05 Dec 2019

Epson introduce Water-Based White Ink Proofing

Epson WT9700

Epson America Inc. has announced an all-new contract-quality proofing system that is designed to improve how package designers and flexographic and gravure printing professionals produce packaging mock-ups and proofs. The Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 takes advantage of the world’s first aqueous-based white ink printing technology and Epson’s latest achievements in high-resolution ink jet technology. Together, these advancements produce a new way of printing with the color white on a broad range of substrates including ink jet coated transparent and metallic films.

"For years, proofing products in this market have been very expensive for customers to purchase, maintain and operate," said Mark Radogna, group product manager, Epson America. "When a white ink is required in the printing process, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 represents an exciting new way for proofing and prototyping both flexographic and gravure printing products."

Designed specifically for proofing flexographic and gravure print jobs that require the color white, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 incorporates Epson’s latest achievements in high-resolution ink jet technology—including the breakthrough Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink. Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink introduces an all-new Organic Hollow Resin Particle Technology, which forces light to randomly scatter, producing the illusion of seeing the color white.

This innovative approach to producing the color white results in an extremely high white ink density, as well as the ability for custom white color toning. It also provides professional short-term color stability for mission-critical color proofing on a range of new substrates including ink jet coated transparent and metallic films. Unlike traditional white ink chemistry, Epson UltraChrome HDR White Ink is a safer, water-based resin particle that is void of any known carcinogens.

Capable of printing directly on both ink jet coated clear and metallic films, in roll or cut sheet, up to 24 inches wide, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 can proof virtually any size print job. Whether creating contract proofs of various packaging products requiring a clear or metallic base, or producing color accurate packaging mock-ups or prototypes, the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 can easily proof the most difficult flexographic and gravure print jobs.

In addition, Epson America worked closely with CGS, EFI, GMG, Esko Artwork, and Kodak to ensure their RIP and workflow software takes full advantage of the Epson Stylus Pro WT7900 technology.

Variable Data brings new business and workflow efficiencies to Image Options

VDP from Image Options

Large-format Variable Data Printing (VDP) brings new business and workflow efficiencies to Image Options

Targeted campaigns hit the mark for Image Options and its customers

Objectives:

  • Raise value to customers by offering a cost effective way to target varied market segments.
  • Increase competitive edge by pioneering large format variable data printing (VDP).
  • Gain efficiencies in prepress, production and distribution.


Approach:

  • HP SmartStream Designer solution for innovative, cost effective versioned campaigns.
  • HP Scitex TJ8500 Printer with HP Scitex TJ Double-sided Printing Kit – For high-quality, productive printing of high-volume retail jobs on backlit media, vinyl, polystyrene, poster paper.
  • Inline automatic cutter enables timesaving finishing on nested POP and poster jobs.


Business benefits:

  • Cost-effective production of versioned campaigns prompts larger orders from existing customers and brings in new customers.
  • VDP workflow enables significant time and cost savings while improving service to customers.
    • Allows more innovative campaigns targeted to different audiences without adding production costs.
    • Reduced layout/prepress time on one regular test-marketing job by 80 percent (from 10 hours down to two) four days.
    • Prepress and layout for employee recognition campaign took three hours instead of 25 hours – an 88 percent time saving.
  • Image Options is able to print more jobs in-house vs. outsourcing to a screen printer, thanks to cost effective, high-volume printing on the HP Scitex TJ8500 Printer.


Variable data printing (VDP) is well established in small format printing, due in large part to the success of HP Indigo digital presses. When Tim Bennett, the CEO of Image Options, learned that HP was investigating bringing VDP to large-format printing, with HP SmartStream Designer, he saw it as an ideal way to advance his customers’ campaigns to the next level.

“Geo-demographic marketing in general is a big, pent-up need in large format,” he says. “For the most part, our clients were using one-size-fits-all campaigns because it was too expensive to do versioning for things like test marketing and pricing versions. I was aware of the success of the HP Indigo SmartStream Designer VDP solution and when I heard it could support large format, it just seemed logical for us and our clients to start using it as soon as possible.”

