Wide Format printers

Wide Format printers
Just ahead of Visual Impact Proprint looks at a dozen of the latest wide format print systems on the market - roll to roll, flatbed and hybrid
Agfa Anapurna H3200i
The recently launched the Anapurna H3200i LED printer is a six-colour plus white platform which uses Konica 1024i print heads, enabling speeds up to 129sqm per hour and 1440dpi photorealistic quality.
 
This hybrid platform enables the user to print boards like Foamex, foam core, Aluminium composite, polypropylene and Acrylic, in sizes up to 3200mm wide by 3200 in length. Multiple boards can be placed across the printing width and a continuous feed option can be activated which in turn will increase productivity levels. H3200i offers the user the capabilities of printing roll stock like SAV, paper, foils and PVC banner up to 3200mm wide. Agfa says Anapurna is an affordable device, and coupled with Agfa’s new1500 inking system the client has a greener solution due to the reduction in ozone levels.
 
Agfa says the curing solution offers adhesion to problematic heat sensitive substrates like coreflute and display card, while only using 1KW of power per module compared to traditional methods that draw approximately 4KW. Agfa’s LED curing system offers a minimum of 10,000+ hours of printing, whereas traditional UV mercury systems tend to need replacing after only 500 to 1000 hours. This makes the new solution cost effective. Agfa’s build quality remains, as the Anapurna H3200i weighs in at an impressive 2.8 tonnes.
 
Agfa says Anapurna benefits many businesses, especially those who specialise in commercial, screen, signs, exhibition and POS markets. This style of device is also available in a 2500mm and 2050mm wide system.
 
Canon Océ Colorado 1640
The launch of Canon’s new 64” roll-to-roll printer at this year’s PacPrint - the Océ Colorado with disruptive Océ Uvgel ink technology - is designed says Canon to give printers unprecedented productivity. 
 
Delivering high quality graphics at new speed levels, Canon says it can easily handle peak periods with fully automated media loading and multiple media rolls, taking unattended printing to the next level, with on the fly quality assurance and easy-to-use job scheduling and alerts. It produces instant dry prints on a wide variety of coated and uncoated media. Canon says printers can cut their costs with the segment leading TCO of this new production printer.
 
Canon says the Océ Colorado 1640 sets new standards for  breakthrough productivity, never seen before automation, superior image quality, a broad application range and lowest operational cost in its class. 
 
The Océ Colorado 1640 printer is designed for both indoor and outdoor applications. It delivers a large colour gamut, similar to solvent inks, but combines this with the environmental benefits and safety profile of latex systems.
 
Durst Rho 1312
Durst says the Rho 1312 hybrid UV printer has proven its profitability and convinced users to trust and invest in one or even multiple units. It says its R&D team’s determination to excel itself has led to a new development in strategic components of Durst’s proprietary hardware and software. 
 
The outcome is Smart4, which boosts the Rho 1312 productivity further, with output exceeding 1,000 sqm per hour (330 boards an hour) in Two Pass (production mode) that equates to a doubling of the speed of the Rho 1312. Matt Ashman, sales manager at Durst’s Australian supplier PES says, “It makes the Rho 1312 faster and more profitable than ever.”
 
Durst says versatility is the watchword, with printing at 1,000dpi across 2.5 m width, with both roll to roll and flat sheet hybrid configuration. It also has the option to have double sided on both sheet and roll, as well as white ink option.
 
Ashman says that, as with any business, consumable costs and cost of production are a key part of the day to day running, that’s why Durst has worked hard developing algorithms to empower its users to save ink, with the new ink saver function. He says, “This enables ink savings from five per cent to as much as thirty five per cent depending on the job, and it is totally configurable, placing you in charge. Furthermore, this machine can be run by one operator, using three quarters automation of feed and stack. This all adds up to a healthy ROI for a print business, and a quality of print second to none.”
 
The new Rho 1312 Plus will be added to the PES range as of September, and existing Durst customers will be able to upgrade their existing Rho 1312 to the new version. Ashman says, “We have another two Plus’s to add to our range and to further enhance our customers profitability and quality.
 
“The new Durst Rho 512R Plus is again a further enhancement of the already popular Rho 512R (5m roll to roll UV printer). Adding a faster Boost speed to the Rho 512R was not an easy job, as the printer already delivers 350sqm per hour, this has been boosted to nearly 400sqm per hour, after many hours in the lab the technicians achieved their goal. Adding another resolution to the already high 800dpi was a must, and the result is a fine art mode of 1,200dpi - pin sharp across a five metre print.”
 
