26 Sep 2020

WP Digital drives inspiration through innovation at FESPA


Wp At Fespa 1

Wide-format digital ink-jet innovator WP Digital reports that its presentation of new UV-curable technologies and explanation of applications at FESPA 2010 in Munich, Germany has resulted in an enthusiastic response from the market. The Swiss-based company gave the first international preview and demonstration of the Virtu RS35/48/10, an update to its original 3.5m hybrid engine, which incorporates 10pl Spectra Q-class print-heads, allowing users to achieve a new spectrum of quality for their printed and decorative applications. It also introduced its proprietary Virtu Flexo ink set for its range of machines, and many visitors had their first view of the award-winning five-metre Virtu RR50, which was nominated this year by the European Digital Press Association as the best superwide printer in the three metres or wider category.

The Virtu RS35/48/10 is emblematic of WP's robust and forward-thinking design and will be available to users later this year. The addition of 10pl print-heads permits users to realise acute accuracy across small point sizes, skin tones and gradients, but also complements the existing versatility of the unit. "The RS35 is perhaps the only true hybrid on the market as it is able to print roll-fed, rigid and oversized materials of almost unlimited variety," explains Sylvia Muhr, sales director for WP Digital. "Visitors to FESPA realised that the potential to print on substrates as different as aluminium, leather, mesh and glass can add to traditional advertising and decorative applications to create new markets and, therefore, new revenue streams."

In the latest upgrade to the Virtu RS family - which includes the 2.5m RS25 - WP Digital has married a finely tuned drop shape with high jetting frequencies and intelligent ink placement over the entire print area to deliver the quality normally associated with proofing devices at viable production speeds. Available in four- or six-colour formats plus white or spot varnish, the company has added to the Virtu range with software and hardware upgrades which optimise the new print-head capabilities and, therefore, allow users to exploit the robust, precision engineering that the machines offer. It can also be easily configured to print on oversized materials thanks to a variable-mode vacuum bed and simple alignment of production tables, with all weights of substrate catered for thanks to accurate adjustment mechanisms within the bed’s pressure roller system.

WP Digital's new, proprietary Virtu Flexo ink set is a new formulation with an uncompromised, balanced chemistry to provide vivid colours, formidable durability and excellent adhesion across both rigid and flexible materials. This proprietary range has been designed to expand the potential for printed applications in the display sector, including photographic environments, advertising agencies and digital bureaux, while combining with the Virtu printer range to reduce drastically the cost of ownership for all types of user.

"WP Digital developed the Virtu Flexo inks to accompany the minimal lay-down of ink on the substrate and the precise rendering offered by the greyscale print head technologies inherent to the Virtu range of machines," Muhr continues. "We have considered every element of the cost of ownership for users, and the Virtu Flexo ink set offers the best equilibrium between durability and the environment for all wide-format production environments. Both ink consumption and waste during production have been weighed up against the need for photographic quality and long-term durability in even the most severe of outdoor conditions."

The award-winning roll-to-roll Virtu RR50 reinforced at FESPA why the European Digital Press judges nominated it as the best superwide machine wider than three metres. Able to achieve an addressable resolution of 1,200dpi with its six-colour ink set on myriad flexible substrates, WP Digital showcased the machine's productivity by printing onto both one 5m roll and three 1.6m rolls. The Virtu RR50, which is available in four- and six-colour variants with white ink for spot, over- and under-printing, is a compact unit which incorporates cleverly designed loading and unloading features; this makes it particularly suitable for companies moving into the five-metre market for the first time who need to maximise their production footprint.

"The response to all of our activities at FESPA was extremely positive, with many visitors commenting on both the versatility of the machines but also on their reliable and solid engineering," concludes Muhr. "The Virtu RS35/48/10 gave them a glimpse of the future WP Digital is providing in this market with its hybrid capabilities, outstanding image quality and swift speeds, while the Virtu RR50 reminded our guests of the surprising what we could achieve even with 80pl heads. In an increasingly demanding industry, we were proud to demonstrate WP Digital's commitment to innovation, environmental responsibility and versatility of applications."

