PrintWeek’s rundown of what's new on the stands at this year's wide-format expo in Amsterdam.
Canon 1, F100/F120
Canon will be showing for the first time in Europe its newly launched 1200 series of Océ Arizona UV flatbed printers. The manufacturer said the new machines offer significant improvement in quality, versatility and ease of use. The Arizona 1240, 1260 and 1280 models are said to be ideal for businesses in the sign and display industry, speciality print producers, reprographers and photo labs, and print at up 35m2/hr in express mode. The range borrows features from the 6100 series launched at Fespa 2015 in Cologne and introduces a number of new features. There are two bed sizes – 1.25x2.5m and 2.5x3.08m – and an additional roll media option for flexible media up to 2.2m-wide. The devices feature Océ VariaDot grayscale print quality, can use up to six colours and can also be equipped with white and varnish, with an added optional addition of light cyan and light magenta ink.
DGI 5, N30
Korean manufacturer DGI will be exhibiting its latest wide-format inkjet, the Velajet VE-1904X high-speed eco-solvent printer for the first time. The VE-1904X employs 1,600-nozzle high-resolution Panasonic printheads and can output at up to 260m2/hr. The printer produces a variable dot size of 3-11pl and is most suited to printing on flexible banner materials and vinyl. The printer accepts rolls up to 1.9m wide and uses DGI’s ES210 eco solvent ink. The printer is fitted with eight printheads in a staggered configuration and can print at a max resolution of 720x1,440dpi.
Durst 1, H100
Durst’s Water Technology (DWT) will take centre stage on its booth at Fespa, with the Italian industrial inkjet specialist once again demonstrating the Rho WT 250 HS, which was premiered last year. However, the Amsterdam show will also act as the springboard for the new Rhotex 500, which also uses DWT and, according to the manufacturer, is the world’s first 5m-wide dye-sub printer for the industrial production of soft-signage and fabrics. Durst will also bring its Alpha 190 to Fespa. The 1.9m-wide multi-pass textile printer, which was launched last November, is targeted at fashion applications and is now available for shipping. Another highlight will be a highly automated version of the Rho 1312 flatbed printer, the Rho 1312 AF, which will be shown demonstrating “new standards” in automation.
EFI will use Fespa as the European launch pad for four machines. The highlight will no doubt be the Vutek HS125 Pro, the fastest ever Vutek. The flagship 3.2m wide hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll machine was premiered in the US in November along with another 3.2m wide hybrid, the Vutek 3LX Pro LED printer, and the EFI H1625-SD an entry-level, 1.65m wide UV hybrid printer running EFI SuperDraw UV ink for thermoforming applications. Another new printer is the Vutek FabriVU 340 soft signage printer, based on Reggiani’s technology. All four will have their European debuts at next month’s Fespa. The 2016 event will also be the first Fespa where EFI will showcase Reggiani products, following EFI’s acquisition of the Italian textile printer manufacturer last year. The star attraction will no doubt be the EFI Reggiani ReNoir Next, a 200m2/hr, 1.8m-wide beltless “entry-level” version of Reggiani’s ReNoir machine. EFI will also show the EFI Matan Quantum, a 3.5m roll-to-roll printer with HD image quality based thanks to its 7pl drops, three grayscale levels and LED UV-curing.
Epson 1, F50
Epson is to debut four new additions to its SureColor range of aqueous, solvent and dye-sublimation inkjet printers: the 10-colour SureColor SC-S80600, the high-speed double-CMYK SureColor SC-S60600, the four-colour SureColor SC-S40600, and the super-fast aqueous SureColor SC-P20000. The new formulation UltraChrome GS3 inkset range means the SC-S range can be supplied in confugurations from four to 10 colours. The new printers offer a choice of quality modes for backlit panels, POS materials, vehicle wraps, wallpaper and photo canvases and up to 95.3m2/hr single-pass productivity for exhibition/display graphics. Epson said customers would benefit from a substantial reduction in ink prices and “significantly lower ink consumption” as a result of the improved chemistry in the new GS3 inkset. The aqueous SureColor SC-P20000 features the new UltraChrome Pro 10-colour inkset and delivers high quality print at speeds of up to 17.5m2/hr. According to Epson, this printer is ideal for the creation of high-quality, large-format POS, short-term outdoor/interior signage, display graphics, promotional graphics and photographs.
