2021 may not have been the busiest year when it comes to product launches, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some that deserve praise. So without further ado, our annual Angel Awards this time around go to…
This 64in-wide Colorado UVgel printer is little brother to the flagship Colorado 1650. It has a maximum print speed of 111m²/hour, and in high-quality mode has a cruising speed of 29m²/hour. The roll-to-roll printer delivers 1,800dpi print quality and uses Canon’s UVgel 460 inks for odourless and instantly dry prints on almost any media. It can be configured according to needs by adding options such as a second media roll, and double-sided printing. An optional FLXfinish module uses a LED curing technique to add visual impact to print applications without the need to change inks or media.
There is on-the-fly ink replenishment which, combined with automation features such as nozzle monitoring, printhead maintenance and media feed winding, cuts machine downtime. Also, Canon’s Remote Control app is now available to monitor all Colorado printers.
This is an interesting machine in that it has been developed to realistically reproduce prints retaining the look and texture of natural and artificial leather.
The SUJV-160 - which has a print width of 161cm - uses SU200 thin film solvent UV ink developed by Fujifilm and exclusively sold by Mimaki. It provides stretch ability and scratch resistance on natural and artificial leather, resulting in the retention of texture and feel of the material after printing - and the ability to boost productivity by instantly switching to post-processing without any drying time.
Acuity Prime and Acuity Ultra R2
These printers are part of a strategy to create what Fujifilm has described as “the new blueprint for wide-format by resetting expectations for price/performance and ROI”.
The Prime - which has a printable area of 2.54m x 1.27m and can accommodate media up to a thickness of 51mm – is available in CMYK formats with white, and with additional clear and jetting primer. It uses a new ink system called Uvijet HM, which has been formulated for adhesion to a range of substrates. A new jetting primer improves adhesion further for particularly challenging substrates.
The Acuity Ultra R2 replaces the Acuity Ultra launched in 2018. It is available in 5m or 3.2m versions, and with various colour configurations up to eight channels. Conventional UV curing is standard, or there’s an LED UV curing system for six colour and white configurations. The printer is of a new enclosed design to eliminate stray UV light. It features larger ink tanks, designed for easy refills. Maintenance-free ink pumps have also been integrated into the machine. A window allows the operator to check on the progress of a job without leaving the workstation.
Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS
Marketed as ‘The Beast’, this UV LED inkjet engine prints media up to 3.3m wide in four- or six-colours at a speed up to 600m²/h. The Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS LED (UHS for ‘ultra-high speed’) is a true hybrid that can handle boards and sheets as well as flexible, but it is up to 30% faster than other members of the Jeti Tauro H3300 family.
Designed for low maintenance and high uptime, the printer has a high-speed autoloader and large ink tanks. There are extended vacuum zones and media guides too. The master roll-to-roll configuration can handle both single- and dual-roll printing, and features an optional camera for double-sided printing of block-out media.
The Jeti Tauro H3300 UHS LED is powered by Agfa’s Asanti workflow software, which controls and automates the entire printing process from prepress to finishing, and optimises ink consumption. Calibrated Print Modes (CPMs) are personalised production templates that control all parameters for a particular substrate and enable automatic job creation.
The 64-bit Rip software for sign and display and large-format print providers. now supports multi-layer/white and varnish ink layered printing. Flexi 21 can generate white or varnish ink on the fly or from the white layer in the predefined design. Users can control how the ink is printed in both the Flexi Design and Flexi Rip Production Manager functions. This ‘sandwich’ mode printing supports printing multiple layers, for example, a bottom layer of white, colour in the middle and varnish on top.
Flexi 21 can handle variable data printing too. Other features include jig templates, enhanced printing while Ripping, custom cut line names and colours, Adobe Illustrator layer support, and inkset channels and profiles that can be customised to different colour modes if your printer supports custom ink. G7 Certification recognises gray balance and generates linearisation that is compliant with G7 colour standards.
The Web-based monitoring tool gives the user access to cutter-performance data at a glance. The system records productivity levels over a freely definable period using Zund Cut Center (version 3.4 or later) as the data source, and supplies key performance indicators.
Zund Connect comprises multiple dashboards with specific options for evaluating data. An ‘overview’ dashboard provides past production data and indicates, for example, fluctuations in machine utilisation. ‘Job list’ shows a list of processed jobs, what they entailed, the time it took to produce them, and the cutting distance travelled per job. A ‘loss detection’ view visualises losses in terms of time. It shows, for example, when process interruptions tend to occur most often ‘Interruption statistics’ lists the reasons for such interruptions. The user can filter for time of day, material, method, tool, or module etc.
