Wide-format Inkjet
Epson introduced a new wide-format printer to produce digital dye-sublimation transfers for a range of polyester textile and apparel applications. The 64-inch Epson SureColor F9370 provides speeds up to 1,169 square feet/hour and features an integrated new fabric wiping system coupled with what the company describes as a highly accurate roll-to-roll media support system to handle economical lightweight transfer papers.

Designed to support high-speed, economical, medium- to large-volume dye-sublimation transfer printing, the SureColor F9370 replaces the SureColor F9200 to join Epson’s complete line of SureColor F-Series printers, including the SureColor F6200 and SureColor F7200.

The SureColor F9370 leverages dual PrecisionCore TFP printheads and Epson’s latest dye-sublimation ink technology – Epson UltraChrome DS with High-Density Black. The new media feed system also provides support for heavier media rolls and transfer paper as thin as 40gsm to support a range of production needs – from fabric production and customized promotional production to soft signage, cut-and-sew sports apparel and home décor applications.
Ricoh has unveiled the new Pro T7210 wide-format flatbed system, with a high level of media flexibility, aimed at the decorative-printing market. The T7210 supports substrates up to 4.3 inches thick with a print size of 6.9 feet by 10.5 feet. Ricoh explains this large print area allows users to print on one four-foot-by-eight-foot board or a variety of pre-cut pieces. For example, three three-foot-by-six-foot boards can be printed on together at the same time.

The T7210 prints at speeds of 50 m2/hour, or 538.2 ft2/hour, during standard operation. Ricoh also points to the new system’s media gap adjustment sensor that automatically measures substrate thickness and adjusts print heads accordingly. The system also leverages Ricoh’s high-viscosity UV ink and its patented piezoelectric print heads.

“The business model for decor printing is evolving with increased demand for shorter runs and faster delivery times for custom and small-batch wall coverings, flooring, furniture and tile,” said John Fulena, Vice President, Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group, Ricoh USA. “The T7210 gives printers the ability to do all of that, and it makes doing it easy, and effective.”
After releasing the Impala and Nyala LED models earlier this year, swissQprint is now introducing the Oryx LED UV flatbed printer. All three printers run on a newly refined mechanical basis with the availability of LED technology. The Oryx printer will be available from November 2017.

“Since Impala LED and Nyala LED were launched, we see the bulk of customers preferring the LED solution over mercury vapour lamps,” said Maurus Zeller, head of product management with swissQprint.

The Oryx LED has a maximum output of 65 square metres per hour and a 2.5 x 2 metre print bed. It joins Impala LED, which shares the same dimensions while outputting up to 180 square metres per hour, and Nyala LED, with 206 square metres per hour from a 3.2 x 2 metre print bed.

swissQprint explains each machine is built to customer requirements and may have options added at any time thereafter. The company’s machines offer up to nine colour channels, an option for roll media, the board option for oversized formats up to four metres long, and a loading and unloading robot.
Lucas Crossley, Regional Manager, Canada, Mimaki, discusses advances in wide-format-inkjet imaging technologies.
Keith Soya, Application Specialist with Zund America, discusses advances in cutting technologies.
Durst Phototechnik AG has worked in partnership with Serom to create Digital Patternware technology that allows inkjet label printers to produce patterns, security lettering and textures on most any inkjet substrates. The patterns printing is done simultaneously with the main printing on the Durst Tau UV inkjet label press.

Digital Patternware forms a print pattern using different heights of digital printing with the Tau UV ink on the surface to form patterns and shapes giving 3-dimentional effects. The various texture effects and patterns change depending on angle of light, and watermark patterns and characters for the security reasons can also be done digitally on the Durst Tau 330 Series platform. Patternware allows for the watermark, variable code, image, pattern or logo to be hidden.

Durst explains conventional technologies used to create textured effects include the lenticular method, engraving or embossing the printing roll or using a specially textured printing medium. The company explains these conventional methods have limitations like lack of accuracy, low productivity and high development cost.
Nustream Group, which previously announced in February the creation of a new business focus on the sign and display market, is introducing two large-format substrate collections in this segment, including  the Veramax Large-Format Aqueous-Coated Collection and the Veramax Large-Format Solvent-Coated Substrate Collection.

The Veramax Large-Format Aqueous-Coated Collection provides substrates for Canon, Epson and HP water-based inkjet printing. The line is aimed at applications like labels and signage in addition to current proof or CAD prints.

