5 Takeaways from Wide-Format Printing Insight Days at PRINTING United

As part of the 14-day PRINTING United Digital Experience, industry analysts and business owners discussed growth opportunities for wide-format graphics producers in the post COVID-19 era.

Five themes dominated the outlook sessions, keynote presentations, and panel discussions during the Wide-Format Hardware and Consumables Insight Day (October 26) and the Wide-Format Workflow and Finishing Day (October 30).

Download a guide to each topic covered during the 14 days of the PRINTING United Digital Experience: » Virtual Publication Bin (printingunited.com)

Before COVID, graphics business owners expected 2020 to be a banner year.
In this keynote presentation, Tim Greene, research director of IDC, noted in Q4 2019, 86% of the companies surveyed said large-format graphics work was still growing and 83% said profit margins had grown over the past two years.

The Q4 2019 research also showed that 76% of large-format shops were considering new market opportunities and 83% had planned to invest in different types of printing and finishing equipment.

Business owners in the panel discussions said January and February of 2020 were fantastic months and the year was shaping up to be one of their best years ever.

The COVID-19 shutdowns in March and April 2020 disrupted major segments of the large-format business. Trade shows and events were cancelled and steep declines in travel and tourism devastated the demand for graphics in airports, theme parks, hotels, restaurants, and other venues.

According to NAPCO Research Principal Analyst Lisa Cross, 87.5% of the participants in the study of COVID-19 Business Indicators said their sales declined in March and April. The average sales decline was 52.3%.

In a panel discussion about the future of signs and graphics, two executives of wide-format graphics firms said the COVID-19 shutdown “was a jolt to the system” and “just seemed to happen overnight.” Business owners said they had to make changes quickly, save cash, and prepare to capitalize on the rebound.

The versatility of wide-format printing and finishing equipment enabled companies to pivot to fill immediate and evolving needs. Companies that served essential businesses such as healthcare facilities, grocery stores, and big-box retailers acted quickly to fill immediate needs for social-distancing graphics, safety posters, and window and curbside graphics to announce new pick-up areas and services.

Some trade-show exhibit companies designed and built pop-up shelters for COVID testing centers or temporary medical facilities.

One graphics display company owner said their company not only pivoted to personal protective equipment, but also to corrugated packaging: “That business increased exponentially”

Another wide-format display company executive said the laser fabric cutter the company purchased to make dye-sublimation fabric displays was put to work cutting fabric for face masks and other garments: “It helped us get through the periods when we didn’t have any other work.” The automated cutter freed the sewing employees from having to stop, measure, and manually cut fabric.

During the spring and summer of 2020, wide-format graphics producers started selling new types of signage. For example, when spring graduation ceremonies were canceled, savvy graphics producers created a demand for personalized yard signs and hanging banners to honor individual graduates.

The reopening of restaurants, healthcare waiting rooms, stadiums, and offices led to an expanded range of orders for all types of safety and social-distance signage, including plastic dividers in bars and restaurants, seat barriers, and photo cut-outs to represent fans in the stands.

Now, some acrylic booth dividers are being printed to enhance restaurant decor and social-distancing floor graphics are being updated with brand advertising or holidays messages.

By July and August, wide-format graphics producers were showing some first signs of recovery. Compared to the March/April time period, 38.6% of respondents to NAPCO’s COVID Business Indicators research said their sales activity rose in the July/August 2020 period, 35.5% had more work-on-hand, and 41.7% were doing more quotes.

Not all wide-format print businesses were equally impacted.
According to sign and graphics research conducted by Keypoint Intelligence, 57% of survey respondents said revenues declined by 21% or more during the first four months of 2020. Another 25% of responses reported sales declines of 20% or less. A fortunate 3.4% saw an increase in revenues of more than 10%.

In a panel discussion about capital investments in the shadow of COVID-19, the owner of a trade printing service, said April was a good month for them because they specialized in printing short runs of yard signs. Throughout the spring, they printed thousands of yard signs for dozens of customers who wanted to express appreciation for health care workers and recognize middle school and high-school graduates.

Several panel-discussion participants noted that larger graphics companies with diverse capabilities were better positioned to pivot and survive the year of COVID-19. They predicted smaller mom-and-pop shops with limited equipment and marketing resources would continue to struggle.

One business owner admitted that pivoting to new products isn’t always easy. He likened it to asking an offensive lineman on a football team to suddenly play wide receiver.

Some owners continued to make capital investments, but admit the margin for errors is shrinking and timing is very important. Experienced print business owners know that marketing and advertising budgets are among the first to be cut during economic slowdowns. But they are also the first budgets to be ramped up during a rebound.

One participant commented that in the 2008-09 recession, “We were too slow to make painful cuts, and slow to add capacity to handle the rebound.” He hopes to avoid that situation this time..

“As an entrepreneur, I am always quietly optimistic,” said one owner. Even in the midst of economic downturns, “There is an opportunity in there somewhere.”

Owners are looking ahead to 2021. The large-format business owners who participated in the PRINTING United panel discussions are cautiously optimistic. But they realize that some markets and consumer behavior have changed forever.

While in-person trade-shows and events may re-start in 2021, the live shows are likely to attract fewer people. And, the role of retail stores may have been permanently changed by the surge in online shopping.

