Wide-format Inkjet

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.

Fujifilm Dimatix, which develops industrial inkjet printheads, components and systems, introduced its new Dimatix Materials Printer (DMP), described as a large-format, non-contact, fluid deposition system capable of jetting functional fluids.

The DMP-5000 has a printable area of 500 x 500 mm and, according to Fujifilm, maintains a positional accuracy and repeatability of ± 5 µm and ± 1 µm, respectively. The DMP-5000 uses a temperature controlled vacuum platen to register, maintain and thermally manage substrates during printing. These substrates include plastic, glass, ceramics, and silicon, as well as flexible substrates ranging from membranes, gels, and thin films to paper products.

The printer includes an integrated drop visualization system that captures droplet formation images, as droplet ejection parameters are adjusted to produce a tuned printhead and fluid combination. The printhead can be calibrated on a per-nozzle basis to compensate for channel-to-channel variability. A second camera system allows substrate measurements and alignment, observations of fluid drying behavior, with droplet measurement and placement calculations.

“With the addition of the new DMP-5000, combined with our broad range of interchangeable printheads, wide range of drop volumes and application specific capabilities, Dimatix now provides the most comprehensive solutions in the industry for process, fluids and product development for materials deposition applications,” said Martin Schoeppler, CEO and President of Fujifilm Dimatix, Inc.

The DMP-5000 joins the DMP-2800 and DMP-3000 printers introduced in 2005 and 2009, respectively.

Gandy Digital unveiled what it calls "the next generation of grand format digital" to the North American audience at the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association Expo. Called the Pred8tor, the machine leverages 30 years expertise of founder James Gandy, formerly of Gandinnovations.

According to Gandy Digital, the 6.2-metre-wide Pred8tor will print a 1.22m (4ft) x 2.44m (8ft) sheet of rigid material (up to 50mm (2 inches) thick) in under 1 minute. Roll to Roll printing is also achieved with the optional rewind unit and will print at speed and high quality on all flexible materials with a roll width up to 2.44m (8ft) and up to 40cm (16 inches) diameter rolls, including heavy vinyl's and mesh.

The Pred8tor can also accommodate rigid materials larger than the bed size with the Print Extension Table option where users can print up to 2.44m (8ft) wide and any length rigid material. Backlit printing is attained with the built in back light camera that detects the print on both sides of the material and matches it up.

The machine is controlled via a touch-screen interface in the form of Apple's iPad. Users can step and repeat, rotate, delete ripped images, create jobs and more. The iPad application will also contain video tutorials and a new feature called iMediaMarket, which in addition to linking the user with consumables suppliers, will also keep track of inventory and warn when supplies get low.

Gandinnovations was sold to Agfa Graphics at the start of this year after it filed for bankruptcy protection in May of 2009.  Today, Agfa continues to sell the Jeti line, which first introduced at SGIA Expo in 2002. Gandy Digital operates out of two locations: San Antonio, Texas and Oakville, Ontario.

At SGIA's trade show for large-format-printing, currently underway in Las Vegas, Agfa introduced quality and speed enhancements to its industrial-scale :M-Press Tiger press.

Based on an inkjet printing process, the :M-Press Tiger can now output up to 13,640 f2/hr (1267 m2/hr), while Agfa's latest UPH 2 (Universal Print Head) greyscale technology enables the :M-Press Tiger to print with variable drop sizes as small as 10 picolitres.

According to the company, incorporating these revised print-heads adds another production mode to the machine, with a new "fine art" capability joining pre-existing modes that are referred to as photo, high quality and express.

The :M-Press Tiger works with both flexible and rigid materials with a thickness of up to 10 mm. "The :M-Press Tiger has been designed and constructed as a true replacement for traditional graphics screen printing," stated Richard Barham, VP for Inkjet Systems at Agfa Graphics.

New Canon imagePROGRAFs

Canon Canada introduced two new large-format printers to its imagePROGRAF line. Scheduled for a late-October release, the inkjet-based imagePROGRAF iPF605 and iPF815, both in 5-colour configurations, are designed for technical-document markets like Geographical Information System (GIS); Computer-Aided Design (CAD); Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC); and Reprographics.
According to the company, both 1,200-dpi models can produce two full-density D/A1-sized (23.4 inches x 33.1 inches, or 59.4 centimetres x 84.1 centimetres) colour plots in less than one minute, along with being capable of producing 120 D/A1-sized plots per hour.

The new printers can also be paired with an optional in-line 44-inch (111.8-centimetre), 300-sheet paper stacker. The imagePROGRAF iPF825 comes equipped with two media rolls supporting multiple media types, while the imagePROGRAF iPF815 includes one roll unit.
As a new addition to the imagePROGRAF iPF825 and iPF815 printers, Canon's Accounting Manager cost-tracking software generates data in sections like job logs and printing costs, while also holding a built-in Economy Print Mode.

Durst has introduced what it refers to as "the world’s first industrial inkjet printer for the textile/soft signage markets." Designed to handle light-weight media amid the growing demand for more environmentally progressive large-format production, the new 10.5-foot-wide Rhotex 320 uses water-based dye inks and on-board hot-air dryers on a printing platform that can produce "POP-quality" output at up to 775 square feet per hour.

