21 Sep 2020

Big Print creates a big impact for customers with the new HP Scitex FB500 Printer


Scitex Fb500



  • Big Print, a large format graphics production house, needed to offer a wider range of capabilities to its customers to remain competitive with larger shops.




  • The company chose to beta test the new HP Scitex FB500 Printer, which offers significant cost savings and the ability to create high-quality prints on virtually any rigid and flexible media.




  • Big Print is experiencing significant cost savings thanks to the printer's versatility and speed.
  • The HP Scitex FB500's use of new HP Scitex FB251 White Ink helps the company provide innovative solutions for clients like Target.
  • Big Print now relies on the HP Scitex FB500 to offer a range of applications that attract and keep customers.



Small commercial printers have to be extra savvy when it comes to major business decisions. Smart choices are a must if they want to keep up with larger competitors. No one knows that better than Big Print, a large format graphics production house based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From wall murals and vehicle wraps to tradeshow graphics and fine art reproductions, the small shop is always looking for new ways to deliver big results for print buyers. That's why owner Herb Fick jumped at the chance to beta test the new HP Scitex FB500 Printer.

"For smaller shops like us who want to grow business in a difficult environment, it helps to be able to offer a full range of capabilities to customers," says Fick. "When you need to please people who need high volume at a low cost, the HP Scitex FB500-and the cost savings it offers-is a big plus."

Along with the significant cost savings offered by the new HP Scitex FB500, the printer's ability to create high-quality prints on virtually any rigid and flexible media,(1) and its use of new HP Scitex FB251 White Ink,(2) is expanding the possibilities of what Big Print can offer.

An easy decision

After using solvent- and aqueous-based solutions, Fick believes the decision to add the new HP Scitex FB500, which uses HP UV-curable inks, was an easy one to make-especially because of the savings.

"When you cut the need for extra materials and cut out steps on every product, it's a no-brainer. You're going to save money," explains Fick. With the new HP Scitex FB500, Big Print avoids costly, time consuming steps like lamination.

"UV inks are durable. You can print directly onto the substrate without printing on an adhesive-backed material that you have to mount on a board, and you don't have to coat it," says Fick. "So you're saving labour steps and materials. That means you're going to save money."

Fick also points out that because UV inks cost less per square foot, you can save even more over solvent and aqueous printers.

Unmatched versatility

Cost savings aren't the only thing that attracted Big Print to the new HP Scitex FB500. The printer's ability to print on almost any rigid or flexible material with good ink adhesion was also a big draw. Even thick, heavy or long substrates are now a snap to print on.(3)

"With the HP Scitex FB500, you can print on substrates up to two inches think," says Fick. "You can literally take the front door of a house, take the hardware off and print a high-resolution image on it. It's amazing."

Plus, the printer's ability to load, print and collect media simultaneously, along with its fast print speeds and dry times, lets Big Print meet even the most demanding deadlines.

"To gain and keep customers, you need to be able to turn projects very quickly," says Fick. "With solvent printers you have to account for drying time, but not with the HP Scitex FB500 and HP UV-curable inks. That's a huge advantage."

Wow with white

Along with cost savings and unmatched versatility, the HP Scitex FB500's use of new HP Scitex FB251 White Ink(2) adds to the versatility Big Print can offer its clients. "A lot of very creative things can be done with white ink that can't be done with any other colour," explains Fick.

One of the best examples of this is in the company's work with the Target Corporation. While planning a recent awards presentation, organisers realised they needed a way to shade the windows in the event space while maintaining the ambiance. With the HP Scitex FB500 in its shop, Big Print provided the perfect solution.

"We printed the Target logo using the white ink on a frosted polycarbonate film to create a tone-on-tone effect," says Fick. "The end product subtly branded the room and diffused the light. It was a phenomenal solution. Target was very pleased."

He adds, "The new white ink allows us to print on coloured substrates that we couldn't have used otherwise. Being able to print on a large variety of materials allows us to provide a wider range of solutions to our customers, and that helps us grow our business."

This added versatility, along with the cost savings offered by the printer, is the reason Fick believes the new HP Scitex FB500 will help Big Print continue to hold its own against larger competitors-and why the company plans to purchase the printer once its trial period has ended. Fick explains, "If you want to compete now and in the future, you're going to have to move in to UV flatbed printing, and the HP Scitex FB500 is a great choice."


(1) Flexible media printing with an optional HP Scitex FB500 Roll-to-Roll Update Kit.

(2) Use of white ink requires a separate purchase of the HP Scitex FB500 White Ink Upgrade Kit.

(3) HP Scitex FB500 Extension Tables are required for long materials.


Highly Successful Debut For New Wide Format Technologies >From Roland DG At IPEX

Lec 330

Roland DG is a leading manufacturer of wide format inkjet printers, and if the experience at IPEX 2010 is any indicator, there’s considerable interest in moving into wide format print among commercial printers.