WP Digital is renowned in the wide-format digital ink-jet space as a manufacturer of resilient, reliable technologies for the production of many different decorative, display and industrial applications. With characteristic Swiss attention to precision engineering inherent to all of its technologies, its Virtu range of wide- and superwide-format printers is recognised for its ability to produce high-quality graphics on a practically unlimited range of substrates.


EFI Innovations Take Centre Stage at Munich Show

Efi Vutek Gs3200

EFI reported today that customer demand for its award-winning digital printing technologies and innovative solutions on display in Munich (Germany) last week, make this year's Fespa the most successful European wide-format exhibition the company has attended in years. Visitor numbers were up, VUTEK®, Rastek™ and Jetrion® stations were busy throughout the five days of the show, and attendance for product demos peaked at more than 200 per day.

"Fespa Munich was a fantastic show," said David Hocquet, CEO of Deltenre, a Belgian printing company. "It was energetic and busy and the EFI stand was the busiest of them all as everyone wanted to see the latest VUTEk machines. We have two of them installed already and certainly for future investments in superwide format, we'll look to EFI VUTEk and no one else."

"We not only exceeded digital inkjet targets for VUTEk and Rastek that we had set for this show, we also surpassed goals set for our software products," said EFI EMEA's managing director Paul Cripps "Proof that EFI's customers in Europe are doing well and continue to require cost saving solutions to optimise, automate and streamline operations."

Attendance up from North and South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific

EFI tracked a significant increase in visitors from high-growth markets such as Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East, adding to vast numbers from Western, Central and Eastern Europe.

Products on display included the VUTEk GS3200 with the new MediaMaster fully automated media handling system, the GS5000r, the high-productivity QS3250r UV roll-to-roll superwide printer, the versatile Rastek T1000 and the H650 wide-format UV printers, and the Jetrion 4830 digital label press.

Pace™ print management system, Digital StoreFront® web-to-print solutions and Web Control Center for remote proofing completed the portfolio. Together, they offered a practical demonstration of EFI's integrated workflow from order taking to printing and shipping.

Eighty VUTEk GS Series sold in one year

EFI announced that it had sold the 80th VUTEk GS printer since the product's European introduction at Fespa 2009.

Leading its category in installations worldwide, the VUTEk GS3200 flatbed and roll-to-roll hybrid UV printer delivers photorealistic quality, superwide speed, and innovative applications that expand the reach of superwide into new industries.

Debuted for the first time in Europe, the MediaMaster is a fully-automated material handling system for the GS3200 that continues to increase productivity and economics of digital superwide printing. Equipped to handle full-size 1.5 x 3 metre boards at up to 50 beds per hour, and also master as many as 3-up smaller boards across the width of the printer, for over 150 boards per hour with precision. This enables the material handling system's hands-free productivity: a single person can operate two GS3200 printers with MediaMasters, reducing cost and optimising production time.

Now commercially available, the VUTEk GS5000r offers exceptional quality and roll-to-roll speed that allow users to tap into premium-margin markets that demand point-of-purchase (POP) quality graphics.

Rastek T1000 makes European Debut at Fespa 2010

EFI's new Rastek T1000 wide-format printer was also shown for the first time in Europe. This new flatbed printer offers class-leading print speed, including white running the same speed as CMYK - all with stunning 8-level greyscale, up to 1200 dpi print quality. With a stationary vacuum table and retractable media registration pins, it has the versatility to handle a wide range of rigid media quickly and easily.

The new award-winning Jetrion 4830 UV Inkjet System from EFI offers wider web widths and faster linear speeds to increase label printing throughput more than twofold over the company's market-leading Jetrion 4000. The Jetrion 4830 prints 21 cm wide, enabling two-up 10 cm labels. Its wider print zone lets label converters efficiently take on more print jobs. With its higher speed print mode of greater than 36.6 meters per minute, the system increases productivity significantly. The new Jetrion also has an optional white printing station with the most opaque digital white print available.

