The History Of Enduring Images: Innovators In Digital Ceramic Printing

Enduring Images was formed in 2003 with a simple mission: To produce affordable, durable, personalized products (such as dishes and tile), using Michael Zimmer’s amazing invention of digital ceramic printing. We were determined not only to produce the best printing on ceramic, but also to help entrepreneurs in the United States and across North America start and grow successful ceramic printing businesses of their own.

The Influence Of Cromalin Art On Digital Ceramic Printing

While Enduring Images was founded in 2003, the seeds for the company were actually planted in the mid-1990s, based on the commercialization of a DuPont product, known as Cromalin Art. Cromalin Art was the first product in history to cost effectively produce a single, photographic quality, decal that could be applied to ceramic products, such as dinnerware and tile. The product was based on photo-sensitive film technology, and it gave rise to what has now become a thriving ceramic printing industry.

The DuPont team, which included one of the founders of Enduring Images, had great expectations for the impact of Cromalin Art. They saw it being used across a range of industries and products, from porcelain memorial portraits to outdoor signage, plumbing fixtures to tile and tableware. The breakthrough was truly remarkable: high resolution images, produced one at a time for a reasonable cost, transferred onto almost any type of ceramic surface!

The Influence Of MZ Toner Technologies On Digital Ceramic Printing

In 1999, the DuPont team toured Michael Zimmer’s factory in Germany (MZ Toner Technologies), where they saw a process that would ultimately revolutionize ceramic printing. Patented in the early 1990s, Michael Zimmer’s product had been enhanced with a number of additional patents, as the printing technology was expanded and refined. The difference between DuPont’s Cromalin Art and Zimmer’s digital ceramic printing system was like the difference between a film camera and digital camera.

The MZ Toner Technologies system could produce a ceramic decal on a digital laser copier, with the click of a mouse, whereas the Cromalin Art technique took the skill of a typesetter and the precision of surgeon. Even more striking, Zimmer’s ceramic printing system was about 10% of the cost of the Cromalin Art system, which made short-run printing realistic and affordable.

The Early Days Of Ceramic Printing At Enduring Images

At Enduring Images, we started producing digital images on ceramic by using Canon CLC copiers, which were quite difficult to operate. In the early days, we spent as much time maintaining the digital ceramic printing equipment as we did producing ceramic products. Through trial and error, though, we continued to improve the process. We were the first company in the world to initialize the Canon CLC 1180 with Michael Zimmer’s magenta toner set. We were also the first ones to use MZ Toner Technologies toners on anything other than a Canon or Agfa copier. In 2005, MZ Toner Technologies established Enduring Images as its North American distribution partner, with the intent of creating business opportunities for companies and individuals across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

More Improvements In Ceramic Digital Printing

In 2006, the Canon CLC 1180 was replaced by a new generation of Canon copiers that couldn’t print ceramic toners. Whereas other companies adapted by selling ceramic printing equipment that relied on used copiers, which were often unreliable, we chose to innovate by commercializing the Konica-Minolta ceramic printing system.

Today, our digital ceramic printers use state-of-the-art technology and improved ceramic toners to produce high-quality decals that can be applied to almost any type of ceramic surface. We remain a trusted partner of MZ Toner Technologies, and we’re also an authorized Ricoh re-seller, with a full complement of Ricoh nationwide support resources.

Having been a part of the incredible advancements in digital ceramic printing processes and equipment, we’re proud to help advance the industry, support our customers with exceptional care, and produce the highest quality printed ceramic products.

For more information on Enduring Images, our products, or our equipment, please call (800) 905-3295, or e-mail info@enduring-images.com.

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Digital Ceramic System

Digital Ceramic Printing Systems