“The LEF-300 was developed in response to customer demand within the personalization and custom printing markets for an LEF printer with significantly increased production capabilities,” said Daniel Valade, Roland DGA’s product manager for the VersaUV LEF Series.
To accommodate greater quantities and larger-sized items, the LEF-300’s printing area has been expanded to 30 inches wide by 13 inches long, which equates to an imaging area 50 percent larger than the LEF-20. With four print heads and two UV-LED lamps, the LEF-300 enables bidirectional printing approximately 60 percent faster than the LEF-20.
As well, the number of LEF-300 White and Clear (gloss) ink nozzles have been doubled for faster printing, increased density and opacity, and faster build-up of multiple layers for three-dimensional textures. A new draft print mode improves overall efficiency for users in need of quick prototype prints.
Users can print on a range of substrates like PET, ABS and polycarbonate, soft materials such as TPU and leather, as well as three-dimensional items ranging from smart phone cases and laptop covers to signs, giftware and promotional items. Roland explains the LEF-300’s built-in vacuum table helps hold thin and soft materials in place, allowing for easier job setup and eliminating errors. The system also includes the BOFA air filtration system, which provides for ventilation while also serving as a stand and storage unit for fixtures and supplies.
The LEF-300 comes equipped with Roland’s new VersaWorks Dual software RIP, which supports native PostScript and PDF files. VersaWorks Dual features such as offset, positioning, rotation, registration of ink layers, and automatic creation of White and Clear ink effects can also be handled directly in the RIP.
The LEF-300 uses new EUV4 ink, which is Roland’s proprietary CYMK, White and Clear ECO-UV inks, which are said to reduce odour and the shrinking of thin film materials like BOPP, PE and PET when curing.
“The market for on-demand printing onto various articles is high, and we expect to see this growth continue in the years to come,” said Valade. “More and more businesses are providing custom printing services for smartphone cases and accessories. Kiosks offering on-site printing of photos taken by customers onto blank goods are also popping up at shopping malls around the world. These are all ideal markets for the LEF-300.”
Developed exclusively for use with Roland’s LEF-20 by DigiGraphics, the lightweight RotaPrint attaches to the printer via a series of magnets. Roland explains the RotaPrint is also unique in that it does not feature any motors or electrical connections. It is powered solely by the motion of the LEF-20.
“The RotaPrint further expands the already impressive capabilities of Roland’s VersaUV LEF-20 benchtop flatbed printer,” said Daniel Valade, Roland DGA’s product manager, VersaStudio, VersaUV & vinyl cutters. “This incredible attachment works seamlessly with the LEF-20, allowing users to quickly print vibrant, detailed graphics on large areas of cylindrical objects with ease and precision.”
The Uvistar Hybrid 320 is a 3.2-metre, combination flatbed and roll printer, capable of producing output at speeds of up to 2,100 square feet per hour. The inkjet system uess Fujifilm Dimatix Q-Class print heads and Fujifilm Uvijet inks to produce full grey scale. The press is available in an eight channel configuration delivering CMYK, Lc, Lm, Lk and Orange inks. A nine channel configuration is available that adds White ink.
The Versa-Drop technology of the Dimatix Q-Class print heads allow the press to image in grey scale with droplet sizes ranging from 10 to 30 picoliters. The Uvistar Hybrid 320 also leverages what Fujfilm describes as a patented tri-lobal belt and six-zone vacuum system to handle roll or rigid substrates.
Additionally, Fujifilm explains a dancer bar with spreaders keeps difficult roll media from wrinkling before it enters the print area. Rear pinch rollers engage as rigid material transitions from the print area on to the exit tables. The Uvistar Hybrid 320 also features continuous board capability that increases productivity when feeding multiple sheets of the same stock during production.
“The Uvistar Hybrid 320 redefines thinking about the capabilities of a combination flatbed and roll printer,” says Becky McConnell, Product Marketing Manager, Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Division. “The tri-lobal belt and zoned vacuum system really minimize the potential for media to skew which is an inherent problem with most hybrid printers.”
