Led UV Printer – Ten Properties to Search for When Acquiring a Led UV Printer.
Last year, in our round-up of the latest in latte printer, we discussed how recent introductions have, at least to some extent, been designed to help move work from analog technologies like offset to digital wide-format, especially for things such as posters, POP/POS displays, and so on. In the past year, there’s been a smaller amount of an emphasis on shifting work from one technology to a different one, and much more of just one on creating unique print applications that had never before been possible. Printing on atypical rigid substrates and three-dimensional objects is one of the raison d’être for today’s flatbeds, and manufacturers’ product portfolios have huge variations from small table- or benchtop units made to print on such things as golf balls and smartphone cases, approximately massive behemoths in which one can run large sheets of wood, corrugated board, and also other such materials, even objects like footballs.
Flatbed units will also be during this process of blurring the line between commercial and industrial printing. (Industrial printing is printing which is done included in a manufacturing process, like the control labels around the front of any appliance just like a dishwasher, a vehicle dashboard, the gradations and measurement units on syringes or any other medical items, and other types of printing that change from the normal “print for pay” applications.)
The majority of the flatbed units on the market today use UV (ultraviolet) cured inks, it being the ink technology which has made such versatility possible. (Trivia question: just what is the one substrate that UV inks-thus far-can’t print on? Teflon. It makes sense when you think about it….) The latest trend in UV inks is really-called cold-curing UV, or UV inks that cure under being exposed to LED lamps rather than the traditional mercury vapor lamps. It’s not much of a new technology, although the costs than it are coming down. LEDs run much cooler than mercury vapor, leading them to be considerably better for thin plastic substrates. LEDs will also be reported to be energy-efficient which suggests cost savings. EFI especially has been a highly active proponent of LED UV and it has announced its intention to totally support the technology in all of the its UV offerings.
Our company is also visiting a greater proliferation of hybrid units, flatbed printers that can also serve as roll-to-roll devices for printing on flexible materials. Where once hybrids were perceived as “jacks of trades, masters of none,” they already have improved to the level where they are now respectedly seen as methods of giving shops the flexibility to take on a multitude of print projects. (Keep in mind, though, the same UV inks may not be ideal for all materials given the respective dyne quantities of ink and surface. Some surfaces could also require pre- or post-treatment to acquire UV ink to keep.)
Earlier this current year with the International Sign Association (ISA) Sign Expo, HP launched several new flatbeds in the Scitex line. The 64-inch HP Scitex FB550 and 120-inch FB750 hit the sign and display sweet spots
HP Scitex 11000 Industrial Press is the follow-as much as the HP Scitex 10000 platform launched 2 years ago, while the HP Scitex 15500 Corrugated Press is made for short-run corrugated packaging and so forth, ideal for prototyping, related POP graphics, and personalized/customized/short-run corrugated applications.
HP has additionally recently announced the Scitex 17000, intended for short- and medium-run corrugated printing. Furthermore, it features the HP Scitex Corrugated Grip, a media handling system built to facilitate printing on warped corrugated boards.
For HP, the prevailing trend is toward more automation and improving productivity, which is not only an issue of speed, but also of having materials on and off press immediately and improving automation.
“The focus is absolutely how you can make digital production more productive, and we’re attempting to push the break-even point so customers can move printing from analog to digital,” said Isaac Meged, Worldwide Marketing Manager for HP Scitex Industrial Presses. “This is amongst the reasons we developed the 17000 press. It’s not merely the printing speed, the development workflow is certainly a important element. Consumers are asking for automation both in the prepress side as well as the finishing side.”
“We have noticed in general a trend toward lower-cost flatbed printers, especially basic level,” added Joan Pe´rez Pericot, Marketing Director for HP’s Large-Format Sign and Display Division. “Smaller customers would like to jump into rigid, and the market is polarizing between the high-end presses doing increasingly more volume along with the smaller devices which can be doing very short runs.”
Mind Your Throat, Please
Roland DGA has long offered its tabletop VersaUV LEF-12 and LEF-20 UV flatbeds plus the VersaUV LEJ-640 hybrid printer. Earlier this season, Roland launched its first big flatbed, the 64-inch VersaUV LEJ-640FT flatbed UV printer. This new flatbed features a “throat” (yes, that’s an actual term) big enough that materials approximately six inches thick might be fed through the printer. With the Sign Expo, website visitors to the booth could witness the corporation running footballs with the printer.
