Inkjet Drupa 2012
For 14 days in May, Dusseldorf was the epicenter of the graphics world.
As always, the post-Drupa numbers are simply intimidating. The massive two-week exposition, which took place in May in Dusseldorf, Germany, boasted 19 separate halls and other buildings totaling 1.8 million square feet of space, drew in nearly 315,000 attendees from 130 countries, and featured more than 1800 exhibitors. Saying the show is like a small city unto itself is not much of an exaggeration.
It’s also no overstatement to say that inkjet once again was the technology of greatest interest, just as it was four years ago. Digital inkjet technologies were everywhere, including the attention-grabbing display put on by Landa Corporation (see below). About the only places failing to have inkjet technologies on display were the more than 50 restaurants on the Drupa grounds.
What follows, then, are thumbnail descriptions of various wide-format-related technologies that were introduced. Keep in mind that, in some respects, Drupa is like the big annual car shows in Detroit or Los Angeles – some of the models making their debut are months away from being commercially viable, while some might first be released overseas and then only gradually become available in the US. The next Drupa will be held June 2-15, 2016.
New SureColor Printers from Epson
Epson (epson.com) launched two new wide-format SureColor printers for the display, signage, and P-O-P/P-O-S markets: the 4/5-color SureColor S50670 and the 8/10-color (+ white and metallic) SureColor S70670. These are in addition to the 64-in. SureColor S30670, which launched earlier this year.
The 64-in. rollfed SureColor SC S50670 is available in 4- or 5-color versions (CMYK and CMYK + white) and features twin Thin Film Piezo Epson printheads, and dual inksets, as well as a built-in dryer (an optional drying system is also available) and a new jack system for easier one-person media loading. The printer uses Epson UltraChrome GS2 eco-solvent inks, which are odorless and nickel-free; the SC50600 requires no special ventilation. Top speed is 573 sq ft/hr in high-speed mode (193 sq ft/hr in production mode); maximum resolution is 1440 dpi.
The 8- and 10-color SureColor SC-S70670 is Epson’s first 64-inch rollfed printer that simultaneously supports white and metallic inks. Both the 8-color model (CMYKcmk + orange) and the 10-color version (adds white + metallic) offer resolutions up to 1440 dpi and 294 sq ft/hr in 8-color, high-speed mode (198 sq ft/hr in production mode; 44 sq ft/hr with metallic ink enabled). The S70600 also utilizes Epson’s thin Film Piezo printhead, in conjunction with Epson GSX eco-solvent inks (also odorless and nickel-free). Other features include: automatic print optimization for various media and automatic substrate tensioning.
Epson also has launched three 4-color machines all geared toward the CAD and GIS markets: the SureColor SC-T7000 (44-in.), SC-T5000 (36-in.), and SC-T3000 (24-in.) printers. These printers all use Epson’s new UltraChrome XD Ink, designed to produce deep blacks, a wide color gamut, and crisp, dense lines; they utilize Epson’s Variable Droplet Technology for fine detail.
And, as an expansion to its aqueous UltraChrome inks, Epson has developed UltraChrome D6, a 6-color ink system for the company’s SureLab digital dry lab; the company also demonstrated its first UV ink for printing to uncoated paper and film label substrates during the recent Drupa expo.
Uvistar Pro8 from Fujifilm
Fujifilm (fujifilmusa.com) announced the launch of the Uvistar Pro8, the latest in its series of Uvistar superwide printers. The Pro8 is a rollfed UV printer with a flatbed option that adds a set of light colors (cmyk) as well as the ability to switch between 4- and 8-color printing modes, and also features: Parallel Drop Size technology to smooth images; an auto media-handling system for rigid media; an automated backlit print option; and a new operator interface. It utilizes Fujifilm’s new Uvijet QN inks, which are intended to meet the growing demands of indoor applications, where viewing distances tend to be closer and rigid materials are more commonly used, the company reports.
Top speed is more than 3229 sq ft/hr; maximum resolution is 600 dpi (1200-dpi apparent). The Uvistar Pro8 can accommodate media up to 150-in. wide and approximately 1-in. thick. The printer will be available in August of this year.
Matan’s New Barak 8Q UV Printer
Matan Digital Printers (matanprinters.com) launched the Barak 8Q, an 8-color UV hybrid printer. Available in 11.4- and 16-ft versions, the Barak 8Q features the company’s Parallel Drop Size technology that enables printing of 20- and 40-pL drops in the same printing pass to smooth images while also achieving ink coverage and density. And it uses Barak UV low-odor pigmented inks and supports a wide range of environmental media (including PE); inkset is CMYKcmkY.
