Wide-format Inkjet


At FESPA 2013, running June 25 to 29 in London, Agfa Graphics launched its Anapurna M3200RTR wide-format system and a new workflow solution called Asanti for the display-graphics sector.

The Anapurna M3200 RTR is a 3.2-metre, roll-to-roll device, which features a six-colour, UV-curing ink system. It supports dual-roll printing and produces a maximum 1,440-dpi resolution, while working with flexible materials like banners, self-adhesive vinyls, and front- and back-lit graphics.

“Most UV-curable production printers designed to ease the transition away from solvent-based engines carry a heavy price tag,” stated Willy Van Dromme, Director of Marketing Wide Format at Agfa Graphics. “We have developed the Anapurna M3200 RTR to be a reliable and good quality system at a sensible and attractive cost.”

Also at FESPA, Agfa, building from its long-standing Apogee software, introduced new Asanti workflow for wide-format production. Asanti is a PDF-based workflow for tasks like colour management, file editing, RIPping and pre-flighting. It includes the Asanti StoreFront, a web-to-print application based on cloud technology.





HP has announced a new device in its Scitex flatbed system lineup which is aimed at production of corrugated and display graphics. The HP Scitex FB10000 Industrial Press makes its debut at FESPA in London this week and will arrive in November.

The six-colour FB10000 has a bed size of 1.6 metres by 3.2 metres. According to HP, the machine can produce up to 125 full-sized sheets per hour, or 1,001 B1-sized sheets in less than two hours.

"To date, digital printing customers have had to choose between productivity and quality, always sacrificing one feature for the other," said Stephen Nigro, Senior Vice President, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. "The HP Scitex FB10000 industrial press changes the game, providing a unique combination of speed, quality and versatility to cost-effectively meet the standards set by offset while taking advantage of the short runs, personalization and quick turnarounds possible with digital."

The company describes the FB10000 as a new platform featuring unique technologies for high speed and quality work. Central to this technology is what HP calls High Dynamic range (HDR) printing, which uses variable drop sizes to print both solid coverage and high detail areas in one pass. Droplets of 15, 30 and 45 picolitres are created from HP’s new HDR300 printheads to minimize tone breaks in printed images. Each nozzle produces up to 24,000 droplets per second and the FB10000 has 312 printheads (52 per colour) of 192 nozzles each, leading to production speeds of up to 625 square metres per hour.

The FB10000 also employs HP HDR240 Scitex UV-curable inks, which features new qualities such as high durability as well as 300 percent elongation, meaning it is very suitable to corrugated POP displays which require creasing. The inks are also Greenguard Gold certified, meaning they are suitable for sensitive indoor environments. The ink also features properties that allows it to adhere to more substrates, including plastics, without pretreatment.

HP says its current Scitex FB7600 will continue to be sold, aimed at the screen printing market. The Scitex FB10000 will place above it in its flatbed lineup.




Agfa Graphics is launching the new Jeti TitanX at FESPA 2013 taking place London, England, from June 25 to 29. The new system joins Agfa’s existing Jeti Titan series of UV-curable wide-format printers based on moving-table flatbed technology (now holding seven different system configurations).



The Jeti TitanX is described by Agfa as a highly flexible system, which allows for fast switching between four (CMYK) to six-colour (CMYKLcLm) imaging on a job-by-job basis. Both modes also allow for laying down white ink, with eight dedicated white print heads out of the system’s 48 total.

The Jeti TitanX has a bed size of 3.1x2 metres with a table with a tolerance of only ± 0.05 mm over the complete surface. The system also features what Agfa refers to as Table Topology Compensation, a set of measurement and jetting compensation algorithms to help reduce variations. An optical camera is used to scan the bed to create a topographical map of the imaging area. The algorithms then make velocity compensation calculations for optimized dot placement.
 
The Jeti TitanX jets Agfa’s Anuvia UV-curable inks that are designed specifically for high-end production platforms.


Inca Digital and Fujifilm will present an addition to its Onset line: the Q40i, at FESPA in London later this month. The companies describe the Q40i as an ultra-high-quality flatbed UV inkjet printer.

The Q40i will use Fujifilm’s Spectra Dimatix QS10 printheads to image media up to 3.14 meters x 1.6 meters up to 50 mm thick. Compared to the 27 picolitre drop size on the S40i model, the Q40i has a 10 picolitre drop size, leading to an apparent resolution of 1,200 dpi. The Q40i prints at up to 310 square metres per hour, or 62 full bed sheets.

