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Graph Expo Goes Wide

Trade Show Preview

This year Graph Expo takes place in Chicago, IL at the McCormick Place South convention center October 25 to 29. Over 600 organizations are expected to exhibit at the show. Although not all products and services target the wide format print industry, many booths showcase products geared toward the print service provider. We collected a sampling of wide format manufacturers and/or distributors exhibiting at the show.

Adobe Systems Incorporated, booth 4840, exhibits its Adobe PDF Print Engine 2, the next generation, full featured printing software enabling end-to-end workflows for graphically rich publishing based on Adobe’s PDF. Designed for offset and digital printing, PDF Print Engine 2 enables print providers to fulfill the promise of variable data printing.

Agfa Graphics, booth 3829, showcases the :Anapurna Mv, the company’s new wide format UV inkjet printer. It provides the option of full or spot varnish, which improves the cosmetic appearance of printed materials. It has a maximum media width of 62 inches and uses 14 picoliter printheads and Agfa-produced UV-curable ink. :Anapurna Mv makes it affordable for commercial, screen, and sign printers to achieve photo-quality results.

Canon U.S.A, Inc., booth 3000, demonstrates its commitment to future innovation with the imagePROGRAF large format product line. Canon introduces a new 44-inch imagePROGRAF large format color production system, which runs a dual-roll configuration with two size rolls and offers high-capacity ink cartridges requiring minimal user intervention. Capable of printing two full-density, A1-sized plots in less than one minute, the printer is designed to address the specific needs of the high-volume technical document printing market.

EFI/VUTEk, booth 2000, displays its VUTEk QS3200r, a high-quality, high-speed roll-to-roll UV printer that produces images up to 126 inches wide with 1,080 dpi High Definition Print technology; the VUTEk QS3200 a UV printer with the flexibility to print both rigid and flexible substrates with crisp four point text for demanding POP displays up to 126 inches wide and two inches thick; and the VUTEk 3360 with the Fusion option, which enables the printing of both solvent and dye-sublimation inks with a rapid changeover in less than five minutes. Also on display, samples from the new VUTEk DS Series digital screenprinter. The DS Series produces sellable output at up to 6,000 square feet per hour (sf/h).

Epson, booth 3815, highlights the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900, at 24 and 44 inches respectively. Both printers feature Epson’s 11 color UltraChrome High Dynamic Range (HDR) ink technology, a high-density pigment chemistry developed by Seiko Epson. This ink, combined with AccuPhoto HDR screening technology, helps provide a wide color gamut with smooth transitions and consistent color. The Epson MicroPiezo TFP ten channel printhead provides accurate dot placement, dot shape, and fast print speeds. An optional integrated Epson Spectroproofer uses the latest X-Rite technology, enabling professional color workflows by automating color calibration and print verification. Epson manufactures the new printers with a two-and-a-half-inch color LCD control panel, ePlatten media loading, spindle-free roll media adapters, and a rotary cutting system. The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 are available for $3,995 and $5,995 respectively.

Gandinnovations, booth 3852, features a range of grand format digital printers for soft signage, outdoor, and billboard applications. Gandinnovations runs live demonstrations of the new NanoJet UV true flatbed digital printer; the new Jeti 3348 Jetspeed UV RTR digital printer, which prints at speeds of 2,500 sf/h; and the EDP 2008 award winning Jeti 3324 Aquajet direct to fabric slit and seal all-in-one digital printer; as well as its full Jeti range of grand format digital printers.

GTI Graphic Technology, Inc., booth 4227, exhibits soft proofing, representing an exciting opportunity to shorten the production cycle while improving communications between color image service providers and clients. Critical to the implementation of accurate soft proofing is the viewing environment. Optimum precision and unique features make the new GTI Soft View Model SOFV-1xi print viewer the ultimate choice for the most demanding desktop soft proofing needs. Built-in stabilization circuits guarantee consistent light output while dual luminaires harmonized with GTI optical quality semi-specular anodized aluminum reflectors provide light uniformity. A digital display shows the intensity level as well as the time remaining until relamping. A photometer option allows the SOFV-1xi to calibrate itself with a monitor as well as read ambient light levels. The viewing area is 19.5x24 inches and fits up to A3+ format. The device is also available without dimming as model RV-1xi.

Mimaki USA, Inc., booth 4882, displays Printer Cutter CJV30-60/100/130/160, bringing even greater choice and flexibility to customers by expanding signs and graphics systems with a unique range of integrated print and cut solutions. Benefits include quick cutting after printing with fast drying inks, along with the ability to cut and print continuously without attendance. To achieve the highest quality print and cut and the fastest throughput using the aforementioned new technologies, Mimaki’s unique RIP software Raster LinkPro4 SG and cutting software plug-in for CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator are bundled. Simple Studio is also included and allows for the creation of print and cut data for stickers and labels.

Mutoh America, Inc., booth 5474, features the new ValueJet in 54-, 64-, 100-inch, and flatbed printers. The ValueJet 1608 64-inch hybrid is Mutoh’s new environmentally friendly printer solution. The ValueJet 1608 uses Mutoh’s Mubio ink, the only inkjet ink recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency Design for the Environment program. The ink allows direct printing on a wide range of rigid materials. Also shown, the new roll-to-roll ValueJet 1618 64-inch, producing brilliant results using Eco-Ultra inks and reaching speeds up to 334 sf/h in production mode. It is perfect for durable graphics on coated and uncoated substrates. Standard on the ValueJet line is Mutoh’s patented Intelligent Interweaving printing technology. Revolutionary in the piezo printing application world, Intelligent Interweaving allows for increased print speeds, virtually eliminates banding, and offers consistent print quality.