Inca Digital has unveiled the new Onset X Series of large-format flatbed inkjet printing systems, which the UK-based company describes as providing future-proof scalability. Sold globally and exclusively by Fujifilm, the Onset X Series is described by Inca as its fastest-ever printer, reaching speeds of up to 900 square metres per hour (9,687 f2/hr).
The systems also leverage a 25-zone vacuum table and UV control system to help eliminate masking, and a carriage that can incorporate up to 14 ink channels. This scalability, explains Inca, allows printers to configure an Onset X system for the combination of productivity, colour and quality that best matches their production requirements.
“Since 2013 Inca Onset users have benefited from a highly-flexible flatbed UV inkjet production machine that can grow and change with them,” said John Mills, Inca Digital’s CEO. “The new Onset X Series is designed to remove the traditional compromise of quality and productivity and make the choice of printer the easiest decision they have to make.”
Users can start out with the Onset X1, which runs at up to 560 m2/hr or 6,027 f2/hr, producing 112 full-bed sheets per hour. The Onset X2 runs at 725 m2/hr or 7,803 sqft producing 145 beds per hour. The new the Onset X3 at 900 m2/hr produces up to 180 beds per hour.
The Onset X Series printers use a range of Fujifilm Dimatix print heads, while handling substrates in sizes up to 3.22 metres (126 inches) x 1.6 metres (63 inches) and thicknesses up to 50 mm.
The Anapurna M2540i FB system on the booth will be a 6-colour plus white UV-curable flatbed system, which reaches printing speeds of up to up to 93 m2/h (1,001 ft2/hr). Agfa explains the M2540i, with its moving gantry flatbed, is well suited for both step-and-repeat work and for printing on a range of media sizes at one time.
Demonstrations of the Anapurna M2540i FB at Consac will include the following printing applications: Second surface printing, sandwich white (colour, white, colour); multilayer printing (colour, colour, white); and second surface, 2-sided printing on clear substrates to illustrate how to print an image to be read correctly on the front and back (colour, white, blackout, white, colour).
Agfa continues to explain the flatbed system can run a range of indoor and outdoor medias, as well as on uncoated rigid media like corrugated boards, rigid plastics, plexiglass, mirrors, exhibition panels, wood, aluminum, MDF, stage graphics, and advertising panels. In addition to the Anapurna M2540i FB, Agfa will also be demonstrating the Esko Kongsberg V24 cutting table.
The SureColor F9200 is aimed at medium- to-large volume transfer printing, reaching speeds of up to 1,044 square feet per hour. Leveraging a dual Epson PrecisionCore TFP print head and Epson UltraChrome DS ink system with high density black ink, the SureColor F9200 is described by Epson as providing quality output with improved ink efficiency and black density for roll-to roll fabric production, as well as customized promotional production, soft signage, sports apparel, and home décor markets.
During Graph Expo, Epson also plans on highlighting its recently introduced SureColor P800 (released in July 2015), which the company describes as a 17-inch professional photo printer as representing a new benchmark in photographic print quality.
The SureColor P800 leverages Epson MicroPiezo AMC print head technology and a new Epson UltraChrome HD eight-colour pigment ink. It features advanced media handling, including a sheet feeder for photo or matte media, and a front-in and front-out paper path, it handles printing on thicker fine art papers and poster board to produce exhibition-quality prints.
Released in June 2015, Epson will also highlight the SureColor S70675, part of Epson’s recently introduced S-Series line of 64-inch solvent printers, at Graph Expo. The SureColor S70675 is built to produce photographic signage output at production speeds of up to 190 square feet per hour. Equipped with UltraChrome GSX inks, a dual Epson PrecisionCore TFP print head, the SureColor S70675 is designed for the signage, vehicle graphics, fine art, and packaging markets.
In addition to a two-media-roll system, featured in both the imagePROGRAF iPF850 and imagePROGRAF iPF840, the imagePROGRAF iPF850 model features a high-capacity stacker that can hold up-to 100 sheets of different-sized paper (up to A0). Canon explains the stacker neatly gathers newly printed documents to help prevent paper curling and allow users to quickly collect newly printed documents.
