It’s again time for Image Reports to recognise products that have been introduced to the UK during the last year, and considered the most innovative and likely to have an impact in the wide-format sector. So here are the 2014 Angel Awards winners.
Canon (Oce) Arizona 6100 series
Potentially one of the most significant announcements at Fespa Digital 2014 was that of Canon’s Oce Arizona 6100 series of UV-curable flatbeds. This is a completely new platform and Canon will no doubt use it as a base to develop further printers. The two initial models are: the 6160 XTS, a CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta machine; and the 6170 XTS, which uses seven colours, having an extra channel with white ink. However, there is space in the machine for an eighth channel.
Durst Rho 1300 series
This series of flatbeds, launched at Fespa Digital 2014, is aimed at the high production end of the market, and uses what Durst calls Gradual Flow Printing, which prints a 250 x 125cm image with a full width print array. On introduction it needed a couple of passes to make a complete image but sales manager Michael Lackner agreed that the next step would be to print an image with a single pass, which could happen as quickly as 2015. The Rho 1330 is said to add 25% to the speed of the Rho 1030 flatbed, meaning it will print at up to 1250m2/hr. Its sister model, the Rho 1312 will print up to 620m2/hr.
Roland VersaUV LEJ-640F
This is the first flatbed from print-and-cut hybrid printer specialist Roland. The VersaUV LEJ-640F, which made its debut at Sign and Digital UK show in the spring, has a bed size of 1.6m x up to 3.3m and can print onto substrates up to 15cm in height. It uses UV-LED lamps, designed to cure Roland Eco-UV ink. Besides CMYK it also takes white and transparent inks and can create impressive textures and embossing effects
Mimaki JFX200-2513 LED
Despite its compact size this flatbed has a 2.5 x 1.3m bed that is suitable for 8 × 4 boards. It uses Ricoh Gen5 printheads and there’s a choice between tough and flexible inks - including white and clear. Costing around £60,000 this is a good value entry-level machine.
Mimaki CJV300 Series
Viscom Paris saw the European premiere of Mimaki’s flagship CJV300 series integrated print-and-cut units. Available in 1.3 and 1.6m widths, the CJV300 series enables simultaneous printing and cutting operations at speeds of up to 105.9m2/hr. Two newly developed staggered printheads deliver high-resolution printing and zero-margin continuous registration mark detection.
Screen Truepress Jet W3200UV HS
This is a fast machine, reaching speeds of up to 150m2/hr - almost double the productivity of the 85m2/hr Truepress Jet W3200UV launched last year. Screen used Fespa Digital 2014 to first show the printer, fruit of a joint development with Inca Digital. It is a six colour plus double white channel device that can print onto media up to 3.2 x 1.6m and up to 5cm thickness. It uses Screen’s Truepress inks, including high-opacity white, light cyan and light magenta.
EFI H1625 LED
The H1625 is the first LED device in EFI’s entry-level line-up. It handles substrates of up to 1.6 wide and 4.5cm thick at a resolution up to 1200 x 600dpi and at speeds reaching 42m2/hr. As standard it comes with four colours (CMYK) plus two white channels. The unit is optimised for use with the EFI Fiery XF Rip.
Launched at Viscom Frankfurt last month this unit enables printing onto stretch fabrics via an adhesive belt carrier system. There are four- or eight-colour options and output quality is up to 1200dpi. The machine, which incorporates Ricoh Gen 5 printheads, is available with a pigment ink set for polycotton/natural fibre fabrics and direct disperse inks for polyester. There are built-in heated drums calendars for ink fixation. An MTEX Rip with integrated touchscreen controls comes as standard.
Esko Kongsberg V tables
This is a cheaper option to its big brothers and comes in two versions: one for the packaging market and one configured for sign and display users. The latter comes with a MultiCut tool head that includes a vision system. Esko is also in the process of developing a new front-end program for its tables, due out early next year.
Agfa Apogee Storefront 2.1
Version 2.1 is significant in that it let PSPs customise a store so that individual users only see those products and categories that they need. It also brought support for Google Analytics, allowing PSPs to fine tune stores by monitoring buyer behavior and conversion rates within a store, as well as the effectiveness of promotion campaigns on the Web, social media or in print. And V2.1 brought an order history search, simplifying the reordering, correction and customising process.
Soyang Europe’s AlumiGraphics
Introduced at Sign and Digital UK, AlumiGraphics is an aluminium foil base material that conforms and holds to the texture of any surface that it’s applied to. Available in smooth or high-grip surface finishes the media can be printed on large-format UV curable, latex and solvent inkjet printers.
Fujifilm Uvijet KV
This thermo forming UV-cured inkjet ink has been developed specifically for use with Fuji’s mid-range flatbed printers, the Acuity Advance Select and Acuity Advance Select HS, and is aimed at light industrial applications. It has elongation properties of 300-400% when heated, returning to a ‘normal’ state when cool.