Star product: Signracer 3200 H-LED

By Simon Eccles, Monday 09 January 2017

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A high-quality large-format output at a more affordable price.

signracer-sp

What does the printer do?

The Signracer 3200 H-LED is a large-format UV-LED cured inkjet printer designed to print high-quality graphics at up to 3.2m wide. The range includes hybrid, flatbed and roll-to-roll models. The 3200 H-LED is so far the only superwide printer to use the latest Ricoh Gen5s printhead, which offers drop sizes down to 2.5pl. This allows for photo quality on very large-format jobs, though the usual drop size is 6pl. The list price is pretty keen. 

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at? 

The 3200 H-LED was launched in early 2016. According to Scott Armitage, managing director of UK distributor SSE: “There is noticeable demand in the marketplace from printers looking for flexibility and machines capable of multiple applications and products with added value. This printer is perfect for those looking to move into the large-format market for flat sheets, banners and posters or soft signage.”

How does it work? 

This hybrid model is available with up to eight print heads, for CMYK, light cyan and light magenta, white and varnish/primer inks. Alternatively it can be configured with 2xCMYK for higher speeds. The NUtec Amethyst SR-100 ink has been formulated specially for the Ricoh heads.

It has a front and side registration gate for rigid substrates, to aid accurate manual positioning of sheets. Two wheeled media support tables are supplied as standard. 

There is a vacuum belt transport for sheets, linked to a silent brushless vacuum pump. The vacuum is spilt into four adjustable zones across the width. The print carriage has automatic height detection, with side crash sensors fitted to the LED housing. Anti-static equipment can be fitted to the print carriage if needed.

The LED curing system uses less energy and has a much longer life than mercury lamps. It is also cool running, so thinner and heat-sensitive media can be printed, with no wait for lamps to warm up before printing starts. There’s a choice of Onyx or Caldera RIP software.

How does it differ from previous models?

This is the first Signracer model to be available with the Ricoh Gen5s head. A 5m-wide roll-to-roll version is expected to be launched this year.

How fast/productive is it?

Armitage says: “True print speed suitable for all jobs including solids is 27m2/hr, however some of our customers are printing banners at 50m2/hr.” 

What is the USP? 

There are quite a few flatbeds of this size and configuration on the market, such as from Agfa, EFI and Fujifilm. Armitage says the outstanding points of the 3200 H-LED include “great price point/quality/speed ratio. It has many options fitted as standard and low maintenance costs”.

How easy is it to use?

“Simple automation and intuitive features are fitted as standard,” says Armitage. For example the automated head height adjustment makes set-up faster. 

What training and support is on offer?

SSE supplies full training and engineer, phone and remote support as standard.

How much does it cost? 

List prices start at £99,950. Armitage says that ink costs on average 80p to £1.20 per square metre. “We encourage an annual service contract as this is very cost-effective when compared to fixed service charges,” he adds. LED curing also helps to keep consumables costs down. 

How many have been installed?

Four 3200 H-LEDs were installed in the UK in 2016. Across its whole portfolio, Swiss manufacturer Signracer has a worldwide install base of over 500 machines. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Process UV-LED cured inkjet

Media feed Vacuum belt with powered roll handling and manual sheet loading/unloading

Printheads Ricoh Gen5s

Min drop size 2.5pl

Max resolution 1,200 dpi

Throughput Up to 31m2/hr (single row print heads) or 50m2/hr (double row heads), depending on resolution and number of passes

Colours CMYK plus white and clear

Max print width 3.2m

Max rigid media size 3.2x3m

Max media thickness 50mm

Vacuum zones Four across the width

Footprint 5,840x1,420mm

Weight 2,500kg

Price From £99,950

Contact SSE Worldwide 01943 605650 www.sseworldwide.co.uk


ALTERNATIVES

Agfa Anapurna H3200i LED

Agfa’s latest 3.2m hybrid was announced at SGIA last September. Specifications are broadly equivalent to the Signracer, with LED-UV curing, vacuum belt transport and the ability to feed two rolls side by side. It uses Konica Minolta heads and offers six colours (CMYK plus light cyan and light magenta) with a pair of different Konica heads for two white ink channels. Minimum drop sizes are 12 and 30pl respectively, so Signracer is likely to offer finer photo quality if that is a factor. 

Process UV-LED cured inkjet

Media feed Vacuum belt with powered roll handling and manual sheet loading/unloading

Printheads 8x KM1024i 

Min drop size 12pl (colour), 30pl (opaque white)

Max resolution 720x1,440dpi

Throughput 77-87m2/hr (Express), 39-64m2/hr (Production), 9-19m2 /hr (High-quality)

Colours CMYK, light cyan, light magenta plus white

Max print width 3.2m (3.16m borderless)

Max media width 3.2m

Max sheet length 3.2m (with optional  extension table)

Max media thickness 45mm

Front end Agfa Asanti or third-party RIPs

Footprint 5.9x1.9m

Weight 2,800kg 

Price £168,000 (dual roll feed and load assistance are extra)

Contact Agfa UK 07831 100771 www.agfagraphics.com

Fujifilm Uvistar Hybrid 320

Fujifilm’s current take on 3.2m hybrids features QS256 heads from Fujifilm Dimatix but relies on mercury vapour lamps rather than LEDs. It offers more colours than its competitors, with light black and orange inks as well as CMYK, light cyan and light magenta, plus optional white. 

Process UV (mercury lamp) cured inkjet

Colours CMYK, light cyan, light magenta, light black plus orange and white (optional)

Resolution 800x400dpi

Drop size range 10 to 30pl (process), 30pl (white)

Throughput 201m2/hr (Express), 100m2/hr (Production), 51m2/hr (Fine Art)

Max media width 3.2m

Max print width (rolls) 3.2m

Max sheet length Unlimited

Max sheet print area 1.26x2.51m

Max media thickness 50mm

Footprint 5.8x5.4m (with tables)

Weight 3,175kg

Recommended front ends Caldera V10 or ColorGate Production Suite 9 

Price From £340,000

Contact Fujifilm 01234 572000 www.fujifilm.eu/uk 


USER REVIEW

“For a small company it’s a great machine, and more compact than a big flatbed and great value. In the short time we have had the machine we have seen how efficiently it prints” 4.5/5    

Mike Smith Founder and director, Mida Sign Services, Ashton-under-Lyne

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