Andrew Paparozzi, chief economist, PRINTING United Alliance,. predicted that the real post-COVID recovery will start happening only when we have learned to live with COVID, and people feel comfortable traveling again.

He said participants in the “COVID-19 Print Business Indicators” studies were anticipating growth in online sales of print products and seeing new opportunities in anti-microbial graphics, complex display fabrication, interior decor, and specialty graphics.

IDC analyst Tim Greene agreed that new types of applications will fuel the recovery. For example, although branded hand-sanitizer stations don’t involve large amounts of printed graphics, businesses can make nice margins by fabricating the stands and selling them for use in offices, manufacturing facilities, schools, and other locations.

Printed graphics with QR or NFC codes could support redesigned “touchless” retail environments and printed backdrops might be useful for corporate sales and administrative personnel who continue to video conference from home. The many restaurants and other businesses now offer home-delivery services may want vehicle wraps or graphics.

Analyst Lisa Cross noted that one reason large-format graphics producers are resilient is because almost any surface today is a blank canvas for digital printing. Surfaces can be printed with either decorations to enhance the ambience or brand messaging

A graphic printing business owner affirmed that observation:“Our wide-format segment will continue to grow. People are putting large-format printing on more and more things in creative ways.”

Some owners believe that new customers they picked up during COVID-19 disruptions will continue to do business with them during the recovery.

Greene believes some companies will stabilize their businesses by continuing to expand the ancillary services they were planning in Q4 2019. Some of the most frequently mentioned services that large-format graphics providers planned to add include:

  • Design services (57.2%)
  • Installation (43.3%)
  • 3D printing services (40.2%)
  • Sign permitting (33.5%)
  • Pre-site consultations (27.3%)
  • Packaging or package prototyping (25.8%)
  • Digital signage/digital display assembly (25.3%)
  • Label printing (24.7%)
  • Digital signage/digital display content (24.7%)
  • Direct-to-garment T-shirt printing (24.2%)
  • Narrow format printing (20.1%)
  • Interior decor applications (20.1%)

“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for businesses to evolve,” said Greene. Wide-format graphics companies can evolve in many directions and produce many types of products to reposition their shops for recovery and growth.

He advised print-business owners to develop detailed and data-oriented plan and to continue to invest in production technologies that enable their shops to produce a wider variety of applications,

All of the wide-format graphics presentations and business-leader panel discussions on Day 1 and Day 5 of the PRINTING United Digital Experience can be viewed online at no charge until January 31, 2021. Visit: https://www.printingunited.com/ to register and access the video presentations.

Recommended Resources

PRINTING United Guide to Day 1: Wide Format Hardware and Consumables

PRINTING United: Guide to Day 5: Wide Format Finishing and Workflow

NAPCO Research: COVID-19 Print Business Indicators. Volume 1, No. 3

Online Printing Education Opportunities in December 2020 and January 2021

Online opportunities to learn about evolving print business practices and technologies continue through January, 2021.

Event organizers at ISA, drupa, and PRINTING United Alliance have scheduled new events. Plus, you can watch replays of all of the presentations at the FuturePrint Virtual Summit until December 20 and all of the PRINTING United DIgital Experience sessions through January 31. Scroll down to see New Events and On-Demand Replays.

New Events

ISA’s The Link: Soft Signage
December 8-9, 2020
Organized by the International Sign Association

Learn how digitally printing fabric signs and displays (“soft signage”) can help grow your graphics, sign, or visual communications business. Expert will cover the ins and outs of the soft signage market and explore ways you can increase profit by entering this space.

Printers, fabricators, suppliers and distributors will share insights, tips and resources related to fabric selection, equipment required to make soft signage, installation methods, and best practices. See live demonstrations in the exhibitor showcases and enjoy networking opportunities with other participants. There is no fee to register. Visit: https://www.signs.org/softsignage

Digital Textile Printing 2020 conference logo

Digital Textile Printing Conference
December 9-10, 2020
Organized by the PRINTING United Alliance
and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC)

Key trends and technologies in digitally printed textiles. Morning and afternoon sessions highlight the latest on automation, color management, sustainability, state of the industry, supply chain, and more

Ray Weiss, director, Digital Print Programs, PRINTING United Alliance, and Kerry King, senior VP R&D, Spoonflower, will host the event.

Speakers include:

  • Andy Arkin, strategic account manager, Industrial Segments, Zünd America
  • Andy Paparozzi, chief economist, PRINTING United Alliance
  • Chad Bolick, business development, Unifi Manufacturing Inc.
  • Dan Gillespie, director of Technical Services, Alder Technology
  • David Clark, business development manager, Inks, Huntsman Textile Effects
  • Frank Henderson, President, Henderson Sewing Co.
  • Jaime Herand, VP, Graphics Operations, Orbus Exhibit and Display Group
  • Kimmy Schenter, global color operations, Design, Nike
  • Lewis Shuler, senior R&D manager, Fabric/Color/Print, Old Navy
  • Luke Harris, VP of Manufacturing, Solid Stone Fabrics
  • Ray Weiss, director, Digital Print Programs, PRINTING United Alliance
  • Raylene Marasco, founder, DYE-NAMIX
  • Ron Ciccone, director of Digital Services, Roysons Corp.
  • Will Duncan, CEO, WDA, and executive director, SEAMS Association

“While we cannot meet together in person this year, we are looking forward to bringing this exemplary program to the homes and offices of all involved in digital textile printing,” said Weiss. “Our speaker lineup is second to none. We look forward to offering attendees actionable and usable programming and content in the current business climate.”