The Veramax Large-Format Solvent-Coated Collection provided a larger variety of substrates, as it is compatible with most solvent, eco-solvent, Latex or UV-curable inkjet printers available from manufacturers like HP, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland and Seiko among others.
CET Color, a manufacturer of wide-format UV flatbed and hybrid printers based in Atlanta, Georgia, has introduced the 3200UVRTR printer, which is a 126 inch roll to roll UV printer. It leverages two Kyocera print heads and can include up to four. This unit has the capability of C, Y, M, K, Lc, Lm and WW ink configurations and supports Onyx or Caldera RIP software.

The unit is able to print on various substrates like banner, backlit, mesh and vinyl. It also has a built in light source so users can back light their material before it goes to the take up reel, aimed at the UV market.  

Javier Mahmoud, CET Color Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, “The market demand feedback from our dealers has been very strong on a roll to roll UV solution. We are very proud to announce this 126-inch roll to roll UV that has the capability of printing dual rolls of media at the same time.”

CET Color offers a line of wide format UV printers, as well as a recently introduced flatbed cutter.
In May, swissQprint introduced two updated large format printer models with new curing options in the Impala LED and Nyala LED. The company explains there are also a range of mechanical improvements in Impala LED and Nyala LED. Two examples: the beam architecture has been reworked for even better stability, and swissQprint has ensured that the flatbed is indeed perfectly flat over its entire surface – 3.2 × 2 metres with Nyala LED and 2.5 × 2 metres with Impala LED.

The Nyala LED achieves a maximum of 206 square metres per hour, Impala LED 180 square metres. Impala LED and Nyala LED are flatbed printers, expandable with options as required. There is a roll to roll option. swissQprint launched what the company calls a 4×4 version of its existing Impala and Nyala series in early 2017. Impala LED and Nyala LED are optionally available in this version as well, meaning that they come configured with quadruple CMYK at high printing speed.
Tilia Labs Inc., of Ottawa, Ontario, creator of tilia Phoenix for planning and imposition automation, has released its new automatic layout solution for wide format printers, called tilia Griffin. The software was first announced just prior to drupa in May 2016.

tilia Griffin is a prepress solution to automate the layout creation process for wide format printing. It features what the company describes as a modern, ultra-responsive interface and intuitive design. Griffin leverages the Phoenix nesting engine to create true-shape tightly nested layouts, explains Tilia, helping drive down substrate costs, reduce errors, and increase throughput.

The workflow in Griffin is simple, explains Tilia, and can be mastered with minimal training. To start out, artwork files are input into the system with various production information such as quantity, shape and size. Users can then select from a library a substrate board or roll size and automatically generate nesting. Once nesting has completed, marks such as registration, barcodes, and grommets are automatically added. Finally, output can be generated for printing and cutting using presets for different devices.

“The release of tilia Griffin today marks a big milestone for our company. It is our second product to roll out into the market, and it also shows our dedication to the wide format segment, which we feel has a lot of room to grow and we have a lot of value to offer,” said Sagen de Jonge, CEO of Tilia Labs. “Initial testing with beta customers has been very positive so we’re excited to now begin offering to the general public and confident customers will enjoy fast return on investment with the time savings and advantages it has to offer.”
At Fespa 2017, which began yesterday, HP Inc. introduced the new HP Latex 3600 and 3200 printers, flexible signage printing option for the HP Scitex 17000 press, and HP PrintOS for Latex and Scitex HDR presses.

Introduced in 2009, water-based HP Latex technology now has more than 40,000 Latex printers installed worldwide. HP also introduced the HP Latex 300 Series Print and Cut solutions at ISA Sign Expo 2017 in April.
 
The 3.2 meter HP Latex 3600 and HP Latex 3200 printers support higher volume printing and an improved monthly duty cycle. The HP Latex 3200 is geared toweard PSPs that want to produce a range of applications with high productivity, in high quality for retail/outdoor advertising, events/exhibitions, vehicle graphics, and interior décor.

The HP Latex 3600 is designed for even larger PSPs needing long-run, uninterrupted printing. It can handle production peaks of up to 35,000 square meters per month and is well suited for dedicated application production, such as banners, backlits, wallcoverings, and retail or event signage.

The new HP Latex 3600 and HP Latex 3200 printers offer a special tiling mode, with an improved colour consistency; reduced media waste, saving up to one linear meter per roll, using the HP Latex Media Saver; and lower labour costs, a single operator can manage up to four printers simultaneously.