This kind of approach – of seeing beyond the boundaries of typical printing services – has been an effective success driver for Orange County, CA-based Image Options since it was founded in 1999. “A lot of people think we are in the printing business. But we’re not; we’re in the image communication business. If we can identify a solution for a problem, even if our customers don’t realise it exists, then we have an opportunity to go to a client and offer them something of real value.”

Both Image Options and its customers are seeing significant logistical benefits from its new large format VDP capabilities using HP SmartStream Designer. Image Options is enjoying a streamlined prepress process for existing jobs that used to involve setting up multiple files. Now, the designer builds a single template from their favourite Adobe InDesign software and, using the SmartStream Designer software plug-in, links it to a database to create the multiple versions, saving significant preparation time. VDP also makes packing and distribution go smoother. By tagging each print with its destination details and using the database to print labels for each individual box, it’s fast and easy to ensure the right prints are shipped to the right branch. And, at the store, the manager can immediately verify the package contains the correct signage. “The benefit is across the board,” says Bennett. “Time and cost savings, and also improved quality of service to our customers.”

VDP serves up fast food chain’s new posters in record time

Recently, using HP SmartStream Designer, Image Options produced backlit posters with 20 different price categories for 134 test stores in the Del Taco fast food chain. Each print had two price versions and all 134 stores had unique store ID numbers, to facilitate distribution. One price version was above $1 and the other below, which meant varying the dollar and cents symbols – a task easily handled by the software’s rules feature, which created the logic to parse the data.

HP Scitex TJ8500

This was a regular job that Image Options had switched from manual versioning to VDP, resulting in 10 hours of layout/prepress time being cut to approximately two hours. The 1 x 1m (40 x 40in) posters were printed on the HP Scitex TJ8500 Printer equipped with an in-line cutter – creating a highly efficient job from layout all the way to distribution.

Similarly, Image Option’s new large format VDP capabilities have transformed a quarterly employee recognition campaign for a major retailer. The first time this project was done using VDP; it involved 3600 banners of one size and 1500 of another, each of them unique. The changes included district, department name and dates, and there were seven different background themes. “We’ve produced similar campaigns for the past three years for the same retailer and it typically took in excess of 25 hours for layout and prepress,” says Bennett. “Using HP SmartStream Designer the time required to reproduce the identical job is approximately three hours.”

While Image Options is not currently charging a premium for VDP projects, being able to print versioned campaigns is nevertheless raising revenues, through larger orders from existing clients and by creating a new competitive edge that attracts new customers.

“This is an example of doing more for our customers. Being able to offer VDP makes us a better supplier, which means we’ll get more sales. It’s a way to take our clients to the next level, to keep them loyal and keep their business,” says Bennett.

“Having VDP capabilities is game changing. HP is the first to go bigger than 11 x 17in (equivalent to A3 size), and being able to bring this to our market is a big asset,” says Bennett.

Going the extra mile with VDP and HP

In addition to the kinds of campaigns described above, the HP SmartStream Designer solution can take targeted marketing campaigns far beyond the world of large format. By utilising various different mediums all designed from the same SmartStream Designer files, print service providers can create multi-application campaigns that include anything from large format posters for POS to flyers and postcards for loyalty and special offer campaigns.

Roland Announces New Texture Library for VersaUV

Roland VersaUV LEC-330

Ready-to-Use Patterns and Textures add Luxurious Finishes to Prototypes, Labels and Comps

Roland DG Corporation, the pioneer of integrated Print&Cut technology, have introduced the new Roland Texture System Library for its VersaUV LEC series of 30” UV-LED inkjet printer/cutters. Included in version 3.31 of Roland VersaWorks RIP software, the Roland Texture System Library is supported by popular design packages including Adobe® Illustrator and consists of 22 textures and patterns that can be produced by layering the VersaUV’s ECO-UV Gloss ink.

