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ISA Inkjet Update

(May 2009) posted on Wed May 20, 2009

The International Sign Expo 2009 ushered in a host of new inkjet printers that raise the bar on productivity and print quality. Here you

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By Tom Frecska

AJ-i printers are available in 74- and 104 in. models for producing wide-format outdoor graphics, such as banners, billboards, and more. The six-color machines (CMYKLcLm) have a maximum print speed of 968 sq ft/hr (on the 104-in. machine) and use EcoXtreme i ink with three-year outdoor durability or less expensive ExoXtreme LT ink for short-term applications. All VersaCamm VP-i and AdvancedJET AJ-i printers are driven by Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software.



Seiko Infotech

The ColorPainter V-64s was the main attraction at the Seiko Infotech ( booth. It’s a new 64-in. mild-solvent inkjet printer designed for the mid-volume sign and banner printing market. The printer has a new six-color (CMYKLcLm) inkset and newly developed piezo printheads that deliver print resolutions up to 720 x 720 dpi. It uses EG-Outdoor EX ink, which Seiko says has a very low odor and provides a wide color gamut, fast dry time, glossiness, and outdoor durability. The machine’s six printheads allow the printer to achieve a production speed of 172 sq ft/ hr at 720 x 720 dpi. Features on the V-64s include Smart Pass Technology that optimizes dot placement and creates gradient overlaps between each printing pass to reduce banding; a three-way, independently controlled heater to optimize ink receptiveness on media and ink drying time; an integrated four-way take-up unit; adjustable head height (0.08 or 0.1 in.); and a manual media cutter with media clips. The system can be operated with RIPs from Caldera, Onyx, SAi, Wasatch, and others.


US Sublimation

US Sublimation ( focused attention on its VELOTEX Xpress and VELOTEX Mpress direct dye-sublimation printing systems. The Xpress supports disperse dye (sublimation), textile pigment, acid-dye, and reactive-dye inks. For sublimation inks, it provides an onboard heating unit to active and affix the printed sublimation dyes to the fabric. The system handles roll-fed materials up to 64 in. wide and prints with a maximum resolution of 1400 dpi. The Mpress is designed to operate with disperse-dye or textile-pigment inks. It also features an onboard heat unit to affix sublimation printers, and it offers a top speed of 226 sq ft/hr. It’s designed for roll materials up to 42 in. wide.



WP Digital

WP Digital (, the former unit of Spühl AG (now a part of Wifag Polytype), has released two new Virtu printers: the Virtu RS35 and Virtu RR50. The Virtu RS35 is a hybrid UV machine that can on a variet of rigid and flexible materials up to 11.5 ft wide, and it can accommodate substrates up to 3.74 in. thick. The RS35 is available with 30- or 80-pl printing modules and in four color configurations: CMYK, CMYKLcLm, CMYK + white, or CMYKLcLm + white. The printer boasts a top resolution of 1200 dpi and top speeds of 3230 sq ft/hr (at 300 dpi with 80 pl drops) and 1400 sq ft/hr (at 423 x 500 dpi with 30 pl drops). Additional features include an integrated mesh kit to easily switch to interleaving material such as textiles, an interruption-free ink refill system, a vacuum system with individually adjustable chambers, and a substrate feeding and positioning system. Options include an oven for textiles, table in front/rear for rigid substrates, an anti-static device, and a camera/monitor.

The Virtu RR50 is a roll-fed UV printer that can accommodate flexible substrates up to 16.4 ft wide. As with the RS35, it’s available with 30- or 80-pl printing modules. The RR50 is available in three color configurations: CMYK, CMYKLcLm, or CMYKLcLm + white. It can print 1200 dpi and has top speeds of 3440 sq ft/hr (300 dpi, 80 pl) and 1610 sq ft/hr (423 x 500 dpi, 30 pl). An optional reel lift allows the RR50 to be operated in three different configurations: loading from the back and unloading at the front; loading and unloading at the front; and loading and unloading at the back. Other options include a mesh function for interleaving materials, longitudinal cutting device, anti-static device, center support for center winders, and more. Both printer models can be driven by RIPs from either Caldera or Onyx. 




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