EFI
EFI says that by increasing substrate flexibility, driving down operating costs and reducing environmental impacts the latest LED curing inkjet print technology continues to open doors to both expanded creative applications and profit opportunities.
 
Advancements in EFI hybrid flatbed/roll fed platform innovation and print head manufacturer technology, has now shifted the thinking about the relationship between quality modes and productivity, especially in terms of how they meet both customer demands and profitability. 
 
EFI says that new four-colour print modes are changing the parameters related to quality expectations during high-speed production. These four-colour print modes can now often be used for a majority of work, while the eight colour modes can be selected for when the highest image quality is paramount to the production of customer jobs. For example, the EFI Vutek LX3 Pro is a versatile 3.2 metre hybrid flatbed/roll-fed printer that prints on materials up to two inches thick, designed and built to take maximum advantage of this improvement in print quality, enabling high production throughput, higher volumes, and shorter lead times all the while continuing to maintain high image quality.
 
EFI says the LX3 Pro is not only capable of meeting the growing demands for higher quality with quicker turnaround times, but also offers the ability to print on new and substrates. It says this is combined with the lowest total cost of ownership in its class, eight colours plus white, as well as multilayer printing and resolutions of true 600 or 1000 dpi and 12pL grayscale print technology. 
The company says it now enables print service providers to grow their business with high-value specialty substrates, while at the same time delivering greater image consistency/quality, reduced waste, and lower energy costs. All of which translates into a more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly print solution.
 
Epson SureColor SC-S80600
Epson says its signage and décor printers have been designed to produce superior output with faster, more efficient, and cost-effective operation. The printers are compatible with an enhanced range of media including the full range of paper, canvas, film and vinyl substrates. According to Epson they produce images that are brighter, and more durable, have a higher gloss level and gamut range than competitors. 
 
Epson says whether you are producing indoor POS or outdoor signage, back-lit displays or window decorations, banners or vehicle decals, wallpapers or floor finishes, posters or labels, its printers can do it. It offers a range of models to suit different production volumes and output requirements, all with easy loading, simple operation and reduced running costs.
 
The flagship Epson SureColor SC-S80600 is a 64 inch signage printer that incorporates Epson’s latest PrecisionCore print head and UltraChrome Eco-Solvent ink technology. It produces durable prints that are bright and glossy with an unparalleled colour gamut. It is designed to produce premium quality output, using minimum ink, with simple operation, and fast job completion. Prints dry quickly and machines require minimum maintenance. Ink has a low odour to enable operation in a wide range of commercial, business and office environments.
 
Fujifilm Acuity LED 3200R
The Fujifilm Acuity LED 3200R has eight ink channels including white and a clear coat (available later in 2017). Its top speed is 110sqm an hour per hour in CMYK 2-pass only mode and in 4-colour mode, standard production is produced at six-pass 40sqm an hour. Using all colours (CMYK + Lc,Lm, W) draft mode is 60sqm an hour per hour at four-pass and standard production is at 20sqm an hour per hour with twelve passes.
 
With the 3200R Backlit panel production is a particularly strong feature of the LED 3200R and there is even an on-board backlit display so actual viewing results can be proof-assessed during production. In this mode, sixteen passes are deployed so colours remain saturated and vibrant, with a production speed of 7.5sqm an hour.
 
Fujifilm first introduced LED curing in the Acuity 1600 LED; approximately 900 units of the LED 1600 have been sold worldwide. Because LED UV uses lower energy and a different bandwidth of UV light, the inks used need to be matched to the spectrum.  Fujifilm created the inkset for the 1600 and a new, more flexible Uvijet LF inkset for the 3200R.
 
The addition of LF flexible inks opens up the soft signage sector for printing onto fabrics used for backlit panels, exhibition displays, teardrop outdoor banners and pull-up portable displays.
Another feature is the ability to print two rolls simultaneously. Two rolls of media, each variable up to 1.52 metres in width, can be loaded to print either the same or two different jobs, effectively creating three printers in one to increase the versatility of the LED 3200R.
 
This dual roll capability is a production advantage when 1.52 metre production is at its peak and switching back to full 3200mm width is fast and easy. Two rip variations are available:- ColorGate Production Suite 9, or Caldera’s V10.
 
