Wide-format Inkjet

EFI has debuted the latest model in its popular VUTEk line. Known as the VUTEk HS100 Pro, the machine is a 3.2 metre UV inkjet press that is capable of imaging up to 100 boards per hour. It is a device aimed at screen printers looking to transition to inkjet.

The HS100 Pro utilizes EFIäs new Orion OS platform, which the company claims provides more precise ink laydown and increased colour gamut. The machine can be equipped with up to eight colours, including white and other special inks.

"This nex generation EFI VUTEk press should win every side-by-side comparison with e4xisting digital presses in terms of offering the best combination of speed, output quality and return on investment," said Scott Schinlever, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Inkjet Solutions at EFI. The printer brings greater flexibility and workflow integration, with streamlined and versatile production on longer run lengths. Combined with advanced production features, warning and detection systems, and the Fiery XF proServer, the HS100 Pro is a true 24/7 solution ideal for the most demanding production environments."



Agfa Graphics’ released details about its presence at the upcoming drupa tradeshow with technologies like :Apogee version 8, new cloud-based software called :Apogee StoreFront, :M-Press Leopard, :Anapurna and :Jeti systems, and further developments to its ThermoFuse prepress systems.

Focusing on offset and inkjet printing, the company plans to highlight four key industry sectors: industrial printers, sign and display printers, commercial printers and newspaper publishers. “The star of our 7-strong product showing will be the unique and versatile :M-Press Leopard flat bed press,” said Stefaan Vanhooren, President of Agfa Graphics. “It will be running live demonstrating its exceptionally wide range of capabilities.”

In the industrial print sector, drupa will represent Agfa's first trade-show demonstration of the massive :M-Press Leopard. This inkjet-based system includes new functionalities and the ability to print on various substrates up to 5-cm thick, in any size up to 1.6 x 3.3 metres.

In the sign-and-display sector, Agfa will demonstrate its wide-format :Anapurna series and two recently introduced :Jeti 3020 Titan UV systems. One of the two :Jeti 3020 Titans will be shown in a 36-head configuration, with a white-ink application (pre-, post- and spot white). This machine’s 2 x 3 metre mounting bed supports both rigid and thin flexible material. The second :Jeti 3020 Titan on display will feature a 48-head configuration, using eight heads for each colour (CMYKLcLm). It prints at the same speeds for roll-to-roll and rigid materials.
In the commercial printing sector, Agfa Graphics is extending its patented ThermoFuse technology for high-volume printers, including the .:Azura TS  and the :Azura CX125 COU (Clean-out Unit), which is designed to handle plate volumes up to 40,000 m2 per year.

In software development, the newest version of Agfa Graphics’ workflow management suite, :Apogee 8, supporting 64-bit systems, will also be demonstrated. The company will also highlight :Apogee StoreFront as a new cloud-based solution to set up online stores for both printed and non-printed products.

In the newspaper sector, Agfa Graphics is introducing two new platesetters for the high-volume newspaper market. The :Advantage N PL HS (Pallet Load, High-Speed) and the :Advantage N TR HS (Trolley Load, High-Speed), both produce up to 350 printing plates per hour. At drupa, the :Advantage N PL HS will be running live, imaging Agfa Graphics’ :N94 VCF chemistry-free violet plates. With a completely new design, it can store more than 6,000 plates configured on two pallets of 3,000 plates each plus an additional cassette, in a fully automatic setting.

Agfa will also demonstrate :Arkitex Eversify. Using HTML5 for the reproduction of images, audio, video animation and other content, :Arkitex Eversify is a Software as a Service solution designed for publishers to convert print content for mobile digital publishing.

Inca Digital Printers has announced it will be adding a new print mode to its Onset S20 machines. A new 20-pass print mode now joins the existing 12, 16, and 25 pass modes.

The 25 pass mode has also been improved, speeding up the production by 24 percent. The new 20-pass mode sits between the existing 16- and 25-pass modes and gives a productivity increase of 26 percent compared to the latter. The upgrades are available as a free upgrade to existing Onset S20 customers and will be included standard on new machines.

“Inca continually looks for ways to improve its technology in order to give customers the best value and performance,” says Dr Linda Bell, Inca Digital CEO. “Different jobs require different levels of image quality, depending on their content and the viewing distance, which translates into different numbers of printhead passes during printing.