“The Inca Onset Q40i combines outstanding quality with high-volume capabilities for critical print applications such as backlit cosmetics displays, fashion and other closely-viewed graphics,” said Heather Kendle, Inca Digital, Marketing Director. She goes on to say the Q40i’s output is comparable to offset litho. 

The Q40i will be available in four- or six-colour configurations, bringing the Onset’s lineup to 20 different configurations in the range.


HP plans to introduce a new wide-format inkjet system, called the HP Latex 3000, to the worldwide market by mid-August. The company also announced the rebranding of its Designjet and Scitex printers and supplies into what the company describes as a new sub-brand known as HP Latex.

HP’s latex printing systems were first introduced in 2008 as a water-based alternative to solvent ink technologies. The company reports more than 15,000 HP Latex printers have been shipped worldwide, which have produced over 100 million square metres of print. HP expects these numbers to triple by 2016.

“As the leader in large-format printing, HP is offering latex solutions that give our customers a unique advantage to cost-effectively address these challenges with new levels of productivity, quality and application versatility,” stated said Xavier Garcia, VP and GM, Large-Format Sign and Display Division, HP.

The HP Latex 3000 system, according to the company, is to provide the ability to work with a greater range of medias, including heat-sensitive substrates, based a new ink solution called the HP Latex Optimizer. This new inking technology is designed to provide curing at lower temperatures and with less energy than previous HP Latex systems. 



The new Latex 3000 will jet third-generation HP 881 Latex Inks and feature production speeds of 830 ft2/hr (77 m2/hr) for indoor applications and 1,290 ft2/hr (120 m2/hr) for outdoor applications.
 
The new HP Latex branding results in the following portfolio:

HP Latex 260, formerly Designjet L26500
HP Latex 280, formerly Designjet L28500
HP Latex 820, formerly Scitex LX820
HP Latex 850, formerly Scitex LX850
HP Latex 3000 Printer (August 2013 release)



Fujifilm, which is the exclusive global distributor for Inca technology, announced the launch of a new inkjet solution for POP corrugated board applications. The technology package is a combination of the Inca Onset S40i, Fujifilm’s new Uvijet OC inks, and a new handling system that was previewed back in January 2013.

The new Uvijet ink system and system for handling corrugated substrates are designed to address challenges in the inkjet production of corrugated board, including distorted or bowed substrates. Fujifilm points out that because of the absorbent nature of various corrugated materials, there is a tendency for ink to sink in (leaving an uneven matte finish) and for companies to then compensate by over varnishing. Uvijet inks, according to the company, help to overcome these challenges, while the handling system eliminates further potential distortions.


Fujifilm also points out the Uvijet ink system builds on the company’s history of developing screen inks for POP corrugated board applications, as well as its history with UV inkjet inks. The new inks are described as offering a range of finishes from low-glare satin to high gloss in corrugated applications, while also allowing users to store and then later finish printed POP work.

The new handling system for the Inca Onset S40i is based on a fully automatic vacuum-to-vacuum transfer method. It utilizes a robotic arm and camera system to distinguish the location and orientation of a stack (within 0.5 mm), separate the top sheet and transfer it to the vacuum bed of the Onset without any gripping or squeezing, which can leave marks on outer edges. 



This system, according to Fujifilm, enables the transportation of uneven materials (which could have up to a 20 mm difference per linear metre in distribution end-to-end), to be held flat on the table with no marks affecting the printed area. According to Fujifilm, this eliminates the need for an excessive gap between print heads and substrate, which helps users maintain text and image quality on difficult surfaces.

When printing is complete, a second automated head also utilizing a vacuum system picks up the printed sheet and drops it onto a delivery stack. With both heads working simultaneously, the productivity of the Onset is increased to over 500 m2/hr.

“This combination of printer, ink and handling system enables our customers in the corrugated display market to be confident that they can produce an even higher class of POP displays than ever before, as there are no longer any compromises to be made," stated Tudor Morgan, Marketing Manager, Fujifilm. "We are confident that bringing this solution to market will open up new business opportunities for these printers and give the industry a new standard to work to.”



At the ISA Sign Expo in Las Vegas, ended Saturday April 6, Fujifilm exhibited its recently released Acuity Advance Select 8 flatbed printer and the Acuity LED 1600 hybrid printer.