HP Latex 570 
The HP Latex 570 is a 1.6m wide printer, using HP 871 Latex inks in 3-litre bulk ink cartridges. Prints are cured inside the printer and come out dry without the need for out-gassing, so they ready for finishing, dispatch or immediate application.  According to HP instant-ready prints and indoor high-quality speeds of 23sqm an hour, means the HP Latex 570 enables printers to deliver fast results.
 
HP’s third generation Latex inks provide hard-solvent like scratch resistance on SAV and PVC banner, with the benefit of being water-based with a low environmental impact.  Achieving Greenguard Gold indoor air quality certification – even for full room wallcoverings – odourless inks, low VOC’s and no hazardous air pollutants, both operators and end customers appreciate the environmental appeal of HP Latex.
 
The new media loading and take-up system accepts heavy rolls up to 55kg – and operate on an easy to use pivot mechanism which is also spindle-less.  Making loading a breeze, the electronic pinch rollers correct skew automatically, and can enable roll loads in under a minute.
 
Predictive supplies alerts allow greater levels of unattended operation, ensuring there is enough ink and media loaded to print the job.  The free HP Latex Mobile app provides alerts via a mobile phone or tablet that inks or media are running low – and printers can even check that their job is printed and the current printer status – from anywhere in the world.
 
With the HP Applications Centre - incorporating HP WallArt Suite and HP Signage Suite - printers can tap into the lucrative custom printed décor market, or add simple online design and ordering of common signage applications.  HP Applications Centre can be integrated into an existing website, allowing end customers to create wallcoverings, canvas, decals, pull-up displays, banners and posters – optionally linking with e-commerce solutions for online payment. HP Applications Centre is free for customers with HP Latex printers, as well as selected HP Scitex and HP Designjet printers.
 
Finance options for the HP Latex 570 are available, making productive HP Latex printing even more affordable.
 
Mimaki CJV150
With the cutting features in its CJV150 and CJV300 series, Mimaki says it is leading the way for print and cut devices. Mimaki is producing print and cut or cut and print all in one units that suit the growing market demands for this type of technology.
 
The kinds of technological advancements that Mimaki has brought to the sector have enabled signage and print companies to look beyond traditional applications and move into fresh markets and create new revenue streams.
 
In the past these products were seen as one dimensional items, producing signs and stickers. But now Mimaki is seeing its users producing many different applications including heat transfer items for apparel and promotional items.
 
Mimaki has seen the shift in applications and has designed features to suit the cross-sector markets. Brad Creighton, national sales and marketing manager, Mimaki explains, “Think about this. Heat transfer film can be thin and difficult to cut, especially once printed. Heavy saturation of ink can start to distort the film before the cutting process. To have the option to cut this material first then print in a production environment shows Mimaki’s forward thinking about industry awareness and the needs of the market. The Mimaki CJV150 Series high-speed, large-format, solvent printer/cutter devices go beyond extraordinary to deliver a wide range of applications.”
 
Creighton says that specific Mimaki innovations target new capabilities for owners. He says, “For instance, eco-Solvent inks in a variety of colours, including silver; and advanced printing technologies, means you can produce anything in a single unit that fits your workflow.
 
“Also, precision cutting capability gives you the ability to deliver custom and short-run items such as labels, T-shirt transfers or package prototypes. With the Mimaki CJV150 Series quality, colour fidelity and flexibility plus cutting capability you will go beyond the expected, to increase your business and deliver more than your customers can imagine.”
 
Mutoh VJ-1948WX
The VJ-1948WX, a 1.91m dye sublimation transfer printer targets volume production users and has production speeds of up to 125 sqm an hour. Set up options include a double CMYK configuration or, for those wanting to run high volume repeat patterns for yardage, as CMYK and four light colours including a light and a light, light black.
 
Scott Donkin, product manager, Mutoh says, “The VJ-1948WX can deliver these speeds and quality with the colour saturation that the customer needs. It is no use having lots of heads if a printer is running fast that it cannot put down enough ink. 
 
“The VJ-1948WX achieves such an performance with the use of four, staggered eight-channel DX7 heads, set in a two by two array.”
 
High volume machines also need to handle production quantities of sublimation transfer paper and inks. With this in mind, Mutoh has optioned the printer with a 100kg-capable feed and take-up system as well as bulk ink bags.
 
The VJ-1948WX can print onto the kind of thin sublimation paper the industry likes to use. Donkin explains, “Mutoh recognises the need to put down enough ink for the best coverage while avoiding cockling in the paper and we appreciate this can often be bit of a balancing act. 
 
