Growth in user base leads to further engineer appointments in France, Germany and UK to strengthen regional support
Inca Digital, one of the world's leading manufacturers of large format inkjet printing technology, announces that it is expanding its regional technical support network to enhance its service to Inca users throughout Europe.
In the first phase, several new engineers will be based in key locations in Germany, France and England, with more to be deployed over the next few months. They will work with Inca's European Customer Centre in the UK and provide first line technical assistance to support the growing installed base of Inca Onset, Turbo, and Spyder digital flatbed printers. This newly-strengthened team will be in regular contact with their local customers with the ability to provide quick-response on-site service and technical support, backed by Inca's application engineers and telephone response team.
"A high level of customer support is a key priority for Inca to ensure that every printer is operating efficiently," says Linda Bell, CEO, Inca Digital. "Every measure is taken to ensure that each Inca printer is reliable, from design to build and operation. Direct, manufacturer-level, support in key markets is important and these latest appointments represent a significant investment in our growing user base across Europe. Our aim is to continue to provide first class support to maximise customer productivity through minimising downtime."
Inca equipment comes with a comprehensive range of support contracts. For more information about Inca's customer support initiatives contact us on +44 (0)1223 577800 or visit www.incadigital.com
Grapo Technologies, a manufacturer of UV large format roll-to-roll and flatbed UV printers based in the Czech Republic, today announced that ISBA and its parent company, German charity organization Lebenshilfe e.V., have acquired a Grapo Technologies Manta UV flatbed wide format printer to better meet emerging customer demands, especially with respect to tighter timeframes for delivery of printed display graphics. Lebenshilfe e.V. helps psychiatric patients to build confidence as they re-enter society. The system was sold and installed by Grapo Technologies’ distribution partner, Igepa Group GmbH & Co.
“After careful consideration of a wide range of available UV printing solutions,” said Production Manager Ranier Laske of ISBA, “we found the Manta from Grapo Technologies to be the most viable option. We needed to produce graphics larger than A3, and we also wanted to be able to print on unique substrates and in unusual formats with the fastest turnaround time possible. Manta met all of those needs and more. The Manta offers us unlimited application possibilities for printing on rigid or flexible substrates.”
Laske also points out that the environmental considerations of UV printing were important in the decision process, adding, “With solvent inks, more than 95% is emitted into the air during the printing process. This is not a healthy situation for our employees. With UV-curable inks there are no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted into the atmosphere. In addition to their environmental benefits, printing with UV-curable inks consumes less ink and offers significant advantages when printing on uncoated stocks. We also love the ‘pause’ feature on the Manta, which allows us to stop printing if a problem is observed and restart at the same spot where the problem occurred. This saves us a significant amount of media, which can be quite expensive.”
Since 1993, ISBA has focused on creating a healthy working environment for psychiatric patients. As a protected workspace, ISBA employs 140 people and offers them the opportunity, following their stay in the clinic, to enjoy a positive work experience. A structured daily routine established in eight different work groups allows psychiatric patients to regain simple values they have lost during a critical phase in their lives and grow their self-esteem. Of the total work force, 20 are occupied with digital wide and small format printing. ISBA draws its printing clients from a number of industries, including electricity suppliers, metal processing and the fashion industry.
Robustness and Flexibility Differentiate the Manta
ISBA opted for the four-color version of the Manta but has the opportunity to add white ink should they have an increased demand for this application. “In particular, we liked the robustness of the machine, its flexible application possibilities and its ease of use,” commented Laske. "Especially for the people we employ, it is of extreme importance that they can easily operate the Manta. After a very short training period, our people were able to operate the system. Thanks to the robustness of the machine, we have very little downtime. Any small interruptions can be easily fixed by our team."
