Page 22 - Print21 July-Aug 2018 Magazine
P. 22

Nessan Cleary
Fespa looks to
the Fujifilm stand with an Onset X3 complete with robot for automated unloading. Ashley Playford, national sales manager for Fujifilm Australia, says that a big advantage of using robots is that they can handle different stack heights regardless of how thick the material is.
Naturally, several vendors used
the show to launch new printers, mainly 3.2m wide machines aimed
at the production end of the market. Fujifilm showed off its brand new super-wide roll-fed printer, the Acuity Ultra, with a choice of 3.2m and 5m widths. It can print on up
to three rolls simultaneously, with independent spindles so that the rolls can hold different amounts of media. Using greyscale Kyocera printheads with 3, 7 and 14 picolitre drop sizes, it can print up to 236 sqm/hr at up to 1200 x 1200 dpi, with the prints on the stand demonstrating exceptional image quality.
Graham Blackall, ANZ technical sales specialist for Fujifilm, says: “There are a lot of high volume machines in the market but the market is becoming more discerning about quality; just being ‘good enough’ is no longer good enough.”
The new Acuity Ultra uses conventional UV curing, but has an innovative water-cooling system on the vacuum table so that it can still print to heat-sensitive materials. It also handles textiles, soft signage and mesh, printing through eight colour channels: CMYK plus light cyan and magenta, plus two whites. The ink is a new, high-quality, low film weight Uvijet GS type developed by Fujifilm Speciaity Ink Systems, UK.
New from EFI, Agfa and Mutoh
EFI introduced its new 3.2m wide Vutek H-series platform. It’s a hybrid designed around a roll-to-roll chassis and with tables for rigid media. However, there is a new linear drive magnetic carriage that should offer
a more precise transport mechanism for boards than the belt and pulley system that most hybrids use. There’s automated table and carriage alignment and fully automated printhead maintenance as well
as built-in diagnostic systems for dealing to help with servicing, both remote and on-site.
There are two H-series versions, both using Ricoh Gen5 printheads with productivity between 74 and 109 beds per hour.
industrial markets
Fespa has always been about wide-format printing, but this year’s Berlin show saw increased focus on décor, including high- volume rigid objects, industrial textile printers, and even corrugated printing. Nessan Cleary reports.
Conventional wisdom
has it that large-format printing is mainly about sign making and display graphics, but wide-format
inkjet technology is pushing beyond this, which was abundantly clear
at this year’s main Fespa event in Berlin, Germany. Of course, there was still plenty of sign making
in evidence, but there was also a renewed focus on taking this to high volume industrial markets, including corrugated printing, and alongside noticeably more textile and home furnishings solutions.
There was a growing use of robotics for automated loading and unloading of substrates. Most robots are designed for industrial applications, so they offer long life with little maintenance, which makes for a very flexible and cost-effective solution, even taking into account the cost of integrating
the control systems to synchronise the loading with the printing.
Canon, for example, demonstrated a robot next to an Arizona, loading media to the printer and then unloading it direct to an Océ ProCut cutting table.
Signs of change
Fespa set aside one hall for corrugated printing, the main attraction being
Ricoh’s first flatbed UV: the Pro T7210, aimed at the decor and industrial sector.
22 Print21 JULY/AUGUST 2018

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