The Acuity Advance Select 8 is a UV-based flatbed inkjet system that, building on the existing Acuity Advance series, offers more colour options through an eight-channel set, including white and clear ink options. The Acuity Advance four- and six-channel models were introduced back in late-2012. The new Select 8 also includes two additional production print modes for increased throughput, as well as a new print-bed vacuum system for greater zoning capability.

At ISA, Fujifilm demonstrated the Acuity Advance Select 8 by running unique substrates for applications like poker chips, textured print, playing card tins, Visual Magnetics, wood signs, clear PETG, white Styrene, black Sintra, Innova framed art and Ultraflex poplin fabric.

Fujifilm also showcased its Acuity LED 1600 wide-format hybrid inkjet printer, designed with a unique curing system for creating higher value graphic displays, signs and banners. The printer employs a patent-pending UV-LED ink curing system for both roll and rigid substrates. Those companies that have been integrating LED curing speak to benefits like lower energy consumption and longer lamp life when compared to traditional metal halide UV curing technology.

The Acuity LED 1600 reaches printing speeds of up to 215 square feet per hour and comes standard with an eight-channel set, including CMYK plus light cyan, light magenta, white and clear. This system allows for printing white or clear ink in a single pass. At ISA, the Acuity LED 1600 was demonstrated with Ultraflex Illumisol backlit signs, Sihl clear film, Catalina Graphic Films’ Mojave wall paper, Fujifilm poster paper, clear textured printing, packing printing with playing card cases, and decal/label printing.


At the ISA trade show in Las Vegas, Durst Phototechnik AG unveiled two new versions of its Rho 1000 continuous inkjet wide-format systems with the Rho 1012 and Rho 1030 models. Durst also introduced its new 10-picoliter Variodrop print-head technology, now available on all P10 Series printers, which the company believes to hold important implications for greyscale printing.

The Rho 1012 – equipped with Durst’s 12-picoliter Quadro Array print-heads – reaches speeds of up to 5,000 square feet per hour. The Rho 1030 reaches production speeds of up to 10,000 square feet per hour, which, when applied to fully automated configurations, allows for long-run production of large-format UV applications.

The Rho 1000 platform is available in various configurations, including a fully automated stack-to-stack board-printing option, registered ¾ automation, roll-to-cut sheet or roll-to-roll.

“The introduction of the 1012 and 1030 is a natural result of what we’ve been hearing from the production printing segment,” stated Christopher Howard, Senior VP of Sales & Marketing for Durst U.S.  “By adding the capabilities of our two new printers, along with the automation solutions, we make this a very strong solution for many of our print partners.”

At ISA, Durst also introduced its new 10-picoliter Variodrop printing technology featuring what the company refers to as multi-pulsing.

Durst explains the Variodrop’s multi-pulsing technology is based on delivering two voltage pulses, with the second pulse pumping precise amounts of ink into the droplet before it detaches from the nozzle plate – without forming any satellites. Conventional greyscale relies heavily on the accuracy of drop placement, according to Durst, which can be affected by the uniformity of drop velocity and variations in print-head conditions can lead to a mismatch of greyscale drop velocities.

“Compared to the often uneven droplets that are formed from a not-well-tuned greyscale wave form, this double-pulse drop shape we produce is perfectly uniform and the placement is always evenly spaced with Variodrop,” stated Dr. Richard Piock, CEO of Durst Phototechnik AG.

Durst is demonstrating its Variodrop printing technology on a Rho P10 320R UV system at the Las Vegas Sign Expo event, which continues until April 6. The company is also teaming up with Zund America and Caldera to demonstrate a complete production workflow – from ripping to printing to cutting.


At the ISA Sign Expo in Las Vegas, continuing until April 6, HP introduced new ink and media options for its large-format portfolio, including an ink upgrade system and Color-Logic metallic option for the Scitex FB7600 printing system. HP also introduced the first two partners within its ColorPRO strategy and a new global medias distribution partner.

The Enhanced Color Pack (ECP) upgrade for the Scitex FB7600 and FB7500 systems is described by HP as a scalable ink option geared toward point-of-purchase (POP) applications. Available for six-, seven- or eight-colour configurations, the first two inks (orange and light black) of EPC are expected to be available worldwide on May 1.

HP FB225 Orange Scitex Ink expands the printer’s colour gamut for what HP describes as more realistic skin tones, while also naturally increasing the available spot-colour range for brand-based work. HP FB225 Light Black Scitex Ink, according to HP, creates smoother grey solids and improves neutrality. This ink can be added to the printing system’s six process colours. This Enhanced Color Pack can be employed by existing HP Scitex FB7600 or upgraded FB7500 users.

