More than 20 companies offering wide-format UV options.
Just a few short years ago, say “UV” to a wide-format print provider and he was much more likely to begin talking about the effect of UV light on his shop’s output than he was utilizing that technology to produce his prints. Although UV inks were being utilized in the commercial sector, they were just entering our market.
Today, of course, that’s all changed. In fact, in our most recent Printer Sourcebook, UV printers now account for nearly 95% of all flatbed models. That’s no surprise, given UV and flatbed technologies go hand in hand. But UV also has made headway into the rollfed category, now accounting for more than 20% of all models we had listed in the Sourcebook. Across all types of printers (flatbed, rollfed, and hybrids), UV printers now make up 40% of all current printer models, according to our Sourcebook figures.
When it comes to producing wide-format graphics, UV offers a range of advantages, including the ability to print on a broad range of substrates/media, few environmental issues, and increased durability of the final output. And, importantly, UV printers are now available in varying price points as well as constructions.
In this report, we highlight some of the most recent additions in the wide-format UV marketplace, and we have listed these machines by company. We’ve also strived to list additional UV printers on each company’s roster, when the information was available. Keep in mind that this article was produced prior to ISA 2011, so models introduced at that event are probably not included here (but look for our recap of that show in an upcoming issue and watch for new products in our R&D department each month). Visit the manufacturers’ websites for a complete listing of their UV printers, and for more information.
The Jeti 3020 Titan flatbed from Agfa is a high-production machine designed and constructed using a modular format so that, as users’ demands increase, the printer's color and speed capabilities can be extended. The Titan's entry-level version incorporates 16 Ricoh Gen 4 grayscale printheads resulting in CMYK output at a native resolution of 600 dpi, able to deliver 1200 dpi for photorealistic image quality. The machine has a maximum print area of 124 x 79.5 in. and prints up to 1216 sq ft/hr in high-speed mode (370 sq ft/hr in quality mode). It can be configured, however, with up to 48 grayscale heads (boosting the maximum print speed to 2432 sq ft/hr in high-speed mode, 740 in quality mode); in addition, the standard CMYK configuration can be extended adding light cyan and light magenta for better image rendering; double white; white and clear varnish; or orange and green to extend the color gamut. The Titan can accommodate flexible and rigid materials up to 2-in. thick.
Also available is the flatbed/roll-to-roll Anapurna M 2050, a UV-curable machine that combines the white-ink capabilities of the Anapurna Mw with the additional speed of the Anapurna M2. It also adds Agfa’s M-series G2 inks, which are designed for applications on the latest rigid and roll materials that require more flexibility. The 6-color (CMYKcm)+white machine features eight printheads (12-pl; 8192 nozzles) and the ability to output in both uni- and bi-directional modes; it can accommodate graphics up to 79 x 118 in. and 1.77-in. thick. Typical throughput speeds in four-pass bi-directional mode is approximately 258 sq ft/hr , optimized for poster and banner production, Agfa reports. It can achieve a top resolution of 720 x 1440 dpi. White is printed in-line, so pre- or post-white is carried out in the same printing pass. Other features include: flexible-media handling capability; a four-zone vacuum table enabling it to handle a wide range of substrates varying in size and thickness; registration and anti-static bars; and shuttle safety sensors.
Other Agfa UV machines in the Anapurna line include: the Anapurna M, M4F, Mv, and M2; the Anapurna 2500 LED, and Anapurna M1600. In the Jeti line, additional UV machines include: the Jeti 5048 UV JetSpeed XL RTR, Jeti 3348 UV Galaxy RTR, and Jeti 3348 UV JetSpeed RTR.
CET Color’s X-Press FK512 is a UV flatbed that offers a 14-pl drop size, CMYKcm + white ink set, and a choice of 6- or 12-head configuration. Max print speed for the 12-head version is 720 sq ft/hr (360 for the 6-head version), while production speed is 360 sq ft/hr (6-head: 180) and 240 sq ft/hr for quality speed (6-head: 120). Top resolution is 720 x 1440 dpi. The FK512 can accommodate media up to 6 x 10 ft and up to 3-in. thick. The integrated vacuum table has six individual vacuum zones. The FK512 is also available as part of a print-and-cut system, bundled with CET Colors X-Press CNC 480 router.
