Wide-format Inkjet

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.


The Eastman Kodak company has announced it will divest itself from the production of consumer inkjet printers as part of its restructuring in the effort to emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of 2013. The announcement came as the company also filed a motion to the Bankruptcy Court to extend until February 28, 2013, its exclusive right to file a plan of reorganization.

"Kodak is making good progress toward emergence from Chapter 11, taking significant actions to reorganize our core ongoing businesses, reduce costs, sell assets, and streamline our organizational structure," said Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Steps such as the sale of Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging, and the Consumer Inkjet decision, will substantially advance the transformation of our business to focus on commercial, packaging & functional printing solutions and enterprise services. As we complete the other key objectives of our restructuring in the weeks ahead, we will be well positioned to emerge successfully in 2013."

The company will continue to produce and sell ink for its install base, but will wind down the sales of its consumer inkjet printers. Kodak previously announced efforts to exit or sell unprofitable and declining businesses, such as the digital camera and online photo services businesses, as well as its Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses. Kodak has also cut 2,700 jobs so far in 2012, with 1,200 still to come, representing a 23 percent reduction in its workforce and a savings of more than $340 million per year.


Inca Digital, in conjunction with its exclusive worldwide distributor, Fujifilm, has launched the Inca Onset S20i wide-format UV flatbed inkjet printer. This new introduction follows the launch of the Onset S40i announced in May 2012.


The Onset S20i features a full-width print-head array with 26 individual Fujifilm Dimatix print-heads per colour. This array equates to production speeds of up to 310m2/hr (3,340ft2/hr), which is equivalent to 62 full beds per hour. Producing resolutions of between 600-dpi and 1,000-dpi, the machine has a six-colour system, including white ink and matte, satin, and high gloss finishing effects.



The machine handles both flexible and rigid materials up to 3.14 x 1.6 metres (123.6 x 63 inches), as well as a material thickness up to 50 mm (0.59 inches) thick, or 10 mm (0.4 inches) when using full automation.

The Onset S20i is  available with Inca Digital’s optional automation system, allowing users to operate the machine manually or with semi or three-quarter automation from the same configuration. It also supports Inca’s Print Run Controller (PRC) software module to incorporate variable-data printing.

The Inca Onset S20i includes a new 15-zone vacuum table to reduce bed-masking requirements for substrates less than 3-mm thick. It also includes a new auto-sensor system that constantly monitors the UV dose and informs the operator about when to initiate the Onset S20i’s automated cleaning procedure.


Canon has unveiled five new models in its line of imagePROGRAF printers, including: the iPF9400, iPF9400S, iPF8400, iPF6450 and the iPF6400. The line is designed for professional photographers, artisans, proofers and print-for-pay users.

"Canon has developed a unique and innovative solution to provide colour consistency across the entire series of new imagePROGRAF models to meet the needs of photography and graphics professionals," said Sam Yoshida, VP and GM, Marketing, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. "The introduction of this new line of imagePROGRAF printers solidifies Canon's commitment to providing imaging professionals with the necessary tools to showcase their work."

The new imagePROGRAF printers are configured as follows:

iPF9400 (12-colour, 60-inch), 
iPF8400 (12-colour, 44-inch), 
iPF6450/6400 (12-colour, 24-inch). and 
iPF9400S (8-colour, 60-inch).

New features of the introduced imagePROGRAF printers, include: 

Multi-Sensor: An enhanced multi-sensor for improved density accuracy and stability over previous models. According to Canon, this new sensor, along with the included software, helps to achieve colour consistency across all new imagePROGRAF 12-colour models.

Colour Calibration Management Console: Using the calibration function equipped in the new line of imagePROGRAF devices, it is possible to execute and monitor the calibration status of multiple printers on a network from one PC.

Media Configuration Tool: This software allows the user to update and customize the printer and drivers with new Canon and custom media information.
 
The new imagePROGRAF printers also feature a sub-ink tank system which Canon claims minimizes waste. The ink cartridges can also be replaced while the printer is running. This system is further enhanced for the imagePROGRAF iPF6450 and iPF6400 printers with a new 300ml tank size.
 
The 12-colour, 24-inch Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6450 printer is available with an option to add  onboard spectrophotometer, introducing the ability to obtain colour consistency across multiple iPFX400 series printers.

The new Canon imagePROGRAF models are scheduled to be available in September with a retail price of US$11,995 for the iPF9400, $9,995 for the iPF9400S, $5,995 for the iPF8400 printer, $3,695 for the iPF6450, $2,995 for the iPF6400, and $1,795 for the SU-21 Spectrophotometer.



Mutoh has added a new model to its line of eco-solvent inkjet printers: the ValueJet 2638. The machine is designed for indoor signage, billboards, POP displays, fleet wraps and more.

Featuring a 104-inch print width, the seven-colour inkjet printer produces print at up to 1,168 square feet per hour. The staggered dual-head system produces print at a maximum resolution of 1,440 dpi. 

The machine will be shown for the first time at the SGIA Expo in Las Vegas this October. The machine will start shipping in November with a suggested retail price of US$49,995, which includes a heavy-duty feed and take-up system, PhotoPrint SAi RIP software, media-roll cradle, and installation.

