Bridging the Gap Between Commercial and Wide-Format Printing
A major focus for many of the exhibitors at this week’s SGIA Expo is to help general commercial print businesses add new capabilities for — or make a complete transition to — wide-format or other kinds of specialty printing applications. (It’s rarer, but not unheard of, for some shops to go in the opposite direction, for wide-format shops to add general commercial printing.) Vendors and manufacturers who also have one foot in the commercial space and one foot in the wide-format space are well-equipped to help customers bridge the gap between the two worlds.
Canon Solutions America (CSA; Booths 2435 and 2525) is one of those companies. This week’s SGIA Expo is the showcase for the company’s wide-format offerings, as well as some new finishing equipment.
Probably the biggest new offering from CSA is the brand-new Océ Colorado 1640, a 64-inch roll-fed device that offers an entirely new ink technology and approach to printing and curing. The machine was unveiled at a press event held in Boca Raton last February, and shown publicly for the first time at last April’s ISA Sign Expo. The objective of the Colorado 1640 was to boost print speed, and CSA approached the issue of boosting speed by asking the question, “What if you print first and cure later?” In other words, pump out the ink as fast as possible, then cure a little further down the line. That requires two new components: a new type of ink, called UVgel, that comprises droplets of gel that plop down on the substrate. Because it is a gel and thus has a very high viscosity (essentially it behaves like a solid), the droplets don’t deform, spread out, or wick into the substrate the way liquid ink droplets do. Shortly after printing, an LED curing lamp passes over the droplets. Decoupling printing and curing works out, the company estimates, to about two to five times the speed of competitive printing technologies. The Colorado can print on all the substrates that other roll-to-roll UV devices can print on.
CSA is also showcasing its classic Océ Arizona UV flatbed wide-format printers, including the Océ Arizona 2280 GT with a new roll media option (RMO) that was launched in August. This allows the flatbed Arizona to become a hybrid machine, giving shops even greater flexibility in the kinds of products and applications it can offer customers.
In the finishing space, CSA is showing the new Auto Pilot option for the Océ ProCut 2500 L digital cutting system, which also launched in August. Auto Pilot automatically identifies and initiates the processing of all jobs placed on the cutter. With Auto Pilot, multiple jobs on the same media or even multiple jobs on different media can be quickly identified and finishing automatically initiated.
Learn how new and emerging wide-format printing technologies can help print service providers bridge the gap between general commercial and wide-format printing.