Epson has launched a new dye-sublimation textile printer, the 1.6m-wide SureColor SC-F9300.
The new roll-to-roll machine is an upgrade on and will replace the Fespa 2015-launched SC-F9200. It is priced at £16,595, the same as the F9200.
Epson sales manager Phil McMullin said that the main improvement on the new machine is a new feed mechanism to help avoid cockling on thin substrates of minimum 40gsm, and there are also speed improvements.
“We have been very successful over the last two years with our S series of signage printers and one of the key developments of that was the feed mechanism, so we’ve taken that proven feed mechanism from the signage range and we’ve put it into the F9300,” said McMullin.
“When feeding media at great speeds it’s really rampaging through the printer and the thin media when it gets a bit warm could ruck up and cause damage so we are looking at minimising that by keeping the tension consistent.
“This will enable more reliable feeding for long jobs, really just making sure the accuracy of the print is spot on."
Printing at maximum speeds of up to 108.6sqm/hr, more than 10sqm/hr faster than the F9200, at a maximum resolution of 720x1,440dpi, the CMYK machine has an improved colour gamut, using Epson’s UltraChrome DS inks. Whereas previously it relied on third-party RIPs, it is now partnered with Epson Edge Print RIP software.
“We’re not at this stage introducing any colours to the mix but from additional work we’ve done with Precision Dot technology we believe you are getting the widest possible gamut you can get even compared to printers using additional colours,” added McMullin.
Epson’s Precision Dot technology incorporates a halftone module and a micro-weave to eliminate graininess and banding.
Other main features include a large diameter friction roller for accurate media feeding, a new printhead guard and Oeko-Tex Eco Passport certification.
McMullin added that the main marketplace for the machine is in the textile printing hubs of Italy, Spain and Turkey, but that “more and more UK high street names are trying to shorten logistic cycles and produce what they need in the shops".
“A lot of companies are bringing textile printing back to the UK, places like Leicester in particular are seeing a resurgence in textile printing,” he said.
The SC-F9300 will be handed its first UK showing at next month’s The Print Show in Telford.
It’s been a busy quarter for Epson launches this year, with a new short-run label press being shown for the first time at this week’s LabelExpo, becoming commercially available straight after.