Monitor’ or ‘Analyzer’ versions are available. Monitor consists of a graphical display of overall equipment effectiveness and is available to all ZCC users for free. Analyzer provides the necessary tools for the user to be able to evaluate the production process and recommend improvements.
Earlier this year Web-to-print specialist Vpress partnered website developer Making Websites Better (MWB) to bring out e-commerce solution CloudToPrint, promising printers a ROI within days.
MWB founder and MD Paul Warren, says: “With our CloudtoPrint partnership with Vpress we can get printers fully set up, working, and making money from taking their business online, without huge investment costs, long time delay and risk taking. Return on investment needs to be within days, not months. We can deliver that.”
Via the solution jobs can be submitted into any FTP/SFTP and/or workflow/MIS. For those without an automated workflow, Vpress provides Coreproduction, a job management tool that’s a pre-cursor to a true workflow or MIS. A ‘handholding’ service and training come as part of the package.
The OPOC (Online Proof Of Completion) cloud-based field service management solution that helps PSPs track live projects was launched a few years ago now, but it has had major improvements, hence its inclusion.
There’s now a ‘voice to text’ feature, enabling field agents to complete forms on the go. Notifications allows information to trigger an action - eg. to let a customer to know when a job is started. As soon as a field agent is on site and starts a job, an email can automatically be sent to your customer to inform them of the action.
Also new is a calendar whereby new projects are added in an all-in-one process. There’s also a client app that lets a customer see and review a job. Other new features include an ‘asset list’ that can hold complex and detailed information about almost any item.
In addition, OPOC has an API link into Tharstern MIS to manage POS distribution. Thastern can push pick-list information into OPOC, which then can be sent to retail stores who can check off received goods via the OPOC app and notify of missing or damaged items and request replacements.
T3200-U3 and T1600-U3 printheads
These are Epson’s first printheads with a built-in heater for UV applications, making printing with highly viscous UV ink possible.
The PrecisionCore printheads offer an effective print width of 67.2mm. The T3200-U3 enables 300dpi, four-colour CMYK printing (600dpi, two-colours) at high speed from a single printhead. The T1600-U3 is a 300dpi, two-colour version (600dpi single-colour).
A variety of printers can be developed by combining the T3200 and T1600. For example, the T3200 can be equipped with CMYK ink and the T1600 can be equipped with special inks such as white and varnish.
Epson hopes the two new printheads will accelerate the digitisation of signage printing and provide PSPs with an environment in which high-quality, high-speed printing can be more easily implemented.
Generate Print Form
OneVision is calling this a ‘mini-MIS’ software. It enables wide-format, label and commercial printers to generate printing forms based on individual requirements of printing, embellishment and finishing machines as well as different properties of the artworks to be printed.
All production machines and materials, including their specifications, are created as master data in the software itself. Users can specify which combinations of press/printer and post press machines are suitable for which substrate or job. Once these settings have been made, the software intelligently creates print forms tailored to the quantity and type of print files and the requirements of the production machines.
Tasks such as preflighting, colour management, flattening transparencies, file normalisation etc. are done automatically. If preferred, the user can intervene and adjust the placement by hand.
As soon as a print form is ready, Generate Print Form adds print marks required for finishing. Once the user is satisfied with the layout production can be started with a click and the data is transferred to the printer. Finishing and cutting information is automatically sent to the post press machines.
Jeti Tauro H3300 LED S
The entry-level, hybrid Jeti Tauro H3300 LED S is a 6-colour printer (with optional white and primer) with a top speed of 302m2/hr that can be upgraded to the higher speed of its bigger brother, the H3300, launched back in 2018 and capable of delivering prints up to 3.3m wide at speeds up to 453m2/h. It uses Agfa’s Asanti workflow software, which controls and automates the process from prepress to finishing.
Kavalan Eco Calculator
Introduced by Taya to help companies evaluate and understand the true costs of using its Kavalan PVC-free print media, this Web-based tool uses data based on the life cycle analysis (LCA) process conducted by SGS, a testing, inspection and certification company.
Various Kavalan products can be compared to PVC banner and textile counterparts. It uses comparison data relating to global warming, water consumption, human carcinogens, PM2.5 (polluted particles), and fossil fuel scarcity. Users enter the Kavalan product of their choice, their preferred unit of measurement, and the quantity, and the eco savings result is generated, with a PDF report and message is sent straight to their inbox.