Top speed on the Barak 8Q is 3800 sq ft/hr and it offers a 600-dpi max resolution (1200 dpi apparent). Its front-end software version 7 includes a Media Saving Wizard. Options include: automatic double-sided printing an automatic rigid-media loader and unloader; inline finishing; and a wrinkle analyzer that identifies wrinkles caused by media manufacturing and adjusts the carriage height accordingly.
Inca Onset S40i Launched
Inca Digital Printers (incadigital.com) unveiled the Inca Onset S40i flatbed, which supersedes the company’s Onset S40 machine. The new printer includes a variety of intelligent features (hence the addition of the “i” in the new badge) that are designed to increase productivity as well as reliability. The Onset S40i utilizes 168 new-generation, user-replaceable printheads (28 per color) on a full-width print array, delivering a 28-picoliter drop size.
The 6-color printer (CMYKcm) offers various new features including: a 15-zone vacuum table to reduce bed-masking requirements for substrates thinner than 3mm; an auto sensor system that constantly monitors the machine condition and informs the operator when automatic printhead cleaning is required; a substrate-height detector; and a new Fujifilm Uvijet ink system.
Maximum print area is 63 x 124 in.; the S40i can handle substrates up to 2-in. thick in manual mode. Top throughput is 5059 sq ft/hr (with automation), and maximum resolution is 600 dpi. A choice of uni-directional, bi-directional, and super-high-quality print modes can be selected depending on job requirements. The new printer is compatible with the Inca’s flexible automation system (allowing users the choice to operate manually or with semi- or three-quarter automation from the same configuration) and it supports Inca’s Print Run Controller software module (for variable-data printing).
The Inca Onset S40i is available in Q2 2012; distributed in North America by Fujifilm (fujifilmusa.com).
JFX500-2131 UV-LED Flatbed from Mimaki
Mimaki Engineering (mimakiusa.com) unveiled a “technology demonstration” of its new JFX500-2131, a high-speed UV-LED flatbed that’s equipped with newly developed printheads and UV-LED curing unit. Still in development, the 83 x 122-in. flatbed offers output up to 646 sq ft/hr in 4-color mode, and up to 538 sq ft/hr with white ink. It can accommodate materials up to 4-in. thick. Inksets available include CMYKcm + white, or CMYK + white + clear.
Also demonstrated was an Easy Direct Print system. Comprising a dedicated camera and software (plug-in for Raster Link 6 software), the system allows for the reading and automatic adjustment of misalignment on a flatbed printer.
And Mimaki showcased its new JV400-LX equipped with white latex ink, and the new JV400-SUV, equipped with solvent UV ink. Both systems can print up to 195 sq ft/hr, offer top resolutions of 1200 dpi, and employ Mimaki’s RasterLink6 RIP. Both models are available in 53- and 63-in. versions. See March, pg 10, for more information.
Screen Announces Truepress Jet W1632UV
Screen (screenusa.com) announced its new Truepress Jet W1632UV, a high-speed, UV flatbed that provides a throughput of up to 1012 sq ft/hr while supporting media up to 63 x 126 in. (and approximately 2-in. thick). Employing 12-pL micro-droplet printheads, the W1632UV can produce a resolution up to 900 dpi (1200 dpi apparent) and offers a top speed of 1012 sq ft/hr. The 4-color printer (with optional light cyan and light magenta) utilizes Screen’s TruePress inks and features an automated cleaning station and on-board nozzle mapping. US release is set for July 2012.
Ricoh Pro L4000 Latex Printer
Ricoh (ricoh.com) demonstrated a prototype of its Ricoh Pro L4000 series printer, featuring the next generation of Ricoh's piezo printheads, latex inks, and a 7-color inkset: CMYKcm + white. Available in two sizes – 54 and 64 in. – the L4000 offers multiple jetting printhead technology to produce three different drop sizes simultaneously (as small as 4pL) and output speeds up to 195 sq ft/hr. It offers extensive media support on a range of substrates, Ricoh reports. The Pro L4000 is slated to be available in North America and Europe in Q1 2013.
In addition, the company demonstrated Clickable Paper – a cross-media technology that enables consumers to point a smart phone at any printed surface and receive related online content. Multiple hotspots can be integrated into a single document, without editing or reformatting the original source material, Ricoh reports, and the technology is applicable to any kind of printable media, including posters, direct mail, brochures, and more. All types of digital information or services can be linked, including multi-media content, websites, e-commerce, social networks, etc. Consumers will be able to instantly recognize a clickable page with an easily identifiable logo.