Creativity Without Limits
With its previous configuration, ISBA could only handle job orders in smaller formats, but the Manta has changed that. “With the Manta, the sky is virtually the limit in terms of formats and materials to print on,” says Laske. "That is important for us, since we have experienced growth in demand for large format applications." Typical jobs printed by ISBA on the Manta vary from exhibition stand layouts, to dividers, car wraps, sticker prints, floor prints, displays, textile printing and even printing on doors. As a promotion for its cafeteria, ISBA developed personalized jute bags. "We do a lot of personalized printing on demand,” concluded Laske. “Many companies are talking about personalization, but we have been doing it for years. The Manta adds more flexibility and capability to our personalization and other projects."
Manta Product Details
Grapo Technologies Svang inks ensure optimal adhesion to print media without the need for pre-coating. The white ink option enables printing on dark backgrounds. Maximum printing size is 2 x 3 meters at 720 dpi, with small, precise controlled drop sizes and precise dot placement, enabling excellent reproduction of skin tones or pastel-colored surfaces without color cuts or sharp transitions.
The Manta has a production speed of 110 square meters per hour and comes with many time- and cost-saving features. For example, Grapo Technologies’ unique Twin Mode System, allows users to print on one half of the machine while preparing a second job on the other. This innovative feature stems directly from Grapo’s early years as a print shop, when it learned the importance of maximizing available space, reducing man hours and increasing operating efficiency. The Twin Mode System uses two independent desk areas. While printing on one area, operators can place material for printing on the other side without disrupting the ongoing printing process. The ability to switch between print desks when using rigid materials ensures that jobs can flow with no interruption between them and with no valuable production time lost.
UV-curable inks also provide the option to pause printing in case of errors or other occurrences. Users can halt the printer midway through a job, and then restart exactly where they left off once the problem has been corrected, reducing the amount of media waste.
Inca Digital demonstrates an enhancement to the high-performance, wide-format Inca Onset S20 UV inkjet flatbed printer at IPEX on the Fujifiilm stand (9-CD360). Inca will unveil an expanded gamut capability using Uvijet Ultratone ink to increase quality perception. This, coupled with Inca's use of 28 picolitre drop print heads, produces smooth colour transitions reducing the graininess of light colours and producing smooth skin tones. This capability is critical for closely-viewed point of sale advertising, particularly for high value cosmetic and fashion products.
Since its launch last year, the Inca Onset S20 has redefined the digital large format market by enabling companies to offer print volumes on a wide variety of materials with shorter turnaround times at highly competitive prices. Today Inca Onset S20s are in operation around Europe and are now starting to ship more widely, with buoyant sales continuing as companies invest to enhance their production capabilities. With the capability to print edge to edge onto substrates of 3.14m x 1.6m and 50mm thick, at speeds of up to 250 sq m/hr, it also features a gloss level control to produce finishes from matt, through satin to high gloss, depending on application. This brings massive versatility in the range of products that can be printed, e.g. display POS, exhibition graphics, backlit/frontlit displays and outdoor signage for customers with both screen printing and commercial printing backgrounds.
Flexibility is a key feature of the Inca Onset S20 and the ability for printers to choose a colour configuration to suit their business is an important factor in its success. The introduction of light cyan and light magenta expands its capabilities and opens up lucrative new sectors for printers.
At Ipex, Inca will also demonstrate the benefits of efficient production using its new Print Run Controller (PRC) software module. PRC assists in the production of an individual order incorporating different elements whether they are images, text variations or languages. It is also applicable when a large number of images need to be output in varying quantities with variable elements to a large number of recipients.
PRC's ability to streamline the overall production process allows digital output on medium - longer run lengths to compete where even screen and litho are unable to provide cost effective solutions. With high speed printing rates making digital production more versatile and profitable, PRC allows users to schedule the print order and produce print jobs quickly and simply to prevent RIP and workflow bottle-necks, streamline production, thereby reducing both operator error and post-print collation requirements.