Scheduled for commercial release in the fourth quarter of 2010, the Rhotex 320 is built around Quadro Array print-head technology, as well as a linear magnetic drive system. The 6-colour printer – CMYK + Lc, Lm – includes an automated Capping Station that automatically covers all print-heads when the sled is in "park position" to eliminate evaporation of the printer’s water-based inks.

Durst also released a new 80-inch-wide UV inkjet device, Rho 750, for UV-based printing at output speeds of up to 1,930 square feet per hour. The Rho 750 is available in three models: Basic, Presto and Rapid. Both the Basic and Presto models are upgradeable, while the machines are available with an optional corrugated printing system for material handling.

Fujifilm at this year's FESPA show in Munich has introduced a larger version of its Acuity Advance HS. Dubbed the Acuity Advance HS-X2, the new device has an imaging area of 98 x 120 inches, which is more than double the size of the HS.

"This is great for those customers who need to print on a 5 x 10-foot substrate or want to optimize their throughput with two 4 x 8-foot sheets," said Jeffrey Nelson, Product Marketing Manager of Fujifilm North America's Graphic Systems Division. "This is a cost effective solution not only for POP and graphic display printers but also for offset printers and commercial photo labs who are interested in expanding their product offerings through UV digital flatbed printing."

The production speed of the HS-X2 is up to 700 square feet per hour in express mode (or POP production speed of 462 square feet per hour.) A new feature allows the operator to prepare a rigid substrate on the flatbed while the machine is printing in roll-media mode. A dual-zone vacuum also allows the machine to print in one zone while setting up the second.

The HS-X2 shares printhead and ink technology with the HS, which is employs Fujifilm's Uvijet inks. According to Fujifilm, the HS-X2 will ship in August.

At this year's FESPA (Federation of European Screen Printers Associations) 2010 show in Munich, Agfa launched a new wide-format flatbed/roll-to-roll device known as the :Anapurna M 2050. The UV-curable machine, according to the company, combines the new 2.05 metre width with Agfa's latest M-series G2 inks and :Anapurna M2 speeds. This machine slots in between Agfa's popular 1.6-metre-wide offerings and the :Anapurna XL²/2500 LED series, which have a maximum width of 2.5 metres.

The :Anapurna M 2050 prints six colours plus white, a capability shared with its sibling, the :Anapurna Mw. It has eight printheads with a total of 8,192 nozzles firing 12-picolitre drops. The result is a resolution of 720 x 1440 dpi at speeds of 24 square metres per hour in four-pass bi-directional mode. The machine can print on rigid substrates in sizes up to 3 x 2 metres and up to 4.5 centimetres thick.

"Amongst the print options available on the :Anapurna M 2050, Agfa has also integrated a higher speed uni-directional mode for photographic quality," said Willy Van Dromme Business Line Manager for Wide Format Inkjet at Agfa Graphics. "Every application requests a different balance between speed and quality, and the system must allow for the best-fit printing mode."

At the ISA tradeshow in Orlando, Agfa Graphics today unveiled its :Jeti 1224 UV HDC device, with the first customer shipments scheduled to begin in June 2010. The inkjet- and UV-based :Jeti 1224 is said to provide grayscale printing at speeds of up to 1,182 square feet per hour (f2/hr).

This is the first machine to be branded under the Agfa name, after the Belgium company purchased the Jeti assets from Gandinnovations, which first released its Jeti version in July 2008 with a speed of 450 f2/hr in 6-pass production mode.
The :Jeti 1224 UV HDC (HDC = High Definition Color) is built on a solid-steel platform and includes a linear motor driven vacuum bed for accurate dot placement in both flatbed mode or with the optional roll-to-roll (RTR) feature. This is also the first :Jeti printer to use the Ricoh Gen 4 variable grayscale print-head technology.

Agfa has also introduced its :Anuvia HD ink technology to drive the Ricoh heads up to 30 KHz in binary and 13 KHz in grayscale. The system can fire ink drops as small as 8 picolitres. With 4-colour and white as its standard ink set, the :Jeti 1224 UV HDC is said to deliver resolutions of up to 1,200 dpi. 
In addition to its top-rated speed of 1,182 f2/hr, the :Jeti 1224 has a production-mode speed of 582 f2/hr and a quality-mode speed of 390 f2/hr. The device’s flatbed architecture, according to Agfa, can print on substrates of up to two inches thick and can support media rolls up to 250 pounds.

Canon Canada Inc. has introduced two new models in its imagePROGRAF line of large-format printers, designed for producing photographic prints, proofs and general commercial work.

Both of the new machines, the 112-centimetre (44-inch) imagePROGRAF iPF8300 and the 61-centimetre (24-inch) iPF6300, use Canon’s 12-colour LUCIA EX pigment ink set. Canon claims this new ink set increases the colour gamut by approximately 20 percent relative to its previous imagePROGRAF iPFx100 series machines, while also enabling over 90 percent coverage of PANTONE colours.
The company continues to state that the LUCIA EX ink set is well-suited for photographic prints, because of the ability to produce crisper blacks and smoother colour gradations, while also reducing bronzing and metamerism.

Each new imagePROGRAF model uses 2.5-centimetre printheads, which hold 2,560 nozzles per colour and output a resolution of up to 2,400 x 1,200 dots per inch.

Canon has also developed a Media Configuration Tool to work with Canon and third-party substrates. ICC profiles of media types from Intelicoat, Ilford, LexJet and Moab will be available for download when the new printers are released.

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