“Print agencies are searching for ways to differentiate and expand their businesses-opportunities that flatbed printers certainly provide,” said Jay Roberts, Roland DGA’s Product Manager, led uv printer. “Roland’s new VersaUV LEJ-640FT expands this capability even further featuring its unique six-inch printing clearance. The LEJ-640FT, in addition to smaller benchtop flatbeds including Roland’s LEF series printers, start a whole new arena of printing possibilities for PSPs. Now, the question isn’t a lot ‘What are you able to print on?’ but rather ‘What can’t you print on?’ We’re constantly astonished by the creativity of people using our technology to produce stunning images on substrates and objects that couldn’t be printed on previously.”
Joanie Loves Tchotchkes
Mimaki’s JFX Series UV LED flatbed printers (comprising the 51-inch JFX200 and the 82.7-inch JFX 500) are targeted for such applications as backlit displays, signs and posters, interior décor, and glass and metal decorative panels, to mention but a few. Mimaki also provides small tabletop UJF Series UV LED printers for your tchotchke-printing market: smartphone covers, pens, lenticular panels, membrane switch panels, wine bottles, and lots of other novelty and specialty print objects.
“Customers are trying to find feature-rich, high-quality versatility that enables them to replace labor- and waste-intensive processes and print direct-to-substrate, while adding value with higher margin applications like personalized products and package prototyping,” said Ken VanHorn, Director, Marketing and Business Development, Mimaki USA.
Océ Is It Possible To See
The latest models in Canon Solutions America’s (CSA) Océ Arizona 6100 Series-launched last year-are definitely the six-color (CMYKLcLm) Océ Arizona 6160 XTS and seven-color (CMYKLcLm white) Océ Arizona 6170 XTS. Like a lot of its brethren, the Arizonas are capable of printing on a wide range of rigid media applications, multi-layer and double-sided prints, and huge prints tiled over multiple boards. In addition they support edge-to-edge printing. These new printers are purpose-created to be board printers; they do not include a roll option.
The latest Arizona printers take CSA in a new space, said Randy Paar, Marketing Manager of Display Graphics for CSA. “We’ve been popular inside the mid-volume area, and that takes us towards the top end from the mid-volume, or maybe the low end in the high-volume,” he stated. “It’s taken us into new markets and customers. They either provide an Arizona or perhaps a similar product now and therefore are growing their business and are looking for an even more economical printer to incorporate some capacity but in addition not tie up their high-volume press.”
At its fastest, the brand new machines can print a maximum of 33 boards an hour or so. “We had a fascinating customer event where we given out stopwatches to all of the visitors,” said Paar. “We printed numerous boards, and had all of them time them. Sure enough, we were on the funds.”
As I mentioned earlier within this story, EFI has become dedicating itself to LED curing technology due to its UV lines, especially the company’s latest product, the EFI H1625 LED, a mid-level production printer that also functions as a flatbed or even a rollfed.
“One of the biggest opportunities in rigid substrate/flatbed printing will come in the opportunity to transition analog try to digital with higher-volume equipment,” said Ken Hanulec, Vice President, Marketing, Inkjet Solutions, at EFI. “So, beyond developing imaging systems that approach offset quality, EFI has brought a progressive stance within the material handling required for an actual analog-to-digital transition in higher-volume print with semi- and full-automation feed and delivery systems for our own VUTEk HS100 Pro hybrid inkjet press. Businesses that get into high-volume digital need the most ROI from automated materials handling. These are companies from the screen or offset print space that want to switch some of their analog ability to digital, and so they could only achieve that should they be hitting maximum throughput over a digital production line.”
Last June marked the 10-year anniversary of EFI’s acquisition of VUTEk, even though tin or aluminum is definitely the traditional 10th anniversary gift, for EFI it’s apparently equipment manufacturing companies. On July 1, since this story was being finalized, EFI announced which it had acquired Matan Digital Printers, an Israel-based manufacturer of grand-format (aka superwide) hybrid UV printers. Obtainable in 3m and 5m widths, Matan’s flatbed and hybrid product portfolio is designed for outdoor and indoor applications. The Matan Barak 8QW was picked as a Wide Format Imaging magazine 2015 Product of the season.
