Star product: Fujifilm Uvistar Pro8

Tim Sheahan
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A super-wide-format machine offering four or eight colours

What does the Fujifilm Uvistar Pro8 do and when was it launched?

Launched at Drupa 2012 , the Uvistar Pro8 has been developed in combination with Fujifilm’s new Uvijet QN inks. It is geared towards the production of super-wide-
format print for display point-of-purchase (POP) and outdoor advertising on flexible and rigid media.

How does it work?
Using the company’s brand-new Uvijet QN inkset, the Uvistar Pro8 has eight colour channels, which can be run either 2xCMYK for speed or, if required, in high-quality eight-colour mode.

Fujifilm says that the eight-colour inkset will deliver improved image quality, enabling super-wide print produced by this machine to be used for indoor exhibition and display graphics.

According to the manufacturer, switching to eight-colour production only takes five minutes and opens up a raft of sign, display and POS applications.

Kevin Rhodes, marketing manager of high-end inkjet systems at Fujifilm Europe, says in addition to a new automated media handling tool for substrates up to 3mm, a backlit camera system learns how your chosen material travels through the printer. This predicts the movement steps through the process ensuring accurate registration for double-sided printing.

How does it differ from the manufacturer’s other models?
New features on the Uvistar Pro8 include a complete set of light colours within the inkset, which Fujifilm claims increases print quality without compromising speed.

Other improvements to the design include: an automated media handling system for rigid media; a fully automated backlit printing option; and the ability to switch between four- and eight-colour printing modes.

"Since launching the Uvistar, it has been incredibly successful in a short space of time. Now we want to broaden the reach of the machine to indoor, as well as outdoor, applications.  The Uvistar Pro8 certainly does this," says Fujifilm group marketing manager for wide-format Tudor Morgan.

In addition to a new user interface, which features a touchscreen that enables the user to activate various parts of production from a series of menus, the Uvistar Pro8 features a media-management tool.

For example, when printing in roll-to-roll production, the machine records how much substrate is left on the roll and then prints this figure on the outer of the print.

What is the USP of the Uvistar Pro8?
One of the major advancements of the Uvistar Pro8 platform is the inclusion of a complete set of light colours within the inkset, which increase print quality without compromising on print speed, says Fujifilm. Together with its unique Parallel Drop Size (PDS) technology, this allows the Uvistar Pro8 to produce high-definition display POP graphics at speeds in excess of 300m2 an hour.

According to the manufacturer, the printer has been designed to meet an increase in demand for indoor applications, where viewing distances tend to be closer and rigid materials are more commonly used.

Importantly, the Uvistar Pro8 will not replace the manufacturer’s existing Uvistar model as, according to Morgan, "not all printers need tables or eight colours". It has simply been introduced to serve those printers in the retail market that do want this capability.

How easy is the Uvistar Pro8 to use?
Fujifilm has built the new machine with a raft of features that it claims promote both ease of use and flexibility for the user.

Optional automatic media load and unload tables for rigid media handling mean the media sheets are held by vacuum suction and dedicated drive rollers and print head height is automatically set accurately to the media. And, for uninterrupted production of wide-format graphics, the Uvistar’s media load and unload system is "very simple, with quick roll changeover".

In addition, the printer’s multi-roll feature enables the operator to work simultaneously on up to three rolls, each up to 1,600mm wide.

How much does it cost?
From £212,000, which includes the flatbed option.



ALTERNATIVES

EFI Vutek GS3250
This 3.2m-wide flatbed and roll-to-roll UV printer is claimed to deliver "superior photo-realistic quality and high production speeds" in both roll-to-roll and rigid production. The machine, which can print in up to eight-colours plus white, can switch between flatbed and roll-to-roll operation in under a minute. According to EFI, the machine can deliver "sellable quality" at speeds up to 223sqm an hour with continuous board-to-board, board-to-sheet and roll-to-roll printing capabilities.
Print width
3.2m
Resolution 
Dual resolution: 600dpi (24pL) or 1,000dpi (12 pL) selectable.
Speed
Fast-5 production – 223sqm per hour. Eight-colour plus white – 111.4sqm per hour.
Colours
White-printing capability allows printing white in six variations (overprint, underprint, spot, underspot, fill and overspot).
Price
From £259k
Contact
EFI 01246 298000 http://w3.efi.com/about-efi/contact-us

HP Scitex XP5500 Printer
HP has pitched the successful HP Scitex XP5500 printer at companies producing high-quality outdoor and indoor signage with "industry-leading print speeds and unprecedented ink coverage". Applications include banners, billboards, building wraps and event graphics.
Print width
Roll-fed media up to 5m
Print speed Up to 325sqm an hour
Print resolution Up to 360dpi
Price £275,000
Contact HP UK 0845 605 6013 www.hp.com

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