Frequently Asked Questions for CMYK Printing

What is the difference between PM 836 and PM 417?  
The PM-836 has a maximum print width of 8.36” (2 sets of printheads heads stitched together)
The PM-417 has a maximum print width of 4.17” (1 set of printheads)

What is the Maximum print area? 
PM-836: 8.36in x 30in (212mm x 762mm)
PM-417: 4.17in x 15in (106mm x 381)

What is the minimum print area? 
The minimum page size a printhead will accept is 1in x 1/8” (25mm x 6mm).

What is the resistance of the ink to sunlight, rain and weather?
There are two types of ink:
Dye has slightly more intense colors but is not resistant to light or water.
Pigment ink is resistant to sun and water. 
See  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSnZz0QsG9s

Can UV ink be used?
Both the Dye and Pigment inks are water based and do not dry with UV. Water based inks require the surface being printed on to be porous or coated with an inkjet receptive coating. If a Sharpie or wet pen does not dry instantly on the surface, our ink will most likely not work on that substrate.

What is the throw distance of the printhead?
For best quality printing a flat substrate is preferred. The print engines we use have a very good throw distance and can throw the ink up to 4mm before quality start tapering off. This is good for napkin printing or the substrates that are not perfectly flat. Note that the farther the printhead is away from the poor registration between CMYK will be.

Can the printer print on glass, metal, or plastic? 
NO, the water based ink cannot print on any surface that is not porous or inkjet treated as explained above.

How much ink is used per print?
Each print is different - the only way to determine how much ink is used per impression (or how long a cartridge will last) is to use our cost calculator: https://postmark-usa.com/cost-calculator

Where does Postmark Equipment Ship from? 
Equipment, parts and supplies are sold and delivered from USA or Denmark.

Where is Postmark Equipment Manufactured?
San Luis Obispo, CA

What is the basic unit and what are the attachments that are sold separately?
The system is composed of several modules and options. For a complete system you will need the following:

Print Engine: PM-417 or PM-836
Encoder: Sold seperate from print system
Transport Device: CV1242, CV1860, Vacuum base, Conveyor
Feeding Device: Hand Feeding, MPF12, MPF18, Feeder
Software: Information here
Ink: Pigment or Dye

Are there any specific instructions for electrical installation?
The PM-417 and PM-836 accept 88-264VAC.

What is the warranty equipment and supplies? 
One year - except for all consumable items , which includes print heads and ink,  as their wear depends on the manner of use and countless variables that are out of control to the manufacturer. 

Please visit our Knowledge base
for more technical information


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Choosing Software for Postmark PM-417 and PM-836 CMYK Printers

This article will help explain the different software options Postmark is offering for our PM-417 and PM-836 printers.

Postmark has two main offerings of software for our CMYK Printers.

  1. Composer (Xijet Composer)

  2. Maestro Software (Xitron Navigator)

Each of these software options have different flavors depending on the customer’s application. The Composer software is a great software choice for marking, coding, and automation while the Maestro software is more centered around graphics and commercial printing.

Lets start with the Composer software which has two different flavors. (Manual)

  • Composer Software - Workflow and RIP (COMPCMYK)

  • Composer Software - Read & Print, Remote Interface (COMPCMYK-RP)

Composer Software - Workflow and RIP

This is the basic version of composer which will allow a user to create a layout including barcodes, text boxes and images and send them to the printer. A database can be loaded into the software and barcodes, text boxes, and images can be linked to this database for variable data printing. This software is a good fit for customers in the marking in coding industry for printing lot codes, serial numbers, addresses, and other data that may need to change from one piece to another. All layouts must be made in composer and color adjustment is not available. If a user is looking to print a high quality logo and have spot color adjustment, this is not the correct choice. If a customer wants PDF support, this is not the correct choice.

Composer Software - Read & Print, Remote Interface

This version of composer includes everything listed above for Composer Software - Workflow and RIP, but adds two interfaces into composer which can be helpful in automating the printer. The first of these is a read and print interface which allows an external device (such as a camera or PLC) to send data to composer. Composer can then take that data and print corresponding data based on what it was sent. In addition to the read and print interface, a remote interface is also available which allows the entire composer software to be controlled via RS-232 or TCP Communication (documentation available here). This version of composer is really only necessary for advanced users who will be integrating printers into larger systems.

Moving on to the Maestro Software (Manual)
Maestro is a re-branding of Xitron Navigator software. Xitron has been a leading developer of Harlequin Rip and workflow solutions and their navigator workflow software is a great package for customers needing PDF and pantone color matching support. As like the composer software, there are also two different flavors of software available along with some other options which will be explained below.

  • Maestro Software - RIP (XT-RIP)

  • Maestro Software - PDF and Color Management (XT-MTO)

Maestro Software - RIP

This is a stripped down version of the Navigator software package and is usually used customers that need a Rip (Raster image processor) that can break down a PDF file into Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black files and send them to to the printer. The RIP as a standalone product is uncommonly used by most customers and is only recommended for special applications.

Maestro Software - PDF and Color Management

This is the full workflow solution available from Xitron and includes Hot folders, color matching, and lots of customization for users to tailor the software to fit their needs. This software allows the user to make workflows which each job will follow through. Jobs are usually submitted by either selecting a PDF or having a PDF put into a hot folder that the software monitors. Once the job enters into the system it will follow the workflow actions and can do color corrections, size corrections, and even special imposition corrections on the job before sending it to the printer. This allows users to easily customize the software for different sized substrates so they can standardized their artwork.

The Maestro software also has some other options available with it - these are options the user may want.

  • Maestro Remote Installation - Xitron (810-0200-037)

  • Maestro Support Agreement - Xitron 1 year (810-0100-031)

  • Maestro Software embedded in PC plus 1 year support (XT-MTO-BPC)

  • Maestro Service Support and Installation for 1 year (PM-SUP)

  • Maestro per instance support fee without an agreement (810-0100-112)

Maestro Remote Installation
This option is for Xitron to connect to your computer remotely, install their software and setup the software based on a user’s requirements.
This option does not include a software licence.

Maestro Support Agreement - Xitron 1 year
This option is 1 year of direct support from Xitron and does not include remote installation and training.
This option does not include a software licence.

Maestro Software embedded in PC plus 1 year support
This option includes a computer with the software pre-installed (with licence) as well as 1 year off support from Xitron. This package is highly recommended for customers that are not familiar with the Xitron software, Industrial printing, or CMYK printing.

Maestro Service Support and Installation for 1 year
This option is for Xitron to connect to your computer remotely, install their software and setup the software based on a user’s requirements. It also includes 1 year of direct support from Xitron.
This option does not include a software licence.

Maestro per instance support fee without an agreement
This is the support cost for customers requiring support from Xitron without one of the support options listed above.