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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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