Designed for versatility, VersaUV inkjets feature 6 colors (CMYK + White + Gloss) and an integrated contour cutter that together produce rich, textured graphics in virtually any shape on a wide range of flexible and rigid media. The VersaUV is ideal for applications ranging from high-end packaging prototypes and comps to control panels, specialty graphics and small lot production of labels and decals.

“The new Roland Texture System Library makes it easier than ever to enhance VersaUV graphics with unique textures and patterns,” said T. Niyama Roland DG color product manager. “With the new system, users simply select a texture or pattern from the swatch library and apply it to their graphics for instant, dramatic effects.”

Roland Texture System Library Features:

  • Patterns and textures add value to finished graphics
  • Choose from 22 unique designs including ginkgo, rhombus, circular, windmill and woven patterns
  • Textures are produced quickly and easily
  • Library developed by Grapac Japan Co., Inc., a leading UV offset printer serving the high-end Japanese market
  • Supported by popular design software programs including Adobe® Illustrator
    • Library is called Roland Grapac Bri-o-coat Library in Adobe® Illustrator


Sample Roland Texture System Library Swatches

Roland Versa UV Swatch
(From left to right: ginkgo, rhombus, circular, windmill and woven patterns)
Gloss textures and patterns are easy to produce and add sophistication to VersaUV graphics


VersaUV LEC-330 and LEC-300

The DPI award-winning VersaUV series is the world’s first line of UV-LED inkjet printer/cutters. Two models are available: the original LEC-300, offered at a lower price point, and the new, faster LEC-330 for greater overall performance and versatility. The VersaUV line supports a wide range of flexible and rigid substrates (except metals) up to 1 mm (0.04”) thick and is ideal for the production of labels, decals, POP displays and posters. The VersaUV prints on semi-rigid sheet stocks such as card stocks for folding cartons and thicker polycarbonate sheets for membrane switch applications. It also accommodates offset paper stock, BOPP, PE and PET film for highly accurate proofs, prototypes and comps. The VersaUV can also be used to create original patterns and 3D domed corporate logos directly onto synthetic and natural leathers. Other applications include interior décor items such as customized window coverings and tapestries.

Fujifilm increases wide-format portfolio with EskoArtwork finishing tables

EskoArtwork Kongsberg i-XL24

Fujifilm Graphic Systems UK today announces the installation of an EskoArtwork Kongsberg i-XL24 finishing table in its state-of-the-art showroom in Bedford. This complements Fujifilm’s existing wide-format offering, allowing the company to demonstrate a complete wide-format solution from file delivery and media selection to the finished print.

Mark Stephenson, sales manager – digital solutions, Fujifilm Graphic Systems UK, comments: “We’ve got a successful history of helping printers introduce wide-format inkjet technologies into their businesses. By adding EskoArtwork finishing tables to our showroom, we are able to offer a complete wide-format solution.”

Paul Bates, regional business manager, UK & Eire, EskoArtwork, adds: “Fujifilm’s experience and heritage in the wide-format market perfectly complements our range of wide-format finishing solutions and it’s great that we have the opportunity to showcase our market-leading Kongsberg XL finishing table at Fujifilm.”

Fujifilm is able to offer one of the widest portfolios of production devices on the market, including the Inca Onset and Spyder platforms, and the Fujifilm Acuity Advance range. With over 200 European installations of flatbed production presses and a track record of benchmark inkjet head and ink development, the company brings many years experience of introducing wide-format devices to printers looking to adopt new digital solutions.

Based on the Kongsberg XL-Series of short-run production tables, EskoArtwork’s i-XL series utilises the industry standard for vision control, the i-cut® system. The Kongsberg i-XL complements digital printing of sign and displays with a unique finishing solution for the widest range of materials, providing automation, high productivity and outstanding precision. Thanks to its rock-solid construction with very strong vacuum grip, the Kongsberg i-XL flatbed plotting cutter is the ideal platform for handling the most demanding materials, delivering record-breaking productivity and versatility.

