Digital Printing - Sept 2010

Bigger flatbeds and new media handling system contribute to faster production

Oce Arizona 550 XT The recently launched high-speed Océ Arizona 550 XT has doubled the size of flatbed compared to the earlier 550 GT, aimed at high capacity print providers.

The new Arizona 550 XT has a rigid media size up to 2.5 m wide x 3.05 m long x 50 mm thick and prints approximately twice as fast as the 350 GT printer, and three times as fast when printing banner and outdoor work. Importantly, the image quality of the Arizona 550 XT is superior to all competitive systems, claims Océ.

The Océ 550 XT display graphics printer reaches out to high capacity print providers, typically companies printing larger (or many smaller) jobs of graphics for sign and display applications, for whom total or peak capacity is crucial. Perfect for the most demanding graphics applications, it can produce more than 40 square metres of high quality printing per hour, or more than 100 full-size (125 xx 250 cm) boards per eight-hour shift.

Unlike most high capacity flatbed printers, the Océ Arizona 550 XT printer features an extra-large flatbed table for oversized rigid media or objects and provides image quality suitable for closely-viewed point-of-purchase signage. The image quality is also suitable for printing on transparent media for use as illuminated backlit signs such as those in the cosmetics section of large department stores.

The Océ Arizona 550 XT employs the same Océ VariaDot™ imaging technology used in other members of the award winning Océ Arizona family.

White Ink and Roll Media Options are available. Significantly, the Arizona 550 XT printer offers the lowest ink consumption rate in the market, generating savings of up to 50%, says Océ.

A larger printing area is also a significant feature of Fujifilm's new Acuity Advance HS X2 wide format UV inkjet printer.

The latest in the successful Acuity HS series is capable of printing onto substrates up to 3.05m x 2.5m and up to 48mm thick with minimal heat output through its highly efficient UV curing system, that's double the printing area of the Advance HS which was launched as recently as March this year.

Utilising many of the leading features of the other Acuity platforms, the Acuity Advance HS X2 meets the demands for a cost effective, high quality printer with great productivity, and is an ideal device for printers who produce large format POP and exhibition graphics.

An optional roll-to-roll module allows for greater flexibility, whilst achieving print speeds of 30 sq.m./hr in production mode and 50 sq.m./hr express mode.

The Acuity Advance HS X2's print bed has a dual zoning system with independent vacuum control which holds all types of media, including irregularly shaped substrates with uneven surfaces, ensuring accurate registration on multiple passes. As the substrate can be prepared in one zone while an image is printed in the second, or while the roll media unit is printing, downtime is minimised, increasing throughput.

This new printer also offers the possibility of an additional white ink option to complement the standard CMYK set. Using Fujifilm's uniquely formulated Uvijet KI ink series, it offers fantastic post print finishing properties. Fujifilm's proprietary Micro-V dispersion technology is incorporated in the ink providing strong vibrant colours, with wide adhesion.

Another product launch from Fujifilm is designed to increase printing throughput is the Onset S20 handling system.

Fitting perfectly with the Onset S20 machine, its design and simplicity is designed to improve material handing efficiency by up to 36% whilst maintaining the flexibility of swapping between substrate types and sizes which is such an important factor for printers.

The Onset S20 is a UV curing inkjet flatbed printer that can print edge to edge onto rigid and flexible substrates at production speeds of 275 sq.m./hr and 50 full bed sheets (3.14 x 1.6m), with the ability to process substrates as thick as 50mm to give users even more flexibility in wide format UV flatbed printing.

Contact Details: Océ
Tel. 0870 600 5544

Contact Details: Fujifilm
Tel. 01234 245245

Speedy printing and dual roll abilities to tempt customers

HP Scitex LX600
Two new HP printers from William Smith, the HP Scitex LX600 (104ins/2.6m) and super-wide Scitex LX800 (126ins/3.2m), utilise optional dual roll functionality to offer faster production speeds with high quality print.

The dual roll functionality allows the full width of the printer to be used to enable continuous and automatic adjustment of tension between the two media rolls; rolls of varying widths and length can be accommodated and two different jobs can be printed at the same time.

Prints come off the Scitex range dry and ready to display, laminate or finish, meaning from print to vehicle wrap can be as little as 30 minutes. The Scitex machines have automatic colour calibration to produce consistency of colour and constant 1200dpx x 1200dpi printing.

The speed and efficiency of operation and productivity on HP's new Scitex FB500 UV ink printer, also available from William Smith, is largely due to its facility to print and load media simultaneously. Ideal for high volume production, up to four sheets of media can be loaded quickly with the aid of the printer's integral automated alignment and positioning features and no masking is required.

The FB500 offers exceptional image quality (up to 1200 x 600 optimised dpi) on virtually any rigid or flexible material (even corrugated plastic), with good ink adhesion. Quality is maintained when producing double-sided prints, matt or gloss and full bleeds, and it is easier than ever to use white ink for undercoats, overcoats and spot colour. A choice of printing speeds up to 37 sq.m/hr (398 sq.ft./hr) for prints that will be viewed at long distance, allows the user to select the appropriate combination of speed and quality to meet individual customer requirements.

