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Thu, Mar

Nessan Cleary finds out why this cutter, though it’s been around a while, is just being introduced to the UK wide-format market.

Next to a printer, one of the most important pieces of equipment is a cutting table and there's an ever growing choice. This month we've been looking at the Mastercut 2200 from Blackman and White, which has been around for a while but is only just being launched into the wide-format sector.

There are a number of after market ink suppliers around but what are the risks and the benefits of using these inks? Nessan Cleary investigates. 

Ink is arguably the most important component of a printer, as well as potentially being the most expensive over the lifetime of the machine. Naturally the printer manufacturers insist that customers should buy their inks, pointing out that the original inks are designed specifically for the printer in question. But there is a healthy market in third party inks and using these can lead to considerable cost savings.

With the first of this Drupa launched machine now installed in the UK Nessan Cleary takes a closer look.

Screen used Drupa this spring to launch the Truepress W1632 UV. As the name implies, this is a UV flatbed wide-format printer, taking media up to 1.6 x 3.2m and up to 48mm thick. Bui Burke, sales director for Screen UK, is in no doubt that its key attribute is its high speed, saying: “Normally when you run a wide-format machine flat out at its top rated speed you quickly realise that the quality is not commercially acceptable. But this has 94m2/hr and really doesn’t seem to print differently at its maximum speed.”

By being clever with how it works with media Ltd Limited has carved out a niche for creating stunning graphics that invite clients to think outside the box.

When it comes to innovative use of substrates, one print company really stands out. Ltd Limited, based in the east of London, works with materials from around the world, often combining and layering media to create stunning effects. It's a formula that obviously works as the company has just celebrated its tenth anniversary.

The wide-format industry isn’t known for printing to environmentally friendly media, but there are now a number of more sustainable substrates around.

There's a lot of talk about environmentally friendly printing, but not so much in the wide-format sector because of the nature of the substrates typically in use. However, it's striking that many of the newer materials coming to market are being hailed as more sustainable offerings for this arena.

Drupa saw the launch of this larger version of SwissQprint’sexisting UV flatbed models. Nessan Cleary takes a closer look.

Among the new large-format printers launched at Drupa came the Nyala from SwissQprint, which will be handled in the UK by Spandex. The Nyala is a UV flatbed based on the same platform as SwissQprint’s existing Oryx and Impala flatbeds, but with a larger chassis giving it a 3.2 x 1.6m bed complete with a 3.2m wide roll-to-roll option. It has the same solid engineering approach as the other models, hardly any surprise giving that most of the people behind SwissQprint used to work on Zund’s UV printers, setting up their own company when Zund opted to concentrate on cutting tables.

Nessan Cleary reckons this new latex printer is likely to drive further take-up of this environmentally friendly inkjet technology.

One of the more exciting announce-ments from this year’s Fespa Digital show was Mimaki’s move into latex printing with its new JV400. This is built on a brand new chassis, developed as a platform for several new printers to come, including one using SUV inks that was announced at Fespa and will be launched later this summer.

With the main trade shows of 2012 done and dusted it’s time to assess the technological trends they highlighted in the wide-format arena.

So, we’re midway through the year and we’ve had three big exhibitions - Fespa Digital, Sign and Digital, and Drupa - with all their attendant announcements and product launches, but have we seen anything that's really new in terms of technology for the large-format display graphics sector? Rather than simply list the various announcements, which we’ve already covered through the previews and the news pages, here we’ll look at the bigger themes and trends highlighted by the events.

Nessan Cleary reports on the technical trends and developments related to superwide inkjet printers.

There’s wide-format and then there’s superwide - but it can be hard to define exactly what a superwide printer should be. Obviously these are going to be wider printers, but how wide? 

Epson has a brand new solvent printer aimed firmly at the outdoor signage market. Nessan Cleary takes a look. 

Epson launched the SureColor SC S30600 at the Fespa Digital show in Barcelona earlier this year and these are now beginning to trickle into the UK.

Things are happening that will push through the barriers wide-format has with VDP adoption. Nessan Cleary explains.

Variable data is one of the great promises of digital printing, making it possible to vary parts of a job across a complete run. We’ve all seen examples of variable data printing because it’s a core technology in transactional printing on things like our bank statements. 

Your customers want print with a ‘wow’ factor? You can give it to them. John Charnock, director of Print Research International, looks at the special effects you can now incorporate.

‘Special effects’ is such a generic term that it could cover almost any type of print beyond four-colour output. But for the sake of this article let’s take a look at three key areas of development: effects with inks, with substrate and with software - or indeed the combination of any of the three.

Nessan Cleary reviews this entry-level printer which that claims the fastest speed in its class.

Fujifilm has launched the Acuity 1600 LED, a 1.6m hybrid printer built around a roll-fed chassis with tables supplied for handling rigid media. It’s built on a Mimaki chassis but product manager Gary Barnes says that it’s the Fujifilm technology that sets it aside: “This includes the ink that is developed by us and tuned for LED. That then passes through Q class heads from Fujifilm Dymatix, the same family that is used on the Inca Onset. And then there is the Fujifilm designed LED curing system.”