New Mimaki UJF-706 higher speed, higher quality UV flatbed to ship in December

Mimaki UJF-706

Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutting machines for the sign/graphics, industrial and textile/apparel markets announces the UJF-706, a new higher speed UV curing flatbed inkjet printer for industrial applications that delivers exceptional high quality prints. The new UJF-706 will be shipped from December 21, 2009.

In 2004 Mimaki introduced their first UV curing inkjet printer, UJF-605C, that already featured white ink (under and overprint) to enable printing of bright colorful images on all materials including transparent substrates. Later in 2006, the company introduced its successor, UJF-605CII, that doubled the print speed and is renowned for its high quality prints on all kinds of coated and non-coated materials. This printer was well accepted in the industry and is widely used for short run production and variable data jobs on demand.

Mimaki now introduces the UJF-706 that improves productivity significantly while at the same time enhancing image quality even further. The new Mimaki Spray Suppressor system prevents that satellite ink drops can vitiate sensitive machine parts and enhances consistency. UJF-706 represents a new generation of UV curing flatbed printers for simultaneous full color and white printing that optionally can be equipped with a roll media print mechanism.

The maximum print size of the machine has been enlarged to 700 x 600 mm (UJF-605CII: 600 x 500 mm). UJF-706 also caters to three times thicker materials thus enabling printing on all kinds of material up to a maximum height of 150 mm. The machine is equipped with an automatic optical positioning recognition system for centering of prints on small objects for imprinting as well as variable data printing. Two different ink types - hard and flexible - are available, whose use is determined by the customers' applications. This caters to the needs of printers to broaden their portfolio of on demand offers for industrial printing applications. In addition, UV curing clear liquid is available enabling smooth finishes and furthering the machine's value propositions.

UJF-706 decisively advances and enhances digital on demand production of items with the same or variable data printing.

Main Features

  1. UJF-706 offers twice the speed of previous models when printing full color and simultaneous white.
  2. Printing on non-coated materials of up to a maximum size of 700 x 600 mm and a thickness of 150 mm.
  3. Vivid images even on transparent and colored materials due to white ink usage.
  4. Already renowned ink and print quality of hard and flexible UV curing inks that are widely accepted in the industry.
  5. Glossy finishes enhance print service providers' value propositions and enable extraordinary results (only hard UV ink).
  6. Automatic four point optical positioning recognition system for centering prints on small objects.
  7. Equipped with Mimaki's new Spray Suppressor system that prevents satellite ink drops to contaminate sensitive machine parts thus enhancing consistency.
  8. Optional roll media handling and printing.


"We believe that our customers will gain decisive advantages with the newly developed UJF-706 industrial inkjet printer that caters to industrial applications. Its exceptional print quality and features call for new applications to be developed or being transferred from screen printing", explains Kazuyuki Takeuchi, head of Mimaki's IP Business Unit. "UJF-706 enables printers to differentiate themselves from their competition."

Diatec launch HP Latex Demo Days for Irish Market

HP Designjet L25500 latex printer

Diatec, the Dublin based HP reseller, have recently announced a series of Demo Days where Irish print professionals can see the latest HP Designjet L25500 latex printer in action.

David Harpur of Diatec tells us "Customers have been asking for a versatile, cost-effective alternative to eco-solvent-based printing solutions for the production of a wider range of outdoor large-format and indoor applications, while reducing the impact of printing on the environment. The HP Designjet L25500 Printer can deliver on these needs. It offers easy, low-maintenance printing of a wider range of applications - from outdoor banners, bus shelters and vehicle wraps to indoor point-of-purchase displays, exhibition graphics and interior décor like wall murals and fabrics - than is possible with eco-solvent or traditional water-based printing alone."

Interested parties are invited to register their interest online at www.diatec.ie/L25500/demo/ where they can request a Demo time to suit.

For those users of solvent ink technology that are as yet not ready to upgrade, Diatec are currently running an ink promotion that promises savings of up to 40% for users of Roland, Mimaki or Mutoh print systems. Users converting to Diatec alternative ink solutions will also receive a free iPod Touch.