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ColorSpan Introduces 72SR Hybrid and "Xtreme" X-12+"

(July 2004) posted on Wed Jul 21, 2004

New flatbed/rollfed can print on variety of uncoated rigid materials


MacDermid ColorSpan has introduced two new printers: the DisplayMaker 72SR, which is a flatbed/rollfed hybrid version of the 72S that now supports rigid materials; and the DisplayMaker X-12+, which builds on the DisplayMaker X-12 platform. Both printers made their debut at this spring's ISA show.

The DisplayMaker 72SR is a piezo solvent inkjet printer that can be configured for printing rigid materials by attaching two roller tables (36 x 75 in.) to the front and rear of the printer. It can then accommodate rigid sheets up to 60 in. long and 3/16 in. thick. Additional tables can also be added for sheets up to 120 in. When printing roll media, the tables are simply removed.

The new printer is capable of printing on a variety of uncoated rigid materials, including UltraBoard, Fome-Cor, GatorPlast, polystyrene, cardstock, and clay-faced corrugated board. It also prints on flexible materials, including banner vinyl, adhesive vinyl, canvas, paper, fabric, and film.

To help make the loading of rigid materials as easy as possible on the new 72SR, ColorSpan has included a releasable pinch roller system for easy insertion (the pinch rollers themselves feature variable force adjustment). Plus, the unit's Automation Eye can sense the media's edges and also check for skew, while its Media Wizard "memorizes" a particular media's handling characteristics"?head height, pinch-roller tension, platen vacuum force, etc."?allowing it to quickly adapt the next time that media is used. Designed as a production system, the 4- color 72SR features 16 printheads and can deliver a print speed of 400 sq ft/hr in billboardquality mode and 100 sq ft/hr in high-quality mode (600 x 600 dpi). Its SolaChrome HR inks are available in cyan, magenta, yellow, and black; these are held in 3.5-liter reservoirs (inks are priced at $249 per 2- liter container).

To aid in that production, the 72SR also features ColorSpan's Automation Eye (also packaged with the DisplayMaker X-12+, see below, as well as a few other ColorSpan units), which comprises a high-resolution imaging sensor, colorimetric photodiode, and embedded software. It automates setup and calibration, and includes features such as: AutoSet calibration, to automatically set head-to-head alignment and bidirectional dot placement; AutoJet calibration, to eliminate banding; AutoTune scheduler, for unattended Autojet calibration; Linearization, to ensure accurate and consistent color; and Color Profiling, to print and automatically read color swatches for creation of custom ICC and ColorMark profiles of third-party media.

RIPs available for the 72SR (all are optional) include the ColorMark Professional Software RIP and ColorSpan's ColorMark Pro 2.8G, as well as third-party RIPs from Onyx (PosterShop, ProductionHouse) and Scanvec Amiable.

The DisplayMaker 72SR carries a retail price of $59,995; current owners of the DisplayMaker 72S can purchase a flatbed upgrade for $5995.

The company's DisplayMaker X-12+ is all about combining versatility and flexibility to best boost production and performance. Billed as the "Xtreme wide-format printing machine," the X- 12+ is a thermal inkjet printer available in 60 and 72-in. versions. It can be configured with one or more 4, 6, 8, 11, or 12-color inksets to balance the need for speed (draft speed is in excess of 600 sq ft/hr), print quality (1800-dpi apparent resolution max.), and extended colors (CMYK, plus orange, green, red, and blue). For instance, different sets of inks could be used in either a 4+8 or 6+6 configuration for indoor and outdoor applications; or, two sets of the same ink could be used in a 2x4 or 2x6 configuration to double the print speed.

To further enhance productivity, the X-12+ features high-capacity 500 or 960-ml ink reservoirs. In addition, its AutoInk Swapping feature allows two different sets of aqueous inks to be loaded simultaneously and change between 4, 6, 8, and 11-color without any changes to the printer. EnduraChrome dye and PermaChrome pigmented inks are available. A newly designed, heated forced-air drying system further enhances highspeed unattended printing.

The X-12+ can be driven by a variety of RIPs, all optional. The 60-in. version of the X-12+ has a suggested retail price of $23,995, while the 72-in. version sells for $24,995. (MacDermid ColorSpan: www.colorspan.com)


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