Wide-format Inkjet

Roland, at SGIA 2014 taking place in late-October, will introduce the 64-inch Texart dye-sublimation transfer system available in four- or eight-colour ink configurations. The system will leverage ErgoSoft Roland Edition RIP software.

“Both the printer and our new specially formulated inks are highly innovative,” said Lily Hunter, Roland Product Manager. “Previously, colours sublimated to fabrics could look distorted with dull blacks, missing grays and fuzzy details. The RT-640’s variable droplet technology in combination with Roland Texart dye sublimation ink displays bold, vibrant colours and rich velvety blacks, as well as subtle gradations and fine details.”
The Texart RT-640 incorporates a gold-plated, anti-static print head capable of printing seven different droplet sizes. A new feed adjuster, which in combination with a more powerful fan and an included TU-3 take-up system, is designed to provide stability for high-speed printing at up to 351 square feet per hour.
Roland’s RT-640 is equipped with the Roland Ink Switching System allowing users to load a fresh pouch without stopping the printer. In four-colour CMYK mode, this system provides two liters per colour and automatically switches to a backup ink pouch when the primary pouch runs out.

Xeikon at Labelexpo Americas 2014, currently underway in Chicago, showcased its new Cheetah press, which the company describes as “the most important advancement for the digital label market in 15 years.” Xeikon plans to make the Cheetah commercially available in 2015, which will be the sixth press model in its portfolio.

Xeikon states the five-colour Cheetah, aimed at self-adhesive/pressure sensitive label printing, is 60 percent faster than any other model in its current press portfolio. It reaches speeds of up to 98 feet per minute (30 metres per minute).

“This increase in speed represents a huge leap forward in digital press technology… the Xeikon Cheetah narrows the gap between digital printing and traditional flexo/offset methods for producing labels,” said Patrick Van Baelen, VP of Marketing at Xeikon.

The Cheetah can handle substrate widths of up to 13 inches (330 mm) with a true print resolution of 1,200 x 3,600 dpi. Xeikon explains it utilizes full rotary printing where the press speeds are independent of the number of colours used and the repeat length of the job. The press can also run Xeikon’s dry toners that meet FDA regulations for food contact and the ability to print opaque white toner in one pass.

In addition to the standard CMYK + White, the fifth station on the Xeikon Cheetah can be used to print gamut expansion colours or security toner. The press also includes automatic inline register and density controls. The imaging width is up to 12.7 inches (322 mm) while the repeat length is variable from zero to 180 feet (zero to 55 metres). Media weights range from 40 gsm to 350 gsm.

During Labelexpo Americas 2014, Xeikon also introduced its new inline Web Varnishing Module, scheduled for a 2015 release, which can apply UV or aqueous varnish on one side of a wide range of substrates. These substrates include self-adhesive label materials, coated papers, unsupported films and coated paper board.

The Web Varnishing Module runs inline with the Xeikon 3000 Series of presses (at full press speeds) and the print roller can be changed to match the repeat or width of the job being printed. In addition to applying the flood or spot varnish, the unit can be upgraded with a UV dryer and/or aqueous dryer.

Canon today launched its Océ PlotWave 500 large-format printing system for producing technical documents.

Featuring Océ’s ClearConnect touchscreen interface, the new system has the ability to print 10 D-size plots per minute with what the company describes as virtually no warm-up delay. The PlotWave 500 system leverages Océ's Radiant Fusing technology, which the company describes as providing quick warm-up when compared to the slow start-up of up to four minutes on conventional printers.

“The Océ PlotWave 500 combines high speed, productive printing, scanning, and copying via our popular Océ Scanner Express II, all in a space-saving single footprint configuration,” stated Junichi Yoshitake, Senior VP and GM, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A.

PlotWave 500 runs on Océ's universal software suite that looks and works the same across all of the company's wide-format systems. The new printer also features cloud integration for collaboration.