EFI's Web Control Center web-based application connects, monitors and controls proofing and printing at all remote sites in a production workflow. Web Control uses JDF communications to interact with Fiery® RIP solutions (EFI Colorproof™ XF and Fiery XF v4.0) at any location via EFI proven web hosting capabilities.

For more information about EFI solutions, including VUTEk superwide printers, MediaMaster, Rastek wide-format printers, Jetrion label presses and EFI Web-to-Print, RIP or Print MIS solutions, visit www.efi.com.


FUJIFILM Dimatix expands Spectra Polaris PQ-512 printhead line

Polaris Pq

FUJIFILM Dimatix today launched the third in a series of Spectra Polaris 512-jet printheads based on the company's advanced Q-Class platform. The new Polaris PQ-512/85 AAA expands the Polaris PQ-512 product line with a high performance 512-jet printhead capable of supporting aqueous, UV-curable and solvent ink formulations at drop sizes from 85 to 150 picoliters.

The new Spectra Polaris PQ-512/85 AAA printhead is equipped with a flexible fluid interface allowing single or two-color operation at resolutions to 400 dpi and frequencies up to 20 kHz. Its large range of drop sizes, broad fluids compatibility, 8 meters/second drop velocity and remarkable jet straightness make the Polaris PQ-512/85 AAA a perfect choice to address a growing range of commercial and industrial printing applications, from grand-format graphics to a wide array of colorful textiles and precision industrial coatings.

The new Polaris PQ-512/85 AAA takes its place alongside the 15-picoliter Polaris PQ-512/15 AAA capable of jetting 15 to 50 picoliter drop volumes, and the recently launched 35-picoliter Polaris PQ-512/35 AAA printhead delivering drop sizes of 35 to 80 picoliters.

All products in the Spectra Polaris PQ-512 series are general-purpose drop-on-demand printheads that utilize the binary operating capability of Dimatix' VersaDropTM jetting technology and Q-Class hybrid construction to deliver adjustable ink drop sizes from 512 individually addressable nozzles.

The Q-Class platform has enabled FUJIFILM Dimatix to develop new product lines of high-performance printhead assemblies that deliver the largest range of drop sizes, broadest ink compatibility, and higher packing density than previously possible. Shared physical features allow printer designs to be easily migrated across different model types and printing applications.

The common design and interface of Polaris PQ-512 printheads gives systems builders and OEMs access to a line of advanced printheads with drop sizes from 15 to 150 picoliters – the broadest range available. Interchangeability of printhead assemblies in the PQ-512 product line makes it easy for systems builders to "mix and match" models within the same product line in order to design systems built for a broad range of applications demanding extraordinary speed, superb quality and exceptional versatility.

An integral mounting bezel designed with precision registration points enables drop-in alignment – a unique feature that allows each 256-channel jetting module to be exchanged and accurately registered in the field without the need for special tools or recalibration. Each 256-channel module is also dual-ported to facilitate ink flushing and recirculation. Heaters and temperature sensors allow precise control of ink viscosity at jetting temperatures up to 60oC.

"The new Polaris PQ-512/85 AAA dramatically extends the range of applications that can be addressed by inkjet technology, giving systems builders and OEMs design options for speed, quality and versatility not previously possible – and providing further evidence of the power of the Q-Class platform," said Marc Torrey, Vice President, Marketing, FUJIFILM Dimatix, Inc.


First Inca Digital Excellence Award winners recognise creativity and quality


Inca Ideas

Best ‘IDEAs’ celebrated as winners announced at Fespa Munich

The winners of the first Inca Digital Excellence Awards (IDEAs) were announced last night in Munich during FESPA at a special event to mark the occasion.

The IDEAs celebrate the creative and stunning effects and products produced by innovative companies around the world using Inca printers. The judges – Nigel Steffens, CEO of FESPA, Peter Kiddell of PRISM and John Charnock of PR-INT – were faced with the tough task of selecting the winners from a very strong global line up and were looking for high-quality graphics that exceed expectations for creativity.