HP used the ISA show platform to announce the availability of a previously introduced metallic colours effect application, supported by HP software partner Color-Logic, for the Scitex FB700 and FB500 printers. The Color-Logic software enables customers to produce metallic effects for applications like retail signage and package prototyping. It requires the Color-Logic Printers Design Suite & License, HP FB251 Scitex White Ink and HP-approved media for metallic substrates.

At the ISA Sign Expo, HP announced it has entered into a licensing agreement with Brand Management Group (BMG), a company specializing in media distribution worldwide. HP states this move is to improve service quality and availability of its sign and display media for HP Latex Inks. BMG is expected to begin distributing HP-branded media through its global network of dealers on May 1, 2013.

HP also announced at ISA Sign Expo that Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc. and Cooley Group are the first external companies to introduce sign and display medias engineered with ColorPRO technology. In 2012, HP introduced its ColorPRO strategy as a set of substrate specifications to meet performance standards, primarily for its large-format portfolio and the HP Inkjet Web Press series.

Aurora Specialty Textiles and Cooley have now committed to develop, manufacture and distribute textile substrates for use with HP Latex Inks and non-PVC banner solutions for use with HP Latex and UV ink products, respectively. These new media options are expected to be available in late summer 2013.


M.T.L Print Ltd. of Israel, founded by inkjet-tech veterans Kobi Markovitch and Moshe Nur, is set to unveil the 5 x 10-foot NURStar 305D wide-format printing system at ISA, April 3 to 6, in Las Vegas.


M.T.L Print introduced its first machine, the NURStar 304D, in 2012, with what the company refers to as a unique interchangeable table, which is to be a hallmark feature of NURStar product line. Since that time, M.T.L Print has also established a North America headquarters in Kennesaw, Georgia.

"M.T.L. Print is riding high on customer momentum,” stated Ran Emanuel, CEO of M.T.L. Print. “Our service team is growing hand-in-hand with the installed base of the NURStar 304D, which was introduced early last year. We already have customers ordering their second machine, which is the best evidence of NURStar 304D's performance and value to its owners.”

The new NURStar 305D – like the 304D version – reaches speeds of up to 2,700 square feet per hour, employing variable dot size print-heads in a six-colour system. The NURStar line employs XAAR 1001 HSS heads, each containing 1,000 nozzles.



The 305D is available with an option for white-ink printing. The interchangeable table of the NURStar line is patent-pending technology that allows operators to load/unload as they print.


Agfa Graphics plans to exhibit four large-format inkjet systems at the ISA International Sign Expo, running from April 3 to 6 in Las Vegas, as well as related medias like the company’s new Duratex fabric for UV curable, latex, solvent and eco-solvent printers.

Agfa Graphics' booth is being presented as a "Six Strings Classic Blues Lounge," which means to replicate a New Orleans Jazz nightclub created with the company's inkjet media portfolio and equipment. “Almost every surface, image and promotional item was created using inkjet," states Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics North America. "The Six Strings Classic Blues Lounge is a stunning visual application lab of all the creative things that can be done with inkjet printing technology.”

Duratex PolyFab is making its North America trade show debut at Sign Expo. It is described by Agfa as a crease-free and water-repellant fabric that is highly stretchable for expansion over frame systems. Agfa’s inkjet systems on display at Sign Expo 2013 are to include:

:Anapurna M2050 – A high-speed, six-colour plus white, UV-curable inkjet printer with the ability to print in both uni- and bi-directional modes. It produces a maximum resolution of 1,440 dpi and accommodates rigid materials and rolls.


:Anapurna 2540 FB – An entry-level flatbed, UV-curable inkjet system designed for screen printers, photo shops and sign shops. Agfa states the system produces near-photo quality and can print on most rigid and sheet materials.


:Jeti 1224 HDC – A UV-curable system designed for display producers, sign-makers, screen-printers and print bureaus who work with a range of medias. This system’s FTR (roll-to-flat) opens up an application range with vinyl, canvas, self-adhesive vinyl, polyester-based films, fabrics and papers, as well as rigid boards, foam-core, corrugated and aluminum composites, and wood.


:Jeti 3020 Titan – A field-upgradeable system with a base configuration of 16 heads that can be expanded up to 48 heads to reach speeds of 2,432 square feet per hour. With 40 heads, the system allows for CMYK printing with enhanced white throughput.


