Graphic Printing Technologies Ltd (GPT) will once again be a major presence at Sign and Digital UK. This year it is exhibiting in its own right on stand B10, and will be presenting the latest range of machines from Mimaki as well as software products from Shiraz and Onyx. Further products will be on the stand and these will be announced nearer the show.
Stuart Cole, Managing Director of GPT, comments, “This is our second year of trading and our second Sign and Digital UK. We still believe this is the best way to meet signmakers from across the country and allow them to see all the new developments that have been made over the previous year. Once again, we invite all visitors to come to our stand to see and discuss the very latest in printers, cutters, finishing equipment and software. We know that signmakers will find the best printing solution for their needs on our stand.”
Highlights on the GPT stand include:
The brand new Mimaki UJF-3042 versatile compact (A3) UV cure printer, which offers exceptionally good value for money. Its cost-effective features include very low energy consumption through the implementation of LED UV curing as well as its ability to print to a vast range of uncoated substrates. It is ideal for badges, cards, packaging, labels, stickers and display products, as well as personalised items. With a 50mm (2”) print depth the potential is massive.
The rest of the Mimaki range, including the UJV 160 roll-to-roll and flat sheet UV-curable printer with the CF1218 flatbed cutter, will also be on show. Take time to see the JV33 in action, as well as at CG160FX II cutter and the CJV30 160 combination printer and cutter solution. Other new Mimaki products will be on the stand subject to confirmation.
Also brand new to the show will be the new Shiraz v6.7 and Signature 7.1 products. Representation from the Shiraz developers themselves will be on the stand to demo the product and answer questions. More information will be available nearer the time.
Further new products will be on the stand and more information will be available from GPT nearer to the show.
EskoArtwork has been dominating the digital cutting market since years with its successful Kongsberg series. With the launch of the Kongsberg XP digital cutting table in 2009, EskoArtwork responded to the need for a faster and equally highly reliable solution, specifically suited for short-run production. And the market responded positively with over 60 successful operational installations worldwide. Customers such as the STI Group in Germany; Third Dimension in the US and Artbox in Sweden are seeing tangible ROI through a dramatically increased productivity and efficiency , reduced costs and faster turnaround time. On top of that, there is no limit in the design shapes that can be cut as the Kongsberg XP allows for very intricate contour detail cutting.
A true production machine, the Kongsberg XP series is the first to be designed to operate continuously in a 24/7 production environment, targeted at corrugated packing companies and manufacturers of POP and permanent in-store product displays that need a fast and highly reliable solution for short-run production. Tom Erik Naess, CAM Product Manager at EskoArtwork comments, "The immediate success of the XP proves that there is a market for a fast digital production machine within these segments. The next big step will be combining the XP's superb productivity with our experience in automated material handling.”
Customers benefit from the high level of productivity, while unleashing creativity
STI Group, a leading European display manufacturer headquartered in Germany, was one of the first customers to install a Kongsberg XP24. The new installation enabled the company to enlarge its modern digital printing and finishing department to produce custom made point-of-sale displays in small volumes that will be distributed through the STI-onlineshop.
“For us the Kongsberg XP24 is the perfect device to manufacture multi-component displays, mock-ups and personalized promotional material in a very short time as well as in a flexible and absolutely reliable way," comments Ulrich Klüber, Product and Process Innovation Manager at STI Group on the installation. "In conjunction with a large format HP Scitex digital printing press the Kongsberg fits very well in the existing EskoArtwork solutions and is optimizing the complete workflow." STI Group is also working with the interactive nesting tools SignUp and SignUp Auto to optimize substrate usage and minimize the waste of display material.
Geneva, Ohio-based Third Dimension owns three Kongsberg DCMs and a Kongsberg XL46 to keep up with the demand of quick turnaround, short-run, and just-in-time shipments. In the past year, the company also installed the Kongsberg XP24 to support their digital graphics department. “Rather than creating traditional displays, we maximize the customer experience by using several materials, such as plastics, foams and corrugated, in the same display,” says Steve Ellsworth, Production Manager and Sales at Third Dimension. “Our challenge was that we needed something to cut it. The Kongsberg XP has the speed and the ability to cut rigid materials. And we knew from experience that Kongsberg tables are workhorses. We run day and night on three 8-hour shifts, five days, 120 hours a week and the Kongsberg tables never let us down."
