Wide-format Inkjet

Durst, at last week’s Sign Expo in Orange County, unveiled two UV-based wide-format inkjet systems, including one machine primarily built for high-quality reproduction and a second built for high speeds.

The new 3.2-metre Rho 312R UV is a roll-fed printer that Durst describes as holding imaging quality to rival lambda prints, making it suitable for backlit, fine art and similar high-end reproductions. The Rho 312R is equipped with Durst’s 12-picoliter Quadro Array print-head technology, employing Variodrop and grayscale. Holding 24,000 nozzles, the machine reaches speeds of up to 2,500 square feet per hour, with quality production mode at about 1,300 square feet per hour and backlit mode at 750 square feet per hour.

The new 98-inch-wide Rho P10 250HS UV flatbed system builds upon the company’s existing P10 250 printer by doubling its print-head nozzles and, therefore, also its speed relative to the predecessor. This 10-picoliter printer, using Durst’s Quadro Array technology, can reach speeds of up to capable of printing up to 4,000 square feet per hour.

Mutoh this June plans to release its new 64-inch ValueJet 1626UH wide-format printer, which features UV-LED technology for producing signage and packaging applications.

The 1626UH (with a suggested retail value of around $49,995) includes front and rear flatbed tables, an optional take-up system, and Mutoh’s FlexiPrint DX RIP software. It is a hybrid printer able to print both rolls and rigid substrates up to a half inch thick, using CMYK + white and varnish inks. The two available ink systems include 6 colour (CMYK, White and Varnish) or 4 colour (CMYK x2).

Technology features of the new inkjet system include Intelligent Interweave (i²) to better manage banding and the ValueJet Status Monitor (VSM) app for remote printer monitoring. User can also add options like the SpectroVue VM-10 spectrophotometer for easy profile making and ColorVerify process control system.

Memjet of San Diego, which made a splash in the printing industry around two years ago with unique high-speed inkjet print-heads, particularly used for labels, is launching a new product called the Aspen Print Engine aimed at commercial printing applications and OEM partnerships.

Aspen is a page-wide-array engine designed for what the company describes as “on-demand, high-quality colour printing” for label and commercial printing applications. Memjet states the technology can reach a top printing speed of 225 feet per minute, representing a significant jump from the 165-feet-per-minute speed of its previous print-engine generation.

“Customers value full control and real-time, precise printed material, and a guarantee that what’s on the screen is exactly what’s printed – down to shading and line values,” stated Gus Piccin of Memjet. “OEMs and print shops with Memjet-powered technology can deliver value in the form of that control. Accurate, real-time printed material is a reality, and an avenue for opportunity and growth.”

Memjet states the Aspen engine provides for full dot control, improving a user's ability to apply half-toning to reach photographic quality. Aspen features 70,400 nozzles delivering millions of ink drops per second. The page-wide-array print-head system produces 1,600-dpi native resolution in full process colour.

Available as both a standalone printing system or for OEM integration, Aspen Print Engines currently come in three configurations, including: A single print engine, two print engines mounted side-by-side for up to 17-inch wide media (B-size), and as four print engines for double Web and duplex printing on the same web.

Xaar last week launched its new 1002 GS6 print-head, building from the existing 1001 GS6 product, for UV applications, primarily aimed at the production of labels, laminates, direct-to-shape, packaging and other types of product decoration.

Xaar states the 1002 GS6 print-head (featuring 1,000 nozzles) is designed to jet high-opacity white inks, as well as high-viscosity varnishes, which is enabled by Xaar’s patented TF Technology for ink recirculation and the Hybrid Side-Shooter architecture.

TF Technology was first introduced on the 1001 GS6. The Xaar 1002 GS6 is backwards compatible with the Xaar 1001 GS6. The Xaar 1002 GS6 is available with a range of systems components, including the new slimline HPC3, XUSB and Xaar Hydra.

This morning, Xaar of Cambridge, U.K. released its 2013 financial results, as well as news that its Chief Executive Officer, Ian Dinwoodie, plans to retire in 2015 following 12 years at the helm of the company.

“My decision is entirely a personal one and I remain fully committed to continuing the development of the company between now and my planned retirement date,” stated Dinwoodie. “We are beginning the search for my successor now, and I will ensure a smooth transition occurs during 2015.”

