Sat, Jun

As predicted in my crystal ball gazing feature at the start of 2011, as far as the wide-format sector is concerned we have seen enhancements to existing printer platforms, along with improvements to inks and drying; but there have been no real show-stopping introductions.

This is, in truth, a very healthy state of affairs. That existing engines have been extended to cover different market segments should be regarded as a positive, with most manufacturers introducing new additions and the first to admit that they are using their established technologies to eke out revisions for future equipment.

ROI is what it’s all about, which is why Fujifilm believes it has a way of convincing you that buying an Onset makes sense.

Fujifilm has recently announced a new initiative to encourage printers of all sizes to take its Onset Challenge (see Cover Story) – the intention being to prove the impressive ROI of the range, which has so recently been extended with the S40.

Sophie Matthews-Paul provides guidelines on getting the quality you expect.

It’s a bit like like buying a new car; we all want a bargain but most of us also need a quality motor that won’t let us down and will match the claimed running costs and service charges. And, of course, we would like it to hold its value as the years pass to make sure that it’s been a worthwhile purchase. A wide-format inkjet printer is a similar type of investment, but it also needs to be able to return a profit.

When we remind ourselves about the early days of wide-format digital technology one thing we’ll all acknowledge is that we were pretty limited by the inks and materials available, and how well the machines of the day could handle them. If the results came out well on our chosen substrate, then we were pretty satisfied; if the end product wasn’t fit for purpose, then the ink tended to get blamed.

Wide-format digital print is all about ink and its inherent behaviour during the processes we expect it to endure. For machine manufacturers, it’s the element in their equipment that actually proves the unit is as good as it claims to be. Ink also represents the part of the printing process which tends to play a major role in carrying the responsibility for quality even though it is dependent on machinery and technology for being transferred from cartridge or bottle through to the printhead nozzles and jetted onto the material beneath.