“By adding the Kongsberg XP24 into our lineup, it further increases our capabilities and lets us sell into new, different areas. It was the last piece of our puzzle,” explains Ellsworth. “We purchased the Kongsberg XP24 to cut rigid substrates along with vinyl, to be able to kisscut stickers. Our graphics and uniqueness of ideas set us apart. We are focusing on more creative POP and building a new website, Yourcompanyface.com, to offer even more new graphics ideas. The Kongsberg XP24 helps us create these new products and brings us into these new markets.”
Artbox, based in Strängnäs (Sweden), is a design house with strong focus on creativity. The company has Alfa-tested the Kongsberg XP for their production of high quality displays of all sorts of designs, forms and materials. The results were more than satisfying and the Kongsberg XP is now in full production at Artbox. “This is our third cutting table from EskoArtwork – a partnership that continues to deliver the service and excellent quality we are looking for," comments Henrik Lagerström, owner of Artbox. "We are always after the best-in-class products that will give us the competitive edge. We have been working with the Kongsberg tables for years and there is no comparable solution in the market. The installation of the Kongsberg XP24 provided us with even more features that make our business a success such as a higher speed and more detailed cutting."
The Kongsberg XP is setting new standards
With a maximum cutting speed of 100m/min, these machines set a completely new standard in digital cutting coupled with the ability to handle larger sheet sizes and cut larger layouts which produces a massive increase in productivity, twice that of most other competitive solutions. Its productivity and speed not only result in improved turnaround time, but also in increased capacity so more work can be accepted.
The Kongsberg XP series are available in three sizes: the Kongsberg XP20 (working area 1680 x 1430 mm); the Kongsberg XP24 (working area 1680 x 3200 mm) and the Kongsberg XP44 (2200 x 3200 mm). Kongsberg XP is upgradeable to fully automated material loading, a must in high-volume operations, which extends the life-cycle for the solution and ensures a long-term investment.
Roland Launches Revolutionary 64” VersaCAMM VS-640 – One Big Printer/Cutter. One Small Price. Three Great Configurations.
Roland DG, the leading manufacturer and supplier to the sign and allied industries of inkjet printing, cutting systems and related consumables today announced the launch of the new, 64” VersaCAMM VS-640. Available in three configurations, this next-generation printer/cutter continues the record of innovation established by Roland’s VersaCAMM line, and delivers entirely new application potential with genuine metallic ink and the advanced ink handling technology required to print it. The printer is also available configured to print dual CMYK for top quality output at high production speeds, and as a Hi-Fi colour printer with light cyan and light magenta, plus white ink.
Positioned squarely at professional graphics producers such as sign and display manufacturers, the VersaCAMM VS-640 has the potential to redefine what a wide format inkjet printer can do for graphics producers and what wide format digital inkjet print can do for their customers.
Configured to print Roland’s award-winning new Eco-Sol Max metallic ink, the printer produces a dazzling range of pure metallic and pearlescent colours. The user can freely combine silver, process colour and white to effortlessly create a range of specialist effects yet to be imagined. Equipped with a VS-640 configured for metallic ink, the user can produce effects that were once the exclusive province of costly offset or screen processes. Now they’re possible without costly origination or specialised media for use anywhere conventional durable inkjet output can be used - and in thousands of places it never has been.
The VS-640 also features a new print head which enables a greater range of variable dots to be printed. When configured with light cyan, light magenta and white ink, the result is immediately apparent in the printer’s output. Images rich in colour and density now display even smoother gradations, and solid colours are faithfully rendered free of artefacts. Roland’s Intelligent Pass Control further contributes to productivity and quality, elevating the VS-640’s Hi-Fi output into a class of its own beyond four-colour.
For users looking for outright productivity, the VS-640 is available configured with a dual CMYK ink setup. In this configuration, the printer is able to cruise at high production speeds while maintaining quality standards normally associated with unidirectional print. Free from chromatic artefacts, the output stands close comparison with output from printers produced at much slower speeds and gives users of the VS-640 a distinct and measurable commercial edge when addressing the volume markets for print.
Whatever configuration is chosen, the VersaCAMM VS-640 provides a robust 64” print&cut platform in one manageable footprint. Easy to work with, maintenance is largely automatic and requires little in the way of operator intervention. The VS-640 boasts the same ink recirculation system as that introduced on the SolJet Pro III XC-540MT, which prevents the pigment in metallic and white ink from settling, and thus reduces ink wastage and running costs. Also, thanks to a heavy-duty take-up unit, unattended print&cut operation is possible and accuracy is maintained over the longest production runs.
