New Rhotex 320 soft signage printer to make North American debut at SGIA Expo

Durst Rhotex 320

Durst Image Technology US LLC will showcase the Rhotex 320, the company's new "industrial" inkjet printer for the soft signage markets that garnered a lot of positive attention at FESPA in June. It's making its North American debut at the SGIA Expo in Las Vegas.

Developed to address the growing popularity of lighter-weight, easier-to-install, higher-margin, reusable and “green” media options, the 10.5-foot-wide Rhotex 320 utilises environmentally benign water-based dye inks and on-board hot-air dryers on an advanced printing platform with Quadro Array 30D AQ print heads (designed specifically for Rhotex 320 water-based inks) to deliver POP-quality output at up to 775 sqft/hr.

Also in the Durst booth will be the five-meter Rho 500R Superwide Roll-to-Roll UV Inkjet Printer, chosen as the 2009 Digital Printing & Imaging Association's "Product of the Year" in the grand-format roll-to-roll UV-cured ink printer category, and the Rho 900 Large-Format UV Inkjet Printer—a 98-inch-wide printing platform that combines highly efficient automated media handling, "process color additions" and high-speed printing to deliver greater productivity and a wider colour gamut.

"The Rhotex 320 generated a high level of interest at FESPA earlier this year, and we're expecting a similar reception at SGIA," Howard said. "Our newest digital printing platform gives the industry a high-quality, high-production printer that specifically addresses the large and still growing demand for soft signage—flags, banners and wall coverings. We think the Rhotex 320 is the right 'tool' for where the market is today, and where it's heading tomorrow. We're also happy to exhibit our award-winning Rho 500R roll printer and the Rho 900 flatbed printer at this show as well."

As the imaging business progresses and both printing processes and media improve, the benefits of "soft signage" are becoming more apparent: light weight, easier transporting, ability to be reused, distinctive new “apps,” environmental advantages, and so on. The Rhotex 320 allows users not only to print in vibrant colours on the widest variety of soft media, but to print in high volumes at production speeds.

The six-colour printer—CMYK + Lc, Lm, Lk (gray), spot colours—features an inline ink dryer positioned ahead of the take-up roll to prevent smudging and sticking. An automated Capping Station covers all print heads automatically when the sled is in "park" position to eliminate evaporation of the printer's water-based inks. And an Integrated Ink Absorbing System keeps inks from penetrating through the media.

Along with Durst's workflow software, advanced feed/take-up systems and other high-tech capabilities, the Rhotex 320 can run unattended 24 hours a day. It features all the capabilities—efficient workflow software, Quadro Array 30D AQ print head technology, linear magnetic drive system, sophisticated media feed/take-up systems—found on the all latest Durst Rho printers.

The Rho 500R prints six-colour, 600-dpi images on five-metre vinyl, mesh and other superwide roll media at speeds up to 4,300 sqft/hr. It also is able to print three independent images from three separate job queues on three different 1.6-meter rolls all at the same time to achieve high efficiency and handle a broader range of applications. The printer operates unattended, uses less ink than comparable superwide platforms, and minimises operational costs due to its high productivity, advanced workflow and remarkable versatility.

High-performance carriage and linear motor drive systems, precision Push Media transport mechanisms, a proven front-to-back registration system, on-board laser media tracking sensors, Durst's intelligent dither technology, a range of user-settable parameters, and a variety of other innovative technologies combine to make the Rho 500R one of the most effective, economical large-format imagers ever developed.

The Rho 900 is equipped with Durst's Quadro 30D Array print head technology to deliver high speed, improved efficiency and exceptional image quality. Its media handling incorporates an auto-feed table with belts, sheet feed gate with guides for parallel board printing and an automated two-point pin registration system to ensure accurate front-to-back registration.

The Rho 900's process colour additions—orange & green or orange & violet—are printed in the same mode as its CMYK process colours. No special file preparation is necessary. These extra colours can be printed, even with white ink or light colours, with no loss in output speed to enable much smoother colour gradients and more even solids at production-level output speeds.

Top speed of the six-colour Rho 900 is up to 72 4x8-foot boards (more than 2,300 sqft) per hour, while the speed for POP-quality printing is a productive 34 4x8-foot boards (nearly 1,100 sqft) per hour. The user can incorporate the process colour additions with no loss of print speed. The Rho 900 also can print white, varnish and light colours along with the process colours to expand the possibilities of print jobs and applications.