Standard Finishing
4Over

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pay Attention to the Machine Behind the Curtain

Collapse
X
Collapse

  • Pay Attention to the Machine Behind the Curtain

    By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

    They served champagne. It was a product launch, after all.

    About halfway through the afternoon, at the far end of a meeting room deep within the Boca Raton Resort, Canon pulled back the curtain on the Océ Colorado 1640. Rolling out an entirely new set of technologies, the new roll-to-roll large format printer opens up new opportunities for Canon–and its customers–in the fastest growing segment of the large format market.

    The print samples on the surrounding walls and spewing out of the machine were impressive, causing some in attendance to wonder how the color gamut and print quality was being achieved with only four ink colors. And what was with the two heads ripping relentlessly back and forth across the paper, in alternate directions? Then there was this new UVgel ink. The operative term was “Huh?”

    Filling a space
    Canon already has a strong presence in large format with its Océ Arizona flatbed systems but it lacked a roll-fed machine to compete with other leading players, explains Sal Sheikh, Vice President for Large format Solutions. “There are strong offerings in the market that use latex, solvent, eco-solvent, and UV curable inks. We saw the opportunity but knew that making a difference would require a unique approach that offered more than existing technologies.” And that was UVgel.

    Canon’s R&D division had already developed proprietary print heads, inks and toners for other print engines, so when asked to redefine roll-to-roll large format printing the engineers were quickly able to color outside the lines and come up with a unique solution.

    “Customers don’t always know specifically what they want, but some key needs are always the same: Less operator involvement, reduced waste, lower cost of operation, and being robust enough to run all day,” says Sheikh. And judging from what was shown in Boca, those are all on the table with the new Colorado 1640.

    Two heads are better than one
    The proprietary UVgel inks land as 10 picoliter droplets as the print head moves laterally across the substrate. The gel ink doesn’t coalesce or blend with other colors as do aqueous or solvent inks. This limits dot gain and ensures accurate drop positioning. The gel inks, at least in the samples shown at the unveiling, also provide vivid hues, some of which seem to be decidedly outside what most think of as the normal CMYK color gamut. Then, moments after the ink hits the media, a compact LED array glides back and forth in precise opposition to the print heads, instantly curing the inks and making the image ready for use or lamination.

    Both the print head array and the LED curing unit are only a few inches square, which is surprising compared to the print head sizes of other UV machines and the large banks of LEDs often used to cure the UV inks or the heat lamps used for solvent printing. As it turns out, the characteristics of Canon’s UVgel inks let them be applied in an extremely thin layer with minimal (if any) physical profile on the substrate surface. This thin laydown requires less exposure to a UV light source, so what seems to be nowhere near enough curing time beneath the UV head is actually plenty.

    Less is more
    These characteristics are tied to two of the three key advantages with the new machine: ink cost, speed, and automation. All translate into revenue and value for print providers. First, the UVgel ink lowers ink consumption by up to 40 percent and costs less than inks used in competing technologies. Next, Canon claims a top print speed of 1,710 square feet per hour and says Point-of-Purchase quality prints can run at 430 square feet per hour, making the Colorado 1640 the fastest 64-inch printer on the market. Third, automated roll loading enables rolls to be threaded and printed without operator involvement, with the machine automatically adjusting for media type and weight. And finally, drawing on its experience with its industrial-strength Arizona flatbed systems, run-all-day robustness was part of the criteria.

    “For print providers it’s really about applications, operations and volume,” says Sheikh. “The Colorado 1640 is faster, more automated, and has a lower cost of operation. It can do more in a shift, save money, and help grow customers’ businesses because they can do more.”

    You can catch the Colorado 1640 live at the ISA show in Las Vegas in April. Pricing and all the detailed specs will be released at the time, but expect MSRP to be under $60,000.
    Last edited by noelward; 03-28-2017, 01:20 PM.
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Categories

    Collapse

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • An under-the-radar flight pattern for MCS Inc.
      MyWildIrishProse
      by Sean O’Leary

      The first thing Glenn Toole said to me was “We change our world every 4 - 5 years and if we don’t we’re not moving ahead.”

      It was just last week that your PrintPlanet reporter stopped by MCS, Inc.’s Bolingbrook, IL National Demonstration Facility for a follow up chat with Glenn Toole, Vice President Sales & Marketing. This trip was sort of a continuation of a brief Print ’17 booth visit, after which I had been dogged by a feeling that there was more...
      10-12-2017, 09:22 AM
    • Putting the customer at the center
      prwhite
      An interview with the Managing Director of Enfocus
      Some of our members may be aware of changes at Enfocus during this year. As change happens, staff turnover occurs and some new faces emerge. Such has been the case at Enfocus, however the one constant is their ongoing customer support, evident on PrintPlanet posts and by their own, internal customer support. At PRINT-17, our staff had the chance to meet the new Managing Director, Wim Fransen, and discuss his customer-centric focus.
      ...
      09-27-2017, 09:56 AM
    • Seeking Full Disclosure: Who was Underwhelmed by PRINT 17?
      noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      Trying not to be snarkier than usual, I look back on four days at PRINT 17, remembering what it once looked like, thinking about what many I spoke with said about the show, and wondering what universe NPES lives in when they say this show went well.

      To be sure, the educational sessions, on the floor and in meeting rooms, were very good. These are one of the prime reasons for attending a trade show and anyone who goes to a show without taking advantage...
      09-21-2017, 01:59 PM
    • Short-Run Rotary Die-Cutting: More Value and More Margin
      MyWildIrishProse
      By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

      Printing today is about more than ink on paper. In fact, even saying “ink on paper” is an anachronism, given the bewildering variety of substrates that today’s equipment can print on. Today’s print customers are increasingly looking for ways for what they produce to stand out from other printed items, either in customers’ mailboxes, on store shelves, or any other environment where printed materials are jostling for attention. To that end,...
      08-31-2017, 07:14 AM
    • Automated Cross Platform Color Management is Now a Thing
      MyWildIrishProse
      "What do you want the job to look like, where is it going and what are the rules for mapping out of gamut colors?"

      Sean O’Leary
      Chief Technology Officer | Print Planet

      I was recently involved in producing case studies documenting a half dozen large commercial printers’ installations of high speed production inkjet printers. The featured inkjet models were built by Xerox, Fuji, Ricoh, HP, Konica-Minolta and other major manufacturers and they had been installed...
      08-24-2017, 10:28 AM
    • Noodling with Job Planning and Imposition Software
      MyWildIrishProse
      By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

      I once bought a pasta maker. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, I like pasta (it’s part of the heritage, after all!), and fresh, restaurant-quality pasta is one of life’s great delights. However, since I do not actually run a restaurant, the pasta maker ended up being more trouble than it was worth. From all the prep work it takes to make the dough to put into the thing, to the elaborate clean-up required, it turned out that just...
      08-16-2017, 08:11 PM
    Working...
    X