19 Jan 2021

New American-built printer uses Dimatix Q-class heads to bring grayscale printing into superwide arena

Dimatix Q Class

FUJIFILM Dimatix is supplying its Q-Class inkjet printheads to a New Hampshire-based technology developer for what is believed to be the first implementation of grayscale technology used for grand-format 3.2 metre wide graphics reproduction.

The developer – Redwood Technologies of Moultonboro, New Hampshire – specialises in the design, development and integration of hardware and software for the private label digital Inkjet Industry. The company's Nemesis logic board is able to drive inkjet printheads in 3.2-metre (126-inch-wide) grand-format printers in true grayscale mode, in addition to the purely "on-off" binary operation characteristic of conventional grand-format printing. 

"Production printing on media 10 feet wide is no small feat," remarked Redwood Technologies founder and president Mike Mills.  "It requires precision-engineered electro-mechanical assemblies driving sophisticated inkjet delivery systems equipped with multiple printheads that must operate in concert quickly and flawlessly to achieve the desired visual effect. Adding grayscale to that list of requirements raises the level of complexity dramatically. It also opens the door to possibilities previously unattainable," Mills explained.

"We selected FUJIFILM Dimatix Q-Class printheads for their ability to deliver precision, speed and consistency. A critical component of that decision was Dimatix VersaDrop jetting technology, which makes it possible for us to apply all the Q-Class advantages to true grayscale printing," he continued.

"Although each of these Dimatix technologies is at the leading edge in its own right; the combination of VersaDrop flexibility and Q-Class technology is unbeatable both from a development perspective and for production performance," said Mills. "It's exactly what we needed to design a family of price-competitive printers and retrofit components able to deliver flawless photorealistic quality imaging."

The Dimatix Q-Class is FUJIFILM Dimatix' breakthrough piezoelectric drop-on-demand (Piezo DOD) inkjet platform around which it is building a new family of printheads and head arrays for high speed scanning and single pass printer architectures. The low crosstalk and excellent channel-to-channel uniformity allows Q-Class printheads to deliver unparalleled jetting straightness at unprecedented speed while supporting both binary and grayscale VersaDrop operation. Their high chemical resistance and precision also gives Q-Class printheads the ability to reliably jet UV-curable, organic solvent and aqueous ink formulations onto a broad range of substrates.

FUJIFILM Dimatix patented VersaDrop jetting technology takes advantage of the inherent high frequency response of Q-Class printheads, enabling each of several hundred nozzles in one or more piezoelectric printhead arrays to deliver a desired amount of fluid in each drop of ink. By varying the size of the drop fired, rather than the number of drops fired or the number of passes by the printhead to create each pixel, VersaDrop technology makes it possible for inkjet systems to satisfy a wide range of commercial print requirements, including applications demanding smooth tonal gradations and extremely fine features printed within the same job.

VersaDrop technology also offers a more robust solution compared to other grayscale methods for modulating drop size, by producing a single drop at high speed rather than a burst of drops at significantly slower speeds.

For more information, please visit www.dimatix.com

HP Scitex FB7600 - is it a game changer? Can your finishing department keep up?

Hp Scitex Fb7600

HP Scitex FB7600, XP5500 and XP2500 introduced at SGIA

Firstly, before you read this news, do yourself a favour and take a look at the video for the new HP Scitex FB7600 on YouTube - then you'll get an idea of where the title of this article came from.

Watched it? Impressed? Good, now read on...

HP today unveiled additions to its HP Scitex digital wide-format graphics portfolio, offering print service providers (PSPs) higher productivity, the versatility to handle more applications and the ability to meet the growing demand for short runs more quickly.

