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.
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.”
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.
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