Fujifilm 1, H70
Fujifilm said it will have a number of new product launches but as of the time of publication, had not revealed what they are. It will, however, be hosting an array of print applications and hardware demonstrations on its stand, including the new Acuity LED 1600 II roll printer, unveiled at the end of 2015. The Acuity LED 1600 II features a new fast printing mode of 33m2/hr, 50% faster than the previous model. Fujifilm said this addresses customer demands for quicker job turnarounds and lower output cost. The machine, which has a maximum print width of 1.61m, and a 1,200dpi maximum resolution, also offers simultaneous two-layer printing (white plus clear) and three-layer printing (colour plus white and clear) when combined with Caldera or ColorGate RIP software.
Gandy Digital 1, H21
Canadian wide-format equipment manufacturer Gandy Digital will unveil its latest machine, the 5m-wide roll-to-roll Fascin8tor. The firm said the machine would deliver large-format prints with very low ink consumption, without compromising print quality and regardless of speed. It is aimed at printers looking to increase their productivity, extend their application portfolio and maximise their job profitability. The device, which prints at 1,200dpi and handles substrates up to 50mm thick, uses Gandy Digital’s Blade technology and combines eight Ricoh Gen4 printheads per colour. The printer uses fixed dot printing, which the manufacturer said ensures cost-effective, high print quality in all printing modes and speeds. The machine can print directly onto mesh without a liner for applications including outdoor billboards.
Hollanders 1, G150
Hollanders is to unveil the ColorBooster DS, a double-sided 3.2m-wide textile printer with integrated fixation that the firm said will open up new routes to market in textiles printing. Chief executive Jacco Aartsen Tuijn said: “We are not only opening the market for double-sided signage but also for double-sided home decoration and fashion.” According to Hollanders, wovens can be printed and fixed in one step as with double-sided soft signage. It said these high-quality, double-sided coloured fabrics are now achievable at much lower production costs, which would lead to a growth in potential consumers and more creative possibilities. The ColorBooster DS is available in two print widths: 2.1m and 3.17m. It prints with 12 Seiko 508GS printheads per side, although it is also available with 16 heads per side. It has a variable drop size of 12-36pl and can print in up to eight colours.
HP 1, H40
Unsurprisingly, HP will be bringing a vast array of machines to Fespa Digital from its Latex, Scitex PageWide and DesignJet portfolios. However, its centerpiece will arguably be the latest incarnation of its WallArt Suite, its web-to-print platform for SMEs in the decoration space. Developed for Latex users, it’s the first HP web-to-print platform to integrate everything from design to quotes to customer orders. In terms kit at the show, HP will be running four Latex machines, 310, 360, 370 and 3500 models, its flagship PageWide machine, the XL 8000, a Scitex FB750 industrial printer and a brace of DesignJets – all running a variety of applications.
InkTec 1, J50 and J71
InkTec will use Fespa Digital to launch its first LED UV printer, the Jetrix LX5. The new flatbed machine features Konica Minolta six-picolitre printheads and can be configured with either four (CMYK), six (CMYK plus double-hit white) or seven (CMYK, double-hit white plus varnish or primer) colour channels. Capable of 39m2/hr in production mode and 11m2/hour in fine-art mode, the LX5 can be specified with an optional roll-to-roll unit. On its dedicated ink booth, InkTec will also launch the latest addition to its range of third-party inks: a new solvent and dye sublimation inkset for the Mimaki JV300.
Kornit 5, M20
Kornit will be showing the Storm II industrial direct-to-garment printer at Fespa, as well as the 300-garment per hour Avalanche 1000, which will be running what Kornit describes as a “giant print solution” featuring a 1.4x1m printing pallet. There are also rumours that it might also be planning a launch at Fespa, but Kornit is staying tight-lipped for the moment.
Mimaki 1, E15
Mimaki said it would be putting a strong emphasis on textiles printing, hinting at “surprise” product launches for the sector, although it is not revealing what. It has recently launched new inks to increase the versatility of its TS300P-1800 wide-format printer, a dye-sublimation inkjet machine for textile applications that was launched last year.
The new inks include light black, neon yellow and fluorescent pink inks. “Fluorescent colours are in increasingly high demand in the fashion and sportswear markets. We introduced yellow and pink because with this combination it can also make green,” said Mimaki EMEA general marketing manager Mike Horsten. “With these new neon inks, designers and garment manufacturers will be able to extend the potential of digital printing solutions to the production of high quality running clothes and other applications that are personalised, or have unique designs and need to stand out for safety or fashion purposes.” Mimaki is again sponsoring the Wrap Masters competition, in which competitors will be wrapping a vintage Audi on the Mimaki stand as part of the competition final, which runs over the last two days of the show.