For its 2013 fiscal year, Xaar reported increased sales in all markets, with its growth being led by strong Chinese end-user demand in the ceramics segment. The company recorded revenues of £134.1 million for the year, growing 55 percent over the 2012 number.

Xaar is presently mid-way through a £30m investment program to increase production capacity at the Huntingdon manufacturing facility by 75 percent. The company has experienced a 43 percent increase in year-end headcount with nearly 800 employees at 31 December 2013, including over 650 jobs in the U.K.

Investment in R&D doubled to £16.4m (12 percent of revenue) with R&D headcount increasing by 64 percent year on year. Xaar also noted its Thin Film Piezo program (Platform 4) successfully moved from the technology demonstration phase to the product design phase, with first sales still expected in 2016. New product launches for 2014 included the Xaar 1002, Xaar 501 and Xaar XPM, together with the planned market test of a new 200nl technology.

Fujifilm today announced its plans for Ipex 2014, taking place in London, UK, from March 24 to 29, which the Japanese imaging giant considers to be one of three global printing exhibitions, also including drupa in Germany (held every four years) and PRINT (every five years) in Chicago. 

The company’s Ipex booth will include the Jet Press 720 B2 sheetfed inkjet press, the Jet Press 540W web inkjet press, and the new Graphium label press, which will be making its U.K. debut at the show, as well as the XMF workflow production suite.

“When visitors to Ipex arrive at our stand they will step into a real-life inkjet production environment, with the opportunity to see just how inkjet presses can profitably print many types of fast turnaround, short run print,” stated Graham Leeson, head of European communications for Fujifilm Graphic Systems. “We are committed to demonstrating the power of inkjet technologies and open people's eyes to its full potential.”

Fujifilm plans to run both the Jet Press 720 and Jet Press 540W in a live environment for the duration of the show. Based on an exhibition partnership with Intelligent Finishing Systems Ltd., Fujifilm will be focusing on the production of finished print using its production-inkjet technologies, with a Horizon StitchLiner 6000 on its stand. As a result, the company will be producing short run calendars, brochures, magazines, books, labels, manuals and posters with run lengths from one to 5,000, while also demonstrating the business model for each application.

The production of labels and specialty print will be also be showcased on the Fujifilm stand with Graphium, the company’s new UV inkjet press developed and manufactured by FFEI. Combined with Fujifilm's new Uvijet Graphium ink, developed specifically for label printing applications, the company describes this system as viable technology for both short- and long-run label conversion jobs.

Agfa is introducing the Jeti Titan HS and Jeti Titan S flatbed inkjet machines for the first time at the C!Print exhibition, which opens today in Lyon, France.

Building on the existing Jeti Titan series of UV-curable wide-format printers, the new machines incorporate the latest generation of Ricoh Gen 5 print heads with 1,280 nozzles. The Jeti Titan S is equipped with one row of print heads, but it is field upgradeable to two rows. The Jeti Titan HS (high-speed) is equipped with the two rows from the outset.

The ink system on both the Jeti Titan HS and Jeti Titan S is set at six colours plus white (CMYKLcLmWW). White printing is supported by different modes, including: overprint, under-print, spot, under-spot, fill and over-spot for rigids and pre-white for roll media. The white-ink channel features an automated recirculation system.

The Jeti Titan S and HS can produce a 7-picoliter droplet size, which allows users to produce photorealistic images with fine text down to 4-point. 

Both inkjet machines also feature a 2x3-metre flatbed design, which features a moving table built on a steel frame for heavy production requirements. Users can also adopt Agfa’s flat-to-roll option to print flexible medias up to 3.2 metres wide.

The Jeti Titan S and HS are driven by Asanti workflow software and Anuvia UV-curable inks.


Fujifilm today unveiled two significant innovations for the Inca Onset Series of large-format industrial presses, including a new manufacturing platform and the first printer built on it. Fujifilm is the exclusive global distributor of Inca Digital’s inkjet systems.

Onset Scaleable Architecture
Inca Onset flatbed UV machines are now being built on a “future-proof” scalable architecture platform to allow for in-the-field upgrades of productivity and colour systems.