Options for the ValueJet 2638 include SpectroVue VM-10 spectrophotometer, ColorVerify Pro and one litre ink bags for high-production environments.


Océ has announced a new series of inkjet eco-solvent printers known as the CS9300. Available in two sizes, 64-inches (CS9360) and 54-inches (CS9350), these machines are the successor to the company's CS9160 and CS9050, respectively.

“This refreshed line of printers brings more productivity to print service providers that produce outdoor-durable work,” said Attilio Mainoli, CEO of Océ Display Graphics Systems. “There are still many applications that are well served by eco-solvent printers particularly in the growing out-of-home advertising category, which includes items such as posters, transit advertising and convenience-store advertising.”

The two machines feature intelligent interweaving technology which reduces or eliminates typical artifacts in conventional inkjet printing, such as horizontal banding, step mismatch banding, and the visible effects of missing or misfiring nozzles.

The CS9360 can print at speeds of up to 29 square metres (312 square feet) per hour, about 60 percent faster than the model it replaces. The CS9350 nearly doubles the print speed of the CS9050. The printers include a standard media take-up system as well as a sheet-off function to accommodate individual shops’ print and finishing workflow. An optional off-board winder unit is available to support volume printing.

 
Mutoh has announced a new addition to its dye-sublimation and aqueous printer line called the ValueJet 1624W.

The 64-inch, four-colour inkjet system prints at up to 600-square-feet per hour and has a maximum resolution of 1,400 dpi. The new printer holds what the company calls "Smart Printing features," including Intelligent Interweave to eliminate banding, and ValueJet Status Monitor, for remote printer monitoring.

The printer is available immediately for shipment and has a MSRP of US$18,995, including a take-up system.


At drupa 2012, in addition to a series of previously announced innovations, Fujifilm launched the Uvistar Pro8 wide-format printer. The company also unveiled a new inkjet web press and, in cooperation with Inca, enhancements to the Onset S40 platform. Fujifilm also introduced a new surface treatment technology, called MultiGrain Z, that is to be used in the manufacture of its processless printing plate.

Adding to its series of Uvistar wide-format printers, Fujifilm describes the new Uvistar Pro8 as being particularly well suited to produce applications for both display POP and outdoor advertising markets on flexible and rigid media. The Uvistar Pro8 platform includes a set of light colours within the ink set based on what the company calls Parallel Drop Size (PDS) technology. This system, using Fujifilm’s brand new Uvijet QN inks, allows the Uvistar Pro8 to produce high-quality display graphics at speeds in excess of 300 m2/hour.

Other improvements to the Uvistar design include: an auto media handling system for rigid media; an automated backlit printing option; the ability to switch between 4- and 8-colour printing modes, and a new operator interface.

In addition to Fujifilm’s earlier announced sheetfed Jet Press models, the company announced plans to launch a new inkjet web press that enables duplex printing within a single tower design. The company explains this design results in an extremely compact footprint, while retaining a maximum printing speed of 127 metres per minute.

The inkjet web press uses Fujifilm’s new VIVIDIA ink, which has been engineered to produce high-density images at high speed, with less ink transfer from sheet to sheet. A variety of ink types, including both pigment and dye-based inks, have been developed for use with this press.


In cooperation with Inca Digital, Fujifilm unveiled the Inca Onset S40i flatbed UV inkjet printer, shown for the first time at drupa 2012. The Inca Onset S40i uses 168 new-generation, user-replaceable print heads (28 per colour) on a full-width print array, delivering a 28 picolitre drop size. This latest Onset machine features reduced bed masking: A new 15-zone vacuum table reduces bed masking requirements for substrates thinner than 3 mm.



The Onset S40i also includes a new UV sensor system that constantly monitors the machine condition and informs the operator when automatic cleaning of the print heads is required. It also includes a new substrate height detector.

At drupa, Fujifilm also announced a new surface treatment technology called MultiGrain Z that will be used in the manufacture of its processless printing plate. This new manufacturing process, unique to Fujifilm, allows for more effective surface area of the plate, which the company states is to result in up to a 50 percent improvement in run length for its new Brillia HD PRO-T3 processless plate. This new plate manufacturing will be implemented in 2013.



EFI has debuted the latest model in its popular VUTEk line. Known as the VUTEk HS100 Pro, the machine is a 3.2 metre UV inkjet press that is capable of imaging up to 100 boards per hour. It is a device aimed at screen printers looking to transition to inkjet.

The HS100 Pro utilizes EFIäs new Orion OS platform, which the company claims provides more precise ink laydown and increased colour gamut. The machine can be equipped with up to eight colours, including white and other special inks.

"This nex generation EFI VUTEk press should win every side-by-side comparison with e4xisting digital presses in terms of offering the best combination of speed, output quality and return on investment," said Scott Schinlever, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Inkjet Solutions at EFI. The printer brings greater flexibility and workflow integration, with streamlined and versatile production on longer run lengths. Combined with advanced production features, warning and detection systems, and the Fiery XF proServer, the HS100 Pro is a true 24/7 solution ideal for the most demanding production environments."