Epson America announced a new line of printers called SureColor. The first machine in the series, the SureColor S30670, is a four-colour 64-inch solvent printer and the first to employ Epson's MicroPiezo TFP print head.

"Our first generation solvent printer – the EPSON Stylus Pro GS6000 – has been a game changer in the signage market over the last four years, bringing advanced image quality and an ink technology with less impact on the environment to the industry to open up a new range of applications for solvent printing," said Reed Hecht, Product Manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. "The new SureColor S30670 offers advancements in print head and ink technology to deliver higher quality printing, faster and better, at an extreme overall value."

The SureColor S3070 is a design that is new from the ground up and includes many automation features such as nozzle checks, media feed adjustments, and complicated print head alignments. Epson's new MicroPiezo TFP print head delivers droplets as small as 4.2 picolitres and doubles the nozzle density of Epson's previous solvent printers. The one-inch wide print head contains 720 nozzles per colour and is capable of printing up to 619 square feet per hour in draft mode (205 square feet per hour in normal signage production).

The machine uses Epson's UltraChrome GS2 inks and works on "virtually all" standard coated or uncoated solvent media, and can also print on canvas. Developed by Epson, UltraChrome GS2 includes a newly formulated yellow ink that can produce prints with up to three years of outdoor durability without lamination. In addition, these new inks deliver virtually odorless printing without the need for external dryers, special ventilation or air purification systems, and do not contain Nickel (Ni) compounds, helping to reduce impact on the environment and potential harm to employees.

The SureColor S30670 will be available in April at a MSRP of US$16,995. The machine will make its debut at Graphics of the Americas in Miami, March 1-3.

HP has introduced two new products which further expands the scope of its Latex Ink technology. The HP Designjet L28500 is a 104-inch-wide printer while the new Designjet L26500 is a 61-inch machine aimed at the soft-signage market.

Both systems use the new HP 792 Latex Designjet Inks, which, according to the company, produce rich blacks and glossy results on banners and self-adhesive vinyl, as well as compatibility with more than 500 media solutions.

“With about 9,000 HP Latex Ink systems installed worldwide, HP is offering a superior alternative to eco-solvent solutions that delivers the versatility and ease of use our customers demand while lowering their impact on the environment,” said Santiago Morera, VP and GM, Large-format Printing Business, HP.

The new machines produce 1,200-dpi output with outdoor display permanence of up to three years unlaminated or five years laminated. The output also dries inside the printer, boosting productivity for double-sided print jobs, and allowing immediate finishing or use.

Availability of the HP Designjet L26500 Printer will vary by region beginning November 3rd. The HP Designjet L28500 Printer is expected to be available January 20, 2012.

During the recent 2011 SGIA Expo in New Orleans, HP introduced three new wide-format printers, HP Scitex FB7600, XP5500 and XP2500, as well as enhancements to its existing portfolio in this sector.

The HP Scitex XP2500 and XP5500 printers are scheduled to be available worldwide on November 1 and December 15, respectively. HP will also offer HP Scitex XP5300 and XP2300 upgrade packages for existing customers.

The six-colour HP Scitex FB7600, running new UV curable HP FB225 Scitex inks, is described as an industrial press that reaches a maximum print speed of 5,380 ft²/hr or 95 full-size sheets per hour. Hitting a top resolution of 600 dpi, the machine handles both rigid and flexible sheets of up to 65 x 126 inches.

HP’s 16.6-foot (five-metre) Scitex XP5500 system, with a top resolution of 360 dpi, includes new billboard print modes. The UV-curable machine reaches a maximum printing speed of 3,500 square feet per hour.

HP’s 10.5-foot (3.2-metre) HP Scitex XP2500 system is described as delivering up to 15 percent more throughput than its predecessor. The four-colour, UV-curable system reaches a maximum speed of 2,852 ft²/hr and resolution of 360 dpi.

During SGIA, HP also introduced enhancements to its HP Scitex Print Care program, which is designed for printers to help customers maximize uptime and serviceability.  HP also introduced workflow enhancement between the EskoArtwork i-cut Suite and its Scitex machines.