For the complete agenda and to register for the event, visit sgia.org/events/digital-textile-printing-conference.

Drupa Previews
December 18, 2020
Organized by Messe Dusseldorf

On October 27, drupa opened an online conference area, exhibition space, and networking plaza where you can learn more about the topics and products that will be presented at the hybrid (virtual/live event) drupa trade fair scheduled for April 20-28 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Each month’s preview day features live web sessions during which you can chat with the scheduled. The next live preview day will take place December 18, 2020. Registered visitors can view replays of the sessions from the first two preview days held October 27 and November 17.

Presentations currently available include:

  • The inkjet revolution in digital production
  • Inspection systems in flexible packaging
  • Trends in retail and packaging
  • Print in a digital world: through intelligent linkage to return on investment
  • Additive production technologies and options for smart packaging
  • The value of print in multi-channel publishing

In the “Exhibition Space” you can preview some of the products and innovations that will be featured in the live drupa exhibition areas. Meetings with company representatives can be scheduled through the “Networking Plaza”. These networking options allow companies and interested parties to establish live online contact in advance of the live event in April 2021.

“Even in times of crisis we can offer solutions to keep the industries interacting and networking,” explained Erhard Wienkamp, COO, Messe Dusseldorf. “We are working intensively on strengthening global communications not only through our local events, but also be expanding new virtual formats.”

“From now on, it is our goal to create a hybrid concept,” said Sabine Galdermann, Project Director of Print Technologies for drupa. She says they would like to achieve the best of both a digital event and a live event.

On-Demand Replays of October Events

FuturePrint Virtual Summit Logo

FuturePrint Virtual Summit
Organized by FM Future

Replays of the 79 talks presented during the second FuturePrint Virtual Summit (October 12-15) are available through December 20, 2020 on the event website: .https://virtualsummit.futureprint.tech/

Access is free, but registration is required.

Sessions covered trends and technologies in industrial print, wide format print, packaging and labels, and commercial print. A full day of sessions was devoted to “Young Guns in Print.” This day of programming featured sessions led by young printpreneurs and was devoted to the 57% of FuturePrint Virtual Summit attendees who were between the ages of 18 and 35.

According to event organizations, the two most popular sessions attracted more than 700 attendees each. These sessions were:

Xaar: The New Roadmap for Inkjet
Speaker: John Mills, CEO, Xaar

Nanography: Where Print Meets the Future Today
Speaker: Nick Clements, Strategic Business Planner, Landa Digital Printing

Other sessions discussed

  • The Rise, Fall, and Restructuring of the Print Economy in 2020
  • The Essential Sales Channel in 2020: How to Win New Clients on LinkedIn
  • Software: The Key to Successful Adaptation
  • Direct to Object: Introducing Actega Decorating
  • COVID and the Silver Lining for Production Print
  • Global Design and Digital Wallcoverings
  • The Mystery of Pricing
  • The Future of Flexible Packaging
  • Why Digital Print for Corrugated Packaging

The October, 2020 version of the FuturePrint Virtual Summit was attended by 3,908 people from over 80 countries. This is up from the 1,550 people from 65 countries who attended the inaugural FuturePrint Summit in June, 2020.


PRINTING United Digital Experience
Presented by PRINTING United Alliance and NAPCO Media

All programming from the PRINTING United Digital Experience (Oct. 26-Nov. 12) is now available on-demand through January 31, 2021. It is completely free to those who register. Visit: digital.printingunited.com.

Choose to watch more than 100 educational sessions and over 40 product launches and demonstrations. Many sessions address market trends for 2021 and present ideas for growing your business in the post-COVID economy.

Market segments across the industry were represented, including: graphics and wide-format; apparel; commercial; packaging; in-plant; mailing and fulfillment; workflow and software; industrial; and digital textile. 

Sessions include:

  • Panel Discussion: Making Capital Investments in the Shadow of COVID-19
  • Panel Discussion: Driving Profitability and Efficiency in Apparel Decorating
  • Keynote: Opportunities Enabled by Post COVID by Production Inkjet Printing
  • Keynote: Trends and Opportunities in Labels and Flexible Packaging
  • Panel Discussion: The Science and Skill of Graphics Installation
  • Panel Discussion: In-Plant Trends in the Midst of the Pandemic
  • Keynote: Thrive in a Transformative Marketplace with the Latest Sheetfed Offset Technology
  • Keynote: Trends and Opportunities in Folding Cartons and Corrugated
  • Panel Discussion: Emerging Direct Mail Trends for COVID-19 and Beyond
  • Panel Discussion: Effective Selling through Online Portals
  • Panel Discussion: The Rise of E-Commerce in Apparel Printing
  • Keynote: Electrophotography- Digital Print of the Past and Future
  • Keynote: Industrial Print -What’s Hot and Where is it Headed?
  • Panel Discussion: Textiles and Color Assurance

More than 8,200 registrants from 5,700 companies in 108 countries engaged with the PRINTING United Digital Experience platform during the 14 business days of programming. Registrants watched more than 7,500 hours of video and accounted for more than 100,000 pageviews.

