Wide-format Digital Printing: Wide Open to the Opportunities

Agfa created its own crowd by printing and cutting out life-size images of groups of people and placing them where desired.

Océ printed recycled board materials on its wide-format printer and fashioned it into a table and chair set.

Agfa’s Anapurna Mw (white ink) 63˝ roll-to-roll and rigid media UV printer was shown in North America for the first time, along with the high-speed Anapurna M2 and economically priced Anapurna M4f models.

Meeting the needs of environmentally conscious wide-format customers for durable outdoor and indoor graphics is the market HP is targeting with its HP Latex Ink technology. It held the official launch for the 
VISCOM show in Germany, but at PRINT 09 HP did offer backroom looks at a new addition to the product family—the HP Designjet L25500 printer. Available in 42˝ and 60˝ models, the rollfed printer is said to offer the “Designjet experience” in terms of its ease of use and replaceable print heads.

High-volume point-of-purchase (POP) display production via flatbed ink-jet presses that can be equipped with sophisticated material handling systems has been an expanding subset of the market. Commercial printers doing POP work via offset are seen as candidates for installing such systems, but their up to seven-figure price tags means it may only be a practical option for fairly large shops.

Multiple vendors at the show noted that there is growing interest in color matching wide-format ink-jet printing to offset, particularly through the use of the G7 process.

Sheetfed and web offset printer HGI Co. made a splash at last year’s Graph Expo by ordering an Inca Onset digital UV press from Fujifilm, and subsequently set up its Tempt in-store production division. A scaled down version (in terms of price and speed) of the same technology—the new Inca Onset S20—was shown publicly for the first time this year. It outputs 50 full bed (63×123.6˝) sph on substrates up to 2˝ thick.

Agfa also showed a new version of its offering in this category, the M-Press Tiger. It has a maximum speed of 90 to 185 sph (62×102˝ maximum), depending on quality setting.

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