Many IPEX visitors were drawn to Roland’s stand and in particular to the new VersaCAMM VS-640. The VS-640’s unique ability to print pure metallic ink came as a surprise to most and all were quick to spot the potential for metallic ink in wide format output. The printer can mix process colour metallic ink to produce colourful lustres too.

Also demonstrated was the VS-640’s ability to contour-cut its printed output, provoking comments about the limitations of traditional processes for cutting with dies. Roland also showed visitors how the VS-640 could perform the entire output end of the workflow unattended.

The VersaCAMM VS-640 creates a big differentiation among its peers by muscling in with a seam dodging sixty four inch width and a low price. The printer includes Roland’s VersaWorks RIP which effortlessly manages the workflow and optimises output costs and quality while dramatically speeding end-to-end production time. Roland On-Support, a telemetry based system that can, among other things, email the printer operator when an unattended job is complete comes in the box as well, making print work, especially short-run production, efficient and highly profitable.

Another star performer for Roland at IPEX was the remarkable VersaUV LEC-330. Characterised by one perceptive visitor to the stand as packing the most capability per square foot of any hardware at the show, the LEC-330 earned its keep with units being ordered off the stand and numerous follow-ups requested.

The LEC-330 does pack a lot of capability into a little space. It prints process colour and white ink, it spot varnishes in matt and gloss, it cuts, it creases, it embosses and it truly amazes all who see it demonstrated.

Perhaps the most compelling application Roland demonstrated for the LEC-330 was the production of ready-to-make packaging models. With its UV ink set able to resolve high resolution imagery upon virtually any stock or substrate, the full potency of the printer was realised as the sample emerged, cut, creased and ready to fold, featuring all print elements and even authentically embossed Braille and lettering.

When visitors eventually left the Roland DG stand, it was with a firm understanding that Roland not only offers all the hardware needed for a commercial printer to successfully enter and profit from the growing wide format market, but that it extends the education, support and aftermarket supplies that help the printer quickly establish his new offering on an upward trajectory.

Roland’s next appearance on the exhibition circuit will be at FESPA in Munich, 22-26 June, Hall B2, stand 340.

Oxigen celebrates successful first years' printing with HP large format printers



Start-up company achieves successful first year with several HP large format printers

HP today announced that Oxigen, based in Fátima, Portugal, has installed Portugal's first HP Scitex XP2300 Printer, in addition to an HP Scitex FB950, an HP Designjet L65500 and an HP Designjet L25500 Printer, in order to serve customers in the advertising and communication industries.

The company, established in May 2009, aims to produce high-quality digitally printed, wide format materials to clients in Portugal, Madeira, the Azores and most recently, Spain. It has rapidly established itself in the marketplace as a highly responsive supplier of innovative and unique products, which are produced in an environmentally responsible way.

"As a new company on the market we needed to ensure that our equipment was the most advanced, high-quality and environmentally sound that we could find, so that we could offer customers something new and competitive," said Miguel Vicente, Executive Manager, Oxigen. "Our range of HP printers ensures that whatever the job, we can print it quickly, with minimal waste and in an environmentally responsible way, yet still ensure a very high quality."

The range of large format printers available from HP is accelerating the conversion from solvent to UV and Latex ink technologies. These dedicated inks provide versatility across a very wide range of substrates from paper to plastics. Whatever the media, fast-drying HP UV-curable and Latex inks deliver outstanding application versatility and long-lasting colour.

The HP Scitex XP2300 Printer is a 3.2m-wide UV printer, ideal for high-speed production environments producing durable outdoor signage. Featuring industry-leading print speeds of up to 233 m2/hr and a variety of advanced capabilities designed to maximise productivity, eliminate workflow bottlenecks, and reduce ink and media costs, the HP Scitex XP2300 Printer enables customers to cut operating expenses and increase profits.

Miguel Vicente continued, "The XP2300 allows us to guarantee the printing of large format jobs for all types of outdoor signage, with particularly good results when printing double-sided jobs. It enables us to keep costs to a minimum, as we can use 3m wide PE - instead of PVC, which is lighter, cheaper and better for the environment - our customers certainly appreciate that."

Oxigen's other HP printers also reflect its commitment to providing fast turn-around, high-quality printing with the environment in mind. The L series machines ustilise Latex Printing Technologies, including HP Latex Inks and HP Wide Scan Printing Technology, in addition there is a range of recyclable substrates(1) available. Compliant with industry-leading certification, Nordic Swan, HP Latex Inks do not produce ozone emissions during printing and contain no hazardous air pollutants(2). This means improved working environments for print service providers and a greater range of places - especially indoor locations - where graphics can be used.