Metallic ink and other configurations ask a lot of the RIP used to drive the printer. Roland VersaWorks 4.0 colour management RIP software is supplied with the VersaCAMM VS-640. VersaWorks supports the Roland Color System, which accurately reproduces spot colours from colour charts and swatches. The Roland Metallic Color library in VersaWorks features metallic colours that print using CMYK+MT in a single pass. This palette features over five hundred colours, including gold, silver, bronze and other metallics, so that users can simply choose a colour from the list in VersaWorks to apply to their graphics. VersaWorks’ other talents also include estimating ink usage and other productivity enhancing features which work with the VS-640 to make it a production orientated partnership.
The VersaCAMM VS-640 also features the all-new Roland OnSupport, a diagnostic support package that assists the user in informing them of tasks such as print finish, low ink or emergency stop via email alerts. A perfect tool for people who cannot afford to be with the printer 24/7 Roland OnSupport is the start of complete control for print producers everywhere.
Despite its innovation-led features and the entirely new possibilities they introduce, the Roland VersaCAMM VS-640 is priced to appeal to print producers of more or less any size at £17,999, including the take-up unit. The first opportunity to see this innovative new machine will be at this year’s Sign and Digital UK, 13-15 of April, where it will be making its European debut.
Roland VersaCAMM VS-640 Features:
64” wide printer/cutter with the latest cutting-edge print-head technology for unmatched print quality and versatility. The new print head fires additional smaller and larger droplets than the previous model, totally seven different sizes for more precision printing with reliability. New variable droplet technology automatically optimizes the drop size, selecting the most suitable three droplet sizes from the seven available. The result is beautiful and smooth gradation for close viewing. Roland Intelligent Pass Control® also assures the highest productivity whilst maintaining smooth gradations and flawless solid colours
Compatible with a wide range of media including vinyl, banner, canvas, paper and transparent film
Maximum print speed of 23m²/hr
Available in three ink configurations: 8 colour CMYK + Metallic Silver + White for unique metallic applications to differentiate from others and the brightest white text, graphics and floods 6 colour CMYK+LcLm for beautiful and smooth gradation and a broad range of applications 4 colours dual CMYK for the most economical production
Metallic Silver ECO-SOL MAX ink 512 metallic colours available in the Roland Color System Library Combines with CMYK for a spectrum of new metallic hues including gold, bronzes and a wide range of pearlescent colours. Just select one of the 512 metallic colours available from the Roland Color System Library and add to your graphic design
Roland’s unique Advanced Ink Circulation System Prevents the pigment in metallic and white inks from settling and reduce running costs Requires no manual intervention
Roland’s integrated Print&Cut technology quickly and easily prints and digitally die cuts finished graphics on demand into virtually any shape
Take-up system (TUC-2) Rolls up Print&Cut graphics automatically for unattended production Handles media roll weights up to 30kg (66.1lbs)
VersaWorks® Professional Colour Management RIP Software included
FUJIFILM Europe today announces the introduction of the new Acuity Advance HS wide format UV inkjet printer, the next generation in the highly successful Acuity series. First launched in April 2007, the Acuity platform radically changed quality expectations in UV flatbed, quickly becoming one of the fastest selling UV printers in the market. The Advance HS meets demands for a cost effective, high quality printer with even greater productivity, complementing the Fujifilm Acuity Advance and Advance X2 printers.
While the Acuity Advance HS maintains many of the leading design features of the Acuity HD2504 and Acuity Advance models, the modified print-head array virtually doubles the print speed.
Near-photographic quality images can be achieved at typical production speeds of 40m2/hr. In addition there is a new 'express' mode for images viewed from greater distances which operates at 65m2/hr. The Advance HS delivers more daily output than any other printer in its class, offering potential for high profit generation and a quick return on investment.
One of the key features of the Acuity Advance HS is the highly efficient UV curing system which delivers excellent print results. The flatbed design employs a zoned vacuum system to hold all types of media, including irregularly shaped materials or substrates with uneven surfaces. This ensures accurate registration even on multiple passes. It also prints edge-to-edge, saving time and labour in post-print finishing. In addition, the Acuity Advance HS increases print application possibilities with a white option to complement the standard four colour CMYK ink set. The optional roll media unit can be installed to print a broad range of flexible materials. To maximise print time, the operator can prepare rigid media on the bed while the roll media unit is printing.