The new modular Onset platform provides the ability to adapt ink tanks, print-heads, UV curing lamps, automation, speed modes, electronics and software. For example, a company with a 4-colour, manual, 300 sqm/hr (3,229 sqft/hr), or a six-colour, semi-automatic, 560 sqm/hr (6,028 sqft/hr) printer can add and exchange colours up to a total of eight, in a variety of combinations, including lights and whites. Onset-enabled printers can also boost productivity speeds in increments up to a maximum 725 sqm/hr (7,803 sqft/hr).

Onset Scaleable Architecture enables Inca itself to streamline manufacturing of the machines, which the company indicates can reduce lead time from order to build by 25 percent. The new Onset engines run Fujifilm Uvijet inks, as well as Inca’s iNozzle mapping electronics and a 15-zone vacuum table to reduce bed masking requirements.

“Onset Scaleable Architecture is a dynamic ‘future-proof’ technology that protects a company’s investment for the long term and provides a highly flexible production centre that can grow and change with them,” stated John Mills, Inca CEO. “Since Inca launched the very first flatbed UV inkjet printer in 2000, we have continued to introduce exciting new technologies that have transformed the market for digital print. This new-generation platform is another significant development and maintains our reputation as an innovator in the world of wide-format printing.”  

New Onset S50i
The first new-generation Onset printer to be developed on the Onset Scalable Architecture is the dual CMYK, Onset S50i flatbed UV system capable of printing 725 sqm/hr (7,803 sqft/hr). The flatbed UV system is immediately commercially available and currently in full production at four companies, three in the United States and one in the United Kingdom. 

“When the Onset S70 was launched in 2007, we changed the industry’s expectations of digital print speed for display graphics,” stated Mills. “The launch of the powerful, new-generation Onset S50i today raises productivity levels still further and makes it a true commercial and cost-effective alternative to offset presses and multiple screen presses.”

The S50i’s throughput of up to 725 sqm/hr (7,803sqft/hr) is equivalent to 144 full beds per hour. The new system uses Fujifilm Uvijet OB or OZ inks to print onto a range of rigid and flexible media up to 3.14 x 1.6 metres (123.6 x 63 inches) and up to 50 mm (2 inches) thick. A choice of print modes can be selected, alongside satin and gloss finishes, depending on the specific job requirements. The Onset S50i incorporates 224 (56 per colour) Fujifilm Dimatix printheads on a full width print array and two UV lamps for curing.

“The desire for a greater level of personalization, combined with shorter run lengths, is well documented in the industry,” stated Tudor Morgan, Systems Marketing Manager, Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, “The challenge for the OEM is to satisfy this in an economical way. The speed and quality of the Onset S50i makes this achievable.”

Fujifilm has introduced a new ink line for its Acuity series of printers. The Uvijet KA four colour CMYK ink is designed to have enhanced adhesion, scratch resistance, and increased tolerance to marks caused by operator fingerprints or traces left by protective films.

The ink was formulated after Fujifilm got feedback from its users asking for inks that have better adhesion across a broader spectrum of rigid plastic substrates. Fujifilm says the adhesion range of Uvijet KA is much wider than other inks currently available, and allows operators to manage multiple substrates within a single ink.

“Uvijet KA offers a high functionality ink with excellent adhesion across a wide range of rigid plastic substrates. Uvijet KA is ideal for customers for whom adhesion is a priority,” said John Kaiser, product marketing manager, Inkjet Inks, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division.

Uvijet KA ink is now available for the following Acuity Series models:

Acuity Advance (HD2545)

Acuity Advance X2 (HD2545)

Acuity Advance (HD2565)

Acuity Advance X2 (HD2565)

Acuity Advance HS (HD3545)

Acuity Advance HS X2 (HD3545)

Acuity Select (HD4000 Series)

Acuity Select X2 (HD4220 Series)

Acuity Select HS (HD5000 Series)

Acuity Select HS X2 (HD5220 Series) 

Uvijet KA ink (CMYK) is available in the standard Acuity two liter pouches:

Uvijet KA Cyan (KA-215/2L)

Uvijet KA Magenta (KA-867/2L)

Uvijet KA Yellow (KA-052/2L)

Uvijet KA Black (KA-004/2L)

Uvijet KA White ink is available in the standard Acuity one liter pouch:

Uvijet KA White (KA-021/1L)

Uvijet KO and Uvijet KI inks remain available for the Acuity Series of printers.