The HP Scitex FB950 Printer is a robust flatbed UV printer that delivers high-quality prints and high productivity on virtually any rigid(3) or flexible media(4) for the production of durable outdoor and indoor applications, including POP/POS signage, tradeshow graphics, interior decorations, banners and street furniture.

Miguel Vicente concluded, "The FB950 is a great addition to our portfolio. A very productive machine, its efficient media loading and the ability to print multiple sheets at the same time allows us to accommodate a wide range of customer requests."


IGS release further detail on totally green Elements printers, inks and materials



As an important part of the build-up to its first appearance as an exhibitor at FESPA, IGS UK has now revealed that its Elements family of green wide-format printers will make its international debut at the event.

These new machines have been designed to incorporate water-based, yet durable, eco-friendly ink formulations with the added benefit of an environmentally aware range of FSC certified materials and specially configured RIP.

During 2010, IGS UK is introducing five members of the Elements family which comprises four dedicated roll-fed machines and one genuine flat-bed printer, all of which carry the same environmental credentials.

Exhibiting on Stand 490, in Hall 3, at FESPA the company is demonstrating the low-cost Atom running proprietary outdoor durable aqueous-based H2O inks in conjunction with its Krypton Eco-Media products.

The Elements printer family duo comprises two widths in the Elements Atom series of wide roll-fed printers, both offering long-life graphic output for a remarkably modest price. Low running costs are complemented by the fact that these machines run from a standard power supply. Users wanting wider output can opt for the Elements Titanium series, again offered in two widths, and completing the line-up later in the year will be the Elements Cobalt, a flat-bed option - all models benefit from the same green ink formulations and material compatibility.

Despite the fact that the inks are aqueous-based, outdoor durability is reportedly comparable to current solvent and UV-curable output. The water-based ink chemistry is completely safe to use in all environments and requires no additional ventilation or ducting.

The matched Krypton Eco-Media materials complete the totally green solution provided with the Elements family of printers, and all are manufactured to the most stringent environmental standards. Produced according to FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification, this media series goes further than being biodegradable and is completely renewable, reusable and sustainable.

Investment into the Elements range of truly eco-friendly solutions promises users a high quality platform which produces consistently reliable, fine standards of output and vibrant, durable colour on all matched materials. The Krytpon Eco-Media series includes in its growing portfolio a selection of poster, billboard, backlit and frontlit products in a choice of widths, plus alternatives to self-adhesive and pressure-sensitive vinyl films.

To complete the Elements line-up and ensure accurate work-flow, colour management and high standards of output, the Chromium RIP is configured specifically to optimise the production benefits of IGS UK’s new printer and material families. The software incorporates simple set-up with intuitive controls, 16-bit rendering, powerful tools for colour and layouts, plus high speed, accurate processing capabilities.

IGS UK is confident that the new all-encompassing Elements products will appeal to sign-makers and display producers anxiously searching for more eco-aware print processes. The low investment cost, plus the benefits that these solutions need no special ventilation and are used with a standard power supply, will broaden appeal to office and retail environments who want to bring their wide-format digital production in-house.

Further news, and the launch of the Elements website, which will allow users to review the features and specifications of their printer range, will go online in the week prior to FESPA.

Those interested in finding out more, or wishing to pre-book a demonstration at FESPA, are invited to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Based on industry-proven Epson Stylus Pro printers, the Elements Atom range is then modified to facilitate the use of Elements H2Os' unique and outdoor durable hot-cured water-based resin inks.

Elements printers feature the Epson MicroPiezoTFP Print Head - quite possibly the most advanced ink jet print head technology ever developed, offering extreme print performance and dot placement accuracy.


Mimaki Receives Two EPD Awards at IPEX 2010

Mimaki Tx400 1800b

Mimaki, a leading manufacturer of wide format inkjet printers and cutting machines, received two EDP awards at the official EDP (European Digital Press) Awards ceremony at Ipex 2010.  The company’s new compact UV LED printer UJF-3042,  launched in January 2010 won “Best UV Curable Entry Level to Mid Range Printer” with the second award, for “Best Textile Printer”  going to the Tx400-1800D – Mimaki’s new direct-to-textile and dye sublimation transfer printer.

The world’s first A3 UV LED Printer, the UJF-3042

The UJF-3042 is already widely recognized as a truly innovative and unique UV solution. As the first truly affordable A3 UV LED printer available, it opens the UV printing market up to a wide range of companies looking to print and personalise promo items, cards, nameplates, novelties, electronics covers and more. The UJF-3042 is an A3 size (30x42cm) flatbed UV LED curing printer which can print objects up to 5 cm thick, at a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi. The printer incorporates Mimaki’s groundbreaking UV LED curing technology, which offers many advantages, including very low power consumption, problem-free printing on heat sensitive media and LEDs lasting up to 10.000 hours, which is about 10 times longer than conventional metal halide UV lamps.