Daily Guides developed by NAPCO editorial teams provide attendees a deep-dive into each
market segment day’s schedule and are accessible at https://digital.printingunited.com/virtual-public-bin/

In addition to the schedule of educational sessions and research that is available
on-demand to attendees, the Guides contain an overview and editorial featuring a closer look
at companies championing the technology within each market.

“We are incredibly thankful to those who participated both as exhibitors and attendees to this powerful platform,” said Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United. “We encourage those searching for the latest statistics and trends, and for those considering new technology implementation, to bookmark this site and take advantage of the invaluable content. Stay tuned for even more resources and programming to come!”

Use Mimaki JV100-160 Eco-Solvent Printer for Outdoor-Durable Signs, Wraps, and Art

The 63-inch Mimaki JV-100-160 is a start-up-business friendly roll-to-roll wide-format inkjet printer that uses Mimaki’s SS21 eco-solvent inks to produce outdoor-durable graphics and photographic signs and displays. Mimaki’s eco-solvent inks are known for their fast-drying capabilities, superior adhesion to flexible signage media, and high scratch resistance.

The 63-inch Mimaki JV100-160 inkjet printer can use 4 or 8 colors of eco-solvent inks.

The printer can run two 4-color sets of inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) at speeds of up to 667 sq. ft./hr. for simple banners and graphics.

Users who want to produce a wider range of graphics might want the JV100 printer that uses 8 colors of ink: cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light magenta, light cyan, light black, and orange ink. This ink combination provides the color range and image quality required for advertising vehicle graphics, art reproductions, black-and-white photographs, wall graphics, and point-of-purchase signs that include photos and brand colors.

The light black, light cyan, and light magenta inks help produce sharper details, higher contrasts, and smoother tonal gradations in photographs. The orange ink makes it possible to achieve a wider gamut of colors, including smoother transitions between red tones.

The inks on the JV100-160 are supplied in easy-to-use 600 ml or 2000 ml eco-cartridges that can be rapidly changed with no mess.

The eco-solvent inks on the Mimaki JV100-160 are Greenguard Gold certified, which means they meet some of the world’s most rigorous chemical exposure standards. Greenguard Gold-certified products help minimize indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure.

Features

Mimaki engineered the printer and its included workflow software to make expert-level high-quality printing easy for newcomers to the wide-format graphics business. In addition to Mimaki core technologies such as variable-dot printing and nozzle checking and recovery systems, the JV100-160 includes the new labor-saving Dot Adjustment System.

Dot Adjustment System (DAS) offers automatic alignments to ensure repeatability and consistent quality of the fine lines and details expected in high-quality photographic imaging. The DAS frees operators from having to perform common adjustments themselves.

Nozzle Check Unit (NCU) and Nozzle Recovery System (NRS) work together to monitor and correct the performance of the nozzles that eject the inks from the printhead. The NCU automatically detects the condition of each nozzle. When a missing nozzle is detected, it automatically performs a cleaning. If the nozzle still isn’t working, the NRS automatically replaces defective nozzles with alternate nozzles.

Mimaki Adavanced Pass System (MAPS) provides gradation to printed pass boundaries to reduce banding and uneven colors. The result is a streak-free, high-quality printed.

Intelligent Heaters improve the performance of the ink and materials.

Raster Link 7 RIP Software converts PDFs and other design files into the dot sizes, colors, and patterns that the printer will lay down on each pass back and forth across the printer. The software is designed for quick and accurate processing of big files, including PDFs with special effects such as transparency. It can also print variable text or image data on each print for greater personalization, text in different languages, or the inclusion of regional or local information. Like other RIP software, Raster Link enables you to create super-large tiled prints (such as multi-panel wall murals) or automatically “nest” a variety of smaller prints across the full width of media roll to reduce wasting media.

Variable-drop printing means the printer can change the size of the droplet being ejected during each print job. Ink drops as small as 4 picoliters can be used to create fine details and smooth tonal gradations. Larger drop sizes are used to speed the production of areas with solid colors.

The JV100-160 printer is expected to ship in December 2020 at a suggested retail price of $12,995. An upgrade path is available for shops that want to start with the 4-color printer configuration and add 8-color capabilities later.

About Mimaki USA

Mimaki USA in Suwanee, Georgia is an operating entity of Mimaki Engineering In Japan. The company engineers and manufactures digital printers and cutters for use in the Signs and Graphics, Textile & Apparel, Industrial Printing and 3D markets. In 2019, Mimaki USA celebrated 20 years of service to print service providers in the Americas.

For more information, visit www.mimakiusa.com or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @MimakiUSA.

The Mimaki JV100-160 eco-solvent printer and UJV100-160 UV-LED roll-to-roll printer were both announced on November 4, 2020.

Mimaki UJV100-160 Is Full-Featured 63-in. Roll-to-Roll UV-LED Printer

The Mimaki UJV100-160 printer is a full-featured, competitively priced 63-in. roll-to-roll wide format printer that uses 4, 5, or 6 colors of UV-LED curable ink plus white and clear inks. Users of this versatile wide-format inkjet printer can output high-value, instant-dry prints on a wide variety of materials, including banner materials, adhesive-backed vinyls, clear PET window films, translucent backlit films, inkjet fabrics, and plain paper.

