated from the control panel of the device and from the control console of the printing machine through the electronic CANbus connection. At the same time it is possible to preset individual printing ink levels for each ink fountain.
The CANbus connection also enables operating data to be recorded. For example, the ink consumption of print jobs can be individually noted. It is also possible to use InkStar purely as an ink agitator without printing ink dosing. This mode of operation is suitable for instance when ink take-up is low or when using conventional and UV printing inks, which tend not to flow readily.
The use of InkStar improves the quality of printed items whilst relieving the operator of timeconsuming routine duties. InkStar is available for 3b format (Speedmaster XL 105, SM 102 and CD 102) as well as mid- size format (Speedmaster XL 75 and SM 74).

Ink Cartridge Gun

Besides automatic ink feed systems exist on the market also a range of pneumatic or manually driven guns. Owing to its compact design and integrated, ball-bearing transport mechanism, this gun is mainly intended for use on small- and midsize-format presses.

Gen 2 Sentinel

The Ink feeding system by Pamarco is not only suitable for the 8-lbs ink cartridge R2 but also for the 2-liter ink cartridge R1.
The Gen 2 Sentinel is equipped with programmable microprocessors and a display control system. The fill level of the cartridge is monitored and shown on an LED display. Print jobs can be mapped and stored in the system. In contrast to ink-feed by means of vacuum dosing, the Gen 2 Sentinel provides real savings in terms of printing ink and de- ployment of personnel.