GTI Graphic Technology, a manufacturer of lighting systems for critical colour viewing, colour communication, and colour match assessment, has introduced a new Vertical Wall Viewing System, which is to be featured at the upcoming SGIA Expo taking place place from October 23 to 25 at the Orange County Convention in Orlando, Florida.

GTI’s new Vertical Wall Systems – a combination of overhead luminaires, viewing lamps, and accessories (wall panels, neutral gray paint, mounting options) – are ISO 3664:2009 D50-compliant for large-format vertical viewing.

GTI’s Graphiclite luminaires feature what the company describes as a parabolic lens design that provides light uniformity over a large vertical area. GTI luminaires utilize Graphiclite 100 Color Viewing Lamps that are engineered to provide balanced D50 light output. The system also includes mounting brackets and Munsell Neutral 8 gray wall steel panels.

“Output from today’s large format printers is excellent. However, the output often needs to be viewed in controlled lighting conditions in order to ensure that brand integrity and color fidelity is maintained,” stated Robert McCurdy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at GTI. “GTI Wall Systems create an ISO 3664:2009 compliant viewing area that allows the viewer to stand as close as an inch in front of the artwork without a casting a shadow.”

During the SGIA Expo, GTI is also highlighting its SOFV-1xiQ software with a desktop viewing station and the iQ wireless light sensor. The sensor is used to automate the luminance match between a colour monitor and the viewing station. The viewing station features an integrated processor that enables wireless communication with the iQ sensor, automatic luminance matching, automatic calibration and ambient light monitoring ensuring that ISO 3664:2009 D50 color viewing standards are met.

The company is also exhibiting its SCV (Simultaneous Color Viewer), PDV (Professional Desktop Viewers), CRD (Color Rendition Demonstrator) and MiniMatcher Series of products at SGIA.

At Labelexpo last week in Brussels, EFI debuted its new addition to the Jetrion line, the 4950LX LED printer, as well as new finishing modules for the 4900 line.

The Jetrion 4950LX LED printer has a resolution of 720 x 720 dpi and uses what EFI claims to be first in its class LED curing technology to produce print on thin and traditionally difficult stocks. A side benefit is longer-lasting lamp life (5,000 hours versus 1,000 hours on mercy arc lamps) and lower energy usage.

The new finishing modules for the 4900 family displayed at Labelexpo included a varnish/lamination module, which extends the in-line finishing options available on the machine, and a new high-powered laser cutter, available in single-head (500W) or dual-head (1000W) configuration, for label producers working at widths of 330mm. Both work on either the Jetrion 4900-330 or the Jetrion 4950LX and both presses are driven by EFI’s Fiery digital front end.

Inca, distributed exclusively through Fujifilm worldwide, launched a new model in its Onset lineup, a new variant of its Onset S40i machine that features a white channel. The machine will make its first trade show appearance next month at FESPA Eurasia, but is available commercially immediately.

The device, based on the six-colour S40i launched at drupa in May last year, is designed for backlit or frontlit display graphics. The S40i with white replaces two colour ink channels of the original S40i (light cyan and light magenta) with two white channels. 

The Inca Onset S40i with white incorporates 168 Fujifilm Dimatix printheads (56 for white) on a full width print array. As a result the printer produces POS-quality display graphics at throughput speeds of up to 560 square meters per hour (CMYK only) equivalent to 112 full bed sheets per hour (3.14 x 1.6m), and onto substrates up to 50 mm (2 inches) thick. A choice of uni-directional, bi-directional and super high quality print modes can be selected depending on the specific job requirements.

The addition of the S40i with white variant brings thte total different configurations in Inca’s Onset range to 18.

Epson today at Labelexpo in Brussels launched PrecisionCore as its next-generation inkjet printing technology. PrecisionCore forms the heart of new SurePress L-6034V and L-6034VW presses, as well as Epson’s new SureColor F2000 direct-to-garment printer.

The SurePress L-6034V and L-6034VW also represent Epson’s first inkjet-based label presses to employ LED UV-curing ink, jetted by a PrecisionCore print-head array that fits within the company’s existing MicroTFP print-head brand. This single-pass industrial press line, scheduled for commercial release in summer 2014, is available with a white ink channel, SurePress L-6034VW, or without the white ink channel, SurePress L-6034V. Both systems include inline varnish.