The Mimaki UJV100-160 uses six colors of UV-LED inks plus white and clear inks.

The UJV100-160 holds 1000 ml refillable bottles of Mimaki LUS-170 UV LED inks in six colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, and light magenta) plus clear and white inks.

The six colors, combined with the printhead’s ability to precisely place various sizes of droplets on the media, help produce detailed, high-contrast images with smooth gradients between the color tones.

White ink can be used to create a base layer for bright, accurate colors on clear and translucent backlit films and fabrics.

Clear ink can be applied as an overprint layer to add textures or a glossier finish to selected areas of the print. These types of embellished prints typically command higher margins.

The bulk ink system and hot swappable inks enable the printer to be used for continuous production. The operator doesn’t have to stop the printer in the middle of a print job when one of the colors of ink runs out.

Mimaki’s LUS 170-UV LED inks are flexible enough to use for vehicle graphics, stickers, and decals. The inks don’t crack when the material is flexed to adhere to a curved surface.

The inks are also UL Greenguard Gold Certified, which means the printed graphics don’t emit hazardous chemicals. Printed graphics can be safely posted on the floors, ceilings, walls, and windows of indoor environments, including schools and healthcare facilities.

Instant lamination and delivery. Vehicle wraps, fleet graphics, and other graphics that will be exposed to high levels of abrasion or harsh conditions typically are laminated. Whereas eco-solvent inkjet prints require extra time to outgas before being laminated, the instant-dry prints made with UV-LED inks can be laminated immediately. UV-LED lamps onboard the printer fully cure the inks before the print rolls off the printer. Because the inks don’t need to dry for several hours before lamination and delivery, the 247 sq. ft./hr. maximum throughput speed of the UJV100-160 shouldn’t be compared directly with the faster throughput speeds of eco-solvent inkjet printers.

Features

The printer and its software are engineered to make high-quality printing easy for newcomers to the wide-format graphics business. The UJV100-160 features many core technologies found in Mimaki’s high-end, wider UV-LED printers, as well as Mimaki’s new Dot Adjustment System.

Dot Adjustment System (DAS) offers automatic alignments to ensure repeatability and consistent quality of the fine lines and details expected in high-quality photographic imaging. The DAS frees operators from having to perform common adjustments themselves.

The Nozzle Check Unit (NCU) and Nozzle Recovery System (NRS) work together to monitor and correct the performance of the nozzles that eject the inks from the printhead. The NCU automatically detects the condition of each nozzle. When a missing nozzle is detected, it automatically performs a cleaning. If the nozzle still isn’t working, the NRS automatically replaces defective nozzles with alternate nozzles.

Mimaki Adavanced Pass System (MAPS) provides gradation to printed pass boundaries to reduce banding and uneven colors. The result is a streak-free, high-quality printed image.

Ink Circulation Technology improves printhead performance by keeping the pigments in certain inks from settling.

Raster Link 7 RIP Software converts PDFs and other design files into the dot sizes, colors, and patterns that the printer will lay down on each pass back and forth across the printer. The software is designed for quick and accurate processing of big files, including PDFs with special effects such as transparency. It can also print variable text or image data on each print. Variable-data printing is ideal for posters that will be personalized or customized with different languages or local images.

Like other RIP software, Raster Link enables you to create super-large tiled prints (such as multi-panel wall murals) or automatically “nest” a variety of smaller prints across the full width of media roll to reduce wasting media.

Variable-drop printing means the printer can change the size of the droplet being ejected during each print job. Ink drops as small as 4 picoliters can be used to create fine details and smooth tonal gradations. Larger drop sizes are used to speed the production of areas with solid colors.

The UJV100-160 is expected to ship in December, 2020 with a retail price of $16,995.

About Mimaki USA

Mimaki USA in Suwanee, Georgia is an operating entity of Mimaki Engineering In Japan. Mimaki engineers and manufactures digital sign and graphics printers and cutters, digital textile and apparel printing systems, 3D printers, and industrial printers. In 2019, Mimaki USA celebrated 20 years of service to print service providers in the Americas.

For more information, visit www.mimakiusa.com or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @MimakiUSA.

The Mimaki UJV100-160 UV-LED printer and the JV100-160 eco-solvent printer were both announced on November 4, 2020

Epson Introduces Roll-to-Roll Resin-Ink Signage Printers: The SureColor R Series

The 64-inch Epson SureColor R5070 and SureColor R5070L wide-format printers are the first Epson signage printers to use resin ink technology.

Like wide-format printers that use latex inks, the Epson SureColor R series printers use water-based (aqueous) pigmented inks with an optimizer and onboard heating system. The key difference is the chemistry of the binding agent in the ink that helps the pigments form a scratch-resistant film on the surface of the many different materials used for indoor and outdoor signs and graphics. Latex is one type of binding agent; the resins in Epson RS UltraChrome inks are another type.

Epson’s 6-color resin-ink printers have been engineered to produce instant-dry, scratch-resistant, color-consistent output on materials such as wallpaper, fabrics, uncoated papers, adhesive vinyl, and other sign materials. Graphics good enough for everyday use can be output at a speed of 290 sq. ft./hr.

