Wide-Format Ink-Jet — Digital Printing Goes Flat
Adding another twist to the business relationships, Inca was acquired in 2005 by Dainippon Screen, which is the parent of Screen (USA). Screen, however, entered the market at Drupa 2008 with its own Truepress Jet2500UV ink-jet printer that is a combination flatbed and roll-to-roll system. It outputs a maximum 1,500-dpi resolution on media up to 98.4˝ wide. The unit prints in CMYK, with the option of adding light cyan and magenta or white ink, at speeds up to 726 square feet per hour.
Also at Drupa, EFI previewed the VUTEk DS (digital screen) series flatbed UV printer that outputs up to 6,000 square feet per hour with a maximum 63x96˝ sheet size. It is designed with a fixed array of printheads and a moving bed to support print resolutions up to 1,200 dpi in four- or eight-color mode. The initial ink set will include CMYK, along with light versions of each color. White and clear inks are to be offered in the future.
An optional material handling system provides automatic loading/unloading of rigid media from a pallet for continuous operation. The complete VUTEk DS system isn’t scheduled for introduction until sometime in 2009, but EFI already offers the VUTEk PV200 and QS series flatbed machines.
Gandinnovations likewise added to its line of flatbed printers in Düsseldorf with the launch of its NanoJet UV “true” flatbed digital printer that uses 24 Spectra UV ink-jet heads to print a maximum 48x96˝ format at up to 220 square feet per hour. This six-color system has a top resolution of 1,200 dpi. The company offers a range of flatbed models, capped off by the Jeti 2030 X-2 that is capable of printing a maximum 78x120˝ format and 1,510 square feet per hour.
The new Océ Arizona 200 GT UV-curable flatbed printer is based on the existing Arizona 250 GT platform, but is configured for light production environments. It has a true flatbed architecture that can print rigid media up to 49x98˝, with printing done across the long axis for increased productivity. Both models use Océ VariaDot imaging technology and CMYK inks in a piezoelectric ink-jet unit. The Arizona 200 has a maximum print speed of 101 square feet per hour and can be upgraded to the 250 GT model (172 square feet per hour).