The standard of entries was extremely high with Inca printer users producing innovative products incorporating many different materials to meet customer’s specific requirements.  The flexibility of Inca UV digital printing enabled companies to produce stunning lenticular walls that come alive when you walk by, children’s shoes and toys, cross bows, wood effect furniture, interior décor, urban art, displays, 3D POS products and more.  Materials used ranged from Re-Board, Acrylic, Plastic, aluminium and leather to MDF, Douglas Fir and Plywood.

Each category winner received an Inca IDEA Trophy and a VIP trip to Munich to attend FESPA and celebrate their Award.

“We are delighted by the number and quality of entries that showed the considerable potential for digital print,” says Dr Linda Bell, CEO, Inca Digital. “The sheer range of applications show the ingenuity and creativity of our customers using the full range of our printers, from one of the very first Inca Eagles installed in Europe nine years ago, the Inca Spyder, Columbia Turbo and latest Inca Onset.”

The IDEA 2010 stars are:


Winner – Daelprinting, Belgium: for the design and production of a 3D cargo bike for Kraft Foods. This comprised 50 pieces of Re-Board that could be easily transported in a car booth, constructed without screws or tools, and re-used many times. Printed on an Inca Onset S20.


Winner – Mills Styrox, Australia: for its own trade show booth promoting its eco-friendly products and versatility of Xanita board. The whole booth, including tables, chairs and 3D layered graphics, were printed on an Inca Columbia.

Highly Commended – Mills Styrox, Australia: again for a wall graphic for an Outback Steak House Restaurant. The rustic image was printed directly using an Inca Columbia onto large sheets of 10mm plywood.


Highly Commended – Optima, Canada: for 32 high-impact graphics printed by an Inca Columbia Turbo onto Aluminium for an underpass in Downtown Rideau.



Winner – Visual Marking Systems, USA: for printing Crossbows with a camouflage decoration and instructions on an Inca Spyder 320+w. The challenge was to print quality graphics on flat and curved surfaces that could withstand extreme bending.

Highly Commended: Optima, Canada, for producing furniture featuring multiple wood grain effects to achieve an inlay effect on Exterior Medite using an Inca Columbia Turbo.

Highly Commended – JD Print and Display, Canada: for producing multi-layer children’s toys printed by an Inca Eagle onto multiple materials from 3-25.5mm thick



Winner – America Digitaal Druk, The Netherlands:  for a stunning Tropical Forest Lenticular Wall that comes to life when you walk past it printed on a Inca Eagle 44 (one of the first in Europe) for Emma’s Children’s Hospital in Amsterdam. This featured 18 two-part lenticular panels mounted onto Dibond.

Highly Commended – Druckwerk Hamburg, Germany: for a Camel Active instore display printed onto Douglas Fir pine using an Inca Columbia Turbo

Highly Commended – Extrema Publicidad, Mexico: for printing onto leather with an Inca Eagle H to make children’s shoes


Faster, brighter digital direct to textile printing with :Jeti AquaJet

Agfa Aquajet

Agfa Graphics today announced the latest enhancement to its award-winning :Jeti AquaJet direct dye sublimation printer. The 3.2m :Jeti AquaJet printer is showcased at FESPA 2010, with the latest generation of aqueous-based disperse dye :AquaJet Pro inks, powered by DuPont Artistri ink technology. They produce brighter, more vibrant colours and deliver faster throughput on polyester based fabrics.

The launch of the :AquaJet Pro inks means that :Jeti AquaJet printers can now offer the superior print quality usually associated with conventional textile printing with the ease and enhanced productivity of digital textile printing. AquaJet printers are designed for long-term system reliability and three shift continuous operations. When used with :AquaJet Pro ink technology, they provide customers with brilliant color and excellent light and water fastness properties, a higher color gamut and increased production speed.

"The combination of Agfa's direct to textile printers and :AquaJet Pro inks allows us to better meet the needs of the booming digital textile printing market," said Richard Barham, Vice President Inkjet at Agfa Graphics. "Now, we are able to deliver higher throughput speeds thanks to better jetting behavior and the higher gamut of the inks. And customers have reported up to 15 percent ink savings after switching to :AquaJet Pro inks."

AquaJet Pro ink technology is based on high-quality disperse dyes with high fade resistance that can enable long-term outdoor applications.