The two-media-roll system featured in the imagePROGRAF iPF840 and iPF850 models enable automatic paper switching between rolls to allow for continuous high-production printing. It can simultaneously handle different types and varying widths of paper up to 44 inches.
The new printers feature a 320 GB hard drive, a high chroma magenta ink and Gigabit Ethernet. They also allow users to replace the available high-capacity 700-ml ink tanks during print jobs without pausing production.
The imagePROGRAF iPF840 and iPF830 models are also available as multi-function devices with full scan-to-print, file, and share solutions, and the capability to scan documents up-to-two mm thick. The MFP model includes a Contex scanner, Nextimage MFP software, a computer, touch screen monitor and MFP stand to help meet a variety of office needs.
The printers are also available with PosterArtist Lite and Direct Print & Share cloud portal software (at no cost), which includes a shortcut feature for batch printing and allows files to be dragged and dropped into hot folders on the desktop. The models are also compatible with the imagePROGRAF Print Utility app, allowing print jobs to be managed from mobile devices.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the iPF850, iPF840 and iPF830 printers are $10,295, $8,395 and $6,995, respectively. The MFP Contex model MSRP is $17,955 for the iPF840 MFP and $16,495 for the iPF830 MFP.
Tips on entering the dynamic vehicle graphics printing market
The commercialization of wide-format-inkjet printing in the 1990s signaled the beginnings of a technological evolution into what is today one of the printing industry’s most intriguing and fastest- growing applications, vehicle graphics. Inkjet printing shifted the production of these mobile billboards away from laborious screen-printing techniques reserved for large vehicle fleets, as well as specialized one-off lettering jobs.
Leveraging the maturation of inkjet systems and inks, materials science is now the key driver of the vehicle graphics market, pushing incredible and effective new applications and business models. Printing professionals who were in Miami Beach in late-February for the Graphics of the Americas trade show surely noticed the dozens of ATV-like taxis running people around through the night. “They were all lit up on the sides with a material that was backlit and printed,” recalls Brian Phipps, Vice President and General Manager of Mutoh America.
Phipps continues to describe the growing use of OLED technology applied to thin vehicle films, a boom in paint replacement with pure coloured vinyl holding a metallic flake feel, and car dealerships running inkjet systems in-house by adding the cost of graphics into the leasing of van fleets. Ford recently bought one of Mutoh’s printing systems to apply its logo to corporate semi-trailers.
“[This sector] is more around doing commercial graphics for fleet vehicles and panel trucks, potentially cars too, but it is more about the commercial side… the bigger side of the market,” says David Hawkes, Group Product Manager, Sign Products and Textile Printers, Roland DGA. Marketers and businesses alike are realizing vehicle graphics rule the economics of out-of-home advertising, which is no longer solely pegged to static billboards, as determined by the Cost Per Thousand (CPM) metric relating large-format- advertisement location to eyeballs.
“Vehicle wraps, whether it is on the side of a truck or a car, are the lowest cost form of advertising available,” says Jeffrey Uzbalis, National Distribution Accounts, 3M Commercial Graphics. “Its CPM is around 50 cents versus 20 bucks [for prime TV advertising]. It is cheaper than Internet banner ads.” The advances in wide-format technologies have developed the out-of-home playing field for the betterment of print. Uzbalis explains this is why 3M films are used to display Smirnoff ads on the brick and concrete walls around Toronto’s BMO soccer pitch, where hard-drinking 19- to 34-year-old males congregate.
“Everybody is so focused on social media and mobile that what they often overlook is physical graphics actually get results,” says Uzbalis. “If you put a floor graphic in a supermarket that say Chips Ahoy! you can actually influence consumer behaviour at the point of decision making.” He explains 3M now commissions audited studies to generate hard data points to illustrate the cost effectiveness of printed wraps to marketers. It is part of the company’s massive R&D investment in the sector to tap deeper into one of the strongest printing opportunities.
“People shouldn’t think this is a mature market or that it is too late – it is not. It is growing and there are a million things to do,” says Phipps. “The media companies are driving this a lot with the different materials that are coming out.”