"These latest developments show how Inca continues to break new ground in large format digital printing functionality and out perform traditional technologies," says Linda Bell, CEO, Inca Digital. "Ipex is an excellent opportunity to showcase the power of the Inca Onset S20 and demonstrate why it has become a market leader in such a short time."
Inca offers a range of UV inkjet flatbed printers in a choice of formats, speeds and colours. Go to www.incadigital.com to see full details.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging and advanced office solutions, today answers the increasing demand for large format prints in the photographic, proofing and graphic arts market with the introduction of three new imagePROGRAF large format models - the 44-inch imagePROGRAF iPF8300, 24-inch imagePROGRAF iPF6350 and the iPF6300. Designed for precise, ultra high-quality print performance and increased productivity, each model features Canon's new, 12-colour LUCIA EX pigment ink set and advanced printing technologies specifically developed to produce prints with an enhanced colour range and improved durability. The new imagePROGRAF models will be unveiled at the Wedding & Portrait Photographer International (WPPI) Convention at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, March 8-11, 2010.
"In just four short years, Canon has introduced more than 20 imagePROGRAF large format printers to the market with each new model raising the bar for outstanding, vibrant image quality and overall versatility," said Jim Rosetta, vice president and general manager, Imaging Systems Group, Canon U.S.A. "Coupled with our new LUCIA EX ink set and advanced media capabilities, the new imagePROGRAF models represent an ideal solution for the graphic, fine art, photography and proofing markets."
Enhanced colour Spectrum
With increasing consumer demand for professional and high-quality print jobs, high-end graphic and photographic studios continue to seek the capability to accurately produce vivid output of consumers' most demanding projects. To enhance its available colour spectrum, the new imagePROGRAF models feature a revolutionary all-new 12-colour LUCIA EX pigment ink set increasing the achievable colour gamut by approximately 20 percent from the previous imagePROGRAF iPFx100 series and enabling over 90 percent coverage of PANTONE ® (*) colours to produce rich expression. Additionally, to better meet the needs of the professional print market, the new models feature a reinforced mechanical structure to enable precise ink placement for improved text and line accuracy, making these new devices a powerful proofing solution.
Exquisite Photographic Output
The introduction of the new LUCIA EX ink provides photographers with the ability to precisely achieve their desired results by producing more expressive and crisp blacks, smooth colour gradations, and the capability to reproduce the finest details in the shadow areas of photographs. The new inks are also designed with an innovative polymer structure that results in greater scratch resistance and protection from colour fading, while also reducing bronzing and metamerism ensuring durable, stable output.
Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR), the world's leading independent image permanence testing laboratory, has been evaluating the new Canon LUCIA EX expanded-gamut, 12-colour pigment inks. Henry Wilhelm, president of WIR commented, "A review of preliminary data from the still ongoing tests indicates that prints made with LUCIA EX pigment inks and select photo and fine art papers will achieve WIR Display Permanence Ratings in excess of 75 years for colour images and well beyond 200 years for black-and-white images. In addition, LUCIA EX pigment inks exhibit excellent short-term colour drift ("dry-down") behavior, which is critically important for colour-managed workflows and in proofing applications. The new LUCIA EX inks also achieved WIR's highest rating for resistance to damage from atmospheric ozone, a particular concern in urban environments in situations where prints might be displayed unframed and exposed to ambient indoor air."
Recognising the expanding array of media options for large format printers and to further improve the versatility of these new imagePROGRAF models, Canon has developed a new Media Configuration Tool which allows customers to not only utilise genuine Canon-branded media, but provides the ability to add and make adjustments to paper settings to enhance the precision and quality of output achieved with third-party media. Upon release of the new printer, ICC profiles of popular media types from Intelicoat, Ilford, LexJet and Moab will be available for download on their respective corporate Web sites.