Fujifilm has added four new models to its Acuity Advance Select series. The new machines, the Select-4 and Select-6 (both available in X2 configurations) are the latest in the company’s UV flatbed printers line. The existing Acuity Select-8 was launched in late October during the SGIA show.

The four-colour Acuity Advance Select-4 uses CMYK channels only for applications where clear and white inks are not required. For the Select-6, the two additional channels can be used for clear + white or white + white.

The two machines are also available with two different flatbed sizes, a standard 4' x 8' table or an X2 version with an 8' x 10' table. All Acuity Advance Select models have an optional roll media kit for printing onto  flexible materials. The printers also feature additional vacuum zones, further reducing manual masking, improving productivity.
 
The Acuity Select-4 can be field upgraded to a Select-6 and the Select-6 can be upgraded to the Select-8.  

Océ, a Canon Group Company, has announced four new additions to its Arizona 400 series line of UV flatbed printers: The Arizona 460 GT, Arizona 460 XT, Arizona 440 GT and Arizona 440 XT. The new machines join the Arizona 480 GT and Arizona 480 XT introduced in October.

The Arizona 400 series now has devices with four, six or eight independent ink channels for two different flatbed sizes. The machines have Océ’s VariaDot technology that can create images with sharpness equivalent to 1,440 dpi or higher as well as text as small as 2 point. According to Océ, the devices are also upgradable, designed to grow with the user’s business.

Océ Arizona 460 GT and Océ Arizona 460 XT models include six independent ink channels with the first four configured for standard CMYK printing. Channels five and six can be configured in two ways to meet the demands of various jobs, as described by the company below:

Varnish + White: Using white ink, print service providers can produce prints on a variety of non-white substrates – including backlit prints – that can command premium prices. Varnish can be used as a spot or flood decorative element for attention-getting results at high-value prices.

Double-White: Alternatively, when not required for use in printing varnish, the sixth channel can be used as an additional white ink channel to provide double the opacity in a single printing pass for higher productivity when printing white ink jobs. This is particularly beneficial for backlit and industrial applications.

The Océ Arizona 440 GT and Arizona 440 XT models include CMYK ink channels only. This is well suited for those shops that do not initially need the capacity for Varnish or White Ink printing or already have that capability elsewhere but just need to increase CMYK capacity.


Fujifilm at the SGIA 2012 show this month in Las Vegas introduced a new member of its Acuity wide format line. Called the Acuity Advance Select UV, the machine features eight independent ink channels that allows it to produce a wider range of applications.

In addition to the standard CMYK channels, the Acuity Advance Select has white and clear ink channels that can be configured to print clear + white, white + white, as well as to lay down additional cyan and magenta to increase productivity. The Acuity Advance Select also has new print modes to further improve print speed.

"The Acuity Advance Select, with white and clear ink options, sets a new standard for creating wide format, photo-realistic, fine detail prints with more versatility than ever," said Todd Zimmerman, Vice President and GM, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. "The Acuity Advance Select delivers stunning quality while printing at high production speeds. It can produce both rigid and flexible point-of-purchase signage that hold up visually, even at the closest of viewings, and can be used on practically any substrate, allowing printers to expand their capabilities and create new sales opportunities."

The device also has an optional roll media kit as well as additional vacuum zones to reduce manual masking.


Océ announced it will premiere the latest in its Arizona line, the 480 GT and the 480 XT, at the Specialty Graphic and Imaging Association show this week in Las Vegas.

The new Arizona 480 has eight independent ink channels with support for varnish or double-opacity white ink printing, including additional cyan and magenta channels for higher print quality at faster speeds. The two machines also feature a new system to increase image sharpness called active pixel placement compensation, which adjusts the location of individual pixels to account for localized variations in flatbed or platen height.

The Océ Arizona 480 GT printer offers the standard table size of 49.2 by 98.4 inches and the Océ Arizona 480 XT printer offers the extra large table size of 98.4 by 120 inches. Both can print on rigid media up to two inches thick. A roll-media option is available for both models to print on flexible media up to 86.6 inches wide.

In addition to the standard CMYK channels, channels five and six can be configured in two ways: Varnish + White and Double-White. The seventh and eighth channels add extra cyan and magenta nozzles to increase performance. The two machines have print speeds of up to 272 square feet per hour. The printers are aimed at production capacities of 53,800 to 107,600 square feet per year.

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