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Digital Doings @ Drupa

(August 2008) posted on Mon Aug 18, 2008

While commercial printing was the primary focus of Drupa 2008, the show has also become a major event for debuting new digital printing products. This overview provides details about key innovations in inkjet technology that were unveiled there.

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By Tom Frecska

Three HP Wide Scan Printheads are incorporated into the system to deliver prints across a wide path and provide fast print speed. Each of the heads delivers two of the system’s six colors (CMYKLcLm) in droplet sizes of 12 pl and resolutions up to 1200 x 600 dpi. Combined, the three heads provide 31,680 nozzles and allow the machine to reach top printing speeds of 800 sq ft/hr with outdoor-quality graphics and 400 sq ft/hr with indoor-quality prints. The printheads are user replaceable.

The machine has two independent heaters, one that preheats the media and another that cures the ink. It supports roll-fed media up to 104 in. wide and rolls up to 9.8 in. in diameter and up to 240 lb in weight. An Optical Media Sensor ensures precise material advance, and a built-in spectrophotometer and color-measurement system automatically checks and corrects for color variances during printing.

Inks for the system are available in 3-l, recyclable containers and can be changed out during printing. Prints produced with the inks are durable for up to 3 years unlaminated outdoors and five years indoors. While the printer is compatible with most standard, uncoated media, HP has developed a media line of 14 materials that are optimized for use on the L65500, five of which are recyclable. HP says that it is working with major vendors including AIT, Caldera Graphics, ColorGate, Ergosoft, Onyx Graphics, SA International, and Wasatch to develop a RIP for the machine, which is slated for release in early 2009.


Océ ColorWave 600

Another new eco-friendly digital printing alternative comes in the form of Océ’s new ColorWave 600 printer, a machine designed to print rich, high-resolution color images on plain paper. This machine doesn’t use liquid inks, but rather it uses TonerPearls—solid, marble-sized spheres of Oce’s proprietary CrystalPoint toner that are melted into a gel within the device and then jetted onto the paper surface, where they dry instantly without spreading or smearing. The non-hazardous toners have no odor, emit no ozone, and don’t release dangerous particles. The four toner colors (CMYK) come in 500-g cartridges for each color.


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