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UV Universe

(May 2009) posted on Tue May 19, 2009

Surveying your UV machine options.

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The environmental aspects of the machine, reports Mimaki, are threefold: The inks themselves contain no VOCs; the LED lamps do not generate ozone; and the lamps' energy consumption is about half of conventional UV-curing lamps, the company reports.

The printer comes standard with RasterLink Pro4SG RIP software with 16-bit rendering. Also standard are temperature-controlled pre-print heaters.

Fujifilm Acuity Advance, Advance X2: Fujifilm's ( Acuity Advance is a 4-color UV flatbed that can hit a print speed of up to 233 sq ft/hr in Production mode, while in High Quality mode the speed is 165 sq ft/hr (in Fine Art mode, the speed is 135 sq ft/hr, while in Fine Art Matte mode, the speed is 118 sq ft/hr). The Advance also adds an optional white-ink module. It has a print area of 49 x 98 inches and can print onto substrates as thick as 1.98 inches. Incorporating small-drop, grayscale printhead technology, it can jet droplets as fine as 6 pl, allowing for crisp images and smooth transitions.

The flatbed design employs a zoned vacuum table to hold all types of media, including irregularly shaped or uneven surfaced material, to ensure accurate registration even on multiple passes. A roll-to-roll module is optional. Other Acuity Advance features include an ink sensor, white-space skipping to increase throughput, and a vacuum wand to clean printheads. Onyx ProductionHouse RIP v7 is optional.

Fujifilm's Acuity Advance X2 doubles the size of the print bed from the Acuity Advance, enabling printing onto substrates as large as 120 x 98.4 inches and as thick as 1.88 inches. And, the dual zoning system with independent vacuum control allows the printing of an image in one zone while setting up another image in the second zone, thereby increasing throughput. The X2 incorporates the same modified printhead array as the Acuity Advance and is designed to produce high quality at print speeds of 237 sq ft/hr. It's available in a 4-color CMYK offering or CMYK plus white (can be upgraded in the field). A roll-to-roll module is optional.

Gerber Scientific Solara ionV: The Solara ionV printer from Gerber Scientific ( boasts similar features to the company's ionX, including the utilization of GerberCat cationic UV inks and Gerber's Cold Fire Cure process. This latest generation of Gerber's flatbed UV inkjet printer, however, costs approximately 30% less than the ionX.