At SGIA in New Orleans, Agfa Graphics made the North America debut of its newest :Anapurna inkjet printing system. The UV-curable :Anapurna M2540 FB is a flatbed machine for printing on rigid substrates. It is based on a six-colour system with white-ink options (CMYKLcLm).

The :Anapurna M2540 FB reaches a maximum print speed of 484 ft2/hr, while carrying a format size of 8.3 x 5 feet and working with substrates of up to 1.77 inches thick. The system also features 11 retractable register pins for media transfer.

"We paid very close attention to details such as the versatile vacuum bed, register pins, and the ability to load and off-load jobs quickly and easily,” said Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics, North America. “As a result, the :Anapurna M2540 FB simplifies working with rigid substrates that need to be completely stable during production, yet also permit for quick changeover.”

Hutcheson continues to explain that the M2540 FB employs a vacuum bed with two zones and that each zone has four switchable compartments with a reverse airflow function for removal of finished prints and moving of heavy substrates.

At the Specialty Graphic Industry Association Expo 2011, beginning October 19 in New Orleans, Fujifilm North America will debut its second generation of wide-format Uvistar printers, based on a UV, roll architecture. The first Uvistar systems were introduced in 2010.

The new Uvistar2 series is available in 3.5- and five-metre models, employing Uvijet QK inks for both indoor and outdoor applications. An optional flatbed table is available for printing rigid materials.

“In just over a year, the Uvistar series has filled a need for low-cost production of billboards and banners,” stated Mitch Bode, VP of Wide Format and Specialty Ink Systems for Fujifilm North America. “Uvistar2 offers enhanced capabilities and functionality for cost-effective production of high quality point-of-purchase displays.”

One of the major new advancements with Uvistar2 is the use of “Parallel Drop Size” (PDS) technology. According to Fujifilm, PDS technology allows an increase in print quality without compromising speed or ink coverage. This also allows for the use of larger 40 picoliter drops together with smaller 20pl drops, which provides for ink coverage and density, as well as producing finer details, without a reduction in print speed.

The Uvistar2 includes a new Linear Encoder that monitors print-head location for accuracy of drop placement, while upgraded electronics offer better control over print-head heating (more uniform ink density).

As well, large files can be RIPped to the Uvistar2 in smaller sizes and then scaled up on press, while the new printers feature software for making ink adjustments on the press. Uvistar2 allows users to work simultaneously on as many as three rolls up to 65 inches wide, with cores of varying weights, widths, and diameters.

Mutoh America has announced a replacement for its ValueJet 1618 64-inch printer; the new ValueJet 1638 will make its debut at this year's SGIA show and will have print speeds of up to 545 square feet per hour.
The 1638 includes a staggered dual head print technology that allows users to print jobs that typically call for the production capacity of two or more printers. It prints on coated and uncoated roll-to-roll substrates. Mutoh’s SpectroVue VM-10 spectrophotometer can be equipped to utilize the on-board and Internet based ColorVerify process control systems, including an on-printer ICC profile creation.

Standard on all ValueJets, the 1638 includes Mutoh’s i2: Intelligent Interweave print technique that lays down the four color (CMYK) Eco-solvent inks in a wave pattern, virtually eliminating banding.

Fujifilm has unveiled its newest wide-format printer, called the Acuity LED 1600, with both roll-to-roll and flatbed production. The 8-colour Acuity LED 1600 is built around a LED light source for curing UV-LED inkjet inks.

The new machine, with a 1,610-mm width, runs at a production speed of 20 square metres per hour. It reaches a resolution of up to 1,200 dpi.

Fujifilm describes the device, based on its LED curing, as capable of handling a range of substrates, including PET, acrylic, and polycarbonate materials.

Based on its 8-colour configuration (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta, white and clear), the Acuity LED 1600 can print both colour and clear inks in a single pass, which allows for high-gloss applications.

Fujifilm will highlight the Acuity LED 1600 later this month at the Chicago-based Graph Expo 2011 trade show.


HP unveiled an upgrade package, set for commercial release on September 15 of this year, to expand the range of media that can be used on its inkjet-based Scitex XP2300 wide-format printer.

