As wide format enjoys the kind of growth that other sectors of the print industry can only envy, Fujifilm continues to supply the market with innovative solutions
Fujifilm unleashed a range of new technology and solutions at drupa that impressed all who visited its booth and New Zealanders numbered amongst the visitors.
Ian Gibson, national business manager for Fujifilm Graphics New Zealand, says, “At drupa, it was obvious that this one of the growth areas for the industry with expectations, still touted at seven per cent each year in this arena internationally.”
The range of wide format at drupa included the Inca S20, Inca S40, Inca S40i UV Star 3.2 and 5.0 metre models; the Acuity flatbed range; the Acuity 1600 LED and other solutions from the Mutoh and Epson ranges.
Gibson looks forward to bringing the drupa highlights to New Zealand. He says, “Without doubt Fuji has a nice kit bag of products that were superbly demonstrated within three booths that had been constructed mainly from product produced on the range of machines on display. These demonstrated superbly the possibilities for wide format printing.
“Fujifilm is positioned precisely where print and sign businesses can take advantage of that.”
Fujifilm bills its Uvistar series of 3.5m & 5m UV printers as “a fast, cost effective and flexible platform for superwide graphics”. Wayne Gates, wide format specialist at Fujifilm Graphics, says, “This has proved to be to be a very accurate description of this phenomenal platform. With performance exceeding over 300sqm/hr on products like PE for the biggest of billboards these printers are engineered for serious output.”
“Every facet and detail in the operation of this machine has been engineered to make this machine simple to use and easy to learn. Operator maintenance has been kept to a minimum and start up times are almost instant.”
Acuity LED 1600
Fujifilm has launched its own hybrid marking a new entry point for the wide format market. In combination with a new range of Fujifilm Uvijet inks, that as standard, include white and clear along with CMYKLcLm.
Gates says, “This will not only allow for outstanding colour vibrancy but give designers exciting options to factor in white and clear ink spot and full coverage designs with this additional palette.
“This printer also meets the required environmental needs with no solvent fumes, no ozone out and more importantly no wasted heat or power. UV curable inks combined with the low energy, long life LED curing provide all the green credentials for this printer in a marketplace that has often been criticised for its poor performance in this area.”
Gates believes the Acuity series offers a chance for print companies to move ahead in a tough financial environment. He says, “Printers have told us that you can’t survive now just as a commercial printer, you have to offer something different. The Fujifilm Acuity series has been the answer to many printers who have looked at entry to the enticing wide format market and wanted to try and cover all the bases.
“Many sales enquiries have started with: ‘What materials are you looking to print on?’ The answer, usually without fail is everything, or a large batch of work that a company has outsourced is shown. This is where the sale of an Acuity becomes easy. With flatbed performance and quality that leads its class and the ability to easily switch output to the dedicated roll media unit there would seem very few things you can’t print on.”
He adds, “Worldwide this printer has enjoyed tremendous success.”
Inca Onset S40i
The Inca Onset S40i flatbed UV inkjet printer supersedes the Inca Onset S40 and meets the high-volume, fast-turnaround production needs of specialist display print companies, using 168 new-generation, user-replaceable print heads (28 per colour) on a full width print array delivering a 28 picolitre drop size.
Gates says new features include:
Reduced bed masking – a new 15-zone vacuum table reduces bed masking requirements for substrates thinner than 3mm. This reduces setup times and increases overall machine productivity.
Innovative UV sensor system – print heads need regular maintenance but this varies depending on the type of substrates used and the volume of work produced. The Onset S40i’s auto sensor system constantly monitors the machine condition and informs the operator when automatic cleaning is required.
Sophisticated substrate height detector – sensitive mechanical substrate height detectors deliver accuracy and reliability to provide enhanced substrate and print head protection.