The new offerings include:

  • The HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press, with new HP FB225 Scitex Inks, workflow improvements for increased productivity and versatility and an optional multisheet loader.
  • The 16.6-foot (5-m) HP Scitex XP5500 Industrial Printer with new billboard print modes, industry-leading print speeds and unprecedented ink coverage.
  • The 10.5-foot (3.2-m) HP Scitex XP2500 Industrial Printer, which delivers up to 15 percent more throughput than its predecessor.
  • Enhanced HP Scitex Print Care offerings for the new printers to help customers maximise uptime and serviceability.
  • EskoArtwork i-cut Suite, a print-to-cut workflow solution enhanced for HP Scitex printers, from HP Solutions Business Partner ESKO.

"As the leader in industrial wide-format graphics, HP is helping customers transition from analogue to digital printing and take advantage of higher value pages to further grow their businesses," said Xavier Garcia, general manager, Scitex Wide-format Solutions, HP. "With today's introductions, our customers can go after these pages with the confidence that HP digital solutions will deliver the productivity, versatility and reliability they demand."

The HP Scitex FB7600 and XP5500 industrial presses will debut in HP booth 919 at the 2011 SGIA Expo in New Orleans, Oct. 19 - 21. At the show, HP also will kick off the first HP Print Excellence Awards for HP Scitex and HP Designjet customers to recognise best-in-class wide-format graphics applications. The contest will culminate at the drupa 2012 tradeshow, where HP will announce winning customers and applications.

HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press improves productivity and workflow

Delivering high productivity on a range of flexible and rigid media, the HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press offers a variety of productivity enhancements, including in-line saturation control for backlit applications, hot folders and job queue, to help PSPs expedite their workflow. The device can print up to 95 full boards an hour and has a new point-of-purchase (POP) print mode that produces 55 full boards an hour with indoor quality.

New HP FB225 Scitex Inks adhere better on plastics and improve flexibility on corrugated media, allowing customers to reduce the time required for finishing and expand their businesses with new applications. The inks also have reduced odour and the ink system is GREENGUARD Children & Schools CertifiedSM, offering reassurance that the prints produced are suitable for use in indoor environments

"The new features of the HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press make it possible for us to offer both speed and quality at a competitive price," said Tim Boore, head of Digital Technologies at United Kingdom-based Image Factory. "The edge-to-edge printing feature saves time and reduces material waste during the finishing process. We were pleased with the previous inks, but the new HP FB225 Scitex Inks offer increased flexibility and have expanded our application versatility."

The HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press is expected to be available worldwide on Nov. 1. Existing owners of the HP Scitex FB7500 Industrial Press who want improved versatility and efficiency can easily upgrade their existing technologies with the HP Scitex FB7500 Industrial Press Upgrade Kit.

HP Scitex XP5500 and XP2500 printers deliver quick return on investment

The HP Scitex XP5500 Industrial Printer is ideal for high-volume PSPs that require a reliable, 24/7 printing solution. Offering a combination of low-cost-per-square foot printing at industry-leading speeds, the device prints up to 325m2/hr (3,500 ft2/hr) in billboard mode using HP Specialty Billboard Scitex Ink. Additionally, PSPs can increase their return on investment through better ink coverage than comparable solvent and UV-ink printing systems, and with the ability to print on a wide range of media.

Designed for high-volume PSPs seeking a UV-curable alternative to solvent ink printing, the HP Scitex XP2500 Industrial Printer offers a low cost per square foot at print speeds up to 265m2/hr (2,850 ft2/hr). Customers can choose one of the new print modes that use HP Specialty Billboard Scitex Ink for high ink coverage, enabling PSPs to produce billboards or close-view applications without switching inks. This specially formulated ink provides media versatility and operational efficiency for a variety of outdoor and indoor applications.

The HP Scitex XP2500 and XP5500 printers are scheduled to be available worldwide on Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, respectively. HP also will offer HP Scitex XP5300 and XP2300 Upgrade Packages for existing customers who want improved versatility and a new level of service with HP Scitex Print Care.

New workflow solution for HP Scitex from ESKOArtwork

ESKOArtwork i-Cut Suite is a print-to-cut workflow solution that tackles bottlenecks in the manufacturing of wide-format graphics by simplifying the cutting process, including PDF preflight, editing and correction, nesting and layout and the production of printing and cutting files.