Mutoh 1, F130
Mutoh will be exhibiting the two new additions to its ValueJet X series. The new single-head 1.37m-wide ValueJet 1324X and the dual-head 2.6m-wide ValueJet 2638X models have replaced the VJ-1324 and VJ-2648 printers. The machines, which are engineered and manufactured in Japan, join the 1.62m-wide ValueJet 1624X single-head and ValueJet 1638X dual-head models in the ValueJet X series. Mutoh commercial marketing manager Nick Decock said: “These machines bring even more reliable quality compared to the previous generation and we’ve integrated more comfort.” The two new printers incorporate micro piezo head technology. The 2638X incorporates two printheads mounted in a staggered configuration while the 1324X includes a single printhead. The printhead can produce ink droplets from 3.5-35.2pl. Each variable drop printhead has eight channels with 180 nozzles per channel. The ValueJet X series printers are suitable for long-term outdoor and indoor sign and display applications such as posters, banners, backlit signage, wall coverings, POS displays, fine art reproductions, vehicle graphics and stickers. Both printers can be used with Mutoh Eco Ultra or Universal Mild Solvent (UMS) inks to deliver sellable production speeds at 720x720dpi up to 16.4m2/hr on the 1324X and 39m2/hr on the 2638X, on both vinyl and banner.
Polyprint 5, K112
Greek textiles printing specialist Polyprint will be exhibiting a brand new addition to its TexJet range of direct-to-garment printers, the TexJet shorTee. The company described the new printer as its most affordable and most compact device to date and it is targeted at the entry-level end of the t-shirt printing market. The company won’t reveal much in advance of the show but the new machine is likely to employ the technology used in the other machines in the range, the TexJet Plus Advanced and the TexJet Plus Long.
Roland DG 1, E120
Roland DG, which will be celebrating 35 years of operation, will show the LEF-300, the latest addition to the VersaUV series of UV-LED flatbed inkjets, for the first time. The device can print on a wide variety of substrates including acrylic, wood, board, plastic, metal and glass plus fabrics and soft materials such as leather and ‘eco-leather’. It prints directly onto items including pens, mobile phone cases, customised corporate merchandise, signs, personalised awards, giftware, industrial goods and product prototypes. Features of the machine include an enlarged printing area of 770x330mm, which is 50% more than the previous model, and it can accommodate items up to 100mm in depth and 8kg in weight. Thin and soft materials are held in place by a vacuum table. In CMYK ink configuration the device, which has four printheads and two UV-LED lamps, enables bi-directional printing approximately 60% faster than the LEF-20. In addition, the number of white and clear (gloss) ink nozzles have been doubled for faster printing, increased density and opacity and faster build-up of multiple layers for textured effects. The machine, which comes equipped with the new Roland VersaWorks Dual RIP software, uses Roland DG’s Eco-UV ink in CMYK, White and Clear (gloss). The firm said this ink ensures high-quality durable print and reduces the shrinkage of thin film materials. All colours are available in 220ml ink cartridges and CMYK and Clear (gloss) are also available in 500ml cartridges. The Roland booth will be divided into five technology zones to showcase devices and software from across the Roland product portfolio; including personalisation, integrated print-and-cut, print, textile and UV.
Screen Europe 4, K40
Screen Europe will show the latest iteration of its Truepress Jet 3200UV flatbed printer publicly for the first time. The 150m2/hr Truepress Jet 3200UV HS was launched in 2014. A further upgrade last year added an optional 3.2m-wide roll-to-roll system. The new HS2 model, which replaces the HS, further enhances the machine with an additional range of speed and quality boosting features that the firm said will open up the press to a wider market and boost the capabilities of existing users. New features include Billboard Print mode, which uses five-pass, bidirectional printing and boosts the machine’s top speed to 184m2/hr. The manufacturer said this mode significantly reduces the turnaround time for outdoor advertising and other materials generally viewed at a distance of more than five metres. Meanwhile, the new Super Fine Photo mode, which prints at around 15 to 18m2/hr, improves on the existing Fine Photo mode and is suitable for high-definition imagery. The other major enhancement is an upgrade to the printer’s drive systems that enables it to carry loads of up to 75kg, a significant increase on the previous maximum weight of 40kg. Screen Europe said this allows printers to take on heavier wood, stone and glass substrates while improving safety, print quality and job flexibility at the same time. The printer also features a new enhanced maintenance and cleaning system, which ensures minimum down time. Automatic cleaning is said to save 10% to 15% on annual ink costs and cut down operator intervention. The manufacturer will demonstrate the machine in both roll-to-roll and flatbed modes on a range of flexible and rigid substrates and also demonstrate the printer’s existing capabilities including multilayer spot silk, day/night, backlit and relief printing.