Product review: Agfa Jeti 3324 solvent RTR

Noel D'cunha
Friday, September 30, 2011

This high quality solvent large-format printer which has 13 installations in India produces rejection-free production because of its high-definition camera, reports Noel D'Cunha

Launched in 2004, the Jeti 3324 solvent roll-to-roll was unquestionably the fastest 3.3-meter grand-format printer on the market. The machine, originally a Gandinnovations product, came under the purview of Agfa after Agfa bought Gandi out of administration at the end of 2009.
According to Manesh Shetty, manager for marketing and sales (India & SAARC) at Agfa India, the machine "defined high quality solvent printing" because of its "true 600dpi (1,200 apparent) and six-colour graphics" put it in a class of its own. "It produced quality grand-format prints with low maintenance and a cost unheard of at that time because of its automatic head-capping feature, vibrant colour and Spectra-head technology." He continues to say, it still does.

Over a period of time, the Jeti 3324 solvent, was pimped up with a UV version and in 2007 as the Aquajet direct-to-textile printers. While the Aquajet is yet to debut in India, there are 13 installations of the Jeti 3324 solvent machines in India. The 3324 machines are installed at Big Vision, 100 Percent Digital, Bombay Advertisers and Bharat Copy Centre in Mumbai; Ink Float, Sign Wave in Pune, Ace Media in Bengaluru and Interscan, Roop Graphics and Amitoje in New Delhi; Cosmic in Bokaro and Ambica Traders in Ranchi.

Agfa’s technoloy-path is interesting, which at heart is still a consumable firm. Some five years ago, at Fespa in Munich, Afga hitched its future to inkjet. Though the firm’s focus is on UV-cured inks and printers, it still continues to manufacture solvent-based printers.  "Agfa is the only company which manufactures solvent machines and is approved across corporates. Besides the Jeti 3324, our range includes Jeti 3312, which has an installed base of 55 machines in India, and Jeti 3348 HSS (high speed solvent)."

Unique options
According to Agfa, the 3324 is the only large-format printer which uses high-definition camera. The camera targets the front of the image. Upon flipping the image for the backside printing, the software adjusts the ink density and dot placement for perfect alignment. This method eliminates manual adjustments resulting in rejection-free production with capability of printing (back-to-back) 5,000 sq/ft per day. "It’s perfect for back-lit application printing," says Shetty.

On the development front, Agfa has looked at ways to improve the Jeti 3324/ Jeti 3312 solvent machine. "Introduction of low-cost inks is on the anvil," says Shetty.

Multiple sizes
The Jeti 3324 is also available with a back-lit option enabling printing on both sides with perfect registration, which according to Agfa, allows for brilliant warranted backlit signage. Further it is also available in a 300 dpi four-colour high speed model achieving between 100 -130 sqm/hr (1075-1205 sq ft/hour) depending on quality requirements for extra large images such as billboards.

At the forefront of the technological enhancements is the software upgrade which can detect if any individual nozzle may be misfiring. The software will automatically compensate the saturation, safe-guarding the image output. This safe-proof technology, according to Agfa, is the first of its kind in the grand-format arena. Also included with the automatic head capping feature (auto caps in 15 minutes if machine sets) is an automated air vacuum system which eliminates manual head wiping.
Shetty says that customers attending its show often come with specific requirements in their mind. "Be it banner, backlit, vehicle wraps, and stickers, display graphics, signage, exhibition work and other work, Agfa Jeti 3324 is able to accomplish the task with ease, speed and a very high quality," he says.
In terms of RIPs, the Jeti is compatible with Ergosoft, Onyx Postershop, Wasatch Softrip and Caldera. Shetty concludes: "The best thing about the 3324 is its versatility. While it suits a broad range of users, it also provides a substantial creative resource for different sets of users."

Agfa will continue to  manufacture and  provide spares across the Jeti 3324 and its solvent products and services for at least few years from now.

Specifications

Technology
Spectra water-based special edition piezoelectric jetting assembly
Print Resolution 400 dpi six-colour
Media Dimensions Roll substrate max size: 10 feet 6 inch (3.2 metre) wide
Media Types Prints on most polyester fabrics
Printing Speeds Up to 650 sqft/hr (65m2/hr)
Printer Dimensions (hxwxl) 67 x 84 x 228 inch

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