The new 54-inch HP Latex 315 Print and Cut and 64-inch HP Latex 335 Print and Cut are dual-device solutions for simultaneous printing and cutting in a single workflow.

HP also announced commercial availability of HP Durable Backlit Fabric that can resist damage during post-processing or light box installation. HP Durable Backlit Fabric will be available in October in a variety of widths up to 2.95 m (116 inches). Widths of up to 3.2 m (126 in) are expected to be available by the end of 2017.

Paper-based signage production for indoor and outdoor applications using flexible substrates is now supported with the Flexible Media Loader for the HP Scitex 17000 Corrugated Press.
Mutoh America, Inc. has announced its new 75-inch, four-head, dye-sublimation printer, the ValueJet 1948WX with print speeds up to 2,199 square feet per hour and dual heaters for fast dry times.

The VJ1948WX also comes with adjustable pressure rollers, 4- or 8-colour ink capabilities, and automatic sheet off. It is equipped with Intelligent Interweave printing technique, DropMaster ink technology and ValueJet Status Monitor for smart printing.

IQDEMY Holding, which operates in the inkjet arena, is showcasing its recently introduced Maglev 1228 UV-LED printer at Fespa 2017 (May 8 to 12, 2017) in Hamburg. Maglev 1228 features a print table of 1.2 x 2.8 metres and can accommodate heavy materials up to 400 kg, including stone, marble and glass.

Its honeycomb table is divided into six vacuum zones operated independently to help reduce power consumption when only some parts of the table are used. The UV-LED printer is equipped with levitation technology, which enables printing without noise, according to IQDEMY.

The printing system uses eight different dot sizes achievable via a combination of Variable Dot technology and Technology of Invisible Dots. Able to print with eight colours (CMYK+W+LM+LC+V) the Maglev also has a white ink recirculation system and 10 tanks for ink supply featuring ink level sensors. Its LEDs, according to the company, can operate for up to 10,000 hours without having to be replaced. The printer comes with a warranty for up to five years.

Another feature of the Maglev 1228 is its ability to produce layered printing. This is sometimes also referred to as 3D-print in the large-format sector, as different amounts of ink layers enable a haptic feeling, thus images and prints, for example wood reproduction.

“Maglev 1228 is our best solution in the context value for money,” said Vladislav Mirchev, CEO of IQDEMY. “Maglev 1228 has been designed especially for medium scale production. Advertising, including signboards, backlit projects, exhibition booths and POS, among others, are its primary application. In addition, the UV-LED printer enables printing on glass, furniture, stone, wood, marble as well as metals.”
Roland DGA has launched its new CAMM-1 GR series large-format cutters, including the following features:
  • An “L-shaped” integrated machine and stand design that provides stability even when cutting at speeds of up to 58.5 inches per second (1,485 millimetres per second);
  • Up to 600 gf of down force;
  • Dual-position tool carriage for seamless transition between kiss-cutting and perforating;
  • Capability to read crop marks from industry-wide software;
  • Pinch rollers electronically adjustable to 10 pre-set levels;
  • Up to 10x overlap cutting;
  • A tangential emulation function for precise corner cutting;
  • Advanced media feeding system;
  • Built-in media basket for easy cut sheet collection;
  • Ethemet connectivity; and
  • A choice of 64-, 54- and 42-inch cutting widths.
The CAMM-1 GR series cutter also incorporates Roland CutStudio software:
  • Perforating Cutting function for creating pop-out stickers and decals;
  • Cut-by-Colour function for designs with multiple coloured sheets;
  • New functionality that creates weed lines to facilitate weeding after designs have been cut; and
  • Plug-in software enabling direct outputting from Adobe Illustrator® and CorelDRAW.
Esko will focus on efficiency at this year’s ISA Sign Expo, running from April 20 to April 22 in Las Vegas, with software and hardware intended to help companies get the most out of their production workflows, equipment and staff.

The display will include:
  • Automation Engine Avant, a wide format workflow software bundle that combines wide format workflow automation with the tasks of preflighting, file editing, adding cutting paths and optimal nesting on a sheet;
  • Device Manager, Esko’s new software which is used to track job status and manage jobs based on cutting time estimates and substrate selection;
  • ArtiosCAD, Esko’s packaging structural design software;
  • A demonstration of the Kongsberg X24 and Kongsberg C64 finishing tables.
"We have demonstrated that by offering solid, integrated operational control and management tools, operators spend up to 30 percent less time in job preparation," Greg Stewart, Esko Digital Finishing Product Marketing Manager, says.

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