Epson is producing the PrecisionCore print-heads in a Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) industrial facility. The manufacturing scalability and robustness behind Epson’s new print-head, which the company describes as a print chip, allows it to be deployed across a range of sectors from industrial and commercial printing to office products. This is also based on PrecisionCore’s ability to jet a variety of inks onto various marking materials.

“PrecisionCore represents a leap forward in printing performance,” said Minoru Usui, Epson’s global President. “We continue to deliver outstanding quality thanks to superior dot control, and have introduced a new system to ensure reliability. At the same time, scalability allows us to fully leverage our historical strengths of ink flexibility and print-head durability.” 

Epson, the imaging industry’s long-standing dominant force behind piezoelectric, relates the development of PrecisionCore to advances in its high-performance thin-film piezo technology, which is supported through the MEMS chip production for manufacturing scale, quality and cost effectiveness.

“For the first time, one printing technology offers the performance and scalability to fundamentally change how business approaches printing,” said Keith Kratzberg, Senior VP, Epson America. “While today’s industrial printing announcements from Epson showcase the power of PrecisionCore in the prime label and packaging industry, the technology will soon extend to a full range of PrecisionCore-based products designed for today’s office printing environments.”

The SurePress L-6034VW includes six array lineheads which are comprised of 11 PrecisionCore print chip modules (totaling 52,800 nozzles) with multi-size dot control and high native resolution. The linehead is designed to work with Epson’s new low-energy LED-cured UV ink and in-line digital varnish technology, which can ultimately image at a 600 x 600-dpi resolution at up to 49.2 feet per minute. The press works with standard film and paper label substrates between 3.15 to 13-inches wide up to 0.013-inches (0.32 mm) thick. In addition, it enables printing onto heat-sensitive substrates like polyethylene.
“The SurePress L-6034VW joins Epson’s current SurePress L-4033A/AW and puts Epson in the unique position to offer two very different digital label press solutions with two different ink sets – aqueous for short-run labels, especially on uncoated and textured paper, and now UV for short- to mid-run labels on a wider range of substrates,” said Mark Elsbernd, North American Region Sales Manager, Epson America. “Prime label and packaging converters now have two options to best suit their client portfolios.”

Xanté will premiere its new Excelgraphix 4200 P series inkjet printer and a new version of its iQueue Workflow at its PRINT 13 booth next week. 

"Chicago's winds of change are blowing from the South this September at PRINT," says Xanté CEO Robert Ross. "Our new Excelagraphix Series is going to turn wide format inkjet inside out, effectively upping the ante on every function that matters, beginning with truly blazing fast speed.”

The Excelagraphix 4200 P printer is a wide format system that uses Memjet’s Waterfall Printhead Technology to produce upwards of 3 billion drops of ink per second. The device is particularly well suited to extremely thick media, including corrugated board up to 1/2” thick.

The newest Xanté iQueue workflow software features an all-in-one RIP workflow and colour handling “that puts five- and six-figure workflows to shame.” The system is engineered specifically for digital colour printing and is bundled with all of Xanté’s devices. 

At the show, Xanté will also show its Excelagraphix L850 Digital Narrow Web Press as well as the company’s Ilumina 650GS series.

Fujifilm North America has added a new model to its Acuity Advance Select series of wide format printers, the Acuity Advance Select HS.

The new model, which comes in four variations between four and six ink channels as well as a choice of two bed sizes, features a higher production speed compared to other machines in the Acuity Advance Select line. The new printers are capable of 535 square feet per hour in Fujifilm’s Production Squared mode.

The six-channel Acuity Advance Select HS-6 printers can be configured with either clear + white or white+ white channels, for varnish and backlit applications or even extra cyan and magenta nozzle capacity. The two bed sizes are 4x8 feet and 8x10 feet; an optional roll media kit will also be available.

The Acuity Advance Select HS printers are optimized by Fujifilm’s Uvijet inks, which incorporate the company’s proprietary Micro-V dispersion technology. Fujifilm claims Micro-V technology helps to create better adhesion to substrate, improved durability and more vibrant colour.

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