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Flatbed Roundup

Part 1

Part 2 of 3

By Kim Crowley

The next two parts in our flatbed printer series examines new additions and recent enhancements to manufacturers’ flatbed line-ups. Several companies announced new hardware at the ISA trade show held in Las Vegas, NV in April. These printers build on the already impressive productivity, speed, and photo-realistic ability of previous devices.

Agfa Graphics
The :Anapurna Mv six-color printer is Agfa’s fastest selling printer since its introduction last year. The printer offers the option of an UV spot or flood coat varnish. "This glossy UV coating is a unique feature, which makes images pop. The :Anapurna Mv takes the photo-quality results and reliability reminiscent of current :Anapurna printers to the next level. Plus, varnish doubles the life of outdoor applications," says Michael White, wide format manager, Agfa.

Agfa launched the :Anapurna M2 at ISA. It is a six-color printer with 12 picoliter droplets.

Digital Equipment Company
The Legend 72HUV is a heavy-duty, industrial-grade UV-curable printer with roll-to-roll capability and a price tag under $85,000. It prints edge-to-edge at up to 72 inches wide, has sturdy media handling support, variable-pressure rollers, and integrated media guidance. Recent enhancements include upgrades to the electronics and an ink delivery system.

Durst Image Technology US LLC
The Durst Rho 800 Presto features a patented rail system and magnetic linear drive, along with the Durst Quadro Array 30 printhead system, designed for very accurate drop placement. Customers may also utilize the Rho 800 in its two-pass mode, relating to more than 15 four- by eight-foot sheets per hour.

EFI VUTEk added the new GS3200, a 3.2-meter hybrid printer with dual resolution capability. "The dual resolution capability allows users to select the picoliter droplet size, depending on the image quality needed. You can select 600 or 1,000 dpi. Those aren’t apparent; those are true dots per inch. The apparent resolutions are much higher, resulting in a huge leap forward in image quality," says Ken Van Horn, product marketing manager, EFI VUTEk. The maximum speed on the GS3200 is 2,400 square feet per hour (sf/h), an increase from 900 sf/h on the company’s QS hybrid printer.

Fujifilm Graphic Systems U.S.A., Inc.
Fujifilm’s portfolio of UV flatbed printers includes the Inca Spyder and Onset devices. Fujifilm also offers the Acuity family of flatbed printers.

The company recently introduced the Acuity Advance X2, which prints on substrates up to 1.9 inches thick and boasts a flatbed surface of 98.4x120.1 inches—twice the size of other Acuity devices. The Acuity Advance X2 features a dual zoning system with independent vacuum control, allowing the printing of an image in one zone while setting up another image in the second, resulting in increased throughput. It also features a white ink option.

The newly released NanoJet2 flatbed from Gandinnovations produces photo-quality images from printheads that allow variable dot sizes from six to 30 picoliters. The company invented a high-speed auto-loader, called HAL, that loads and unloads rigid materials on two flatbeds, all the while inspecting for contamination and imperfections in the media.

GCC StellarJET UV-curable inkjet printers are now available with optional pre-coat and top-coat solutions, in addition to optional white and varnish solutions. "GCC is not only a machine manufacturer, but also a total solution provider—of pre-coat, UV printing, and top-coat—enabling customers to expand to broader applications," note Michelle Chang, product manager, GCC and Lisa Hsu, senior specialist, GCC.

Next week look for a continuation of our flatbed roundup.

Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, Versatile Flatbeds.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Apr2009, Digital Output

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