Many projects printed on R5070 and R5070L won’t need to be laminated. But for those jobs that do require lamination, users won’t have to wait several hours for the prints to fully dry before the laminating film is applied.

Epson SureColor R5070
The 64-in. Epson SureColor R5070 resin-ink wide-format printer uses six 1.5-liter ink packs plus optimizer to print high-quality images on a variety of roll materials including inkjet fabrics, uncoated papers, and traditional sign materials.

Sign shops equipped with both an Epson SureColor S eco-solvent ink printer and Epson R5070 or R5070L will be able to handle almost any type of print job a customer might want. The SureColor R5070 and R5070L use six colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, and light magenta) for excellent image quality. Epson SureColor S printers can use red, orange, light black and white inks and hit 98% of the Pantone colors used in brand graphics. SureColor S printers can also use metallic inks.

“The SureColor R-Series printers further expand Epson’s presence in the roll-to-roll wide-format signage market by offering customers industry-leading Epson printhead technology coupled with the benefits of resin ink,” said Matt McCausland, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America.” The SureColor R5070 and R5070L use resin ink to address a true customer need — the confidence that each print –panel to panel or job-to-job — has repeatable, consistent color.

The key difference between the R5070 and R5070L models is their ink-handling system. The R5070 uses a 1.5-liter ink pack ($0.155 per milliliter), The R5070L can hold 3 liters of ink per color ($0.125 per milliliter) for uninterrupted printing of longer run jobs. The hot-swappable ink system automatically switches from an empty 1.5-liter ink pack to a second 1.5-liter ink pack while without stopping the print job.

Epson SureColor R5070L
The 64-inch Epson SureColor R5070L wide-format resin-ink printer holds two 1.5-liter ink packs for each color and optimizer. When the first ink pack is empty, the hot-swap system can automatically switch to the full ink pack without stopping the print job.

Features

New, user-replaceable printheads. The Epson R-Series printers use new 2.6-inch PrecisionCore Micro TFP printheads that Epson developed specifically for use with the resin inks. Although these durable, long-lasting printheads aren’t considered a frequently changed consumable, a press operator could swap out the printhead in about a hour instead of waiting for a service technician to arrive.

A three-heater system for even drying. The pre-heater warms the media as it enters the printer, the platen heater maintains an even temperature for printing, and a post heater ensures that the print is fully dry before it hits the take-up roll.

High quality images. Epson’s variable-drop printing, proprietary RIP technology, vibrant inks, and optimizer enable the R-Series printers to produce exceptional image quality.

Reliable color consistency. The ability to produce repeatable, predictable color is critical to the successful production of multi-panel wall murals, signs with brand colors, and repeat jobs.

Powerful, easy-to-use software. The Epson Edge Print RIP software with an Adobe PostScript 3 engine makes it easy for newcomers to wide-format inkjet printing to set up print jobs. You can instruct the printer to match specified brand colors or automatically lay out (“nest”) the job files to get the highest number of smaller prints across the full width of the roll media.

The Epson R-Series printers can also be used with popular RIP software such as Onyx that control an integrated fleet of different types of wide-format inkjet printers.

4.3 inch touchscreen control panel. This built-in screen enables operator to control the quick-start heaters, select the media and color mode, and see the estimated print completion time.

Low maintenance. A replaceable fabric wiper system automatically cleans the printhead and removes dust prior to printing.

Versatility. Print on the wide range of roll materials available for making everything from indoor signs, posters, decorative wall art, and posters to durable graphics for floors, windows, vehicles, walls, and outdoor banners.

Immediate lamination. The prints are sufficiently scratch-resistant for many requirements. But for vehicle wraps and other jobs that require the extra protection of a laminating film, production doesn’t have to pause to allow outgassing of the printed inks.

Availability

The SureColor R Series printers were introduced and demonstrated on October 26, 2020 at the start of the PRINTING United Digital Experience. The printers are scheduled to be available in January, 2021 through authorized Epson Professional Imaging resellers. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $23,995 for the SureColor R5070 and $26,995 for the R5070,

For more information, visit: https://epson.com/resin-signage-wallpaper-fabric-printers

The Epson SureColor R5070 and R5070L printers were announced October 26,2020

PRINTING United Digital Experience Highlights Growth Opportunities

Registration is now open for the online PRINTING United Digital Experience Oct. 26 – Nov. 12. There is no charge to attend the three weeks of live, guided programming, educational sessions, and panel discussions. Attendees can also view product launches, get 24/7 access to the Exhibitor Product Showcase and virtual booths, and speak with exhibitor reprensentatives.

PRINTING United Digital Experience logo

Insights from leading analysts, researchers, subject matter experts, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers will enable printing companies and their employees to understand the current landscape, optimize recovery, and see the latest technology to drive their businesses forward.

Each of the 14 days of programming will run from 10 am to 2 pm ET and spotlight the specific market segments below. Each day’s program will include a summary of industry research, a keynote address, global product debuts, new product demonstrations, and educational sessions.

