Wide-format Inkjet

Fujifilm today introduced its new Acuity Advance HS flatbed printer, with the HS designation standing for high-speed. The company states the UV-based machine provides “photographic quality printing” at production speeds of 430 square feet per hour (40 m2/hr). 

The Acuity Advance HS, available with a roll-media option, also includes what the company calls express mode to produce print at over 700 square feet per hour (67m2/hr). The machine uses Fujifilm’s Uvijet inks with Micro-V dispersion technology.

Canadian commercial shipments of the Acuity Advance HS are set to begin in March 2010, while the machine will be displayed at upcoming events like the International Sign Association tradeshow in Orlando (April 7 to 10), Western Grafik’Art show in Vancouver (April 22 to 24) and at Ipex in Birmingham (May 18-25).

EFI today unveiled the VUTEk QS220 flatbed printer, which is described as a direct-to-substrate machine with “High-Definition Print” (HDP) capability. The 2-metre wide, UV-based printer uses EFI’s HDP technology to produce a resolution of up to 1,080 dpi.

“The QS220 is an all-in-one printer; it has the speed to print 16 4x8-foot boards per hour as well as the ability to print in high definition,” stated Dick Wissenbach, EFI VUTEk’s Senior VP and GM, in a press release.

The speed of the machine can reach up to 750 square feet (70 square metres) per hour. It can print directly to substrates up to 2-inches thick and 80-inches wide. It is available with a roll-to-roll optional.

The QS220 produces 4- or 6-colour images, and includes a seventh channel for six variations of white ink. EFI claims this is a unique configuration, capable of printing colour and white in three independent layers.

Japan-based Mimaki Engineering Co. Ltd. unveiled its new large-format direct and dye-sublimation printer, called the JV5-320DS. The machine, which is to enter the commercial market on January 8, 2010, enables direct printing on polyester substrates at a width of up to 3.2 metres.

The JV5-320DS machine is based on the solvent JV5-320S device, which was introduced in 2007 for the outdoor signage market. Mimaki released its new machine, with the “D” designation, because of what it sees a major growth in demand for signage on polyester textiles, for example, such as flags and banners – so-called soft signage.

JV5-320DS is newly equipped with an ink catcher to prevent inks from penetrating the fabric and staining the backside of the project. A new fan is designed to dry inks directly after printing. The machine also features Mimaki’s new Spray Suppressor System. The company’s MBIS (Mimaki Bulk Ink Supply System) feature is an option that enables an ink load of 2-litre containers for longer print runs.

JV5-320DS can hit a maximum resolution of 1,440 dpi. Print speeds range from 60.3 sqm/h at 540 x 720 dpi (for long-range viewing) to 44 sqm/h at 540 x 1,080 dpi (for short-range viewing).

Last night Mondrian Hall, a division of Unisource, toasted the season with a special event held at the Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge in Vaughan, Ontario. The event saw 60 people gather to learn about HP's wide-format devices, with much of the focus placed on the HP L25500 device. This machine runs HP's latex inks, which the company positions as an environmentally progressive option relative to solvent-based printers.

At the SGIA exposition, Durst introduced its new Rho 900 large-format printer, which is built around a 98-inch-wide, UV-inkjet imaging platform using Durst’s Quadro 30D Array printhead technology.

The company is highlighting the printer’s media handling abilities, including an auto-feed table with belts, sheet-feed gate with guides for parallel board printing, and automatic 2-point pin registration system for better accuracy in front-to-back registration.

Durst also claims that the Rho 900 features “process-colour additions… printed in the same mode as its CMYK,” with orange and green or orange and violet options: “These additional colours can be printed, even with white ink or light colours, with no loss in output speed.”

Top speed of the 6-colour Rho 900 can reach up to 72 4 x 8-foot boards per hour, according to Durst, while the speed for POP-quality printing is 34 boards per hour. The Rho 900 also can print varnish.

At PRINT 09, EFI will showcase two new superwide inkjet printers, the 5-metre roll-to-roll VUTEk GS5000r and the 3.2-metre hybrid GS3200, introduced in March 2009. The GS3200 is an 8-colour (plus white) machine that can be switched into a 4-colour printing mode, which allows the machine to print at 2,400 square feet per hour (f2/hr). In 8-colour mode, the GS3200 can reach speeds of up to 1,200 f2/hr, while hitting dual resolutions settings of 600 or 1,000 dpi.
EFI GS5000r
The 5-metre GS5000r can also switch between 4- or 8-colour printing modes, which account for top speeds of 1,600 or 3,100 f2/hr, respectively. This larger GS wide-format-inkjet machine, which has a unique ability to simultaneously print on up to three 60-inch rolls, can reproduce resolutions of up to 1,200 dpi. EFI plans to highlight its other inkjet systems like Jetrion 4000 UV and Rastek systems at the tradeshow.

Also at PRINT 09, EFI plans to introduce its new Web Control Center, which is a Web-based colour-management tool with remote proofing. The application fits into the company’s MIS packages, such as Pace, Monarch and PrintSmith systems.

EFI will also higPrint 09hlight its new Fiery Command WorkStation 5 (CWS5), compatible with Macintosh and Windows operating systems, as well as Fiery System 6. Released in March 2009, the controller updates automatically to EFI’s new SeeQuence Suite, which is an optional set of makeready software tools for composition and imposition.

Making its North American debut at PRINT 09, the new :Anapurna Mw from Agfa is an UV-based inkjet press (roll and rigid) that builds on the existing :Anapurna series by adding single-pass pre-white and multi-pass post-white, which allows for printing on transparent or backlit materials – or printing white as a spot colour. Other recent :Anapurna machines include the :Anapurna M2, notable because it prints at 247 square feet per hour, and the :Anapurna M4f, which is a 63-inch, 4-colour, UV-based engine.Agfa Dotrix

Also at PRINT 09, Agfa will be showcasing the latest incarnation of :Dotrix Modular, which is an inkjet-based, narrow-web press (25.6 inches) designed to work with a range of substrates, including paper, multi-wall, biodegradable plastics, PE, PP, BOPP, PET heat and pressure-sensitive materials. The :Dotrix can be configured roll-to-roll or roll-to-sheet.

The company will also make the North American debut of :Apogee Suite 6.0, which, employing a drag-and-drop graphical user interface, allows for the import and conversion of different file formats into a PDF, which can then be directly sent to a Web portal for soft approval, to a page or imposition proofing device, to an impaging device (CTP), a toner-based press, or export into another prepress system.

P09The company also plans to highlight enhancements to its industrial-scale :M-Press TIGER, which is a flatbed inkjet press – co-developed by Thieme and Agfa – featuring new printhead technology, auto-head positioning and tuning. The press, suited for screen printing-like work, can run at speeds up to 17,000 feet per hour.

Access Imaging, a large-format vendor based in Toronto, has opened two new offices in order to expand further into the national market. The company has opened an office in Richmond, B.C. and in Montreal, Quebec, each currently with two staff members for sales and service.

Access Imaging was founded in 1993 and was the largest ColorSpan sales and service provider in Canada before the line was purchased by Hewlett-Packard. Today, they are an HP Elite Partner, dealing with Designjet, Commercial and Industrial digital presses.

John Visentin, president of Access Imaging, says the company chose the Vancouver market because of the upcoming Olympic games and the resulting need for wide-format print in the region. The Montreal location will service the growing Quebec market. Visentin says there are plans to open more locations to service the Prairie provinces.
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