Other CET UV printers are the X-Press HK512 hybrid, the X-Press RK512 roll-to-roll.
Durst Image Technology
The Durst Rho 900 UV printer, based on the company’s 800HS model, adds an automated media handling (auto-feed) system and process colors—orange and green, or orange and violet. The 98-in.-wide Rho 900 is equipped with Durst’s Quadro 30D Array printhead technology and offers 600-dpi resolution. Durst reports that the 8-color machine (CMYK+4 ink bays that can be set up as print jobs/apps require) can hit a maximum output of 72 4 x 8-ft boards/hour with its continuous board printing option; speed for P-O-P-quality printing is 34 4 x 8-foot boards/hour.
It can accommodate media up to 1.58-in. thick (2.75 in. in the industrial version) and as small as 12 x 17 in. if need be. The media-handling system incorporates an auto-feed table with belts, sheet feed gate with guides for parallel board printing, and automatic two-point pin registration system to ensure accurate front-to-back registration.
The machine’s process-color additions are printed in the same mode as its CMYK process colors; no special file preparation is necessary. Further, these additional colors can be printed—even with white ink or light colors—with no loss in output speed, Durst reports. The Rho 900 also can print white, varnish, and light colors.
Other Durst UV mode
ls include these flatbeds: Rho 1000, Rho 800 Presto/HS, Rho 750 HS, and Rho 600 Pictor; and these rollfeds: Rho 500R, Rhotex 320, Rho 320R, Rho 351R, and Rho 160R.
EFI’s 3.2-meter UV roll-to-roll Vutek QS3250r is capable of handling media up to 126.5-inches wide and 0.125-inches thick. An 8-color (CMYKcmyk) machine that is switchable to 4-color (“Fast-4”) for optimized production, it offers up to 1080-dpi resolution and a top speed of 1850 sq ft/hour. Suggested applications include P-O-P displays, indoor and outdoor posters and signage, fleet graphics, and high-end wallpapers.
The machine features a platen control unit to accommodate printing on low-cost and heat-sensitive materials; a temperature-control unit to eliminate stress on media and ensure smooth travel; a media-alignment scale; a platen vacuum gauge; interior lights for immediate viewing of output; multiple-roll capability (two 60-inch rolls); and more. Options include an automated laser system that allows for precise double-sided printing, as well as a heavy-duty unwinder. The QS3250r has been optimized for EFI’s Fiery XF RIP, which is optional.
EFI also features two entry-level production wide-format UV printers with the Rastek badge: the Rastek H652 UV hybrid and the Rastek T1000 UV flatbed. Both printers feature grayscale printheads and are aimed at production print shop environments “where fast service, superior image quality, and printing on the widest range of substrates are the keys to customer satisfaction and increasing profits,” says EFI.
The Rastek H652 (CMYK+W) builds on the success of the Rastek H650, adding nearly twice the speed: It can reach speeds of up to 455 sq ft/hr in Express mode (2-pass, 300 dpi) and 255 sq ft/hr in Quality mode (4-pass, 600 dpi); top resolution is 1200 dpi. The H652 can handle rigid and flexible media up to 1.8-in. thick and 64-in. wide.
The Rastek T1000 flatbed (CMYK+W) has a three-zone 52 x 98-in. vacuum table and can accommodate media up two-inches thick, including difficult-to-handle substrates that require superior hold-down. It boasts speeds up to 460 sq ft/hr in Express mode (2-pass, 600 x 300 dpi) and 317 sq ft/hr in Quality mode (4-pass, 600 dpi); top resolution is 1200 dpi.
Other EFI UV machines include the Vutek GS series (GS5000r, GS3200, and GS2000); the rest of the Vutek QS series (Vutek QS3220, QS2000, and QS220); and the Rastek H650 and Rastek T660 printers.
Flora Digital Printing
The PP2512UV is a 4 x 8-ft UV flatbed that features Konica Minolta printheads, and offers resolutions up to 1440 dpi and a top speed of 409 sq ft/hr in Standard mode (269 sq ft/hr in Quality mode). It can accommodate materials up to 3.9-in. thick, including corrugated, foam core, gatorboards, sintra (PVC), ceramic tiles, glass, plexiglass, wood, sheet metal, paper, adhesive vinyl, fabrics, and more. A PhotoPrint RIP (Flora edition) is standard.
