What did you think of the product launches in the large-format inkjet space in 2017? Here’s what particularly caught the eye of Image Reports’ editorial team, which has bestowed an annual Angel Award upon each…
“This new printer redefines the boundaries of roll-to-roll printing,” was the claim of Mark Lawn at Canon Europe. The first printer to use the company’s UVgel technology, this 55,000 Euro four-colour machine - which has a top running speed of 159m2/hr (40m2/hr in best quality mode) - is said to fill a gap in the market between what Canon Europe executive VP Jeppe Frandsen defined as “low-end eco-solvent and latex, and high-end UV and latex and UV roll-to-roll printers” and bring together the benefits of eco-solvent, latex and UV technologies. Expect a whole family of UVgel-based printers to come.
This is Epson’s new flagship high-volume dye-sublimation textile printer that replaces the SC-F9200. With a top running speed of 108.6m2/h, other advantages of the SC-F9300 include using Epson’s Precision Dot technology and the company’s wide gamut CMYK input profile, which combines with UltraChrome DS inks to ensure the maximum possible colour gamut
Designed for light production, the Acuity 15 has a 1.25 x 2.5m bed as well as an optional roll-to-roll unit and is available with the Uvijet KN multipurpose ink system or Uvijet KV thermoforming ink, with both Uvijet ink ranges enabling CMYK and white ink printing. It’s able to print to media up to 50.8mm thick, and has a top print speed of 23m2/hr.
It was at ISA Sign Expo that HP first announced these machines - the 54in HP Latex 315 and 64in HP Latex 335. Representing the first latex print-and-cut solutions, these dual devices have a tightly connected printer and cutter (a very slim model just behind the printer) and offer simultaneous printing and cutting in a single workflow but with the flexibility of separate units.
This is an eight-channel B1 machine built on the same platform as the Onset X series and Spyder X with Dimatix 7ng printheads and using Fujifilm inks (and sold by Fujifilm under its own branding). Two-stage UV curing using LED pinning on the print carriage is said to keep heat sensitive substrates cool during printing while a UV drier tunnel provides strong durability. Various levels of automation are available, ranging from manual and three-quarter automation through to the fully-automated option complete with feeder and stacker for around £385,000.
One of Sign and Digital UK's major launches - and subsequently shown at Fespa in its final version - was this LED-UV flatbed printer that can print at up to 206m2/hr at a top resolution of 1,080 x 720dpi. It can handle media up to 3.2 x 2.03m and 100mm thick, and up to seven layers can be printed to create 3D effects.
The Dragon, Scorpion and Eagle are suitable for different textile applications. The 1.9m-wide roll-to-roll Dragon is available in four- or eight-colours and can print up to 137m2/hr. It’s compatible with a range of inks. The Scorpion is a 1.9m-wide printer with the option of roll-to-roll or adhesive belt for stretched or knitted fabrics. Available with either 16 or 32 heads and four- or eight-colours, this is available with acid/pigment or reactive ink dyes and hits speeds of up to 550m2/hr. The 3.2m-wide Eagle also has the option of roll-to-roll or adhesive belt for stretched or knitted fabrics. This printer is predominantly aimed at the display graphics and home textiles markets for disperse or pigment inks with speeds of up to 543m2/hr.
This 64in wide machine uses OKI’s high-pigment eco solvent SX ink, incorporates technologies from higher-end models like automatic printer adjustments using optical colour sensors, Smart Pass 4, Smart Nozzle Mapping 3 and Dynamic Dot Printing, as well as H3-series features such as the Safe Scanning System - all for a list price of around 12,990 Euro including take-up unit, Onyx Rip Center and two-year warranty.
At the top of the year swissQprint launched 4×4 versions of the Nyala 2 and Impala 2 series that come configured with quadruple CMYK - either UV printer can be equipped with a roll-to-roll option, or a board option capable of handling media up to 4m long. The 4×4 3.2 x 2m flatbed Nyala 2 prints in quality mode at up to 100m²/hr. The highest colour gamut is reached in fine art mode, which produces up to 57m2/hr.
This automated production hub and workflow tool allows for integration with third-party print equipment, MIS solutions and with software like PrintSphere and StoreFront. Asanti 3 encompasses IntelliTune, which automatically analyses and improves image quality by optimising skin tones, for example, and boasts features such QuickProof, and has a user interface for tiling huge jobs. The dashboard displays all print jobs, the number of prints, status data of multiple engines, ink levels, elapsed time and more - all in one overview.
This 5.3m wide grand-format textile printer with inline fixation is also sold by OEM Gandy Digital as the Softjet 5000. It can print simultaneously onto media of two different widths. It comes with a CMYK or CMYK plus two spot colours offering, and uses Ricoh Gen5 printheads - six- or 12-heads - or Kyocera heads in a four, six- or eight-head configuration. The resolution from both printhead options is up to 1,200x600dpi.
This Rip and print management software allows users access to Roland’s library of media profiles and create their own ICC profiles. Features for special colour generation (Wh/Gl/Mt) have been introduced for spot-on pixel-to-pixel registration. Users can also create personalised output templates, use hot-folders and take advantage of advanced tiling and nesting tools.
Motion 20 LPI UV-LF has a viewing angle of 54in and a thickness of 1.95 mm and is suitable for the production of animation lenticular images on digital printers and flatbed printers direct to the lens or via lamination. It can be finished on an a cutting table or on a flatbed laser plotter.
And a special mention goes to …
Large-format trade printer Venture Banners developed this online print ordering system that it hopes will boost its trade and that of the PSPs it works with. A full description of the VB2 offering - so named because it follows an earlier system introduced in 2013 - can be found at: vb.media/feature-list/ but, basically, it’s a white label website designed to help you sell more print.