To expand print options and improve proofing capabilities, the iPF8300, iPF6350 and iPF6300 come bundled with a new Print Plug-In for Photoshop®, Digital Photo Professional and support for Adobe colour Management Module, enabling features such as Black Point Compensation. Through the Photoshop Plug-In, each new model allows 16-bit RGB images edited in Photoshop to be sent directly to the imagePROGRAF printers, preserving smooth and high gradation.
Brian Hampton, an award-winning nature photographer printing with a Canon imagePROGRAF for the first time stated, "The quality of the print is amazing. I was particularly impressed by the iPF8300's ability to reproduce shadow details in a way that exceeds anything I've seen previously on the market. It's quite a step above the competition." Hampton also noted the built-in workflow solutions and commented, "The ability to export out of Photoshop via the plug-in is outstanding. Many of its capabilities perform as well as an RIP program without the additional cost."
In order to support high-volume printing and streamline workflows the Canon iPF8300 and iPF6350 come equipped with an 80 GB high-capacity hard disk drive (HDD) that allows for faster spooling of large files as well as the ability to reprint jobs directly from the printer. To ensure the highest level of productivity and reduce overall print time, all new models are also equipped with a standard gigabit Ethernet network interface and an automatic dual-blade cutter.
In those environments that utilise a complete workflow solution in conjunction with CGS, EFI, Ergosoft, GMG, ONYX and other leading RIP manufacturers, updated drivers will be available for download upon the release of the printers from their respective Web sites.
To fully capitalise on the dynamic colour range of the new LUCIA EX ink set, each new imagePROGRAF model employs two advanced one-inch print heads, each featuring 2,560 nozzles per colour and outputting a super fine four picoliter (pl) droplet at a full 2400x1200 dots-per-inch resolution (dpi) to reproduce details with extraordinary accuracy and clarity. Paired with enhanced plug-ins and new, High Precision Printing Modes, these new imagePROGRAF models provide an extremely high level of photographic and proofing quality prints.
The new imagePROGRAF iPF8300, iPF6350 and iPF6300 are compliant with U.S. ENERGY STAR energy-saving standards and RoHS compliance standards. The new Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8300, iPF6350 and iPF6300 large format printers will be on display at WPPI booth 401 in Las Vegas, NV from March 8-10, 2010. The imagePROGRAF iPF8300/6350/6300 will start shipping in March for a manufacturers suggested retail price of $5,995, $3,995 and $3,695, respectively.
Océ magic hit prime-time television on Channel Five’s Gadget Show in the UK last night (1 March 2010) with the help of its pioneering Océ CrystalPoint™ technology. A stunt, which was filmed in London’s Covent Garden, showed how a card randomly chosen mysteriously turned up giant-sized and with the person’s name on it less than a minute later… being pulled along the road by a cyclist!
Little did the ‘punters’ know that Océ’s ColorWave™ 600 super-fast wide format printing system, the first product based on Océ CrystalPoint technology launched globally in May 2008, had produced the card in just over 30 seconds in an Océ van parked nearby. The mobile billboard was then towed past the stunned-looking crowd.
A long-range lens and thermal imaging equipment was also used for the trick shown to millions of viewers on the Gadget Show produced by NorthOne TV. The card had been pulled from a pack, ‘warmed up’ and then identified through the lens and thermal imaging equipment positioned secretly in a nearby building. Presenter Jason Bradbury even fooled magician Paul Zenon, who was invited along to guess how it was achieved. Before the trick, he told Bradbury: “I’d like to think that I’ve seen it all magic-wise but you never know. If you think it will fool me, all well and good but it’s a tough challenge.”
Afterwards Zenon conceded: “I don’t know how you pulled it off – full marks to you for this one!”
The stunt was sheer magic. Bradbury, long-time presenter on the Gadget Show, told viewers: “The final piece of the magic jigsaw falling into place was the super-fast printer. The Océ ColorWave 600 uses resin balls rather than ink, converted into a gel which is then jetted and crystallised on to the paper.”
