Star product: Océ Arizona 600

By Simon Eccles, Friday 16 August 2013

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June's Fespa saw the worldwide launch of Canon's Océ Arizona 600 series, the latest iteration of its flatbed UV-cured inkjet family.

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What sort of work are these printers for?

These are large-format fixed flatbed inkjets for printing with UV-cured inks on rigid media. They can optionally be fitted with roll-to-roll feeders for flexible media up to 2.2m wide. Typically, they will be used for signage on rigid display boards, POS dump bins on corrugated linerboard, backlit signage on clear plastics, or posters and banners on flexible media. They can also be used for ‘difficult’ media such as wood, metal or glass, up to 50.8mm thick.

Where would they fit in the marketplace?

Canon reckons there have been some 4,000 installations of Arizona flatbeds, saying that in the UK market they outsell all their competitors put together.

The new 600 models slot in at the top end of the range, replacing the 500 series.

What’s the difference between the models?

Compared to the 500 series, the speeds and sizes are the same as before, as are variable inkjet droplet sizes. There’s a new quality feature called active pixel placement, plus new user-selectable zones on the vacuum bed to cope with different sheet sizes.

A major new feature is that the two 660 models have six ink channels instead of five (the 640 models have four channels for CMYK only, but can be upgraded to six). On the original 500, the fifth channel was used for a white ink. The 660 models can now optionally print double-density white in both their fifth and sixth channels. Alternatively, the sixth channel can run a brand new, clear UV varnish.

Another option is the ability to print in higher-speed ‘production-squared’ mode: that is, double cyan and magenta in the fifth and sixth channels, boosting image quality and density without extra passes.

Dominic Fahy, business group manager for display graphics systems and imaging supplies at Canon UK, says it’s possible for users to switch ink colours in the fifth and sixth channels by using a flushing solution to clean out the feed lines and heads. This is a useful feature, as not all inkjets can switch ink colours without an engineer call-out and parts replacement.

As with the 500 series, there are two sizes: the 640/660 GT, with a 1.25x2.5m manually fed bed, and the 640/660 XT, with a double-sized 2.5x3.05m bed. The XTs can be used for larger sheets and boards, but just as importantly they can print a smaller sheet on one half of the bed, while the next one is being loaded on the other half.

Speeds depend on the quality level chosen, the number of head passes, plus the size of media. The greyscale heads produce droplets from 6 to 42 picolitres, for a balance of fine detail, smooth tones and speedy coverage.

What’s the USP?

Fahy says that the new production-squared mode is unique in its mid-range class.

What training and support is offered?

Standard pricing includes a year’s service and support, as well as two days’ operator training. The Onyx front-end/RIP provided as standard is widely used throughout the large-format sector, so many operators will already be familiar with it.

How much does it cost?

From £160,000 to £220,000.

What is the sales target and how many are currently installed worldwide and in the UK?

Canon isn’t disclosing its targets. There are no UK installations yet, but a couple have been installed in Scandinavia.


SPECIFICATIONS

Bed size GT: 1.25x2.5m; XT: 2.5x3.05m

Max media thickness 50.8mm

Print quality Variable sized droplets from 6-42 picolitres, 6pt minimum text size

Curing lamps Mercury vapour

Print speeds Express mode: 60sqm/hr; Production mode: 37.5sqm/hr (640)/ 37.5-47.5sqm/hr (660 in CCMMYK mode); Fine art mode: 17sqm/hr

Price From £160,000 to £220,000 depending on size and options

Contact Derek Joys, 01277 846264, derek.joys@ cuk-canon.co.uk


ALTERNATIVES

Agfa Anapurna M2540FB

The largest dedicated flatbed in Agfa’s M series of UV printers. It has paired sets of vacuum zones, so you can print one board while positioning the next. There are seven channels (CMYK, LC, LM and white).

Bed size 1.56x2.56m

Max media thickness 45mm

Print quality 12 picolitre droplets, non-greyscale, text down to 4pt

Curing lamps Mercury vapour

Print speeds draft: 45sqm/hr; production: 26-28sqm/hr; photo: 8sqm/hr

Price £94,870

Contact Agfa UK 020 8231 4929 www.agfa.com

 

Fujifilm Acuity Advance Select HS 5000 series

Acuity Advance flatbeds are re-badged Océ Arizonas, running Fujifilm’s Uvistar inks.The Advance Select 5006 and 5226 X2 are equivalent to six-channel Arizona 660 GT and XT, while the 5004 and 5224 X2 are equivalent to the CMYK 640 GT and XT.

Bed size 1.25x2.5ms (GT models), 2.5x3.05m (XT)

Max media thickness 50.8mm

Print quality Variable droplet sizes from 6-42 picolitres, 6pt minimum text size

Curing lamps Mercury vapour

Print speeds maximum: 60sqm/hr; production: 37.5-47.5sqm/hr; finest: 17sqm/hr

Price From £132,000

Contact Fujifilm 01234 245245 www.fujifilm.eu/uk

 

HP Scitex FB700

The FB700 has six ink channels for CMYK, LC and LM, and a white option. Up to six sheets can be printed simultaneously by a combination of auto­matic alignment bar and camera detection.

Max sheet size 1.22x2.5m

Max media thickness 64mm

Print quality Up to 1,200 x600dpi

Curing lamps Mercury vapour

Print speeds billboard: 80sqm/hr; photo: 7sqm/hr Adding white halves the speeds

Price £99,000

Contact HP 01344 363368 www.hp.com

 

Mimaki JFX500-2131

The only flatbed in this list with LED cool-curing lamps. There’s no roll-feed option. Three ink types are available for 150% stretch flexibility (CMYK and white), hard finish (CMYK and white), or smooth tones (CMYK, LC, LM and white).

Bed size 2.1x3.1m

Max media thickness 50mm

Print quality Variable droplet sizes from 4 picolitres, up to 1,200dpi, 2pt text

Curing lamps LED

Print speeds CMYK: 60-24sqm/hr; CMYK and white: 45-17sqm/hr

Price £125,000

Contact Hybrid Services 01270 501900 www.hybridservices.co.uk

 

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