Week 1

October 26: Graphics/Wide-Format – Hardware and Consumables
October 27: Apparel – Screen Printing/Decorating
October 28: Commercial Printing – Digital Inkjet
October 29: Packaging – Labels and Flexible Packaging
October 30: Graphics/Wide-Format – Finishing and Workflow

Week 2

November 2: In-Plant Forum
November 3: Commercial – Offset Printing
November 4: Packaging – Folding Carton and Corrugated
November 5: Mailing and Fulfillment
November 6: Workflow and Software – All segments

Week 3

November 9: Apparel – Direct-to-Garment/Direct-to-Substate
November 10: Commercial Printing – Digital Dry and Liquid Toner
November 11: Industrial
November 12: Digital Textile

“In creating all aspects of the event, we were mindful to offer education at no cost to the industry,” said Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United. He points out that companies that are usually limited to sending only a handful of employees to the in-person Expo due to budget constraints can make world-class education available to every employee of their company, regardless of their position or years of experience.

Attendees of the PRINTING United Digital Experience can listen to panel discussions about market trends and hear how companies have navigated the pandemic and are planning for the future.

Growth Opportunities

As the industry looks ahead to 2021, many sessions will present research into areas companies should consider for future growth.

“We recently asked our 450-member COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Panel where they see opportunity in the years ahead,” says Andy Paparozzi, Chief Economist, PRINTING United Alliance. “Offering a diversified line of products and services was near the top of the list. In fact, a number told us diversification has been the difference maker for them during the COVID crisis and will continue to be the difference maker long after the crisis has passed.”

“Every printing company should investigate the long-term benefits of diversification,” adds Paparozzi. Once your company decides diversification is a good strategy, sessions at the PRINTING United Digital Experience can help answer two key questions: In which directions should I diversify? And how do I diversify profitably?’

The PRINTING United Digital Experience offers insight from industry leaders Marco Boer and David Zwang that focus on convergence considerations in direct-to-garment printing, commercial printing, digital textile printing, graphics/wide-format, high-speed production inkjet, industrial printing, mailing and fulfillment, and packaging.

The PRINTING United Digital Experience opening day research industry outlook, presented by analyst Lisa Cross, dives into trends in buyer markets, addresses the rise of pandemic products, and offers insight into what to expect in 2021.

Keynote Addresses

The opening day keynote address being presented by IDC’s Tim Greene. He will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the wide-format graphics sector and how the industry has responded. Session attendees can learn how to capitalize on the “new normal.” Some other keynote sessions include:

Establishing Today’s Successful Screen Printing Business
Presenter: Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting
Tues., Oct. 27

Opportunities Enabled Post-COVID by Production Inkjet Printing
Presenter: Marco Boer, IT Strategies
Wed., Oct. 28

Building a Manufacturing Mindset
Presenters: Ryan McAbee and Eric Zimmerman, Keypoint Intelligence
Fri. Oct. 30

Workflow and Automation: From Date Night to Marriage
Presenter: Pat McGrew, McGrew Group
Fri., Nov. 6

How Sustainability is Driving the Next Generation of Fashion
Presenter: Debbie McKeegan, Texintel
Mon., Nov. 9

Electrophotography – Digital Print of the Past and Future!
Presenter: David Zwang, Zwang & Company
Tues., Nov. 10

Business, Human Resources, and Goverment Relations Sessions

PRINTING United Digital Experience programming supplements technology-centric education with sessions covering HR-related issues, environmental and safety, government regulations and marketing and sales. A sample of programming in these areas include:

COVID-19 Updates and Impact on Your Workforce
Presented by Adriane Harrison, PRINTING United Alliance

Air Permitting for Inkjet Presses
Presented by Gary Jones, PRINTING United Alliance

Is Your Safety Program COVID-19 Compliant?
Presented by Marci Kinter, PRINTING United Alliance  

USPS: The Politics of Logistics and Delivery on Capitol Hill
Presented by Lisbeth Lyons, PRINTING United Alliance

How to Research New Markets
Presented by David Zwang, Zwang & Co. 

Product Launches

Major printing equipment manufacturers and software developers are preparing to launch new technology on a worldwide state for the first time in 2020.

Attendees can expect to see nwe technology from

  • Canon
  • Fujifilm
  • Heidelberg
  • HP
  • Kodak
  • Konica Minolta
  • Rochester Software Associates
  • Ricoh
  • Roland DGA
  • Standard Finishing Systems
  • Xeikon

“We built the PRINTING United Digital Experience to keep the industry united and moving forward. We also provide an elevated stage for companies to debut the products they have worked so hard to bring to maket this year,” said Subers. “During a year when launching new products has been a real challenge, we are thrilled to learn about the new technology that will be featured on the PRINTING United Digital Experience platform from companies around the world.”

To register, visit https://digital.printingunited.com/

About PRINTED United Alliance

PRINTING United Alliance is the new organization formed by the 2020 merger of the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA).

PRINTING United Alliance also produces the PRINTING United Expo, an expansive display of technology and supplies, education, programming, and services representing all segments of the printing industry. The next live PRINTING UNITED Expo will be held October 6-8, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

PRINTING United Allilance Names Winners of 2020 Product of the Year Competition

PRINTING United Alliance has announced the winners of its 2020 Product of the Year competitions. More than 200 entries were submitted by PRINTING United Alliance member suppliers. Winners were named in 85 categories. To qualify, the entered products had to be available for sale in 2020.

Click here to view the complete list of winning entries.

