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Wed, Aug

Angel Awards 2012: Heaven sent

It’s again time for Image Reports to hand out its annual Angel Awards in recognition of products, introduced to the UK during the last year, which it considers most innovative and likely to have an impact in the wide-format sector. The winners in 2012 are…

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swissQprint Nyala

This 3.2m x 1.6m flatbed with 3.2m roll-to-roll option was launched at Drupa and has since been upgraded to offer a tandem print function so that it can handle panels up to 3.2m x 4m.  Nyala has nine colour channels: in addition to CMYK it can handle white, light/special colours, effect varnish and even primer for printing on glass.

Durst Rho P10

The Rho P10 UV printer range includes two flatbed models (the 2m wide P10 200 and 2.5m wide P10 250) and a P10 320R 3.2m wide roll-to-roll version. These use Durst’s Quadro Array printhead with a 10 picolitre drop size to deliver up to 1,000dpi resolution. The flatbeds run at 175m2/hr (P10 200) and 200m2/hr (P10 250), both models taking substrates up to 40mm thick. The P10 320R can print at up to 153m2/hr at 800 x 600dpi resolution.

Mimaki TX500-1800DS

A direct-to-textile printer capable of printing at 150m2/hr on pre-treated polyester fabrics. It has six printheads in a staggered configuration, a built-in heater, a mist absorption filter and degassing module for optimal printing. It uses Mimaki’s new Sb300 sublimation ink and comes in six-colour and four-colour modes. The printer can accept rolls of fabric up to 60kg and 300mm in diameter.

Mimaki JV400 series

The first non-HP wide-format latex ink machine and the first from any manufacturer to incorporate a white ink. The machine, launched at Fespa Digital in February, comes in two print widths (1.3m and 1.6m) and uses Mimaki’s own LX100 ink, an aqueous resin-based latex ink. It is jetted through a piezo printhead so there’s a lot less heat than with the thermal printhead used by HP.Mimaki has also demonstrated a version of the JV400 using SUV inks that mix solvent and UV inks together for a glossy finish said to be durable and flexible.

Epson SureColor SC-S30600

Fespa Digital saw the introduction of this 64in, four-colour roll-fed printer which also won an EDP Award this year for what judges described as a “price /performance ratio that is a breakthrough with such high quality output.” It has print speeds of up to 29.4m2/hour (depending on printing mode) and maximum resolution of 1440 x 1440dpi. At Drupa Epson added to the range with the white and metallic ink capable 64in wide SureColor SC-S70600 and the SureColor SC-S50600, a 64in four-colour plus white machine.

Fujifilm Acuity LED1600

Designed as an entry-level model for those wanting to get into UV production, this is a 1.6m hybrid roll-to-roll/flatbed printer using UV inks and LED curing that starts at under £70,000. It takes media up to 161cm wide and rigid sheet substrates up to 2.4 x 1.2m and up to 13mm thick. It offers six ink colours plus white and clear ink as standard.

Zund S3

This is baby brother to the G3 and another winner of one of the 2012 EDP Awards, with the judges describing it as “fast, compact and affordable, bringing exceptionally high quality level of finishing to a new market - small to medium sized companies.” The series initially has six machines, ranging from 133 x 80cm, up to the top of the range 180 x 160cm.

Barbieri SpectroPad

This battery-operated device is the first portable spectrophotometer with 6mm measuring aperture for professional digital printing. It’s wireless operation and independence from a computer means it can be used directly on the large-format substrates on the actual printer. Jobs can be stored in the device and measurement results (if requested) sent via WiFi to a computer.

Global Graphics Jaws Rip 3.0

The Jaws Rip is used by the likes of Wasatch, Onyx, Quark and Canon Finetech. Version 3.0 contains new features for wide-format, specialty printing and software applications, and is said to provide performance increases averaging up to 500% over its predecessor. Features include improved transparency tiling and optimised blending for faster processing, enhanced support for ICC colour correction and improved font handling and compatibility.

GMG ProductionSuite

ProductionSuite is GMG’sfirst wide-format management solution. It comes as a modular system, comprising Editor, Rip, SmartProfiler and PrintStation. It also includes EcoSave, which can help reduce ink usage without affecting colour quality. The packages, which have recalibratable spot colors, editing options, support around 800 output devices. It will run on Mac and PC.

Optimus Cloud

The Optimus Cloud MIS system was introduced at Fespa Digital and will work with the company’s main 2020 MIS as well as its newer Dash MIS software. Optimus Cloud integrates with Adobe’s InDesign to let customers order jobs online, complete with the ability to edit designs before sending a PDF direct to the bureaux. Customers can also use it to order pre-defined jobs and to keep track of jobs.

Cooley EnviroFlex

This is a 5m wide polyethylene-based banner material that can be melted down and repurposed. It was developed by Cooley in conjunction with Dow Chemical for the 2012 Olympic Stadium but is now available commercially. The lightweight, 100% recyclable media is thought to have a 60% lower-carbon footprint than traditional PVC.

Heytex Soft Blueback

For the textile sector, Heytex launched what has been standard in the paper market for quite some time: the blue back of the new HeyTex Soft Blueback banner material which allows for the reproduction of brilliant white. It comes in seamless width of up to 5m, has 1500/1200 N/5cm tear resistance, high scratch resistance and is flame retardant. The substrate weighs 340gsm and can be printed with all standard digital print systems and inks.