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Durst Introduces Rho 600 and Rhopac Printers

Flatbed UV printers use Quadro Array printhead technology

Big Picture

Durst Image Technology introduced two new flatbed UV printers at the recent FESPA show: the new Rho 600 series and the Rhopac.

According to Durst, the new Rho 600 series will "eliminate the frustrating tradeoff between speed and quality that imaging professionals have had to make in the past." It will strive to do so by utilizing Durst's new Quadro Array printhead technology in conjunction with the company's existing modular and upgradeable platform.

A flatbed UV printer (roll optional), the Rho 600 can handle a maximum media width of 80 in. and a media thickness of up to 2.75 in. It offers four colors standard (CMYK), plus optional white, spot color, and varnish.

The Rho 600 series includes three models, all of which utilize a piezo inkjet system labeled the Durst Quadro Array, a printhead designed, developed, and manufactured by Durst. Each array comprises four nozzle plates (from Spectra) and contains a total of 512 nozzles (nearly twice that of standard configurations, says Durst). The difference in the three Rho 600 models is in the number of arrays deployed:

  • the Rho 600 Basic employs four arrays, for print speeds up to 400 sq ft/hr (400 dpi);
  • the Rho 600 Presto employs eight arrays, for print speeds up to 800 sq ft/hr (400 dpi); and
  • the Rho 600 Rapid employs 16 arrays, for speeds up to 1600 sq ft/hr (400 dpi).

Each array can print up to 600 dpi (and an apparent resolution of 1200 dpi), applying variable droplet sizes (40 to 55 picoliters), depending upon the dpi setting.

The platform is designed to be upgradeable; options include higher print speeds, more colors (white, spot), and specialeffect varnish. In fact, the 600 series can hold up to 24 arrays, allowing even more options in the future.

Many print providers need to be able to resolve fine text for small print applications, "such as header cards or danglers," says Christopher Howard, vice president for sales and marketing, large-format imaging, Durst US. "As the run length of these items lowers, it becomes justifiable to put these applications on a UV digital printer, but the printer [must] be able to handle fine text. The 600's ability to resolve 4-pt text and 6-pt reverse text is a huge advantage to a print shop."

The Rho 600 is compatible with Durst's auto feeder/stacker system and preparation station. It employs a Dice America Cheetah RIP.

Price: Basic: $299,000; Presto: $425,000; Rapid: $550,000. Price includes training and 6-month warranty (12 months on printheads).

The company also has introduced its RhoPac, a large-format UV flatbed that's been designed specifically for package printers. It's a 4-color printer (CMYK)"? plus white, spot color, and varnish"?that can also handle rolls of media (optional).

It provides printers with the ability to produce print-on-demand and print lowvolume projects profitably, reports Durst, and is equally suited to those companies seeking to focus on market niches such as personalization of display materials, promotion, and P-O-P materials. Applications include highly finished concepts or printed mockups, short-run prints for test marketing, in-store sales projects, lowvolume product packaging, in-store display materials, and more.

The RhoPac can handle a maximum media width of 80 in. and a media thickness of up to 1.58 in. It's available in two models, which like the Rho 600, feature the Durst Quadro Array: The Rhopac Presto has 8 arrays, generating print speeds up to 800 sq ft/hr (at 400 dpi); the Rhopac Rapid has16 arrays, generating print speeds up to 1600 sq ft/hr (at 400 dpi).

Special package-printing features include: auto-adjust left- and right-side board guides for reliable transport of corrugated sheets and other package materials; an in-line board-cleaning unit; an auto-sheet loading/unloading unit, and a special vacuum and cover system.

In addition to the standard UV-resistant pigment inks, the Rhopac also offers a special Paper Board set of flexible, lowodor inks that have been specifically developed for corrugated packaging applications. These can be changed out as necessitated by a print provider's jobs.

The RhoPac employs a Dice America Cheetah RIP, with additional software tools for packaging workflows.

Price: $550,000 to $750,000, depending upon configuration. (Durst Image Technology US: www.durstus.com)

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