Star product: Duplo DuSense DDC-810

By Simon Eccles, Monday 22 May 2017

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Duplo breaks into digital spot varnishing with compact device.

duplo-dusense

What does it do?

The DuSense DDC-810 ‘Sensory Coater’ is a compact embellishment inkjet used to print clear UV spot varnish with the option of raised and textured finishes that resemble embossing. It can take sheets up to long B3 format (364x740mm) and register the spot coating to pre-printed images. 

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?

The machine was discussed and previewed in the US last year, but the official UK launch will be on 14-15 June at Duplo’s Summer Festival. There will also be previews at Grafitec and Dscoop. The international launch will be at Ipex in October.

Target users are those looking to add value cost-effectively through the use of raised effects. There is no need for embossing dies so very short runs or variable imaging is possible. Duplo says it’s intended for economical runs of one to 750 copies. 

How does it work?

It is essentially a single-colour, single-pass inkjet printer with 600dpi head arrays. It can produce variable-height effects of 20-80micron thicknesses in the same pass. This is modest compared with the Scodix (see Alternatives), which can achieve 250microns. Duplo says: “This technology enables the combination of heavy solids and fine detail in the same image, as well as smooth curves and detailing in beautiful fine lines, down to 6pt fonts.”

The artwork files can be PDF or TIFF formats, where the DuSense effect has been set up as a separate layer over the colour image and then extracted as a separate monochrome file. There are four thickness options, with texturing controlled by greyscale height mapping in the artwork.

The air suction feed and double-feed detector is based on Duplo’s existing AMS technology. Duplo points out that the long B3 sheet size could also be a B2-plus sheet cut in half lengthways. However the feeder capacity seems modest at 150mm high. 

The DuSense Sensory Coating fluid is supplied in three-litre vacuum sealed bags, with easy loading. Duplo says that three litres can print over 3,500 sheets with 40micron thickness and 15% coverage.

It is compatible with pre-printed media produced on HP Indigo (ElectroInk), offset printing or anything laminated with corona-treated OPP film. The high-gloss result is said to have a gloss level of 99 (the same as Scodix’s fluid), although Duplo says it has seen up to 104 in tests. It’s possible to put clear spot gloss onto matt ‘soft touch’ laminate to give a mirror-like result on metallic films.

Duplo says that is developing other Sensory Coating fluids to deliver other types of embellishment in due course.

Self-cleaning systems avoid the need for daily manual cleaning while the printer can be switched off and left unused for up to five days, after which it can be ready to run in minutes, Duplo says. 

Twin cameras and the Duplo IRM (Image Register Mark) aid alignment, with a claimed 0.2mm accuracy along the entire sheet length. There is automatic setup and adjustment for every sheet, extending from XY image shift to stretch, skew and twist that are common after laminating. This is all performed in real-time. 

The built-in controller and screen are Windows based. The DuSense GUI allows other Windows-compatible software such as Acrobat and image editing programs to be run on the operator console. The software can also be installed in the pre-press department to use the integral job preparation tools, as well as for estimating.

How does it differ from previous products?

This is Duplo’s first digital spot varnishing device, although the company has sold overall UV coaters for years.

How fast/productive is it?

DuSense can run at 1,080sph (SRA3/B3). Duplo says that, for example, it could run a 600-sheet job on 250gsm media in 30 minutes with unattended operation. As the UV coating cures instantly the sheets are ready for further finishing operations right away. Duplo points out that cutter-creaser multi-finishers such as its DC-646 and DC-746 will cut without crushing the 3D effects that bleed over the edge, where a guillotine might damage them. 

What’s the USP?

It is the first digital embellishment system from Duplo, although MGI and Scodix produce broadly similar systems in a range of formats, mostly at higher list prices and with higher raised effects. The DuSense is notably more compact than the others, but its maximum sheet width is less too. 

What training and support is on offer?

Training is provided on installation by Duplo. Service support packages can be tailored to customer needs, says Duplo

How much does it cost?

The list price will be £139,000.

What’s the sales status and targets. 

No targets revealed. The first UK customer, Flexpress in Leicester, is taking delivery on the day this issue is published, 22 May. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Max sheet size 364x740mm

Resolution 600x600dpi

Image height 10-80microns

Substrate weight range 157–450gsm (paper)

Max speed 1,080sph (SRA3/B3)

Footprint 3.5x1.8m 

Price £139,000

Contact Duplo International 01932 263900 www.duplouk.com


ALTERNATIVES

MGI JetVarnish 3DS

Smallest of the JetVarnish range, but with the usual MGI long sheet facility and a 300mm feeder/stacker capacity. The iFoil spot metal foiling unit is optional, as is variable data imaging. This model is configured for digital print and is exclusively sold through Konica Minolta in the UK.

Max sheet size 364x1,020mm

Resolution 1,200dpi

Image height 30-100microns

Substrate weight range 135-450gsm

Max speed 1,624sph at 30micron height

Footprint 5.5x1m 

Price around £200,000

Contact Konica Minolta 0800 833864 www.konicaminolta.co.uk

Scodix S75

Currently the entry level model in the Scodix range (the B3+ S52 has been dropped). It costs a lot more than the Duplo, but takes larger and thicker sheets and has a much greater maximum print thickness.

Max sheet size 530x750mm

Resolution 2,540x360dpi

Image height up to 250microns

Substrate weight range 135–675gsm

Substrate max thickness 700microns

Max speed 1,200sph

Footprint 4.5x1.9m 

Price £225,000

Contact Scodix +972 3 903 3371 scodix.com


USER REVIEW

“We’re looking for new niches to appeal to the trade and short run spot UV and embellishment is still hard to get affordably. If it does what it says on the tin I’ll give it five stars!”

Steve Wenlock, managing director, Flexpress, Leicester

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