ESKOArtwork i-Cut Suite is compatible with all HP Scitex printers, Raster Image Processors (RIPs) and cutting devices. The enhanced solution exclusive to HP Scitex customers includes a library of optimised HP Scitex profiles. ESKOArtwork i-Cut Suite is available through ESKO distributors and resellers.

HP offers flexible financing solutions for customers deploying the latest HP digital printing technologies through HP Financial Services, the company's leasing and life cycle asset management services division. An HP Financial Services representative is onsite at SGIA to provide details of applicable offers.

More information about HP's wide-format graphics industrial printing solutions is available at www.hp.com/go/gsb, through the HP Graphic Arts Twitter feed and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/hpgraphicarts

Additional information about HP at the 2011 SGIA Expo is available at www.hp.com/go/SGIA2011

McKenzie Clark is first UK company to install 5m UV-curable Polytype Virtu RR50

Polytype Virtu Rr50

McKenzie Clark has become the first UK company to install a five-metre UV-curable Virtu RR50 wide-format digital printer from Swiss manufacturer Polytype in a bid to increase its throughput and expand its product range. The award-winning platform will be instrumental in satisfying a range of anticipated projects in 2012 thanks to its excellent performance across several media, including the non-PVC alternatives the company provides.

"2012 is set to be the busiest year since the Millennium effect of 1999 and we are delighted to be installing the Virtu RR50 ahead of the increased sales activity that we anticipate next year," comments Graham Clark, managing director of McKenzie Clark. "The Virtu RR50 is an award-winning, high-capacity, flexible machine which produces output of the very highest quality, a combination which is crucial to our business model. It will enable us to take advantage of the exciting opportunities surrounding the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen's Golden Jubilee, while continuing to satisfy our core clients with the great service they have come to expect."

The 24/7 set-up at McKenzie Clark will take advantage of the Virtu RR50's ability to produce 2,160sq m of print per day in high-quality mode, or double in billboard mode, increasing the company's actual capacity to a potential 6,500sq m/day. The company's sophisticated online workflow system incorporates Dalim ES, Dalim Twist, Xinet and Caldera, which will drive the machine, allowing file and colour management and pre-press demands to be managed efficiently. This integration offers clients a fast and efficient way of uploading files and providing approval, meaning that their high standards of reproduction can be accurately matched with the output from the Virtu RR50 and McKenzie Clark's other machines.

"McKenzie Clark has a fantastic reputation for producing innovative, high-quality print for an impressive customer base, and we are thrilled that they have chosen Virtu to fulfil and further that position," says Sylvia Muhr, sales director Europe for Polytype's Virtu business unit. "The company will produce many demanding, high-profile projects during the Olympic year and we are certain that the Virtu RR50 will stand up to the challenge."

Also important during the selection process was the ability of the Virtu to output on non-PVC materials with the same excellent quality. Environmental concern is enshrined within the company's operation, with McKenzie Clark offering a non-PVC alternative for almost every substrate, as well as a collection service to ensure that obsolete displays are reused or recycled. Adopting Polytype's Virtu technology allows the company to fulfil its commitment to reducing landfill and working with more sustainable materials.

The machine will be installed, serviced and maintained by exclusive UK Virtu distributor Digital Print Innovations (DPI). "McKenzie Clark is one of the biggest names in large-format digital printing and display production and was an early adopter of direct-to-print technology," comments Stewart Bell, managing director of DPI. "They knew the kind of quality, adhesion and speed they were looking for in a new machine and the Virtu RR50 meets these needs head on. We’re very excited about the high profile projects that the machine will be printing, especially with the glut of opportunities coming in 2012, and DPI is committed to helping McKenzie Clark get the best possible results from the Virtu for their customers."