Also available are the F1 180UV Turbo, the F1 180UV-4K, the F1 250UV, the F1 320 UV, and the PP1816UV.
Fujifilm North America
Fujifilm’s Acuity Advance HS-X2 UV flatbed builds upon the company’s Advance X2 but dramatically increases output speeds.
The printer features variable-dot grayscale printheads and a new Express mode, capable of reaching speeds up to 709 sq ft/hr. The HS X2 can hit 462 sq ft/hr in Production mode, 325 sq ft/hr in Quality mode and 258 sq ft/hr in Fine Art mode (all speeds are in flatbed mode, without optional rollfed or white-ink modules).
Other HS-X2 features include: a print area of 98 x 120 in. (can print on dual 4 x 8-ft boards); ability to handle substrates up to 1.89-in. thick; CMYK standard (2-liter ink bags); choice of two Fujifilm Uvijet inksets; a dual zoning system with independent vacuum control; and choice of ColorGate Production Server (Fujifilm edition) or Onyx ProductionHouse RIP. A roll media kit is optional for flexible materials as is white ink (both can be added in the field).
Also available is the Acuity Advance HS, the Acuity Advance with a white option, and the Acuity HD 2504. Fujifilm is also the US distributor of the Inca Onset and Inca Spyder series of UV printers (see listing for Inca Digital Printers).
Gandy Digital’s Pred8tor is a UV flatbed with a roll-to-roll option. The 5-color (CMYK+W) printer offers resolution up to 1200 dpi (apparent) and a top speed of 1920 sq ft/hr in Production mode (400 sq ft/hr in Extra Fine mode). Maximum print size is 48 x 96 in. (rigid), and the Pred8tor can accommodate media up to 2-in. thick. The machine’s touch-and-drag GUI runs on the WiFi-enabled Apple iPad, which comes loaded with video tutorials and a live diagnostic system; also available on the GUI is a materials-inventory-control ordering system. A print extension table is optional.
The StellarJet K72UV from GCC is a hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll UV inkjet. Supporting rigid and flexible substrates up to 72-in. wide and rigid materials up to 2-in. thick, the K72UV is available with four standard colors (CMYK) and four additional colors as an option (light cyan, light magenta, white, and varnish). It prints at a standard resolution of 720 dpi, but can achieve 1440 dpi with the addition of light cyan and light magenta inks, the company reports. The production speed on the device is 162 sq ft/hr. An Auto Media Calibration system uses a pin to automatically detect and gauge the distance between the printheads and the substrate, then automatically adjusts the printhead to the ideal height.
Also available in the StellarJet series: the K100UV and the 250UV with dedicated white ink.
The HP Scitex FB500 is a UV flatbed with a 64-in. print width, CMYKcm inks, and optional white-ink capabilities. Top resolution on the FB500 is 1200 x 600 dpi; it can hit speeds up to 398 sq ft/hr in Express mode; 319 sq ft/hr in Outdoor Signage mode; 177 sq ft/hr in Indoor Signage mode; Outdoor Signage Plus mode with white ink speed is 85 sq ft/hr. It can accommodate media up to 2.5-in. thick. The FB500 also allows for remote monitoring via an HP embedded Web server and onboard camera.
The HP Scitex TJ8600 is designed for the high-volume sign and display market. Its HP TJ210 Scitex inks (CMYKcm) boast high elongation, improved flexibility, and reduced odor (compared to HP TJ200 Scitex Inks), HP reports, hence supports an extended range of applications, including fleet graphics and P-O-P apps. The printer can accommodate rollfed and sheet media up to 65-in. wide and 0.5-mm thick, and offers a resolution up to 600 dpi apparent; the user can choose from a range of full and selective gloss print modes. Top speed is 5166 sq ft/hr. A double-sided print option is available.
Other UV printers in the HP line include the Scitex FB700, FB7500, XP2300, XP2700/XP2750, XP5100, XP5300, and XP TJ8350.