Océ’s ColorWave 600 produces an A0 full colour sheet (one-square metre) in 34 seconds. It prints on to a wide range of medias, ranging from uncoated and recycled papers all the way through to specialties like Tyvek for maximum durability with its water resistant CrystalPoint finish. The Océ CrystalPoint process converts solid Océ TonerPearls™ into a gel that is then jetted and crystallised on to surfaces. The technology is environmentally friendly with no emissions of ozone, odour or fine powder and does not use liquids or solvents.
Ian Guiver, Océ UK’s ColorWave 600 Product Specialist, said: “Despite the fact that we had to get up at 3.30am to do the filming on a bitterly cold morning in February, it was fantastic fun and gave Océ the chance to demonstrate its world-beating capabilities with a product that is quite literally taking the market by storm. Millions of viewers were shown how this amazing trick was done with the help of Océ.”
High-quality inkjet will be put through its paces with a variety of media on stand 489 in Hall B3 at Fespa 2010
Screen will take the opportunity at Fespa 2010 (Munich, 22-26 June 2010) on stand 489 in Hall B3 to demonstrate the remarkable capabilities of two of its high-quality inkjet printers, the 2.5m-wide Truepress Jet2500UV and the 1.6m-wide Truepress Jet1600UV-F.
The Truepress Jet2500UV is an extremely versatile large format UV inkjet printer which visitors will be able to see producing outstanding quality work on a range of materials including the challenging corrugated cardboard and polypropylene for POP applications. It has the perfect balance of high quality and high productivity for the wide format market with near-photo quality printing and short turnaround times.
"In tough market conditions, the key is to offer flexibility and innovation to customers," says Screen Europe Marketing Manager Tim Taylor. "With its high-quality digital inkjet printers, Screen enables its customers to provide innovative ideas and flexible opportunities to their markets."
The combination of high-precision output at a maximum resolution of 1,500 dpi and high-speed printing at up to 67.5 square metres per hour on either rollfed or flatbed format material gives the flexibility to meet the expectations of the most demanding customers while delivering a good return on investment.
The multi-level grayscale printhead enables the output of smooth gradations thanks to Screen's exclusive screening technology. The Truepress Jet2500UV also supports material up to 2,500mm wide and 50mm thick and uses fast-drying UV inks to improve production and turnaround.
The Truepress Jet1600UV-F is a high-quality flatbed printing system launched in 2009 for the sign and display sector. Its high-performance production of vivid, full-colour at 1,200 x 1,200 dpi on a variety of media gives significant advantages in the field of backlit graphics, wide-format posters, POP displays, commercial furniture and construction signage.
The inks used by the Truepress Jet1600UV-F are hard-dried using UV produced by dedicated LEDs. This UV-LED light source generates very low heat during imaging and therefore accommodates heat-sensitive materials, such as foam and channel boards, PVC, acrylic and styrene panels, without warping or distortion. The UV-LED light source also lasts longer and uses less electricity than conventional UV lamps, so its impact on the environment is minimised, plus it provides a workplace mostly free of VOCs.
A newly-created imaging system features eight individual printheads that support rapid printing, with enhanced productivity that allows a rapid succession of fast-turnaround jobs. There are two types of UV ink, for flexible media and rigid media, which can be stretched by up to 200% as well as cast or bent. The rigid ink resists friction and exposure to damaging chemicals and is particularly well suited to printing on aluminium composite panels and decorative illuminated film. The addition of white ink ensures high-quality output on transparent, metallic and coloured media.
"The Truepress Jet1600UV-F delivers high precision and high flexibility," says Rob Hageman, European Product Manager at Screen Europe. "This easy-to-use flatbed device is built around the latest technology for inkjet printing and UV-LED curing."
Large Format Review provides daily breaking news on digital printer technology as used for commercial production of print for wide-format sign and display, dye-sublimation textile and fabric printing, packaging and industrial applications. We also cover 3D print and additive manufacturing.