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Ubiquitous UV

(February 2012) posted on Wed Feb 08, 2012

A tidal wave of UV tech has made its mark on the market.

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Today, UV could well stand for “ubiquitous – very.” Printing with UV technologies has become that prevalent in the wide-format marketplace. Consider: Overall, more than 45 percent of all wide-format printers currently on the market utilize UV inks, according to our findings – that’s a significant number, and one that has continued to grow each year. Of 70 flatbed/hybrid printers we reported on in our 2011-2012 Printer Sourcebook, only two do not utilize UV inks. And of the 130 rollfed printers reported on in the Sourcebook, nearly 20 percent utilize UV inks. In just a few short years, we’ve seen UV’s tidal wave come ashore and make its impact on the market.

Meanwhile, printer OEMs are constantly tweaking their machine offerings, bettering each printer’s mix of features as new models are introduced (including the integration of UV-LED lamps and related technologies, see page xx). And, importantly, the manufacturers have been addressing both the high end of production UV machines, as well as developing entry-level machines to allow small operations to get a foothold into the advantages that UV technologies offer.

We’ve provided details on one or two of the latest UV printer models from each of the 27 manufacturers that follow. In addition, in each company’s listing we’ve strived to note other UV models the company produces (visit the company’s website for the most up-to-date information as equipment rosters may change by the time we go to press).

Agfa Graphics
The Anapurna M2540 FB UV flatbed from Agfa is a 6-color (CMYKcm + white) printer featuring a quick-change vacuum-bed divided into two table zones of four different compartments, allowing the use of different-sized media without having to tape off the whole vacuum bed. Separate parts of the bed also can be used for different jobs in the same print run while maintaining a perfect vacuum, Agfa reports (the vacuum can also be reversed to aid in lifting of large substrates after printing). The printer accommodates media up to 100 x 54 in. and up to 1.77-in. thick.

The M2540FB also features: a maximum print speed of 484 sq ft/hr in Express mode (280 sq ft/hr in Production mode); borderless-printing capabilities; ionizer elements to prevent the buildup of electrostatic charge on media; shuttle safety sensors on both sides of the print carriage to protect printheads from hitting the media; Wasatch SoftRIP standard; and more.