An 18-year veteran with 3M’s Commercial Graphics division, Uzbalis is a true subject-matter expert on wide-format printing and specifically vehicle graphics. He has seen the wrap-materials evolution mirror the digital revolution from his position with arguably the world’s most-powerful adhesives company, which generated revenues of $32 billion in its most recent fiscal year with some 90,000 employees.
With its Canadian headquarters based in London, Ontario, 3M’s introduction of Controltac graphic film approximately 20 years ago marked a significant step forward for vehicle graphics application. Labeled by 3M as adhesive performance, Controltac allowed users to move away from heavy permanent adhesive that was slow and expensive to use. “Controltac really revolutionized the industry because the adhesive wouldn’t stick immediately,” explains Uzbalis. “You could move it around, slide it around, position it and then apply it with a squeegee.”
3M’s second major wrap innovation came around a decade ago with the introduction of Comply air-release technology, based on micro-replication science that was developed to make better stamp paper. The technology was applied to wrap material to make a special liner with a series of ridges. When the liner is pulled away from the back of Comply film it leaves impressions in the adhesive, which provide routes for the air to escape ahead of an application squeegee – preventing the formation of bubbles. 3M’s newest film advancement, called Envision, adds material stretch and a wider operating temperature to the innovations of Comply and Controltac.
“Really, for [commercial printers] it should be about wrapping in general, whether it is the side of a building or a glass curtain wall or the windows and floors, in addition to vehicle wraps, because there is a well-established vehicle wrap business out there,” says Uzbalis.
Images of the amazing artistic work of vehicle-wrap specialists can be seen across every social media platform, which is intimidating for commercial printers thinking about entering the sector. This is compounded by the fact that print is not the most significant component of such projects.
“It is not just a printer, it is a department,” says Uzbalis. “With wide-format printing, once you have printed [the job] it is only the beginning. Now that graphic has a second life… it has to be applied to somebody else’s private or public property. It has adhesive on the back of it and this is a key difference – it often has to be removed.”
Commercial printers, however, are becoming more accustomed to value-add business models, where print is not the sole revenue source for a communications project, whether this means data management, specialty finishing or some other tangible expertise.
“There is certainly an art to both the design and the application if you are doing a full vehicle wrap,” says Hawkes. “There are plenty of third-party providers out there who would be more than happy to wrap vehicles for you; and do it under your name… there are ways to put your toe in that market to see if there is interest in your customer base.” Hawkes emphasizes vehicle wraps are often just a component of a client’s overall promotional needs, which may also include out-of-home products like signage, apparel or more standard collateral work.
Commercial printers thinking about entering the wrap sector, therefore, must consider their most viable investment route. “The good news for commercial printers is that they are used to spending a million or half a million dollars and they see our printer for $15,000 or down as low as $6,800,” says Phipps. Mutoh’s proclaimed “Wrapper’s Choice” printing system costs US$18,995 list. “So, at least it is not a shock from the cost standpoint. It may be from the learning curve.”
Uzbalis recalls, when he started out in the wrap sector 18 years ago, it cost around half a million dollars to get into the business. Today, a printer in theory can get into vehicle wraps without spending a dime based on outsourcing, instead focusing on sales. Commercial printers, however, do have specialized colour and production management skills they can leverage with relatively inexpensive equipment, while outsourcing installation.
“A large percentage of the installers do not do any printing at all,” explains Phipps. “They either come to your place if you have a bay, or you can have it done at their place.”
Roland, which builds its expertise in the wrap sector through print-and-cut technology, also focuses on producing decals, smaller format vehicle graphics instead of full wraps. “There is also something called partial wraps,” says Hawkes. “Some companies getting into it will just do tailgates on trucks or maybe back windows with perforated – things that are easy, decals for the door of a plumbing truck. That is a whole business on its own.”