Print performance is optimised by FUJIFILM Sericol’s uniquely formulated Uvijet inks incorporating proprietary Micro-V dispersion technology which consistently provides the ink system with strong vibrant colours, wide adhesion range and print durability.
Commercial shipments of the Acuity Advance HS will commence in March 2010. Fujifilm will be featuring the Acuity Advance HS at Ipex 2010 in the UK, and FESPA, Germany, in June.
Grow business by moving screen printing jobs to digital.
Seize market advantage with new signage production capabilities.
Offer customers more versatility in substrates.
HP Scitex FB7500 Printer, with HP Scitex FB221 Ink, for digital printing of 1-3000 prints on almost any substrate.
HP Scitex TJ8300 Printer for cost effective long run fleet graphics, banners.
2 x HP Scitex XL1500 Printers - 5m (16.4ft) for building wraps, over-sized banners; 3m (10ft) with HP Scitex DS upgrade fabric for banners, upholstery.
2 x HP Designjet Z6100 Printers for high-quality indoor signs, proofing other HP printer jobs.
Digital printer is winning business from screen printers and entering new markets, such as major sports event and venues, due to high speed, high-quality HP Scitex FB7500 Printer.
Flatbed printing volume rose by 30-40 percent in two months, with 120 percent increase expected.
Flatbed operator overtime costs are down by at least 20 percent.
Longer run capabilities have increased flatbed printing revenues, with 25-35 percent growth projected.
Gigantic Color has raised client satisfaction by enabling them to save costs through printing only what is needed, when it's needed.
Gigantic Color has entered new markets, e.g. digital wallpaper and canvas art prints, due to HP Scitex TJ8300 Printer.
Gigantic Color says "Yes we can!" to previously out-of-reach jobs
Large-format printing enterprise Gigantic Color has moved its business into a new league that fully lives up to its large-sized name, thanks to new flatbed digital printing capabilities from HP. As the first company in the world to install the revolutionary HP Scitex FB7500 Printer, Gigantic Color is proving every day that digital printing gives screen printing a run for its money. The result: dramatically larger orders are now coming Gigantic Color's way, raising the company's revenues and propelling it from a regionally focused shop onto the national stage.
Established in 1989 as a single-employee typography shop, Gigantic Color today has 65 employees in Dallas and Fort Worth, TX. It provides high-profile local, regional and national clients with the full range of large-format printing applications, including billboards, interior and exterior signage, and vehicle graphics. Over the years, the company has repeatedly turned to HP to gain new capabilities and expand capacity. Most recently, it was the first printing company in the world to install the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer, a high-speed printer that tripled the firm's flatbed printing capacity almost overnight. It was Gigantic Color's biggest-ever printing equipment purchase - and their fastest.
No hesitation on 'must-have' printer
"We saw the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer at SGIA and we were immediately impressed with its speed, image quality, substrate versatility, and user-friendly loading and unloading," recalls Gigantic Color owner John Bowers, Sr. "We said to ourselves: 'if someone else in our market had this machine and we didn't, we wouldn't be able to compete."
After installing the new printer, Gigantic Color began seeing benefits almost immediately. General Manager Troy McGinnis says: "The printer, even though it was the first one, performed way beyond our expectations. The operators loved its very intuitive operation and easy maintenance. We were able to cross-train people from other presses in a matter of days, and within a week of running live jobs we did 80 hours of printing in 10."
"We've printed on everything from styrene, expanded PVC, Coroplast, and every type of paper you can imagine, all the way to corkboard, aluminum sheets, polycarbonate, and heavy Dibond. Nothing we've tried has stopped that printer." One of the reasons Gigantic Color has been able to enjoy such high media versatility is because of the quality of the HP Scitex FB221 Ink, which adheres well and maintains consistent quality on a wide range of substrates.
Clients happy to ditch analog
Many of the jobs that Gigantic Color is now taking - such as a 500-sheet job on Coroplast and an order for 100 boxed truck fleet graphics - would previously have gone to screen printers. "We're winning quotes averaging in the 750-1500 copy range when before, we would be lucky to touch jobs that were 200-250 copies," says Bowers. "We've had many tours of large clients coming in to see the printer in action. Once they see the quality and speed, they almost always immediately send in jobs."