The Virtu RR50 has won both the EDP Award for best machine over 3.2m wide and the International Forum Product Design Award, acknowledging the five-metre UV-curable engine's ability to print exceptional quality onto almost every substrate imaginable. Available with four- and six-colour ink sets, the machine can output to three 1.2m rolls simultaneously or a single flexible roll weighing up to 750kg. Unique to the system is the linear drive motor, which improves stability and helps the Virtu achieve its renowned accuracy of reproduction.

LightBrigade fires up its wide format print business with new :Anapurna M2050 printer

Agfa Anapurna M2050

LightBrigade, the emerging new full-service print, graphics, exhibitions and communications group, has bought a new high performance :Anapurna M2050 printer from Agfa to service its growing wide-format display business.  LightBrigade chose the :Anapurna M2050 UV curable inkjet system not only for its extremely high quality print, but because it offers a flexible white ink facility for use on rigid and non-rigid materials.  The :Anapurna will run alongside LightBrigade's family of litho / offset presses and finishing equipment at its new Surrey HQ.

"This is a very exciting time for LightBrigade as our wide-format display, exhibitions and conferences business is really taking off. We have refurbished our new premises and now need the capability to deliver work of considerable scale and quality and we are being asked to print on increasingly varied materials. Agfa gives us that flexibility," said LightBrigade Managing Director, Andrew Edwards.

“We are delighted to be working with the directors of the new LightBrigade with its wide-format display and exhibition services. We are particularly pleased that, like many other litho printers around the country looking to broaden their offerings to customers, they have chosen Agfa to provide the base for their new wide-format inkjet business,” commented Steve Collins, Agfa Graphics UK.

Versatility and productivity are key features of the new :Anapurna M2540 FB

Anapurna M2540 Fb

The latest addition to Agfa Graphics' successful :Anapurna family of wide-format UV-curable ink-jet printers is a dedicated flatbed engine, designed to accommodate the growing market needs for printing on rigid substrates. The :Anapurna M2540 FB is a new time-saving machine featuring a revolutionary quick-change vacuum bed technology, six colours (CMYKLcLm) and white ink. It is priced to attract entry-level purchasers as well as established users switching to the latest UV technology.

With a maximum print speed of 45 m2/hour, the :Anapurna M2540 FB can print sizes up to 2.54 x 1.54m, with substrates up to 4.5cm in thickness and 80kg in weight. The machine's eleven retractable register pins simplify quick and accurate positioning, particularly when working on double-sided jobs.

Such is the versatility of Agfa Graphics' :Anapurna M2540 FB that it has been designed to accommodate small as well as large applications. This addresses the growing demand for niche output, such as the production of promotional goods and gifts, coasters and DVDs. The excellent adhesion of the UV-curable ink and its fast and efficient curing means that glass, ceramics and wood can also be printed, making it suitable for architectural and interior décor as well as exterior signs, displays and publicity.

"When we designed and engineered the :Anapurna M2540 FB, we made sure that it features everything a user needs when working with rigid substrates," states Willy Van Dromme, Director of Marketing Wide Format at Agfa Graphics. "The result is a dedicated flatbed printer with a competitive entry level price point, making it the ideal machine for companies who want to print all sizes of applications up to a maximum of 2.54m in width, with a fast return on their investment. With the same low ink consumption of 8.1 ml/m2 as the :Anapurna M2050, it delivers class leading low ink costs per m2".

Thanks to the robust engineering, the :Anapurna M2540 FB simplifies working with rigid substrates that must remain completely stable during the production process yet also allow for fast change-over. The powerful vacuum bed incorporates two zones each containing four switchable compartments, complemented by a reverse airflow function for swift removal of finished prints and moving of heavy substrates.

The printer's industrial build also features ioniser elements to prevent the build-up of electrostatic charge on the media which can affect droplet control and subsequent precision ink lay-down. And to protect the print-heads from hitting the media, shuttle safety sensors are positioned on both sides of the print carriage, thus eliminating unwanted strikes.
"We've paid very close attention to details such as the versatile vacuum bed, register pins, and the ability to load and off-load jobs quickly and easily," Van Dromme continues. "As well as being able to produce high quality output on all rigid substrates, we know that time savings are a vital element to all print businesses, and the new :Anapurna M2540 FB addresses these workflow and production elements for greater overall efficiency."