Tx400-1800D textile printer

The Tx400-1800D belongs to a new generation Mimaki textile printers that offer both direct to textile printing as well as printing on transfer paper. The Tx400-1800D can reach speeds of up to 56 m2/h and is targeted at the soft signage, interior design, sports apparel and fashion digital printing markets. The Tx400-1800D is a 1.8 meter wide, highly productive, direct-to-fabric printer that can be used with three different ink types such as dye sublimation ink for polyester, reactive dye ink for cotton and acid dye ink for silk. Furthermore, fabrics such as wool and linen can be printed.

Mutoh Releases Viper TX Soft Sign Printers

Mutoh Viper Tx Soft Sign

Professional Direct-to-Fabric Printers with In-line Drying and Fixation System

Wide format inkjet printer manufacturer Mutoh Belgium nv releases a new series of direct-to-fabric printers, called Viper TX Soft Sign series.   Available in 1620 mm (63.78”) and 2210 mm (87”) widths, the Viper TX Soft Sign printers offer a total solution for direct printing of polyester fabrics with open or closed structure.   The printers incorporate all features required to accurately load, transport & tension, dry, heat-fix and roll up finished prints, ready for use.   Tuned to Mutoh’s new VOC-free water-based direct disperse inks, the new engines deliver typical production speeds up to 37 m²/h and top engine speeds up to 77 m²/h.

The new Mutoh Viper TX Soft Sign printers have been purposely built for professional soft signage print businesses looking for an integrated workflow to print directly onto polyester fabrics like flags.    The printers are suited for a wide variety of applications: heavy duty flags, banners, architectural graphics, sport arena displays, wall murals, home furnishings, curtains and much more.

“We have been marketing wide format dye sub and direct textile printers developed and manufactured at our Belgian factory since 2004.  Today, we offer several product lines products such as Viper, Viper TX, Viper 100, Viper Extreme and Viper TX Extreme,” comments Arthur Vanhoutte, President of Mutoh’s European operations.

“Viper TX Soft Sign printers are our first integrated direct textile printing solutions, delivering prints immediately ready for use.   The new printers address the key demands for a green workflow.  Using Mutoh water-based inks they print directly onto polyester fabric, with no need for transfer paper.  Keeping the environment in mind, printing signage on fabric is preferable because it folds easily, is light to transport, re-usable and last but not least, polyester fabrics are recyclable.  Our new cost-effective soft sign printers will allow innovative entrepreneurs to address latest market trends such as web-to-print, print-on-demand and customization,” Vanhoutte concludes.

The Viper TX Soft Sign printer’s integrated infra red dryer & fan bank will dry the printed fabric before heat fixation.  After drying, the printed fabric will run into the fixation unit, consisting of a contact drum with integrated infra red lamp.  Its typical working temperature is 180 °C.  The fixation time depends on the print mode that is used.  The fabric process can be easily controlled via a touch display on a swivel arm.   The in-line fabric drying and fixation system has no cooling down delay.  An integrated switch ON timer makes sure the printer is ready in the morning.

Fabric transport has been made easy with the fully motorized heavy-duty unwinding/winding system with dancer bars for media rolls up to 150 kg.  The system is ready for inside and outside unwinding & winding.   Perfect fabric tracking with the front and back belt system delivers straight winding of finished prints onto the take-up roll.

The new printers incorporate 8 drop-on-demand piezo inkjet heads.  Each head has 2 x 180 nozzles.  Using Dynamic Variable Dot Imaging Technology, each ink droplet is individually adjustable to provide high speed and high quality printing with low ink consumption.  The printers incorporate Mutoh’s award-winning Intelligent Interweaving print technology.

The Viper TX Soft Sign 90 achieves a top speed of 77 m²/h (Viper TX Soft Sign 65 : 63 m²/h).  Quality production speeds of 37 m²/h on the TX Soft Sign 90 are reached with the Intelligent Interweaving 360x360 high definition mode (Viper TX Soft Sign 65 : 33 m²/h).  Highest quality prints (720 dpi) are delivered at 17 m²/h (Viper TX Soft Sign 65 : 15 m²/h).

To remove vapours when heat fixing direct printed fabrics, the machines can be directly connected to Mutoh’s optional fume extraction system.  Connection is possible via multiple connection points.  A hose will then make the connection with the fume extraction system.

The printers can also be connected to Mutoh’s optional bulk ink system offering long unattended printing options along with minimum user intervention.

The Soft Sign printers have been tuned to Mutoh’s VOC free water-based direct disperse inks.  They feature excellent nozzle stability, offer a large colour gamut and have an excellent outdoor durability, rated up to 1 year.  Available in 1 litre bottles, these inks deliver top scores in wash fastness and perspiration, while allowing direct printing onto polyester fabrics with no need for washing.