Nazdar SourceOne, booth 5274, showcases a wide selection of digital printers from EFI/VUTEk, Epson, Mutoh, Roland DGA, and Teckwin. For your ink and media needs Nazdar SourceOne supplies 3M, ImageStar Digital, MACtac, Nazdar/Lyson, and Ultraflex products. Whether printing for POP or billboards, the experienced digital graphics professionals at Nazdar SourceOne provide guidance and selection to help make the most of the latest digital printing technology.

Océ North America, booth 2400, exhibits the Océ ColorWave 600 wide format color printer using Océ CrystalPoint technology. The Océ CrystalPoint process converts solid Océ TonerPearls color toner into a gel. This toner gel is then jetted and crystallized onto any type of paper—producing crisp, waterfast, high-quality images with extremely accurate dot placement. That means high-quality color and B&W prints up to 42 inches wide on low-cost plain or recycled paper for a wide range of applications. It also means fast color print speeds of 30 seconds for a three- by four-foot print—twice that of conventional inkjet systems. Prints are waterfast and dry instantly.

Roland DGA Corporation, booth 5274, displays the company’s latest digital printing technologies including the new VersaUV LEC-300 at Nazdar SourceOne’s booth. The VersaUV uses safe, low-heat LED lamps and prints CMYK + white + clear on a wide range of substrates including foils, metallic, synthetic papers, BOPP, PE, and PET film. At 30 inches wide, the LEC-300 is a production tool used for both short production runs and prepress applications such as proofs, packaging comps, and prototypes. Clear gloss adds special effects ranging from high-gloss finishes for area highlights to custom-textured effects such as faux leather, crocodile embossing, and Braille. VersaUV comes with VersaWorks RIP software and Roland’s Two-Year Trouble-Free Warranty. Other Roland technologies featured include the SOLJET PRO III XC-540 54-inch inkjet printer/cutter and the DFP line of wide and grand format direct to fabric printers available through Splash of Color.

Rollem, booth 3015, highlights automation in print finishing. Visitors will see the Rollem Jetstream system operate inline with a Hewlett-Packard HP Indigo press as a postcard sheet is fed directly from the coating unit of the press. The Rollem re-registers the sheet with Auto-Scan, an electronic scan system, for perfect registration accuracy and takes the printed sheet into final cut size. The new Auto-Collation gathers finished cards into sets. Only Jetstream performs inline cutting automation with digital presses. Business card sheets are finished and delivered into an automatic boxing unit for high-volume business card production. Multiple-up images are trimmed and slit in two directions, delivering a finished product with 100 percent accuracy, eliminating the need for multiple machines, manpower, and stock movement. This system is ideal for all multiple-up products including playing cards, game cards, reply cards, and much more. Also shown, the PB-09F and PB-15 automatic drilling machines.

Screen USA, booth 3808, displays the Truepress Jet2500UV, a new UV inkjet press geared toward the wide format sign and display market. The Truepress Jet2500UV handles rigid, sheet, and rolled media. The maximum output resolution of 1,500 dpi and top speed of 726.5 sf/h makes the device ideal for displays, banners, posters and backlit signs, as well as billboards, wallpaper, and fabrics. The press uses a grayscale printhead with eight levels. It comes standard with four process colors and is optionally available with light cyan, light magenta, and white ink.

Teckwin International, booth 5271, presents the TeckStorm UV printer, fitted with Xaar 760 grayscale printheads that deliver variable drop size. The TeckStorm is capable of high productivity to meet real industrial needs and is ideal for sign shops, quick printers, and small- to mid-size screenprinting businesses. Main features include an effective printing area of 1.22x2.44 meters; a printable thickness of 0.1-52mm; resolution up to 2,440 dpi visible; a working speed of 11.8 to 36 square meters per hour; a safety cover that minimizes odor and prevents ozone emission; and applicable media includes aluminum composite, fibril wood, glass, acrylic, corrugated board, banner, and foam board. Circle 182

Zünd America, Inc., booth 4869, introduces to the North American market the new Zünd G3 flatbed cutter. Developed specifically for around-the-clock operation, the construction of G3 is solid and heavy-duty, yet it delivers greater productivity than the previous generation. Improved material hold-down and a more robust frame set G3 apart. A new modular tooling system based on hot-swappable, configurable modules combines up to three tools for cutting, creasing, and heavy-duty routing of materials up to two inches thick. The Zünd G3 is available for purchase in nine sizes, three modules, and 11 different tools. It is integrated with a camera for optical registration; a touch screen based registration software with extensive materials, database, and workflow automation; optional material advance and cutter extensions; and is extremely user friendly thanks to automated tool setup and management.

These are just a few of the products vendors plan to showcase at this year’s Graph Expo. With over 400,000 square feet of exhibit space to cover we hope this preview helps save you time while navigating the floor. Stop by booth 4384 and provide us with your thoughts on the show!

Oct2008, Digital Output

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