Agfa Graphics' new production printer will appeal not only to display producers and sign-makers but also to other market sectors driven by the need for high quality, durable full-colour output using UV-curable ink technology. It is as suitable for packaging prototypes, promotional goods' manufacturers as it is for industrial specialists who need fast throughput and the ability to work with a vast range of rigid substrates.

The :Anapurna M2540 FB flatbed solution completes the :Anapurna family of cost-effective UV-curable wide-format printers. Agfa Graphics also offers its comprehensive :Jeti range of machines and the high-end :M-Press Tiger and :M-Press Leopard inkjet presses.

Oce Arizona 360 GT UV flatbed printer to be installed at PIA headquarters

Oce Arizona 360

Oce will be placing an Arizona 360 GT UV flatbed printer at the Printing Industries of America headquarters in Pennsylvania, USA. The printer will be used for market education, member training and internal production.

"The convergence of markets and technologies due to digitalization in the graphics industry provides new spin-off opportunities for commercial printers," said Sal Sheikh, Vice President of Marketing for the Wide Format Printing Systems division of Oce North America. "The capabilities of flatbed-based UV printers enable commercial printers to capture new business and enter new markets - from traditional graphic applications to imaging on manufactured goods to packaging applications."

The Oce Arizona 360 GT model will be the first flatbed and first digital UV printer to be installed at Printing Industries headquarters. The facilities at Printing Industries headquarters include state-of-the-art prepress, workflow solutions, printing facilities, post press, testing laboratories, libraries, and classrooms that provide a world-class platform for innovative digital and offset research, while producing leading-edge publications and instruction.

"The addition of the Oce Arizona 360 GT printer complements what we're doing here with our offset and digital printing presses," said Dr. Mark Bohan, Vice President, Technology and Research for Printing Industries. "We want to show our members how wide format digital printing can fit in partnership with traditional printing presses. With the Oce Arizona 360 GT printer on-site, we have the capability to educate our members on what is possible, to open their eyes to new business opportunities."

In addition to demonstrating an array of applications to its members, the Oce Arizona 360 GT printer will be used for training members on wide format print production. It will also be used for internal production of banners and signs for the conferences and programs produced by Printing Industries. Further, the ONYX ProductionHouse software RIP that drives the printer will assist staff in educating members on wide format colour management techniques.

About the Oce Arizona 360 GT printer

Introduced in April 2011, the Oce Arizona 360 GT UV flatbed printer features enhancements over previous models that enable customers to increase productivity and application versatility and open doors to technical and industrial applications. The printer offers the standard table size of 49" by 98.4" and an Express Mode print speed of up to 377 square feet/hour, which is ideal for banner and outdoor work. A new High Definition print mode delivers fine feature reproduction including the ability to print text as small as two-point, enabling commercial printers to offer higher-margin technical and industrial applications such as printing on lenticular lenses and membrane panels.

The White Ink Option, which will be included on the model for Printing Industries, enables under-printing for non-white media or objects, over-printing for backlit applications on transparent media and/or printing white as a spot colour.

Oce Arizona Series printers are true flatbed systems, which open the door to producing specialised applications. A vacuum system holds rigid media stationary on the printer's flat table surface, ensuring perfect registration even on multiple imaging passes or double-sided printing applications. Users can produce edge-to-edge (full bleed) prints to save time and labour costs in finishing.

Unlike conventional rigid capable printers that use friction or belt feed systems, Oce Arizona Series printers can print on just about anything less than 2" thick. These systems can handle irregularly shaped or non-square items, heavy substrates and materials that have an uneven surface, such as wood. They are ideal for complex technical or industrial printing applications where accurate, repeatable print geometry is critical.