Automated spot-color matching and support for digital die-cutting
As the installed base of flatbed printers using UV-curable inks continues to grow, equipment manufacturers such as Durst are using customer feedback to refine equipment features for the specific types of production workflows in which they are being used. Currently, 80 Durst Rho 160 flatbed/printers are in use around the world"?many at the same sites that use one or more of the 800 Durst Lambda photo printers that have been installed to date.
The Rho 160 is a production-grade combination roll-feed and flatbed wide-format inkjet printer that uses UV-curable inks to image to boards, sheets or roll media up to 62 in. wide and up to 1.58 in. (40mm) thick. Although the Rho 160 is being used for many different types of production requirements, many units are being primarily being used to produce P-O-P displays, trade-show graphics, and other types of exhibits. Like other printers that use UV-curable inks, the Durst Rho 160 eliminates the number of steps involved in producing durable display graphics on rigid materials. Images coming out the press don't have to mounted or laminated.
As Durst Dice America president Art Shufelt points out, the productivity of a large-format digital-printing system should never be measured by throughput speeds alone. Productivity is also determined by the time required to prepare jobs for printing, the speed at which files can be RIP'd, and the time involved in converting a printed image into a sellable display graphic. That's why one of the core strengths of the Durst Rho 160 is its proprietary UNIX-based software which provides for fast operation with minimal hard-disk usage. The software's patented image-processing features include on-the-fly pixel interpolation/scaling, dithering, color, density, contrast and sharpening corrections, and cropping. This means operators don't have to create additional printing files in order to output prints of different sizes at maximum resolution. It also doesn't require files to be re-RIP'd each times a change is applied.
At a recent sign show in the UK, Durst Phototechnik AG demonstrated several new software features for the Durst Rho 160, including a new image-processing function that makes it possible to produce lengths of repeated images, without any joins, gaps, or splices in the repeating image. This feature is useful is the production of wallcoverings or backdrops featuring company logos.