Furthermore, no printhead maintenance is required and the machine can be monitored remotely via the HP Embedded Web Server, thereby minimising downtime. Print shop space can also be optimised with folding tables that store easily when the printer is not in use.

Contact details: William Smith
Tel. 01833 694707

Grapo Gemini X10/1080UVThe latest offering from Grapo Technologies, the Gemini X10/1080UV, is another flatbed printer claiming to far surpass the speed of earlier machines. In this case, with speeds of up to 90 sq.m./hr, the new Gemini claims double the speed of previous generation Manta printers when printing with white ink at 15-30 square metres per hour. High quality printing of skin tones and better quality flat colours also differentiate this new printer, says Grapo.

The new Gemini has a printing area of 2x3 metre for rigid sheets as well as the ability to handle rolls up to 165 cm. Capable of printing on rigid substrates as well as roll-to-roll, it's designed to offer new business potential to sign and display printers at an affordable price point.

The Gemini features CMYK and white ink and is being targeted at screen printers seeking to move to digital as well as at digital sign printers wanting to migrate from solvent printing.

Much of this new capability is enabled by the 10 XAAR 1001 printing heads with unique Through-Flow™ system and variable drop sizes for greyscale printing embodied in this new generation printer, as compared to eight printing heads with a fixed drop size of the previous generation.

Contact details: Grapo Technologies
Tel. +42 0587 435631

Printing onto textiles offers new opportunities

Durst Rhotex 320 printerRoland DG promotional image promoting their new dye sublimation solution for its VersaArt series.
One area that has seen good growth in recent years for sign makers looking to widen their markets is the printing onto textiles. Printed fabric graphics are lightweight, easy to handle and fold, which cuts down storage space and transportation costs, and whether it's production of flags, banners, wallcoverings or other promotional items, this is a market that looks like it's set to continue growing in years to come.

In the July/Aug 2010 issue of Sign Update we featured Mutoh's new Viper TX printers and almost all of the major machine manufacturers have developed systems to print onto textiles.

Durst launched its Rhotex 320 industrial textile printer for soft signage at this summer's FESPA event, claiming it as the first inkjet printer for the industrial soft signage sector.

Unlike other textile printers which either use harmful solvent based inks or small cartridges of water-based inks for short print runs, the Rhotex is a true industrial standard printer. The Rhotex uses water-based dispersed dye inks which are entirely environmentally friendly, recyclable and disposable. The dyes are harmless to the skin, completely odour-free and produce no VOCs. They are also flame-retardant and provide bright, vibrant and impactful images. In addition, they comply with the Blue Wool scale 7 and can therefore be used in an outdoor application for up to two years and printing does not affect the textile's inherent feel.

The Rhotex's robust design and reliability provides for continuous operation and unattended printing. It utilises MEMS technology long-life piezo inkjet print heads to print up to 70 sq.m./hr at 600dpi in six colours.

Productivity is further enhanced by the ability to print two 1.6 metre rolls with different print queues, simultaneously. Other features include an automatic, self-cleaning jet system for continuous industrial printing and a controllable hot air drying system for consistent drying over the whole width of the printed material. Material-specific machine settings can be stored and recalled in the media channel and the dispensing system also includes a fold- compensation device and an antistatic system.

For soft signage, apparel and interior décor, Roland DG Corporation has developed a new dye sublimation solution for its VersaArt series of four-colour CMYK wide-format inkjet printers.

The new VersaArt S series sublimation printers deliver rich, vivid saturated colours and exceptional print quality while optimising productivity and performance, all at an affordable price. Two models are available: the 64" RS-640S and the 54" RS-540S.

Businesses can easily add sublimation to their workflow with a VersaArt S Series, to give a competitive advantage as well as a quick return on investment. The new printers are designed for easy operation and to deliver unmatched print quality and reliable performance for applications ranging from soft signage and apparel to interior décor items.

VersaArt sublimation printers are flexible production tools featuring Roland's proven SBL2 sublimation inks and patent-pending Roland Intelligent Pass Control technology for exceptional print quality in every mode. They produce vivid images well at print speeds up to 31.8 sq.m./hr (342.6 sq.ft./hr) and are also available as eco-solvent models featuring Roland ECO-SOL MAX ink. All Roland inkjets come complete with VersaWorks, Roland's professional RIP software for precision colour management.

Contact details: Durst

Contact details: Roland DG
Tel. 08452 309060

SwissQprint Impala - New flatbed offers up to nine colours

SwissQprint Impala Printer

SwissQprint has brought out a UV flatbed that can print in up to nine colours (or add primer and varnish) on a wide range of stock up to 2.5m wide x 4m in length. The Impala printer is available this autumn.

The standard CMYK may be supplemented by up to five additional channels, including effect varnish, or primer for printing onto media that have traditionally resisted inkjet methods. An adjustable vacuum system retains standard panels as well as heat-sensitive substrates and mesh. The anodised printing table can carry media as heavy as 400kg.

Contact details
Tel. +41 717 271190

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