Inca Digital Printers
Inca Digital Printers launched its Inca Onset S40 as this issue was readied for press. Positioned between the company’s flagship Inca Onset and the Onset S20, the new Onset S40 prints at up to 5059 sq ft/hr, offers a 63 x 123-in. print area, and can accommodate media up to 2-in. thick. The printer is 4-color standard with optional light cyan and light magenta (Fujifilm UVijet OB inks); users can choose among uni-directional, bi-directional, and super-high-quality print modes. Additional features include variable levels of gloss, user printhead replacement, and automatic print setup controls. In addition, the Onset S40 is compatible with Inca’s flexible automation system, offering users the choice to operate in manual, semi, or three-quarter automation from the same configuration, as well as Inca’s Print Run Controller (PRC) software module.
Inca’s Spyder V high-speed printer, based on the company’s original Spyder series of flatbed inkjet printers, prints at 1001 sq ft/hr in production mode and has a top speed of 1399 sq ft/hr. Substrates as thick as 1.18 in. with dimensions up to 126 x 63 in. can be printed on the device. The printer is offered with a standard CMYK inkset, but a 6-color version is available with the option of using Fujifilm Sericol’s Uvijet Ultratone color system.
Fujifilm (fujifilmgs.com) is the exclusive US distributor of Inca printers.
The FinaUV 160+ is a 62-in. UV flatbed available with CMYKcm and CMYK+W inksets. It boasts a top resolution of 1440 dpi and speeds up to 259 sq ft/hr (4-pass, 720 dpi). It can accommodate media up to 1-in. thick. An Infiniti RIP is standard; optional Wasatch RIP.
The MD1000 UV flatbed printer is designed for short-run production of decorative tins, containers (plastic, corrugate, and carton), and more. The MD1000 offers: CMYK+W inks; 1200 x 900 resolution; a production speed of 220 sq ft/hr (150 sq ft/hr in Quality mode); and a maximum media thickness of 2 in.
Also available the CP100 UV digital can printer. A part of integrated systems technology platforms developed by Inx Digital to provide customer-driven solutions for inkjet printing, production workflows, and material handling, the CP100 is designed for short-run cylindrical printing and packaging work. The 4-color machine is capable of printing seven drop sizes (6 to 42 pl) and offers up to 720-dpi resolution; top print speed is 18 sq ft/min (loading/unloading speed is dependent upon customer requirements).
Lawson Screen & Digital
Lawson’s Express-Jet/ASI is an industrial direct-to-substrate printer that uses UV LED curing and is engineered to handle ad-specialty applications. It offers 5 colors (CMYK+W) and resolutions up to 1200 dpi. Maximum print size is 18 x 18 in., although the XL Print Option allows for 20 x 30 in. Options include dual LED UV lamps, a vacuum table, and more. The company’s Express-Jet Graphic model has a maximum imaging area of 52 x 72 in.
Matan Digital Printers
The 5-m (126-in.) UV-curable Barak5 is a roll-to-roll printer with a flatbed option. It can image up to three rolls of 63-in. media simultaneously, and print onto coated and uncoated media as thick as 1 in. Offering 2-yr durability, the Barak5 is compatible with roll and rigid media include flexface, mesh, blueback paper, backlit, self-adhesive vinyl, Tyvek, foam PVC, acrylic, aluminum, and foamboard. Users can choose from a range of speeds and qualities, including Express speed and Supreme quality.
The Barak5 features a top speed of 1830 sq ft/hr. Its 30-pl Ricoh E3 printheads offer true 600 dpi and apparent 1200-dpi resolutions. The Barak UV 300 pigmented inks are high-density and flexible with large color gamut. The company reports that the inks will provide coverage of up to 1940 sq ft/liter on average. The Barak5 is armed with a Caldera RIP, which processes while printing to speed the workflow. The RIP has tiling and nesting features.
Matan also offers the 3-m Barak 3.
