PRINTING United Expo Hot Products Spotlight: Agfa Inca Onset X Automation
(Editor's note: This review of the Agfa Inca Onset X Automation, which will debut at the upcoming PRINTING United Expo, is part of an ongoing series featuring longtime industry consultant David Zwang's rundown of his "Must See" products that will be on the show floor.)
Last year at PRINTING United Expo, Agfa showcased the Inca Onset X for first time since their acquisition of INCA. This year, they are returning with updates, automation robots, and their "high five" handoff — something you must see!
The Onset X is one of the only true high productivity flatbed wide-format printers available in the market. It can print more than 15,000 square feet an hour and is designed to run continuous 24/7 production. It is perfect for applications like POP displays, corrugated materials, and packaging with its industrial-strength vacuum bed, which is productive with paperboard, plastic, or even metal. But it is also great for a typical graphical application like signage, window graphics, or whatever can be done on a true flatbed.
The Agfa Onset X UV imaging and ink set is designed for high quality and scalable print production. The eight-channel Onset X1 is configured for CMYK plus LcLmWO. However, as your production volume needs increase it can be upgraded with an additional six-channel carriage to become the Onset X2 (adding a second set of CMYK), then transformed again into a top-of-the-line Onset X3 (3 x CMYK plus W or O). Since the acquisition, their customers who have switched to the Agfa inks report that they have between 10% to 30% lower ink consumption, depending on the print mode that they're using. Agfa will be introducing a new White ink with more opacity and new light Cyan and Magenta inks at PRINTING United Expo 2023.
Today, print service providers also need to reduce their total cost of print manufacturing. And automation, of course, is critical so they really can reduce touch points, manual intervention, and have a system where an operator can load in a pallet, and just let the printer run. At the show, they will show a dual robot setup where you can also do two-sided printing without operator intervention. One robot will load the substrate onto the bed, it will get printed, and the same robot will pick it up again and hand it over to the second robot, in what they call the "high five". Then the second robot puts it down and the backside is printed!
All of this driven by their award-winning Asanti Workflow software. This is a complete, automated sign and display hub, which does the color management, preflighting, and manages the advanced functionalities of the Agfa printers and applications.
Agfa will also have other printers from their very wide portfolio, which includes the Anapurna, Oberon, Tauro, and others — some of which will be on display in the booth. Since Agfa's roots are as a chemical company, they have many other options to satisfy industrial printing requirements.