“Mutoh has designed the printer with pinch rollers that run continuously across the full media width but they can be raised and lowered individually to help minimise the effects of cockling.”
 
Mutoh will demonstrate the new printer and other solutions on stand D16 at the Visual Impact.
 
Roland Soljet EJ-640
For the established print business looking to expand production, the Soljet EJ-640 provides productivity, quality and profitability unrivalled by competitor models.
 
Designed to meet the needs of the busiest print shop, Roland says the EJ-640 large format digital printer for high quality, volume output of wall and vehicle wraps, posters, banners and indoor and outdoor signs. And with an integrated tri-heater system, advanced media handling, and high-capacity inks, the company says you can spend less time operating the printer and more time making money.
 
The EJ-640 is built for productivity, while maintaining Roland DG’s renowned image quality and reliability. The rail and frame structure has been reinforced to enable precise ink droplet placement for vivid image quality even at higher speeds, and Roland VersaWorks Dual rip reproduces images with beautifully smooth gradations. 
 
In addition to dual CMYK, a seven-colour ink configuration consisting of CMYK plus Light Cyan (Lc), Light Magenta (Lm), and Light Black (Lk) is available for enhanced reproduction of greyscale gradients, natural skin tones and photographic images.
 
A key feature of the EJ-640 is the low running costs, which Roland says will deliver significant savings to your business. With new high capacity 1-Litre Roland EJ inks that Roland says cost up to 35 per cent less than the competition, coupled with a five year Heads n All warranty, the EJ-640 allows users to maximise their profits without compromising on quality.
 
colorjet verve
Available from Jetmark, Verve is an advanced flatbed UV printer capable of printing on any rigid surface including ACP, Foam Board, Flute Board, Glass, and Ceramic. Flatbed ensures better print registration for higher quality prints on irregular shapes and uneven surface materials.
 
Colorjet Verve can print on almost any kind of surface, unlike conventional rigid capable printers that use friction or belt feed systems. This even includes irregular shaped or non-square items, heavy substrates and materials that have an uneven surface, such as wood. Colorjet Verve is also a solution for complex technical or industrial printing applications where accurate, repeatable print geometry is critical.
 
The white ink option enables printing on clear and dark surface materials, opening up additional business opportunities.
 
There are two base models available, the VU-4112 and the VU-4124, with the latter capable of 720 x 720dpi print quality at 25 sqm an hour or 720 x 1440dpi print quality at 14.5 sqm an hour. For those in a fast-paced production environment there is a dual CMYK model which is capable of up-to 45 sqm an hour. All models have a large 2.5m x 1.65m bed and can handle media up to 100mm in thickness.
 
If you require a larger bed size or the flexibility of a roll-to-roll option then the Hybrid version. It can be installed with CMYK plus white, dual CMYK or dual CMYK plus two white.
 
Jetmark says there are low running cost on both the Verve Flatbed and Hybrid, with inks available at prices that will make volume uses more than happy and a value maintenance programme.
 
Screen W3200UV
Built by Screen subsidiary company Inca Digital in the UK, the W3200UV has proved its worth in the Australia-New Zealand market, with 14 installations to date – the latest being dynamic Melbourne sign and display shop Mezographic. 
 
Capable of up to 230 sqm an hour in Billboard mode, where images are viewed from distances of five metres or more; for sellable close-inspection commercial work, 150 sqm an hour is achievable. The 3200UV Mk II’s finest resolution is a 22-pass Superfine Photo mode for photo-realistic results, with ultra-smooth skin tones at 15 sqm an hour.
 
The seven-colour inkset is CMYK,Lc,Lm plus white and, by controlling the UV ink curing speed with the use of a shuttered system, matte, silk and gloss surface effects can be achieved from the same inkset. Standard bed size is 3200mm x 1600mm, but a new option is a larger bed skin that boosts maximum size up to 3200 x 2000mm.
 
The bed of the W3200UV is ultra-flat and features retractable register pins with six-zoned vacuum areas for what Screen says is perfect registration of printed boards. Vacuum levels can be controlled to ensure lay-flat of lightweight materials and even boards that may be distorted and require heavier vacuum to hold down.
 
Made by Screen subsidiary Inca Digital in Cambridge, UK and with advanced Fujifilm Dimatix printheads, it benefits from 20 years of continuous R&D by the company that first introduced flatbed UV printing to the world, at Ipex 1998.
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