The wide format industry got inundated with innovation following a wide range of exciting new product launches competing for stakeholders’ attention at the end of 2017
With thousands of industry stakeholders made their way to the show floor, the 2017 edition of SGIA Expo presented impressive technology advancements offering attendees plenty of exciting products to check out. Overall, there was an exciting amount of innovation at the end of the year 2017 to mark the beginning of New Year. No matter what technologies people had come to discover in New Orleans, chances were excellent that the SGIA Expo met their expectations. In all, the Show responded to the call for new products in the wide-format industry. Here are a few for review.
EFI’s new Pro 24f LED flatbed printer made its debut
With LED inkjet imaging, variable drop grayscale head technology in a true flatbed design with moving gantry and a multi-zoned vacuum table, the Pro 24f LED got turned a lot of heads at the show. The new dedicated flatbed printer gives users powerful results with outstanding image quality at high production speeds, a broad colour gamut, optimised ink usage and access to more profitable jobs. Its built-in EFI Fiery proServer Core digital front end brings many advantages. Users can process work faster and they gain RIP and print-on-demand functionality or the ability to print pre-RIPed files at the printer interface.
Roland put forth its the most advanced TrueVIS VG models
Roland’s most advanced wide-format printer/cutters ever, the TrueVIS VG models, combine innovative technology with performance, precision and efficiency. Both the VG-640 and VG-540 incorporate four FlexFire print heads, which deliver droplets in three sizes and a 25% wider print swath than Roland’s previous inkjets. The combination with Roland’s specially formulated, cost-effective TrueVIS INK ensures exceptional results at print speeds of up to 374.6 sq. ft./hr. Accurate, reliable integrated contour cutting further enhances productivity and versatility. Additional features include a choice of seven- or eight-colour ink configurations, a convenient Bluetooth-enabled Roland DG Mobile Panel and powerful VersaWorks Dual RIP software.
64’’ Océ Colorado 1640 from Canon made its way to the market
Another head turner shown for the first time this year was the 64’’ Océ Colorado 1640 from Canon USA. With a top speed of 1,710 sqft/hr, the roll-to-roll printer uses Canon’s UVgel ink, which gels on contact with media, resulting in precise dot gain and instantly cured prints. Canon claims that the Océ Colorado 1640 can bring 30 to 50% ink savings compared to printing with other ink technologies. This is besides delivering breakthrough productivity, lowest cost of operation, a wide application range and never-before-seen automation.
Ricoh unveiled the Ricoh Pro T7210 flatbed printer
Ricoh Pro T7210 flatbed printer can print on substrates up to 4.3 inches thick with a print size of 6.9 x 10.5 feet. Its one-touch maintenance switch, its automatic media gap adjustment sensor, its intuitive use – they all add up to a product that printers can onboard and start making money with very quickly and easily. According to the company, the stakeholders in the décor space can expect tremendous improvements in ink adhesion over competitive products, along with amazing production speeds.
Epson launches 64” Epson SureColor F9370 dye-sublimation printer
Featuring an integrated new fabric wiping system and advanced roll-to-roll media support system, the printer delivers industrial-level production with speeds up to 1,169 sqft/hr, which is a 75% increase from its predecessor. The SureColor F9370 leverages dual PrecisionCore TFP printheads and Epson’s latest dye-sublimation ink technology – Epson UltraChrome DS with High-Density Black – to produce consistent output with exceptional color saturation and high contrast.
Fujifilm introduced Inca SpyderX flatbed and roll-to-roll UV inkjet press
Inca SpyderX flatbed and roll-to-roll UV inkjet press from Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Division made its debut. The 126-inch-wide, 6-color plus white SpyderX is available as either a flatbed or a combination flatbed/roll-fed, and utilises Fujifilm Dimatix printheads and Fujifilm Uvijet ink. It boasts production speeds of nearly 2,500 sqft/hr and can print on thin films or substrates up to two inches thick. The vacuum table is optically mapped and adjusted to give optimum print quality across the full area of the bed. The SpyderX standard configuration also includes two white ink channels and the ability to alter the level of UV improves the adhesion to the most difficult substrates.
Mimaki presented UCJV Series of 64” UV-LED printers
Mimaki USA presented its latest cut-and-print devices, the UCJV Series of 64-inch UV-LED printers. Featuring white ink to enable four-layer printing, the company has rolled out two models – the 4-colour UCJV150-160 and the 7-colour UCJV300-160. UV-LED curing technology enables print service providers to utilise an expanded range of media, including many thin film substrates that may be too sensitive for latex or solvent high heat fixation systems. Further, 4-layer printing allows designers to build layered, transformative graphics for backlit applications. It’s a dynamic graphic that ‘changes’ its image or colour scheme depending on the light source.
Durst showed off its Delta 250 Multi-Pass UV printing system
The new system uses Durst Water Technology to print a range of corrugated packaging and display applications. The system produces 1,000-dpi print quality using an odorless, water-based ink. The company claims that premium quality, odorless, abrasion-resistant, glossy and lightfast end products can be produced in a single process.
Colex Finishing launched its Fotoba XLD 320 X/Y 126-inch-wide roll cutter For wide-format, automated cutting on vinyl and textile, Colex Finishing presented the new Fotoba XLD 320 X/Y 126-inch-wide roll cutter, capable of cutting flexible media up to 126” wide and 40-mils thick. A single cutter is capable of handling the output of several printers. Fotoba XLD320 uses Fotoba cutmarks to follow the edge of the image, regardless of any feed misalignment. Colex claims that it will always produce square finished images even when the printer fails to print parallel to the printed edge or if the printer fails to wind up the rolls squarely.
Fisher Textiles showed off its ETP 4310 Uni fabric
Addressing the demand for apparel products made from recycled yarns, Fisher Textiles has come up with its ETP 4310 Uni fabric for dye sublimation printing. ETP 4310 Uni is soft, comfortable and comes with a moisture management chemical, which allows perspiration to move away from the body, dries quickly, controls odor and promotes comfort. A key attribute of ETP 4310 Uni is that it has green certification and is made with 100% recycled yarns named Repreve which is made from a variety of waste streams, including post-consumer plastics and post-industrial waste.
Top Value Fabrics brought forth its Latex Performance Textiles
Developed to meet the growing market demand for durable, quality fabric for printing beautiful latex graphics, Latex Performance Textiles are an advanced platform for creating exceptional graphics with HP Latex Technology. According to the company, these fabrics are engineered with a proprietary coating for yielding rich colours, exceptional durability and colour fastness.
Spot-On SynPaper for PageWide XL from Drytac
Another US premiere was Spot-On SynPaper for PageWide XL from Drytac, a high-quality ink-receptive white synthetic paper. Drytac’s unique dot pattern adhesive technology allows for an incredibly easy installation. It can be hand applied – bubble-free – for window, wall and panel applications, and is removable up to six months residue-free, making it essential for retail and food and beverage markets.
Kornit Digital put forward the Storm Duo
An industrial direct-to-garment digital printing system which has been designed to optimise light fabric prints. It prints up to 220 light and 160 dark garments per hour. Developed for the mass production of garments, Kornit’s Avalanche 1000 R-Series has dual pallet industrial production capability, and a very robust platform crafted for heavy duty use. With unique double bridge architecture, the white and the colour print phases can happen in parallel, for optimised and unique dark garment efficiency. With the NeoPigment process, Kornit users benefit from the advantages of state-of-the art pigment ink technology.