Fume-free outdoor-graphics production for smaller sign shops
Encad's new VinylJet? 36 inkjet printer uses special infrared-curable aqueous inks and an onboard infrared heater to create outdoor-durable graphics on vinyls that cost less than the receptor-coated vinyls typically used with aqueous inks.
Priced at $12,995, the 36-in., 600-dpi, 4-color inkjet printer is designed to appeal to small- to mid-sized sign shops who don't want to install the ventilation systems required by inkjet printers that use inks with aggressive solvents to adhere to non-receptor-coated vinyls. Encad's proprietary AquaVinyl? ink contains 85% fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than many of the solvent-based inks used to digitally output outdoor graphics. Encad is also promoting the fact that the AquaVinyl ink has a higher color gamut than many solvent-based inks currently on the market.
The VinylJet's printing system uses an internal heating system to pre-heat the vinyl for optimal ink reception. After the ink is printed, an infrared (IR) lamp cures the ink to create an impermeable bond. Details on a warranty are still being hammered out, but it is anticipated that the graphics will be warranted for up to three years outdoors.
The printer outputs in four different preset modes, with throughput speeds ranging from 23 to 55 sq ft/hr. The VinylJet is supplied with a 60-day trial version of Scanvec Amiable's Flexi-Banner print-management software.
Encad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Company, developed with AquaVinyl Ink and printing technology with expertise from DuPont, a leading manufacturer of inkjet inks, and Avery Dennison, a leading maker of vinyls for large-format graphics.
Noting that the new printer makers Encad's entry into the outdoor, direct-to-vinyl market, Encad CEO Brad Kruchten said, "We expect AquaVinyl technology to set a whole new standard for affordable, outdoor, wide-format sign production." The printer is expected to begin shipping in the US and Canada in May. (Encad: www.encad.com)
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