In 2001, the Inca Eagle 44 swooped into the wide-format market. It was the 1st successful latte coffee printer along with its killer app-the cabability to print entirely on rigid media-kick-started another class of equipment and whole new application categories. When along with the power of UV (ultraviolet) inks to print on just about 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 expense, but inside a decade those limitations had been largely overcome. The flatbed market has exploded and now offers more variety than ever before, in the mean time improving upon the pace-quality-cost trinity. Today’s models offer something a lot more important: versatility.
Concurrently the technologies have improved, flatbed wide-format digital printing has become muscling in on territories once strictly the purview of analog printing technologies.
At FESPA London in 2013, a major theme among phone case printer exhibitors was “quality as great as offset,” a sign of the types of applications the newest generation of equipment was designed for: high-end retail, POP displays, and so on. However, it’s not stopping at offset.
“Flatbed printers are becoming a lot more useful for 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, with all 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 within this space is the HP Scitex 15000 Corrugated Press. As the name indicates, it’s made for printing on corrugated materials for packaging, displays, and other applications. It prints at maximum speeds as much as 6,456 sq ft each hour and incorporates HP’s High Dynamic Range (HDR) Printing Technology, a variety of new printhead design, inks, and software algorithms that enhance the quality and resolution of fine details and eliminate dexmpky54 such as banding. HDR had made its debut a year ago 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 were traditionally printed in flexo technology will disrupt the industry.”
Productivity, productivity, productivity. Allowing shops to generate more prints in the shorter length of time is additionally continuing apace within the textile printer. Finally 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 square feet each hour.