New Vutek QS2 Pro UV, HS100 Pro from EFI
EFI (efi.com) announced the Vutek QS2 Pro UV hybrid, which is driven by the company’s new Orion OS, designed to be a robust, integrated operating system engineered to maximize the capabilities of EFI’s inkjet printing systems. It controls a combination of software and hardware that work together to provide grayscale readiness, remote assistance, enhanced colour, integration, and improved performance, the company reports. The QS2 Pro offers true variable-drop grayscale technology, 6 colors plus white, and multi-layer print capabilities – all in-line. It can accommodate media up to 80-in. wide and 2-in. thick. Other features include Fiery XF proServer is standard, JDF integration to EFI Web-to-Print and MIS/ERP solutions, and an optional roll-to-roll feature.
In addition, the company showcased its 127-in., 6-color Vutek HS100 Pro, engineered to be a high-speed press that can handle up to 100 beds/boards per hr (50 in P-O-P mode); 3600 sq ft/hr in roll-to-roll mode. Like the QS2 Pro, the HS100 is also driven by Orion software and a Fiery proServer and also offers variable-drop grayscale technology. Additionally, the HS100 features three-layer white print capability; variable matte or gloss finish; and an on-board calibration system, Maximum media thickness is 2 in..
The Océ Velocity Concept Printer
Océ (oce.com) showcased its concept printer, the Velocity, developed in conjunction with Memjet. The 42-in. printer mates high-speed Memjet inkjet technology with Océ workflow to print up to 500 A0 color prints/hr at 800 x 1600 dpi. Incorporating the same six-media-roll capacity of the company’s ColorWave 600/650, the Velocity utilizes five Memjet inkjet printheads (each measuring 8.77-in. wide and each with 70,000 ink nozzles), applying more than 3 billion drops of ink per second.
The Velocity also features: Oce Double Decker pro stacker and auto switch of media input between different rolls and media widths; intuitive touchscreen control panel from the VarioPritn 6000 series printer; Oce PowerM controller, color-image processing, and workflow components from the ColorWave 650; and Adobe PDF workflow.
The machine is aimed at the CAD, GIS, and GA markets; based on market feedback, Océ will determine if and when Velocity will move to production and commercialization phase.
Océ also showcased the ColorWave 650 Poster Printer, a specialized version of its ColorWave 650. Aimed at the point-of-sale market, the 650 uses solid Océ TonerPearls toner and Océ CrystalPoint technology; it can print on a variety of paper sizes and at speeds of 155 A1 sheets per hour. The prints are instantly dry, water-resistant, cut to size, and ready to be mounted, the company reports. It can hold up to six media rolls.
New Kongsberg XN Finishing Tables from Esko
Esko (esko.com) launched its new Kongsberg XN Series of finishing tables. Capable of handling a broad variety of materials, and geared toward the mid-range market, the XN tables feature a modular tabletop industrial design and are available in seven sizes, from 50 x 66-in. to 87 x 258-in. The tables offer a choice of four tool heads: PowerHead (for heavy-duty material), FlexiHead (for flexible and thin materials), FoamHead (for foam materials), and a MultiCut milling spindle or MultiCut-HP (the latter offers three times the speed of the standard MultiCut). Newly developed insert tools include a solid board v-notching insert, a corrugated paper-core board v-notching insert, and a Braille tool insert.
In addition, Esko introduced Suite 12, an update to its software solution for sign making, display, packaging, and label making. Comprising the latest versions of its ArtiosCAD, ArtPro, PackEdge, DeskPack, and Studio products, Studio 12 features: intelligent dielines in ArtiosCAD; a WebCenter online collaboration tool; Automation Engine 12 with embedded JDF connectivity; am integrated Color Engine 12 with PantoneLive; and more.
Landa’s Nanographic Presses
Landa Corporation (landanano.com) announced a family of six new Landa Nanographic Printing Presses, including three sheetfed models and three web presses. The presses employ the company’s NanoInk technology and colorants, which comprise water-based nano-sized pigments that are ejected onto a heated blanket conveyor belt creating the color image; the ink becomes a dry polymeric film, which is then transferred to paper or film without pretreatment. Landa reports that the film image instantly bonds to the surface, forming an abrasion-resistant layer.
