Ilford targets backlit photo displays with inkjet media

By Pamela Mardle, Tuesday 18 December 2012

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Specialist inkjet media manufacturer Ilford has launched the Omnijet Display Trans media kit in Europe as a replacement for silver halide-based backlit display printing.

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Ilford has launched a photo-quality inkjet film for backlit displays

The Display Trans media kit, which includes a photo-quality translucent display film and two rolls of laminates for back and front hot lamination, has been developed in partnership with wide-format printer manufacturer Epson.

The film is available in 1,270mm and 1,520mm wide rolls of 40m in length and has been optimised for use with the Epson Ultrachrome K3 and HDR inksets used in printers such as the 1,626mm wide Epson Stylus Pro 11880 aqueous printer.

According to Ilford, the inkjet-based Display Trans kit is more cost-efficient for backlit media printing than the traditional RA-4 silver halide process used by Kodak's Duratrans backlit display material.

The kit replaces the need for the chemicals used in the Duratrans process, reducing cost and storage requirements, while heightening the safety of the procedure, Ilford claimed.

While the actual printing is said to be 30% slower than traditional Duratrans processing, Ilford emphasised the "superb" quality of the end printed product.

Two RIPs, Caldera and Onyx, have been developed for the production process, which both offer maximum quality or maximum production modes depending on the final output requirements of a job.

A spokesperson for the company said that the cost of the Omnijet Display Trans kit and inks used on the Epson 11880 was cheaper than the typical price of the films and chemicals needed for silver halide printing, but added that no retail price was available yet.

He added that the cost, maintenance and set-up of the machinery was also cheaper than the comparative process as it eliminated the need for a chemical handling expert. It is likely that the kits will be distributed through Ilford’s existing suppliers, but reseller deals are yet to be finalised.  The Omnijet Display Trans Media Kit is available directly from Ilford now.

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