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New Options in Wide-Format Inkjet Printing

(July 2007) posted on Mon Jul 09, 2007

This spring saw the launch of several new inkjet printing systems that are pushing the technology into new realms of speed and versatility. This overview details key features and capabilities of new solvent and UV inkjets that are well-suited for the

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The Revolution supports 360-dpi true resolution (720 dpi apparent) and seven print modes ranging from 4-color Sample mode at 430 sq ft/hr to 4-color Billboard II mode at 3200 sq ft/hr. In Regular modes for P-O-P printing, the system provides coverage of approximately 1023 sq ft/l and in Billboard mode, 1940 sq ft/l. Media handling features include an integrated output collector (shaft), as well as an on-core media collector that allows users to switch from a full to an empty core while the machine is printing. The Revolution also has the ability to print multiple rolls (up to three) simultaneously.

Exposure from the system’s dual-lamp curing system can be controlled to optimize curing and gloss levels on prints. Additionally, the device supports printing of mesh materials and offers an optional double-sided-printing mechanism for backlit and blockout applications. Customers can choose either Caldera GrandRip+ or Wasatch SoftRIP to drive the Expedio Revolution 5000.



Inca Spyder 320-8

Inca’s Spyder family of flatbed UV inkjet printers has grown with the launch of the new Spyder 320-8 series machine, an eight-color version of the modular Spyder printing platform. Developed to give users a greater choice of color, the 320-8 provides eight color channels, each printing through four Spectra printheads, for a total of 32 heads. With the device, users have the option to print CMYK + LcLm + white (overprint or underprint) + spot color.

The Spyder features a 126 x 63-in. static vacuum bed with an integrated pin-registration system. It will print at a top speed of 860 sq ft/hr, but delivers optimum performance and image quality at 699 sq ft/hr.

The printer uses Fujifilm Sericol Uvijet UV-curable pigmented inks and provides prints with a matte finish and two-year outdoor durability. It is capable of achieving resolutions as high as 1000 dpi on substrates up to 1.2 in. thick. Inca currently is beta testing new green, orange, and violet inks for an expanded-gamut inkset.

Wasatch SoftRIP drives the Spyder. The machine is available in North America through Fujifilm Sericol.


Inca Onset

While the other printers covered here were all unveiled during ISA 2007 in Las Vegas this April, Inca introduced its newest printer to key customers and members of the press during an open house this spring at its Cambridge, England headquarters. When the size of the machine, called the Onset, was revealed (it requires an 82 x 43-ft area to operate), it became clear why the printer didn’t debut at a trade show.

The Onset is a large-format flatbed UV inkjet printer that sets new benchmarks in productivity. The CMYK system will print on sheet-fed substrates up to 10.5 x 5 ft and 0.4 in. thick with a top speed of 500 sq m/hr (5382 sq ft/hr). While the machine can be manually fed, this production speed includes the additional steps of loading and unloading material with the system’s automated loading and unloading units. Inca says the device will print and stack more than 100 full-size sheets per hour.

The printer is based on the technology behind the Columbia Turbo, with a shuttling print bed and a printhead that moves perpendicular to the table motion. The printhead array consists of 24 modules (six per color), each containing 24 Spectra printheads, for a total of 576 heads. That translates to 73,728 individual nozzles. The nozzles are meant to be redundant so that any problems from misfirings or clogs are alleviated with the additional nozzles. The machine will deliver prints with either a satin or gloss finish (user selectable).

While the printheads provide a true resolution of 600 dpi, they create an apparent resolution that is substantially greater. The printer uses a new variant of Fujifilm Sericol’s Uvijet UV inks designed for rapid curing. It supports full-bleed and doublesided printing and provides a dual-lamp curing system, a full vacuum bed, and fixed dual registration points. Wasatch SoftRIP v6.0 drives the Onset. The machine reportedly will be available by the end of summer after beta testing is completed.,



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