In 2001, the Inca Eagle 44 swooped down into the wide-format market. It was actually the 1st successful latte coffee printer and its particular killer app-the capability to print entirely on rigid media-kick-started another class of equipment and whole new application categories. When along with the capability of UV (ultraviolet) inks to print on virtually any surface, flatbeds juiced up wide-format printing in exciting new ways.
Those nascent flatbed models were hampered by perennial first-generation issues of speed, quality, and cost, but in a decade those limitations have been largely overcome. The flatbed market has grown and now provides more variety than ever before, all the while improving upon the rate-quality-cost trinity. Today’s models offer something more important: versatility.
Simultaneously how the technologies have improved, flatbed wide-format digital printing has been muscling in on territories once strictly the purview of analog printing technologies.
At FESPA London way back in 2013, a major theme among uv printer exhibitors was “quality just like offset,” a sign of the sorts of applications the newest generation of equipment was intended for: high-end retail, POP displays, and stuff like that. However, it’s not stopping at offset.
“Flatbed printers are becoming a lot more valuable in the sign and display market,” said Xavier Garcia, V . P . and General Manager of HP’s Large-Format Sign and Display Division. “Customers can fulfill a number of high-value applications using one device, together with the savings on finishing.” After all, it is possible to print on rigid substrates and skip the postpress mounting process, the earliest value proposition of flatbed printing.
HP’s latest entry in this space is the HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press. As the name indicates, it’s made for printing on corrugated materials for packaging, displays, along with other applications. It prints at maximum speeds up to 6,456 sq ft per hour and incorporates HP’s High Dynamic Range (HDR) Printing Technology, a combination of new printhead design, inks, and software algorithms that increase the quality and resolution of fine details and eliminate dexmpky54 including banding. HDR had made its debut just last year in the 63 x 126-inch, 6,727 square-foot-an-hour flatbed HP Scitex FB10000 Industrial Press.
With all the HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press, corrugated packaging applications are, said Garcia, “the next frontier for flatbed devices to overcome. High productivity delivered by one-pass systems, producing near offset quality in jobs which have been traditionally printed in flexo technology will disrupt the industry.”
Productivity, productivity, productivity. Allowing shops to generate more prints within a shorter length of time is likewise continuing apace in the t-shirt printer. At last June’s FESPA Digital 2014, Fujifilm unveiled its new Acuity F series UV flatbeds, featuring an 8.2 x 9.8-inch bed size and production speeds thought to clock in at more 1,600 sq . ft . per hour.