Drupa Preview: Must see products (wide-format)

PrintWeek India's pick of must see products in wide-format.

10 Apr 2012 | By PrintWeek India

 Fujifilm Acuity LED 1600  Fujifilm will showcase its new UV printer, the Acuity LED 1600, which emits no VOCs, at this May’s show.

The eight-colour printer, which was unveiled in September, can print at resolutions of up to 1,200dpi and, according to the manufacturer, has attracted significant interest from UK customers since its launch.

It offers production speeds of up to 20m2/hr for applications such as posters and POS materials.

Fujifilm is targeting the 1,610mm-wide Acuity LED 1600 at companies producing short-run print jobs, such as window displays. The company is keen to stress that the UV-curable inks the machine uses emits no VOCs.

According to Fujifilm, these inks have fast-drying properties on a broad range of substrates such as PET, acrylic and polycarbonate.

Graham Leeson, marketing communications manager of graphic systems at Fufifilm, said the combination of quality and productivity puts the LED 1600 at "the forefront" of development.

He said: "This new machine features the latest advances in LED UV technology, so we will be putting it through its paces to demonstrate its quality, performance and versatility."

GMG ProductionSuite

Visitors to GMG’s stand will be able to check out the firm’s "best-in-class production solutions", including GMG ProductionSuite for high-volume wide-format users.

The company has marked its foray into the wide-format print sector with colour management software that can drive more than 800 print and cutting machines.

GMG claims the product is "the most complete solution in the market" for indoor and outdoor advertising, sign and super-wide format printing.

According to the company, the modular GMG software, which comprises GMG ColorServer and SmartProfiler, achieves quick and efficient colour results to match prints produced by other printing processes and on different substrates.

Brand new for Drupa is also a spot-colour simulation tool for packaging printers that it claims marks a "breakthrough" in calculating profiles for simulating the combined printing of both spot and process colours.

GMG managing director Ian Scott says: "Many of our innovations are the result of valuable user feedback.

"Thanks in particular to our close relationships with our clients, our solutions are not abstract laboratory developments, they are tools that offer very specific customer benefits, and therefore offer real advantages in productivity."

HP Scitex FB7600

Building upon a successful machine such as the 2009 FB7500 model requires enough developments and enhancements to attract new customers to the brand and existing users to upgrade.

Although launched in October last year, the 3.2m-wide flatbed printer has already received a myriad of new features to add to its existing offering.

Brand new developments include the ability to print with the FB225 white Scitex ink set. This enables customers to produce a range of applications, including backlit signage, corrugated packaging, as well as window displays.

Other features include an optional multisheet loading table that enables the simultaneous loading of up to four sheets, while an ability to handle smaller sheets reduces post-print cutting and finishing.

Workflow and productivity improvements include inline saturation control and automatic job preparation with hot folders and job queues.

The FB7600 can print on a range of rigid and flexible substrates, such as corrugated board, foam board, Dibond and plastics for both indoor and outdoor applications

Océ Arizona 318 GL

Océ launched this new entry-level addition to its Arizona range of UV flatbed printers earlier this year, offering print firms another route to access its successful flatbed platform.

The 1.25x2.5m Arizona 318 GL machine offers three print modes, capable of  output of up to 18m2/hr in express operation. This speed drops to 12.2m2/hr in production mode and to a minimum of
8.4m2/hr in quality mode.

According to Dominic Fahy, business group director at Océ UK, the 318 GL, which costs between €89,000 and €101,000, will lower the barriers of entry for commercial printers into high-quality flatbed production.

"The Arizona 318 GL couples high quality with a lower capital investment than other models in the family. Customers have been demanding a machine such as this so we anticipate it will prove popular with visitors," he added.

Customers can opt for the standard configuration 318 GL or add a factory-installed white ink option that enables companies to underprint for non-white substrates as well as over-printing for back-lit applications.

According to Océ, more than 90% of Arizona sales since 2008 have been specified with white ink functionality to open up "high-value, high-margin opportunities".

The Arizona 318 GL will also be available with a roll media option that allows users to print onto flexible media such as vinyl, self-adhesive vinyl, and paper.

Mimaki JV400LX

With this release, launched at Fespa last month, Mimaki became the first manufacturer to build upon the HP Designjet example by releasing its own latex solution. The JV400LX range consists of two printers – the 1,300mm-wide JV400-130LX and the 1,600mm-wide JV400-160LX. Both offer a top print speed of 18m2/hr. The JV400 LX range will use the company’s new latex ink set, which is claimed to use a low curing heat, consuming less energy and enabling the machines to print on a wider range of materials. They are also the first to feature a white ink set that complements the machine’s other six colours. The JV400 LX machines can also take advantage of Mimaki’s RasterLink6 RIP software that enables the deposition of three layers of ink in one pass, including a base layer of white ink for printers that support white ink.

What the machines’ presence at Drupa will bring is a sense that rather than being an HP anomaly, the move into latex print is actually a viable open market in which other manufacturers can compete.  And HP welcomed the competition, with Ronen Zioni, marketing director at HP’s graphics solutions business, admitting "it gives the customer more choice, but that is healthy and means we must be at the top of our game".  With the great and good of print perusing and comparing the companies’ offerings, the likelihood of further competition in the future seems likely, and potentially Drupa could be the start of a real trend in the latex print arena as a result.

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