The Jig is Up
Mutoh has a few options within the tabletop and wide-format proper categories. The 19-inch ValueJet 426UF UV LED tabletop printer was designed to print on a variety of materials, especially 3D objects, around 2.75 inches thick. The 64-inch ValueJet 1626UH is really a hybrid UV LED printer which comes in CMYK plus White and Varnish, even though the 64-inch ValueJet 1617H hybrid uses, rather than UV, Mutoh’s Multi-Purpose ink, a kind of eco-solvent ink derived largely from plant-based materials and created to be an environmentally friendly ink option.
“The market for flatbed and hybrid printing remains strong and with so many applications arriving at the outer lining it isn’t surprising to see sales of the machines increase,” said David Conrad, Director of advertising, for Mutoh America, Inc. “Additional application opportunities for printing on virtually any substrate as much as almost three inches thick on our desktop version make the opportunity purchase one of those machines very alluring to many markets including awards and engraving, trophy shops, industrial printers and specialty shops offering a number of items that can be personalized with digital printing. Try to find thicker print capabilities, faster speeds, and more custom jig options to drive demand and unlock more unique applications for this particular technology.”
Durst offers various flatbeds within its Rho number of UV machines. The latest introduction was the t-shirt printer, which handle media around 8 feet wide. The Rho P10 series is directed at high-end applications such as backlit displays for windows or light boxes, particularly for luxury goods, outdoor and indoor signage, POP and POS displays, and small to medium-sized packaging.
“In addition to the obvious speed and productivity, flexibility and durability are what printers need,” said Christopher Guyett, sales and marketing coordinator for Durst Image Technology. “They need flexibility when it comes to having the capability to quickly switch between materials and jobs to manage lead times, and they also need robust design and manufacturing to generate on the 24/7 schedule. Customers and PSPs would like to produce every possible application or product 03dexqpky their flatbeds, hence they require the flexibility to handle complex client projects that can come together with little notice, and require a sudden turnaround.”
It seems like fitting to complete this roundup with all the latest model from Inca Digital, the organization whose Inca Eagle 44 kicked from the flatbed wide-format market in the past in 2001. The Onset series debuted in 2007, and earlier this season Inca introduced the Onset R40LT, a 3.14m (123.6-inch) by 1.6m (63-inch) flatbed that comes in either four-, five, or six-color configurations. It may handle substrates around 2 ” thick.
Be sure to check out these and also other models at Graph Expo and at November’s SGIA Expo in Atlanta.
It appears fitting to round out this roundup with the latest model from Inca Digital, the organization whose Inca Eagle 44 kicked off the flatbed wide-format market back in 2001. The Onset series debuted in 2007, and earlier this season Inca introduced the Onset R40LT, a 3.14m (123.6-inch) by 1.6m (63-inch) flatbed that can be found in either four-, five, or six-color configurations. It may handle substrates around 2 ” thick. Inca Digital wide-format printers are offered through Fujifilm, its global distribution partner.
The Return of the Jeti
Also at the ISA Sign Expo last spring, Agfa Graphics introduced the flatbed Jeti Mira and also the hybrid Jeti Tauro. The previous is actually a true 2.7-meter (105 inches) flatbed, as the latter is a 2.5-meter hybrid. These newest models complement Agfa’s extensive Anapurna type of flatbeds and hybrids.
“We learn that some print companies prefer dedicated flatbed printing systems and some take pleasure in the flexibility of a hybrid device, so that we carry both technologies,” said Larry D’Amico, Vice-President Digital Imaging, Agfa Graphics. “We offer roll-to-roll options on many of our true flatbed equipment so a substitute is available with many of our printers. Currently, I see a mix of both dedicated and hybrid devices being purchased and i also see this trend continuing. Everyone’s application and product mix is distinct so it is essential to know what you primarily want to do with this equipment and choose the technology that meets this anticipated blend of work.”