Each of the three sheetfed presses can print in up to 8 colors and can use spot and specialty colors for a range of applications including general commercial printing, marketing collaterals, medium-run books and manuals, direct mail and short-run folding cartons: The Landa S5 is a 20 in. entry-level press that can print single-sided at speeds of up to 11,000 sheets/hr onto media from 60-350 gsm; the Landa S7 is a 29 in. digital production press capable of single-sided or double-sided printing at speeds of up to 12,000 sheets/hr (60- to 350-gsm media); and the Landa S10 is a 41-in. digital production press able to print single-sided or double-sided at up to 13,000 sheets/hr (60- to 400-gsm mrfos). A simplex model for folding carton operates at up to 6500 sheets/hr on virgin and recycled carton board, metalized stock (200-1000 microns thick), and plastics foils.
The presses (sheetfed and web) also feature an oversized Landa Touchscreen user interface. Press controls appear on the left and right sides of the screen to enable convenient operation from either the feeder or delivery end of the press; the right side of the display is dedicated to job management while the left side of the touchscreen is dedicated to press functions. Realtime graphics show the status of all press functions and stream live video images of each of the key stations.
Durst’s Rho 320R HS Printer
Durst Image Technology (durstus.com) announced a new Rho 320R HS “High Speed” version of its Rho 320R roll-to-roll printer. The new UV machine can hit a maximum speed of up to 1895 sq ft/hr in high-speed P-O-P mode (1485 sq ft/hr in 2-pass mode), and offers a 600-dpi resolution; it can accommodate large rolls with a diameter of up to 24 in. 600 mm and a width of 126 in. (or 2 rolls of 63-in. each). Inks are UV-free, high-pigmentation Rho Roll DM inks for indoor and outdoor use; 4-color standard (6-color optional). The 320R HS features Durst’s Quadro Array printhead technology, Durst Linux Touchscreen software, and an external Caldera RIP server (GrandRIP+ software). It can print on a wide range of materials, including paper, films, polyester textiles, and vinyl.
Durst also showcased its new Rho 1000 heavy-roll media option 60, which allows users to load large rolls of paper and, without pausing in the print cycle, receive finished sheets cut to size and ready for dispatch. The system consists of an unwinding tool and is equipped with two dancer rollers; it will handle rolls up to a diameter of 24 in. and a maximum roll weight of 1323 lbs.
And the company presented its Durst Rho IP (Industrial Print) engine, a high-speed inkjet engine specifically designed for industrial screen and pad-printing applications. Capable of being integrated into automated production lines and configured according to the application. the IP engine is ideally suited for the production of membrane switches, instrument panels, dashboards, cover plates, and small items typical of pad-printing apps, Durst reports.
Designjet Modifications, New ColorPro Media from HP
HP (hp.com) showcased the addition of a platen cover for the newest HP latex printers – the Designjet L26500 and L28500 machines – designed to improve loading of textile media for the production of high-value soft signage and temporary textiles. In addition, HP reported it’s working with leading media suppliers to co-develop new media with ColorPro Technology. Media products with ColorPro Technology are designed together with HP inks and printers to optimize printing system performance. The new ColorPro media will be available in 2013. And HP announced a new version of HP Hiflex WebtoPrint for large-format sign and display applications.
The company also showcased a white-ink kit and an automatic loader for its Scitex FB7500 and FB7600 presses, and a new cloud-based version of HP SmartStream Production Analyzer for automatic monitoring of HP Scitex production operations. See our coverage of HP’s pre-Drupa event for more details (May, pg. 8).
Seiko Fluorescents and Bulk Inks
Seiko Instruments (seiko-i.com) previewed its new Neon inks –solvent-based fluorescent inks that are available in Hot Pink and Lemon Yellow for Seiko’s ColorPainter W series. The inks can be printed as spot or composite colors with CMYK. The results are bright under normal lighting, and glow under black lights. Expected launch is later this year.
New ValueJet Printers from Mutoh
Mutoh (mutoh.com) showcased its 4-color ValueJet 1324/1624 (54/64-in. max. media width) printers, which boast new printheads with variable-dot technology and use Mutoh ValueJet Eco-Solvent 3A inks. Both sizes offer 12 print modes ranging from 360 to 1440 dpi. Top speed of the 1324 is 565sq ft/hr and for the 1624 top speed is 600 sq ft/hr (both at 360 x 360-dpi resolution). Both can also be outfitted with a SpectroVue VM-10 optional spectrophotometer.
The new ValueJet TD textile printer series also comprises two sizes (64 and 104 in.) and offers four possible ink configurations: 8-color, 6-colors, 4-color single, and 4-color double. Top speed is 447 sq ft/hr; resolution ranges from 360 to 720 dpi (14 print modes).
Mutoh also presented its new 4-color double-head ValueJet-1638, which is capable of print speeds up to 431 sq ft/hr and printing 65-in. wide. The printer uses ValueJet Eco-Solvent inks.