Producing partial graphics can also lower equipment investment needs, in terms of printing system width. However, Hawkes, Phipps and Uzbalis all suggest focusing on investing in 60- to 64-inch printers, again relating to the relatively low cost and available network of installers. “It doesn’t have to be a $70,000 printer that you bring in in order to do this stuff. We have our 640 RF printer and that can handle it,” says Hawkes. “It is print only, but you can do a full vinyl wrap job with it and people do that all the time and that printer is less than $20,000.”
“Sixty-four inch is the magic size,” says Phipps. “Most of the media you are going to use in the wrap business is 60 inches.” This size, explains Phipps, can produce work for a lot of different parts of a vehicle, such as one-piece hoods and tailgates. “You want to shy away from having a seam down the middle if you can. It is becoming less and less acceptable especially when you are getting into higher-end wraps.”
Phipps also explains 60-inch media is the ideal size for a single operator to handle during installation, avoiding the costly need for a second installer. “From an application standpoint one person can handle 60 inches,” he explains, “and secondly it will cover most vehicles in one piece.”
If a commercial printer does decide to enter the sector by purchasing a wide-format system engine, they will also require a laminator, which might cost as little as $5,000. Phipps explains a laminator will typically outlast all of the other wrap equipment by at least two or three times. He warns, however, that it is vital to purchase a good-quality laminator, because an inexpensive machine is likely to lose its pinching ability over time, for applying an even, crinkle-free laminate. “There is nothing worse than spending the time designing the file, then printing it on expensive vinyl… and having it crinkle up and then having to start all over.”
After the initial capital outlay for the printing engine and laminator, the ongoing investment concern revolves around media costs, particularly given the current advances in the technology. Printers have the natural tendency to look at these expensive films as a means to control margins on their jobs, but, unlike specifying papers for commercial work, the wrong substrates can turn into very costly mistakes.
This often relates to specialized adhesives and to the use of calendared or cast vinyl, the latter being more expensive. “Calendared vinyl is basically when you take a big lump of heated vinyl [and] roll it flat and then cut it off to get the piece that you want. Well, the problem is that it has memory and over time those corners peel up,” explains Hawkes. “A cast vinyl is just what it sounds like: You are pouring into a mould and so it doesn’t have memory. You always want to print with a cast vinyl, but at the same time there are so many inexpensive places to buy vinyl these days.” Calendared vinyl is also a thicker film, usually 3 1/2 to 4 mils, relative to cast materials.
Uzbalis warns it may be tempting to save $500 on the front end to purchase a vinyl that is cheaper because of its adhesive, which may not be engineered for a specific application. “Profit can quickly turn into a loss when a $2,000 invoice shows up for broken storefront windows,” he says. “Worse, what is my reputation now with that client?”
One of the more important aspects of working with wrap materials is to ensure the production team has the ability to properly estimate the job, which is certainly a strength of commercial printers. “Measuring and estimating the job is one of the more important parts,” says Hawkes, “because if you have to print another 10 feet of vinyl and apply another 10 feet of vinyl, because you forgot the back of a truck or something, that is a big expense in product and time.”
At the same time, Phipps explains the amount of work involved in producing wraps, from design and printing to laminating and installation, provides substantial revenue avenues for printers. “There is a lot of opportunity to show value to the customer. You are not just selling a piece of paper. There is a lot more involved,” he says.
Uzbalis emphasizes revenue potential goes hand in hand with a dynamic market that is constantly presenting new applications. “It is a market that has relatively better margins than ink on paper so it is very attractive to commercial printers,” he says. While it is easy enough to throw calendared vinyl on a piece of Coroplast, which does happen often for short term installations, commercial printers can also leverage their craft-based abilities to add value to what is becoming a powerful and cost-effective form of advertising.
“It is the same with all types of printing. You can find people who are willing to do this for a song and make next-to-no margin,” says Hawkes. “I never really understood the thought process behind that. Or you can find the people who turn around and say, ‘I have the ability to do quality graphics. I use quality materials and I stand behind what I wrap.’ Those are the people who make the margins. It doesn’t happen overnight necessarily, but those are the people who do the best long term.”
