Xitron completes installation of Navigator DFE at Florida-based IGT, which prints scratch-off lottery tickets; software allows IGT to digitally print variable indicia at high speeds, variable bar codes retailers scan to authenticate winning game pieces

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ANN ARBOR, Michigan , April 15, 2022 (press release) –

Purpose-built press prints scratch-off lottery tickets

Xitron, a subsidiary of Hybrid Software Group and the developer of Harlequin-based Navigator RIP and workflow products for commercial, flexo, screen, digital, and high-speed inkjet printing has announced the successful installation of the scalable Navigator Digital Front End at IGT in Lakeland, Florida. Revolutionary advancements in digital printing capability have allowed Xitron, Memjet, and Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC) to partner on this first-of-its-kind application and succeed with excellent results.

An innovator in instant ticket games, IGT sought alternatives to current, single-color technology used to print scratch-off (instant) lottery tickets, ultimately deciding on a full-color digital imaging solution. The result was not just the ability to print the variable indicia at high speeds, but the artwork as well, including the variable bar codes retailers scan to authenticate winning game pieces. 

“Since the late 1980s, printing instant tickets has been a multi-stage process where the majority of printing was done on flexo presses with the indicia applied using a 240-dpi electrostatic print unit,” explained Keith Cash, IGT VP and General Manager of Instant Products. “Using the Memjet DuraLink printheads and Xitron Navigator DFE, IGT can print full-color tickets at 1600 x 1580 dpi on a wide web format.” 

Primers, security coatings, and the scratch-off material are applied flexographically on the same press, which is over 300 feet in length.

IGT’s patented process provides several benefits that were impossible to achieve prior to the DuraLink/Navigator integration. “First, every ticket can now be different, which means we can fine-tune artwork and design to the audience demographic,” Cash explained. “Second, we’ve added another layer of accuracy and reliability since the symbols are now printed as rich, or four-color black instead of single color.”

Xitron’s scalable Digital Front End (DFE) based on the Harlequin core renders the incoming jobs, spreading the data across 16 RIPs housed on four PC platforms. The raster data is routed directly to the Memjet DuraLink printheads without writing any data to disk (a security concern), allowing the press to run at incredible speeds, even with extremely high levels of variable data. 

Xitron’s president, Karen Crews commented, “This is a remarkable achievement by Xitron’s engineers and our partners at Memjet and PCMC. The fact that we can interpret and deliver this volume of data at the speeds required is a testament to their dedication and effort.”

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