Mimaki USA’s JFX plus series of LED UV-cure printers includes the JFX-1631 plus and JFX-1615 plus. The machines feature a post-cure unit, and as a result, reports Mimaki, now offer a top speed of 254 sq ft/min (at 600 dpi), an 80% increase over the previous 1615/1631 models. Both machines feature a top resolution of 1200 dpi. The 1631 plus can handle media up to 65 x 126 in., while the 1615 plus can handle media up to 65 x 63 in.; they accommodate media up to 1.97-in. thick. Two inksets are available: Rigid (CMYK+W+Clear) and Flexible (CMYK+W). A roll unit is optional for continuous roll-media feeding.
Other Mimaki UV machines include the UJV-160 series and the UJF-3042 and UJF-706 printers.
Neolt Digital Printers
Neolt offers the AsterJet 1650, a 65-inch UV printer. The 4-color rollfed AsterJet utilizes binary Xaar Proton printheads and Inx Digital UV-curable inks (1.5-liter integrated reservoirs with “on the fly” replenishment). It features a top resolution of 720 x 1440 dpi, and can hit speeds of up to 560 sq ft/hr at 360 dpi in one-pass mode (108 sq ft/hr at 720 x 1440 dpi in 8-pass mode). Neolt reports that the AsterJet can handle a wide range of media, both coated and uncoated, including banner, paper, mesh, cardboard, adhesive vinyls, films, polyester fabrics, and more. Maximum media thickness is 0.275 inches. Onyx RIP Aster edition comes standard.
Also available is the X-Jet, equipped with Xaar 1001 variable-drop printheads, for both rollfed and rigid media.
Océ North America
The Océ Arizona 550 XT UV flatbed features an extra-large flatbed table for oversized rigid media or objects. Designed as a true flatbed system, the 4-color (CMYK) Arizona 550 XT features UV-curable inks (2-liter bags) and the ability to print on a wide variety of oversized rigid substrates up to 98.4 x 120 in. and 2-in. thick; it also offers a flexible-media printing option for roll media up to 86.6-in. wide. In Production print mode, it can hit speeds up to 462 sq ft/hr on rigid media; an Express mode features speeds of up to 709 sq ft/hr. Its Océ VariaDot imaging technology enables it to produce ink droplets of variable size, resulting in image sharpness comparable to 1440 dpi or higher, Océ reports.
The extra width of the Océ Arizona 550 XT printer enables it to be used in a continuous imaging mode for rigid media up to 49.2 x 98.4 in., or a standard 4 x 8-ft board. Two rigid boards of this size can be mounted on separate vacuum areas of the flatbed table (while one board is being printed, the operator can change the other). Beyond the roll-media option, users can add a white-ink option (at factory, or later), as well as an Onyx ProductionHouse RIP.
The Océ Arizona 550 GT flatbed is aimed at the P-O-P application market, and uses UV-curable inks (CMYK) and the same Océ VariaDot imaging technology. It can print on a variety of rigid substrates up to 49.2 x 98.4 in. in area and up to 2-in. thick; it also offers a roll-media option, for printing onto flexible media up to 86.6-in. wide. Top Production-mode speed, reports Océ, is 433 sq ft/hr, which is twice that of other Arizona models; also available is Express mode, which will hit 721 sq ft/hr, approximately three times higher than the company’s 350 GT. The 550 GT, says Océ, can produce 100 full-sized boards (4 x 8-ft) per 8-hour shift. Options include: white ink; a roll-media option; and an Onyx ProductionHouse RIP.
Other printers in the Arizona series include the Arizona 350 and Arizona 300 GT.
The Virtu RS25 features a printing width of 98.4 in. and allows for printing of roll media as well as board materials. The printer offers a 6-color inkset (CMYKcm) + white, and a top resolution of 1200 dpi. Maximum substrate thickness is 3.7 in. In Production mode, the RS25 can hit 861-1507 sq ft/hr (80-pl drop size). Options include an add-on table, automatic feed system, antistatic device, camera with monitor, and more.
Also available are the Virtu RS35 (138-in. print width) and the Virtu RR50 (196.9-in. print width).
Roland’s 54-in. VersaUV LEC-540 UV-LED wide-format inkjet printer/cutter, based on the company’s VersaUV technology, prints CMYK + white + clear and can contour-cut substrates up to 1-mm (0.04-in.) thick. The LEC-540 is the third model in Roland’s VersaUV series, joining the 30-inch LEC-330 and LEC-300A units. This model is not only larger than its sister machines, but also faster – it can hit a maximum print speed of 125 sq ft/hr in High Speed mode, approximately 25% faster than the LEC-330 due to larger UV-LED lamps to expedite production, Roland reports. The LEC-540 offers a maximum resolution of 1440 dpi.