AquaJet Pro inks will be made available as a premium ink set for the :Jeti AquaJet range in the third quarter of 2010. Existing :Jeti AquaJet installations can be upgraded to profit from the performance of :AquaJet Pro inks.

Grapo Technologies introduces Gemini printer

Grapo Gemini

Grapo Technologies, a manufacturer of wide format hybrid and flatbed UV printers based in the Czech Republic will be demonstrating its next generation of printing technology at FESPA 2010, scheduled for June 22-26 in Munich. The new flatbed Gemini X10/1080UV from Grapo Technologies is capable of printing on rigid substrates as well as roll-to-roll, and will bring to market higher speeds, improved quality and a number of new innovations. Grapo Technologies is located in Hall B2, Stand 460 at the show.

"The theme at FESPA 2010 is Catch the New Wave of Innovation," said Radim Králik, CEO of Grapo Technologies. "That's exactly what we will be bringing to the show with our next generation platform for UV flatbed printers. With a printing area of 2x3 meter for rigid sheets as well as the ability to handle rolls up to 165 cm, the Gemini X10/1080UV brings tremendous new business potential to sign and display printers at an affordable price point."

Faster Output, Exceptional Skin Tones
With speeds of up to 90 square meters per hour, the new Gemini X10/1080UV also offers double the speed of previous generation Manta printers when printing with white ink at 15-30 square meters per hour. High quality printing of skin tones and better quality flat colors also differentiate this new printer.

"Sign and display printers are always seeking higher quality to meet the escalating requirements of their customers," added Králik. "With greater speed and productivity, as well as the wide range of printed products, the Gemini X10/1080UV enables sign and display printers to produce more jobs at higher margins. Much of this new capability is enabled by the 10 XAAR 1001 printing heads with unique Through-Flow system and variable drop sizes for grayscale printing embodied in this new generation printer, as compared to eight printing heads and a fixed drop size in the previous generation."

Expanded White Ink Capabilities
With the new design, the white ink heads are specifically positioned to print in one pass. "The Gemini X10/1080UV can print CMYK, white and CMYK again, printing three layers all in one pass," explained Králik. "This is quite unique in the industry and contributes heavily to the improved productivity of this device. This capability is particularly important when printing on transparent substrates, such as acrylics, where images must be displayed on both sides. In addition to using white ink as the diffusion layer for backlit applications for point of purchase and other materials, white ink can also be used as a spot color, allowing selected images to be highlighted for greater effect."

Grayscale Printing Brings Speed, Quality, Cost Savings
Previous generations of Grapo Technologies' printers used a binary printing technology with a single drop size.  In the Gemini X10/1080UV, grayscale printing is enabled by eight different levels of drop sizes ranging from 6 to 42 picolitres, with extremely precise drop placement.  The ability to jet small droplets produces sharp images with smoother gradients and quartertones, while larger droplets produce dense, uniform solids. The result is a near-photographic image quality and also results in more efficient ink consumption, saving up to 35% in ink usage depending upon the application.

This variable drop capability especially affects white ink printing and allows the opportunity to produce more interesting images with much finer detail. The precise drop placement also contributes to both the improved quality and speed of the printer. Grayscale printing can either simulate additional colors, such as light magenta and light cyan, in a CMYK printing process, or additional specialized colors can be utilized if needed.

"We have designed this printer to be even easier to operate and more energy efficient than past generations," concludes Králik. "It is ideal for screen printers seeking to move to more modern and efficient digital technologies, digital sign printers who wish to move away from less environmentally friendly solvent printing, and for offset or flexo printers who can effectively use the Gemini X10/1080UV to create short run samples cost effectively and/or diversify their offerings. Combined with the broad range of substrates that can be used, from irregularly shaped items, wood and glass to all types of plastic, vinyl and paper materials, the capabilities of the Gemini X10/1080UV relative to its price point are unmatched in the industry. We are excited to see the reaction of FESPA attendees."

Orders will be taken for the Gemini X10/1080UV at FESPA, which will be commercially available in August 2010.