Israeli wide-format developer MTL Print will present its top-of-the-range, high-productivity wide-format printer, the Meital 304D, to the market at next week's FESPA. With three early adopter units already in place world-wide, the manufacturer will demonstrate the new machine's interchangeable print tables and superb output quality at speeds of up to 250sq m/hour, providing a vital improvement on turnaround times for display producers and an attractive proposition for screen-printers.
MTL Print stresses its heritage in this market, with its management team featuring familiar names who have driven technology development within wide-format digital ink-jet since its evolution. The current company was founded by veteran developers Kobi Markovitch and Moshe Nur, who have been responsible for the inception and maturity of this market in the early 1990s, including the introduction of the first UV-curable flat-bed and roll-fed machines. Within their portfolio of historical excellence can be counted the entire range of NUR systems -- now at the forefront of HP’s Scitex division.
"The core of the Meital range of wide-format production engines from MTL Print is the expertise inherent to their research and development," emphasises Ran Emanuel, vice-president of sales and marketing for MTL Print. "For many years our team has managed and manufactured some of the most successful equipment available in digital ink-jet for display and industrial production printing. We are now attending FESPA to demonstrate that commitment to the market and its potential for growth and development."
Bidding to set new standards in the market for productivity, quality, reliability and ease-of-use, the Meital 300-series uses a UV-curable four-colour ink set with two interchangeable flat-bed tables, enabling a level of automation that will prove attractive to those using existing digital and screen-printing technologies. Accommodating media up to 1.25 x 2.5m, this industry standard 4 x 8ft display sheet size is easily incorporated with advanced printing features, such as step-and-repeat and image nesting. Boards up to 254mm thick can be printed at speeds up to 250sq m/hour in high productivity mode onto all popular substrates, including corrugated and foam boards, PVC, paper and vinyl.
Variable drop-on-demand ink-jet technology through Xaar 1001 HSS (hybrid side-shooter) print-heads allows the user to vary the drop size on the Meital 300-series machines between six and 42 picolitres. This allows the best degrees of resolution appropriate to the printed application without compromising on throughput. Smaller drop sizes allow for the fine production of lighter hues and gradations, thereby rendering light-colours inks unnecessary and provoking vital, extensive savings on ink costs.
The arrangement of the Xaar 1001 heads has been formulated to provide a proprietary wide print swathe and, because of the design of this array, the Meital 300-series engines reduce print times dramatically. The heads, which contain 1000 nozzles each at native 360dpi, also circulate ink, removing the need to purge and wipe and thereby diminishing downtime and maintenance costs. This side-shooting technology was incorporated to minimise problems with banding, making it one of the fastest board printing machines for display, outdoor advertising and packaging purposes on the market.
"Users want the combination of time- and waste-saving measures with no concessions on production speed or standards," Emanuel continues. "Our early adopters have benefited from these features with the Meital 300-series, as well as from innovations such as the dual-table changeover for maximum possible efficiency. Not only do we have the experience to cater for the innovation demanded by this market's end users -- as FESPA's campaign highlights this year -- but we have the skill and market maturity to recognise how to drive that further into the future."
Technological innovation meets financial pragmatism in the Meital 300-series, which is upgradable throughout the range because of its modular format. A company can start with the 301, 302, 303, 304 or 302D models and improve the number of heads or print tables as necessary and in line with natural company growth, or opt immediately for the fully optimised 304D. Each upgrade can be undertaken at the user’s site and allows businesses to split their investment into manageable, natural stages.
"Our message to the market at FESPA is that MTL Print shows where perfection, productivity and price -- the three Ps -- meet, and that we have the answer to the focal questions that the industry is demanding," Emanuel concludes. "A visit to our stand at FESPA will prove that our solution is the one which matches and exceeds these demands most exactly, while also being tailored to the exact requirements of the producer at both the technical and financial levels."