Gandy Digital of Mississauga officially launched its new Gladi8tor UV flatbed inkjet printer during the FESPA 2015 trade show in Cologne, Germany. The system features what the company refers to as an inline 8-blade print head configuration, which allows for a double CMYK set-up to deliver twice the speed – up to 240 square metres – relative to the company’s Domin8tor and Pred8tor models.
The new Gandy Gladi8tor provides a double white ink capability to address issues of white ink density on transparent or non-white substrates. It also offers a new layered print option for the production of multi-layered colour images and white. Gandy explains the Gladi8tor’s ability to sandwich white or doubled-sided banners with white and black between images, allows for the production of new applications like backlit jobs.
The new Gladi8tor, incorporating a vacuum table, is available in two print widths. The Gladi8tor 1224 has a print size of 1.22 x 2.44 metres (4 x 8 feet) and the Gladi8tor 2030 has a print size of 2 x 3.05 metres (6.6 x 10 feet). The Gladi8tor 1224 also comes with a 2.44-metre (8-foot) wide roll-to-roll option.
Using 6-piolitre variable dot Ricoh printheads, the Gladi8tor is available in two production settings, with the first using six colours (CMYK&LM&LC) plus double white and the second using eight colours and a double CMYK set-up to deliver twice the speed. With automatic head height adjustment, customers can also print on a range of substrates of up to 50 mm (two inches) thick.
The 3.2-metre (126-inch) HP Latex 3500 and 3100 printers join a portfolio with more than 26,000 Latex printers already installed worldwide. The new systems feature what HP describes as heavy-duty roll handling of 300 kg (660 lb) and 10 litre ink supplies, meaning the systems are capable of unattended, overnight printing. The machines also hold dual-roll split spindles for what HP describes as safer handling of oversized rolls; as well as inline slitters to reduce bottlenecks in finishing; and built-in LED lights to support on-the-fly proofing.
HP describes its Latex 3100 printer as being well suited for large sign and display operations that handle a range of work. It prints at indoor quality at speeds of up to 77 m2/hr (830 ft2/hr). The HP Latex 3100 and 3500 printers, and complementary HP Latex mobile app, are expected to be available worldwide in August 2015. A new bright white, FSC-certified HP Premium Poster Paper for use with HP Latex printers will also be available worldwide through licensing partner Brand Management Group (BMG).
HP also introduced the new Scitex 17000 corrugated press, driven by the company’s HDR Printing Technology, features the recently introduced HP Scitex Corrugated Grip and HP HDR230 Scitex Inks. Also scheduled for release in August 2015, the Scitex 17000 is designed to reach speeds of up to 1,000 m2/hr (10,764 ft2/hr).
Prints made with the HP HDR230 Scitex Inks on a representative coated media, according to HP, have been independently certified as having Good Deinkability. HP is also introducing the HP Smart Uptime Kit for HP Scitex Presses, a cloud-based inventory management system enabling customers to log parts, track usage and extract reports.
Distributed exclusively by Fujifilm, the new system prints at 600 m2/hr with automation. It is positioned between what Inca describes as the high-quality 400 m2/hr, six-colour Onset R40i and the high-speed 720 m2/hr Onset S50i. The new Onset R50i, Inca explains, is designed for firms who produce a mix of graphics for long and short-distance viewing, as the system provides both quality and speed.
“This new Onset ticks all the boxes for many companies because it extends the range of jobs they can handle,” said Heather Kendle, Inca Digital’s Director of Marketing and Product Management. “Plus, its ability to produce both sharp text and smooth block colours with all the added advantages of digital print flexibility will appeal to companies with XXL offset presses.”
The full-width array flatbed Onset R50i is supplied with a choice of Caldera or Colorgate RIPs and prints an apparent resolution of 1,000 dpi onto substrate sizes up to 3.14 x 1.6 metres (123.6 x 63 inches) and 50 mm (two inches) thick at a rate of up to 120 full-bed sheets an hour.
Depending upon specific job requirements, users can choose between uni-directional, bi-directional and high-quality or high-productivity modes. The Onset R50i is equipped with a 15-zone vacuum table, a UV sensor system and mechanical substrate height detectors.