Bordeaux Digital PrintInk’s PRDS Inks
Bordeaux Digital PrintInk (c-m-y-k.com) showcased its new PRDS environmentally friendly dye-sub and direct-to-textile inks for the fabric-printing markets, in final development stages. The company reports that the PRDS inks feature excellent nozzle stability and high ink density, and produce vibrant colors as well as excellent color fastness and low fumes during fixation. Available in bulk and cartridges.
The company also announced its first latex water-based resin ink designed for piezo drop-on-demand printheads.
Neo TurboSpeed from Sun Innovations
Sun Innovations (sun-nsk.com), based in Russia, introduced its Neo TurboSpeed, a UV LED printer that offers print speeds up to 1076 sq ft/hr and a top resolution of 720 x 1440. The TurboSpeed features a CMYKcm+W inkset (Sunflower UV inks) and is available in 98- and 126-in. widths; media up to 8-in. thick can be accommodated, the company reports.
Memjet New Technologies
Memjet (memjet.com) worked with several partners to showcase its technologies, including Oce’s Velocity and Xante’s Excelagraphix 4200. In addition, Memjet announced a partnership with Fuji Xerox – which distributes Fuji Xerox and Xerox products and services throughout the Asia Pacific region – for the development of a wide-format printer featuring Memjet components. Under the partnership, Fuji Xerox is integrating Memjet technology and components into a rollfed 42-in. wide-format solution targeted at technical and production graphics applications. Top speed will be 300mm/sec at 800 x 1600 dpi, or 150mm/sec at 1600 x 1600 dpi, the company reports. A machine prototype was shown at the Caldera booth; Fuji Xerox is targeting a formal product launch in the Asia Pacific at future date to be determined.
Excelagraphix 4200 from Xanté
Xanté (excelagraphix.com) showcased its Excelagraphix 4200. A 5-color (CMYKK) 42-in. printer that utilizes customized dye-based aqueous inks, the printer was developed in partnership with Memjet and utilizes five Memjet printheads running Memjet Waterfall Technology. The Excelagraphix printer – which is set to begin shipping in July, the company reports – can accommodate a wide range of media up to 3/8-in. thick. It offers a top speed of 12 in./sec at 800 x 1600 dpi or 6 in/sec at 1600 x 1600 dpi (its top resolution) and can run variable data at full speed. It features Xanté’s iQueue 5.0 prepress Colorsmart workflow, which offers independent CMYK density control, spot color matching, imposition, job-cost estimating, and more.
MGI’s New AlphaJet
MGI Digital Graphic Technology (mgi-fr.com) presented a prototype of its new AlphaJet, a sheetfed digital UV press that offers cut-sheet sizes of up to 20 x 29 in. The AlphaJet prints in 6 colors plus spot or flood UV coating and features: production speeds up to 3000 sheets/hr; resolutions up to 1200 dpi; and full variable-data printing.
The company also premiered the latest entry in its Meteor multi-substrate digital press series, the Meteor DP9800 XL. The new machine, scheduled to enter production in early 2013, can print on paper, plastics, and envelopes.
Trillium from Xeikon
Xeikon (xeikon.com) demonstrated a Trillium prototype, incorporating a new liquid image-development system based on High Viscosity Toner (HVT). Toner-based and waterless non-VOC in nature, Trillium allows for printing on untreated substrates and is designed to enable printing at high speeds while maintaining a high level of image quality and eco-sustainability. Xeikon reports that it will first implement the technology into a range of products dedicated to the document and commercial printing markets.
Felix Schoeller E-Photo Papers
Felix Schoeller Digital Media (felix-schoeller-imaging.com) has expanded its E-Photo paper line for HP Indigo printers, adding matte and glossy finishes. The E-Photo papers are polyethylene-coated on both sides; liquid-, dirt-, and fingerprint-resistant; and are available in 190 to 290 g/m².
Its new Jet-Speed papers, for high-speed inkjet, have a coating that promotes fast drying, sharp line definition, broad color space, and high image stability. Jet-Speed papers can be printed on both sides and are available in satin matte, glossy, and chrome gloss finishes; in 130, 200 and 250 g/m².
The company’s Jet-Line uncoated papers, also for high-speed inkjet printing, offer sharp line definition, intensive black tones, and good ink fixing.
The company also has introduced a new range of products for dry toner systems: E-Feel and E-Pure. The uncoated E-Feel papers are available in sizes from 150 to 250 g/m² and have a canvas or pyramid finish. The smooth E-Pure papers are also uncoated, resulting in an unusual texture, the company reports.