It’s offered in three ink configurations: the standard CMYK + white + clear configuration; CMYK + white + white for high-opacity white printing on transparent films; and CMYK + clear + clear for thick dimensional effects. Clear ink can be layered into both gloss and matte finishes, including 72 patterns from the Roland Texture Library.
Other features include the Roland OnSupport system, which allows remote monitoring of production activities. When a job is completed or ink runs low, the printer will automatically send an e-mail notification to a smart phone or computer. And an automated white-ink circulation system prevents pigments in the ink from settling, minimizes waste, and ensures continuous uninterrupted printing.
The machine can print on a variety of flexible and rigid media, including synthetic paper, polyester film, paper and vinyl banner media, PET, leather, plastic, polycarbonates, and paper boards. Applications range from packaging prototypes, short-run labels and membrane panels to interior décor items, point of P-O-P displays, and large-format window graphics.
Also available: the Roland VersaUV LEC-300A and the LEC-330.
Screen USA’s Truepress Jet1600UV-F is a 63-in. UV LED flatbed developed specifically for the sign and display business. A 5-color printer (CMYK+W), the Jet1600UV-F is capable of printing 140 sq ft/hr in Quality mode (without white; 70 sq ft/hr with white), and 82 sq ft/hr in High-Quality mode (41 square ft/hr with white). It can hit a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi and its eight piezo variable-drop printheads produce up to seven dot sizes. The Jet1600UV-F can accommodate a diverse array of substrates up to 1.96-in. thick.
Two types of ink are available to users—FlexLED for rigid materials and HardLED for flexible media. FlexLED, reports Screen, can be stretched by up to 200%, as well as cast or bent, and performs on white media, including substrates employed for packaging, P-O-P displays, and life-size panels. HardLED is particularly suited for aluminum panels and decorative illuminated film. A Truepress Jet 1600UV RIP is standard.
In 2010, Screen introduced two new options for its Truepress Jet2500UV printer: a multi-layer option and a corrugated option. The new multiple-layer function allows the Jet2500UV to print up to seven image layers without feeding the media a second time. The new corrugated cardboard guide option is a secure substrate-fixing system enabling reliable transport of media, making it possible to print directly onto hard-to-handle substrates.
Signs International Distributor
The SID UV 200S is a 6-color (CMYKcm) printer that offers 24 Spectra printheads (128 nozzles) and an 81-in. print width. Top speed is 419 sq ft/hr in Draft mode (300 x 600 dpi, three passes), while High Quality mode is 204 sq ft/hr (600 x 600 dpi, six passes); top resolution is 800 dpi. The SID UV 200S can accommodate media up to 1.18-in. thick. Onyx software is standard.
Also available is the SID UV 165P printer.
The Impala hybrid UV printer uses an 8-color inkset (CMYKcmk + W) + varnish, supports drop sizes from 12 to 42 pl, offers visual resolution up to 1200 dpi, and print speeds up to 1442 sq ft/hr in Draft Flatbed mode (high-print quality is 387-720 sq ft/hr at 720 and 360 dpi). Maximum print area is 5 x 8 ft. A Caldera RIP is standard.
Last year, the company introduced several new print modes for its Oryx UV flatbed printers, increasing the maximum print speed up to 828 sq ft/hr in Draft mode. Polytype America Corp (polytypeamerica.com, see listing) is the exclusive distributor for the SwissQPrint printer line.
Teckwin’s TeckPro UV3200 is a roll-to-roll printer that features a maximum print width of 130 in., resolutions up to 800 dpi, and a top speed of 990 sq ft/hr in High Speed mode (484 sq ft/hr in Production mode). The 6-color printer (CMYKcm) allows for simultaneous printing on multiple rolls and offers a double-sided backlit printing option.
Also available is the TeckPro UV5000 (197-in. width), the TeckStorm TS series (flatbeds with roll options), the TeckStorm Q series, and the TeckSmart UV1600/UV2500 printers.