According to HP, the upgrade package is designed for high-volume print service providers who are interested in a UV-curable alternative to solvent-ink production. The HP Scitex XP2300 machine now offers billboard print modes for printing directly on what the company refers to as inexpensive banner materials.

With these print modes, designed for HP Specialty Billboard Scitex Inks, customers can achieve a glossy or matte finish while using a single ink set. Customers who install the upgrade also begin receiving support through HP Scitex Print Care, a set of tools and services to handle technical issues, enable remote diagnosis and provide performance information.

“Since introducing the HP Scitex XP2300 Printer, we have been working closely with our customers to identify the features that would enable them to move more jobs from their solvent devices to this proven, UV-curable platform,” said Yariv Avisar, VP and GM, Scitex Large-format Solutions, HP.

Following the 2009 launch of its :M-Press Tiger inkjet press, Agfa is now introducing a new member of the :M-Press family, the :M-Press Leopard. The machine will be formally introduced at the Fespa show in Hamburg later this month.

The :M-Press Leopard is designed to provide :M-Press technology at a lower price point than the Tiger. It prints at sizes of up to 1.6 by 2.6 metres. The machine features a simplified feed system, co-developed with Thieme, to handle substrates up to 20 kg/m2. The design allows for more applications which require more manual handling.

The Leopard uses Agfa's UPH 2 (Universal Print Head) greyscale variable drop technology and prints are instantly cured, according to the company.

Mutoh has added two new machines to its ValueJet line-up, the ValueJet 1324-54" and the ValueJet 1624-64". Both will be featured during this week's International Sign Expo in Las Vegas.

The two devices will replace the previous ValueJet 1304-54" and 1614-64" respectively. Improvements include a new print head that increases print speeds to 300 square feet per hour (313 square feet per hour on the 1624-64"), easier maintenance through an added service door, automatic sheet off function and the optional Spectrovue-VM10 colour measurement tool. The 1624-64" also includes a movable ink cartridge holder that accommodates both 220ml and 440ml cartridges.

Mutoh will also showcase its new MP Ink on its ValueJet 1608HS-Hybrid machine, which uses 60 percent bio-based materials for increased environmental-friendliness.

Belgium-based Agfa Graphics yesterday introduced its new large-format :Anapurna M1600 system. Based on a UV inkjet process, the M1600 is a 4-colour device with an additional white-ink channel that can reach a maximum resolution of 720 x 1,440 dpi.

According to the company’s assessment of its large-format portfolio, the M1600’s white-ink printing capabilities are based on the :Anapurna Mw and :Anapurna M2050 system, while also providing higher production speeds associated with its :Anapurna M2050 and :Anapurna M2 systems.

“:Anapurna M1600 is a production workhorse designed to guarantee consistent high quality output even under peak workloads,” said Willy Van Dromme, Marketing Manager for Wide Format Inkjet at Agfa Graphics. “This system gives the best-fit printing mode because every application requires a particular balance between speed and quality. We also made the :Anapurna M1600 easy to use.

"Media loading and changing from rigid to flexible materials is fast and straightforward, and the system features a very intuitive operator interface. In fact we integrated all the best features from the :Anapurna M2050.”

The :Anapurna M1600 works with rigid medias up to 4.5-centimetres thick and a width of up to 1.58 metres. The system also features a 2-zone vacuum table for media-handling flexibility.

Inca Digital Printers yesterday introduced a third model within its Onset line of wide-format, UV-based flatbed inkjet printers. The new Onset S40, distributed in Canada by Fujifilm, reaches a maximum printing speed of 470 square metres per hour (5,059 sqft/hr).

This Onset S40 machine fits between the high-end Onset S70, which runs at a top speed of 750 sqm/hr (8,073 sqft/hr), and the Onset S20, with a top speed of 310 sqm/hr (3,340 sqft/hr).

 The S40’s top-rated speed is equivalent to producing 94 full-bed sheets (3.14 x 1.6 metres) per hour, with substrates of up to 50 mm (2 inches) thick.

The Onset S40 jets Fujifilm’s UVijet ink through as many as 168 user-replaceable printheads (28 per colour), which allows it to produce 600-dpi resolution in either a 4- or 6-colour machine configuration. 

An optional materials handling system from Inca provides the S40 with manual, semi- or three-quarter automation from the same configuration.

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