The 98-inch (2 1/2-metre) Jeti Tauro is positioned as a high-end hybrid UV inkjet press – for both rigid and flexible material – with 32 print heads in a 6-colour system, in addition to an optional white or primer. Jeti Tauro offers optional semi or full media load/unload automation.
Jeti Mira is a 6-colour and white UV inkjet flatbed printer with optional varnish or primer. Also aimed at high-end production, it features moving gantry architecture and six vacuum zones with automatic and independent control of the front and back vacuum zones. Jeti Mira is available in two table versions: 2.7 x 1.6 metres and 2.7 x 3.2 metres (8' 9" x 5'2"/10'5"). Agfa explains its Print and Prepare feature makes the Jeti Mira unique for printing on both small objects or larger board sizes.
Today, Agfa Graphics’ UV-curable inks deliver large-gamut high-quality prints with the lowest ink consumption per square meter in the industry, thanks to the ‘thin ink layer technology’ in both the Jeti Tauro and the Jeti Mira.
The new UV inks, leveraging what Agfa refers to as thin ink layer technology, for Jeti and Anapurna systems target flexible applications, special substrates and outdoor signage printed on polypropylene or styrene based media types and provide image longevity.
Asanti v2.0 also features new options for printing white on transparent substrates. The software provides for file handling, colour management and preflighting, while also working with the Asanti StoreFront Web-to-print solution.
Canon is introducing its Poster Designer Plus software for use with the company’s imagePROGRAF product line of inkjet printers. Poster Designer Plus is Web-to-print plug-in software that adds a large-format poster design engine, shopping cart and checkout functionality to an existing Website.
This cloud-hosted printing storefront, explains Canon, gives print service providers tools to take advantage of industry trend towards the online ordering of wide-format printing. Canon points to a recent study by InfoTrends, which predicts the online print business will double to US$70 billion in online transactions by 2017.
Canon Canada plans to highlight Poster Designer Plus software at the upcoming Graphics Canada trade show, taking place from April 16 to 18 at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
Canon unveiled the Océ ColorWave 700 wide-format printer, scheduled for a March 2015 commercial release, which is described as an entry-level system aimed at reprographers and in-plant shops. The printer is suited for applications like posters, pop-up banners and wallpaper, while also handling CAD and GIS documents.
The Océ ColorWave 700 uses Océ MediaSense technology, providing the ability to print on thicker media of up to 32-mil. Canon explains the system is rated to print up to 640 posters or 1,800 A1/D-size CAD drawings per working day.
In line with its versatility tag, the system allows for up to six different rolls of media to be loaded simultaneously. With an optional Take-Up Module, users can choose between roll-to-finished sheet or roll-to-roll printing. The ColorWave 700 also includes the Océ ClearConnect multi-touch user panel, which works like a tablet to ease an operator’s learning curve.
ColorWave 700 allows for printing from a desktop via Océ Publisher Select software, with embedded Adobe PDF Print Engine (APPE) architecture. Optional ONYX Thrive software provides pre-flighting and colour management tools.
Patented Océ CrystalPoint technology produces what Canon describes as water-fast prints with sharp lines, high readability of fine details and smooth, even area fills.
The field upgradable Onset R40LT base model starts as a manual 3.14 x 1.6-metre (123.6 x 63 inches) flatbed printer in a choice of four, five or six colours. It can eventually reach up to eight colours through upgrades. The Onset R40LT is rated to reach speeds of up 265 m2/hr on substrates up to 50 mm (two inches) thick, which Inca describes as being equivalent to producing 40 full-beds sheets per hour.
The Onset R40LT printer has all the design features of the existing Onset R40i, including 14 picolitre Fujifilm Dimatix Spectra printheads, a 15-zone vacuum table, a UV sensor system and mechanical substrate height detectors.
Based on the Onset Scaleable Architecture platform, the Onset Series now features a choice of 18 different models and three different handling systems.
The first R40LT units are currently being installed at Imperial in New Berlin, United States, and at Daelprinting in Ypres, Belgium.
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