3M is launching its new 3M Scotch-Weld Low Odour Acrylic Adhesives, which feature a new low-odour, non-flammable formulation designed to ease health-and-safety concerns.

3M Scotch-Weld, in concert with its low-odour properties, also features what the company describes as extremely fast cure rates, reaching structural strength in about nine minutes. 3M states this curing speed is almost twice as fast as ordinary acrylic adhesives.

The new product is designed to have higher impact resistance on plastics and metals, with strong shear and peel performance, as well as improved adhesion. It features an 18-month shelf life, with no refrigeration required, which 3M describes as more than double the shelf life of conventional acrylic adhesives, while also saving on storage.

Drytac has added ViziPrint Impress, an optically clear, printable polyester window film with proprietary suction technology, to its line of print media.

ViziPrint Impress is specifically designed for dry installation of graphics on glass surfaces. Its proprietary suction technology, according to Drytac, leaves no residue behind, eliminates bubbling and is unaffected by moisture.

Drytac expects ViziPrint Impress to make an impact with retailers because it can be installed by both professional installers and store employees, applied where traditional adhesive products are not recommended and simplify the change out of graphics.

“What sets ViziPrint Impress apart from other printable window graphic films is that it is adhesive-free and is not a vinyl-based static cling,” stated Steve Broad, Drytac Sales Director Europe. “Since it uses suction, there is no chance of adhesive residue upon removal. Not only can it be used on glass, it can be safely used on electronic equipment, such as tablet displays and TV screens; refrigerators and glass display cases; mirrors; and backlit displays.”

The ultra clear PET film is available in three versions: 4-mil clear UV for UV curable inks, 5-mil clear SEL for solvent, eco solvent, latex, and UV curable inks, and 5-mil white SEL for solvent, eco solvent, latex, and UV curable inks.

At FESPA Digital 2014, taking place in Munich from May 20 to 23, Inca Digital will debut its new Onset R40i UV flatbed printer, which is exclusively distributed worldwide by Fujifilm.

The Onset R40i uses Fujifilm’s Dimatix Spectra print heads to deliver a 14-picolitre drop size and at 400 square metres per hour. Based on Inca’s Onset Scaleable Architecture platform, the new Onset is available with a range of colour options (CMYK, Lm, Lc and white).

Customers will be able to modify their machines from a 4-colour configuration to five, six or seven colours (up to eight ink channels, including two for white ink). They can also later adopt other key elements for the printer, such as the UV curing lamps, automation, speed modes, electronics and software.

A choice of uni-directional, bi-directional and high-quality print modes can be selected depending on specific job requirements. Onset R40i produces a maximum output resolution of 1,200 dpi on media of up to 3.14 x 1.6 metres (123.6 x 63 inches) and up to 50 millimeters (two inches) thick, at the rate of up to 80 full-bed sheets per hour. The new Onset also supports Inca’s Print Run Controller software for variable data printing.

The Onset R40i is compatible with Inca’s flexible automation system, which gives users the choice to operate manually, or with semi or three-quarter automation. At FESPA Digital, visitors are able to see the Onset R40i running with a new full automation system, as a result of an integration between a Hostert automated feeder and alignment table and Inca’s proprietary material loader and take-off system. This combination, according to Inca, allows for continuous printing with a variety of material types and sizes commonly used within the display, POP and sign markets.

Agfa Graphics of Belgium plans to unveil a redesigned wide-format system in the Anapurna M2050i at FESPA Digital 2014, taking place from May 20 to 23 in Munich, Germany. The company expects to make the machine commercially available in the third quarter of this year.

The UV-based hybrid Anapurna M2050i, according to Agfa, provides a productivity increase of up to 75 percent compared to its predecessor, largely based on an electromechanical redesign of the original system. Productivity is also to be increased by features like dual board or borderless printing.

Using a belt transport drive system, the Anapurna M2050i features new print heads for the production of both rigids and roll media, driven by Agfa Asanti software which includes colour management and pre-flighting. The wide-format inkjet system will be available with white printing.

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.”

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