Wide-Format Ink-Jet — Digital Printing Goes Flat
The M-Press was an early entrant in this product category and is categorized as a hybrid printing line because it is based on piezoelectric ink-jet heads from Agfa, but can incorporate Thieme screen printing units for the application of spot colors, coatings and varnishes. It’s a modular system, so the product specifications depend on the configuration. The CMYK, UV ink-jet engine prints a maximum 720-dpi resolution and 63x102.4˝ sheet at speeds exceeding 5,950 square feet per hour.
Agfa also offers systems in its Anapurna printer line that support rigid and roll media, including the recently introduced Anapurna XLS, Mv and M4f models. Anapurna XLS prints media up to 100˝ wide at 1,440x720 dpi and 474 square feet per hour. Anapurna M4f is configured as an entry-level, CMYK printer for rigid materials only, while the Mv adds spot and flood varnish capabilities to the 62˝ wide, 1,440x720 dpi and maximum 161 square feet per hour platform.
Inca Digital Printers’ Onset is another CMYK, UV flatbed ink-jet and handles up to a 126x60˝ sheet. It is marketed in the United States by Fujifilm Sericol, which makes the Uvijet ink used in the printer.
Onset features 24 print units each containing 24 piezoelectric printheads to achieve a 6,458 square feet per hour top speed, with the recently introduced bi-directional printing mode. The imaging unit can be mated to a semi-auto or automatic material handling system to maximize production.
More Options on the Table
The two companies also have a relationship through Fujifilm Graphic Systems U.S.A., which distributes the Inca Spyder 320 flatbed UV ink-jet printer (126x63˝ format, 1,000 dpi resolution and 860 square feet per hour). At the same time, Fujifilm is selling the Acuity HD 2504 flatbed machine that outputs a maximum 96x38˝ sheet size at up to 174 square feet per hour.