For the high-quality end of the market, Gigantic Color generally runs its HP Scitex FB7500 Printer at about 60-70 beds per hour, which is approximately 279 m²/hr (3000ft²/hr). For real estate and political signage accounts, it prints at the top speed of 105 1,2 x 10,4m (4 x 8ft) sheets per hour. "This combination of speed and quality allows us to go after screen printing jobs," says McGinnis.
John Bowers adds: "Something that previously took four or five days is taking just one shift. We recently printed 750 4 x 8 ft boards of expanded PVC. That kind of job would have made us very nervous, but now we can do it virtuall y without thinking. Our biggest challenge now is how to get it all through finishing."
Digital serves up big savings for eatery chain
Digital printing with the HP Scitex FB7500 Printer is bringing super-sized benefits to both Gigantic Color and its customers. A recent promotional banner job for a national restaurant chain is an excellent example of the win-win proposition. The client needed 6000 double-sided full pocket banners, in six different versions, with text and a lot of saturated reds. The turnaround time was three weeks, but due to other orders, Gigantic Color could dedicate only around six printing hours a day to that job. Printing the 0,9 x 3m (3 x 10ft) banners on a special polycoated fabric, in two-up, 3-pass mode (49 1,2 x 10,4m/4 x 8ft sheets per hour), Gigantic Color was able to print 160 banners in three hours, and easily meet all its production deadlines.
"This customer usually does silk screen, but they still were very, very pleased with the quality and color," says Bowers. "They got the benefit of digital printing in that they'll be able to order future runs of the banner according to what they need, when they need it - without compromising on quality."
"We've experienced that with other customers who would normally have to keep $20,000 to $30,000 worth of banners in stock and ship them out as needed. We convinced them that they can save money by having us print just one or however many they need. They no longer need to hold that stock."
This can result in further savings - and environmental benefits - as inventories of printed signage can become outdated even before they are used. The flexibility to print as needed can help to cut waste and thereby to reduce costs.
With continued demand for short run production, lower costs and greater creativity across the board in direct-to-textile printing, the introduction of Mimaki's new TX400-1800B textile inkjet printer looks set to deliver a peerless solution for the apparel, furnishings and soft signage markets.
Historically, production textile printing has required long runs, cumbersome un-environmentally friendly processes and the costs and time associated with rotary or flat screen printing. The introduction of the Mimaki TX400 provides a solution for volume production of high quality direct-to-textile prints onto a myriad range of fabrics.
With a 1.8m print width and production speeds of around 25sq m / hour, the TX400-1800B utilises an adhesive belt carrier system to stabilise fabrics that have a tendency to stretch and contract during printing. This technology ensures a high quality of result, increased speed and reduced ink usage - alongside the capability of printing to traditionally 'difficult' materials. The high speeds are achieved even with an 8 colour inkset and at detailed resolutions - and the newly designed heater system allows for the rapid drying of the wetted out fabric before it goes onto the powered take-up roller. This also incorporates Mimaki's Web Tension Control System that provides consistent tension over the full width of the print - whether on light or heavyweight cloths.
The machine's inbuilt UISS (Uninterrupted Ink Supply System) automatically switches between ink sacks as the ink becomes spent, easily fulfilling long run, unattended print jobs. With the use of Mimaki's new two litre bulk ink containers, the ink cost is reduced significantly too. Inks for the machine include reactive dye (for printing to cotton and silk), acid dye (for silk, nylon and wool) and dye sublimation inks for polyester prints. As such; the range of work that can be produced with the printer is vast - from haute couture silk scarves through to flags and fabric banners, upholstery and sportswear - the list is endless!
Hybrid's marketing manager, Duncan Jefferies comments; "Production digital textile printing is all about reducing costs, lead times and waste, whilst maintaining quality and creativity. The Mimaki TX400 makes the introduction of a low inventory business model possible, drastically reduces environmental impact and delivers what the customer wants, in the time that they need it."
The TX400-1800B joins the dye sub specific 1800D model at the head of Mimaki's direct-to-textile printer range - adding the adhesive belt to its sister machine's feature list. Delivery of both is expected to commence in Spring 2010 with demonstrations available through Hybrid's authorised textile reseller network.
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.