 

 



Agfa Graphics’ released details about its presence at the upcoming drupa tradeshow with technologies like :Apogee version 8, new cloud-based software called :Apogee StoreFront, :M-Press Leopard, :Anapurna and :Jeti systems, and further developments to its ThermoFuse prepress systems.

Focusing on offset and inkjet printing, the company plans to highlight four key industry sectors: industrial printers, sign and display printers, commercial printers and newspaper publishers. “The star of our 7-strong product showing will be the unique and versatile :M-Press Leopard flat bed press,” said Stefaan Vanhooren, President of Agfa Graphics. “It will be running live demonstrating its exceptionally wide range of capabilities.”

In the industrial print sector, drupa will represent Agfa's first trade-show demonstration of the massive :M-Press Leopard. This inkjet-based system includes new functionalities and the ability to print on various substrates up to 5-cm thick, in any size up to 1.6 x 3.3 metres.

In the sign-and-display sector, Agfa will demonstrate its wide-format :Anapurna series and two recently introduced :Jeti 3020 Titan UV systems. One of the two :Jeti 3020 Titans will be shown in a 36-head configuration, with a white-ink application (pre-, post- and spot white). This machine’s 2 x 3 metre mounting bed supports both rigid and thin flexible material. The second :Jeti 3020 Titan on display will feature a 48-head configuration, using eight heads for each colour (CMYKLcLm). It prints at the same speeds for roll-to-roll and rigid materials.
 
In the commercial printing sector, Agfa Graphics is extending its patented ThermoFuse technology for high-volume printers, including the .:Azura TS  and the :Azura CX125 COU (Clean-out Unit), which is designed to handle plate volumes up to 40,000 m2 per year.

In software development, the newest version of Agfa Graphics’ workflow management suite, :Apogee 8, supporting 64-bit systems, will also be demonstrated. The company will also highlight :Apogee StoreFront as a new cloud-based solution to set up online stores for both printed and non-printed products.

In the newspaper sector, Agfa Graphics is introducing two new platesetters for the high-volume newspaper market. The :Advantage N PL HS (Pallet Load, High-Speed) and the :Advantage N TR HS (Trolley Load, High-Speed), both produce up to 350 printing plates per hour. At drupa, the :Advantage N PL HS will be running live, imaging Agfa Graphics’ :N94 VCF chemistry-free violet plates. With a completely new design, it can store more than 6,000 plates configured on two pallets of 3,000 plates each plus an additional cassette, in a fully automatic setting.

Agfa will also demonstrate :Arkitex Eversify. Using HTML5 for the reproduction of images, audio, video animation and other content, :Arkitex Eversify is a Software as a Service solution designed for publishers to convert print content for mobile digital publishing.


Inca Digital Printers has announced it will be adding a new print mode to its Onset S20 machines. A new 20-pass print mode now joins the existing 12, 16, and 25 pass modes.

The 25 pass mode has also been improved, speeding up the production by 24 percent. The new 20-pass mode sits between the existing 16- and 25-pass modes and gives a productivity increase of 26 percent compared to the latter. The upgrades are available as a free upgrade to existing Onset S20 customers and will be included standard on new machines.

“Inca continually looks for ways to improve its technology in order to give customers the best value and performance,” says Dr Linda Bell, Inca Digital CEO. “Different jobs require different levels of image quality, depending on their content and the viewing distance, which translates into different numbers of printhead passes during printing.

Epson America announced a new line of printers called SureColor. The first machine in the series, the SureColor S30670, is a four-colour 64-inch solvent printer and the first to employ Epson's MicroPiezo TFP print head.

"Our first generation solvent printer – the EPSON Stylus Pro GS6000 – has been a game changer in the signage market over the last four years, bringing advanced image quality and an ink technology with less impact on the environment to the industry to open up a new range of applications for solvent printing," said Reed Hecht, Product Manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. "The new SureColor S30670 offers advancements in print head and ink technology to deliver higher quality printing, faster and better, at an extreme overall value."

The SureColor S3070 is a design that is new from the ground up and includes many automation features such as nozzle checks, media feed adjustments, and complicated print head alignments. Epson's new MicroPiezo TFP print head delivers droplets as small as 4.2 picolitres and doubles the nozzle density of Epson's previous solvent printers. The one-inch wide print head contains 720 nozzles per colour and is capable of printing up to 619 square feet per hour in draft mode (205 square feet per hour in normal signage production).


The machine uses Epson's UltraChrome GS2 inks and works on "virtually all" standard coated or uncoated solvent media, and can also print on canvas. Developed by Epson, UltraChrome GS2 includes a newly formulated yellow ink that can produce prints with up to three years of outdoor durability without lamination. In addition, these new inks deliver virtually odorless printing without the need for external dryers, special ventilation or air purification systems, and do not contain Nickel (Ni) compounds, helping to reduce impact on the environment and potential harm to employees.

The SureColor S30670 will be available in April at a MSRP of US$16,995. The machine will make its debut at Graphics of the Americas in Miami, March 1-3.

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