Click here to visit the virtual gallery space in which all entries can be viewed.

“I’m proud to be part of this competition and to provide the opportunity for manufacturers to compete and show their products in this tough time,” said Ray Weiss, Director of Digital Print Programs, PRINTING United Alliance. “The competition was tight in many categories. Having a new judging format allowed the cream to rise to the top. Congratulations to all of the winners!”

For output devices, a printed target produced a scorecard that determine winners. Some of the output devices evaluated included: Direct to Garment Printers, Roll-to-Roll Dye-Sublimation Printers, Roll-to-Roll Solvent/Latex Printers, Tabletop Flatbed Printers, Hybrid Flatbed/Roll-to-Roll (UV/Latex), 3D Printers, Sceen Printing Manual Garment Presses, and Screen Printing Automatic Garment Presses.

Non-output categories included products such as inks, automation equipment, die cutting equipment, display hardware, laminates, laminators, and many types of media, incuding adhesive-backed, dye-sublimation transfer paper, dye-sublimation rigid material, heat transfer materials, rigid/synthetic media, and different types of textiles. These products were scored by a panel of judges who were experts within the category of products.

PRINTING United Alliance is the largest member-based printing and graphics association in the United States It was formed in 2020 by the merger of the Special Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA).

Epson SureColor F10070 Industrial Dye-Sublimation Printer Supports High-Speed Production of Sellable Goods

The Epson SureColor F10070 is a 76-inch roll-to-roll industrial dye-sublimation printer for producing bright, high-quality textiles for fashion, sports apparel, home decor, and soft signage. It was engineered to meet the evolving needs of today’s textile industry and support the expansion of textile sourcing and production in the U.S.

The 76-in. Epson SureColor F10070 dye-sublimation printer is built for demanding industrial environments.

“The high-performance SureColor F10070 provides an efficient and cost effective dye-sublimation solution for print shops looking to produce medium to large high-quality apparel runs and bid on incoming textile orders from businesses that sell direct to consumer,” said Tim Check, senior product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America. He said the SureColor F10070 also supports onshoring production needs by shortening lead times, decreasing costs, and streamlining workflows.

Features

Four, user-replaceable 4.7 inch Epson PrecisionCore printheads deliver high productivity with extreme drop placement accuracy for sharp detail and bright colors.

The lower-cost high-capacity, replaceable ink pack system holds up to 20 liters of UltraChrome DS ink per color. This reduces ink costs up to 50 percent (compared to T46C dye-sub ink used in the SureColor F9470. The four colors of UltraChrome DS inks include cyan, magenta, and yellow plus a high-density black ink that produces exceptional color saturation and high contrast.

The hot-swappable ink system automatically switches from an empty ink pack to new ink pack without stopping the print job. The enables longer printer runs without user intervention.

A redesigned 9-inch touchscreen control panel lets operators see the image printing and monitor print, paper, and ink status. Users can also understand environmental conditions for optimized print performance.

An advanced auto paper tension control system and fabric head wiper system clean the media and remove dust before printing.

A compact media dryer includes a front heater that can reach temperatures up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit and an underside header that reaches temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps supports full-speed performance in a space-saving design.

Epson Edge Print RIP software enables users to get the best possible quality output with Epson’s Precision Dot technology that chooses the optimum droplet sizes and screening patterns. It includes the Adobe PostScript 3 engine that enables users to process PostScript data for a variety of digital file formats. Epson Edge Print simplifies file management, color control, screening, nesting, and step-and-repeat patterns.

Cloud-based printer fleet reporting through Epson’s production-management Cloud Solution PORT.

Four types of performance-optimized transfer papers can be purchased from Epson:

  • Multipurpose
  • Rigid Photo Optimized
  • Adhesive Textile
  • Production

The Epson SureColor F10070 has an MSRP of $89,995 and ships directly from Epson America. Several Epson Preferred Plus service plans are available.

About Epson Professional Printers

Epson America, based in Long Beach, CA, is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.

The Epson SureColor collection of professional and industrial printers includes:

  • the F series for apparel and textiles;,
  • the S series for signs and displays;
  • the P series for photographic imaging;
  • the T series for technical documents and drawings

Visit Epson Professional Imaging for more details.

Epson also makes ColorWorks desktop label printers and SurePress industrial digital label presses.

Epson America announced the Epson SureColor F10070 on August 20, 2020.

Multiple Print Industry Online Events Scheduled in October and November

Organizations that typically host live print industry conferences and trade shows in the spring and fall pivoted to a slew of online events in the fall of 2020. Below are some of the print industry online events planned in October and November to help printing, graphics, and visual communications professionals make new connections, learn about new products, and gear up for a better 2021.

Scroll down to learn about events planned by the following organizations:

  • FM Future
  • APTech
  • Smithers
  • PRINTING UNTIED Alliance
  • International Sign Association

FuturePrint Virtual Summit
October 12-16, 2020

Hosted by FM Future

Week-long event includes 120 speakers from 15 countries delivering more than 70 sessions. Each day will feature education and networking in a specific categegory:

October 12: Young Guns in Print
October 13: Industrial Print
October 14: Wide Format Print
October 15: Packaging and Labels
October 16: Commercial Print

John Mills, CEO of Xaar, will outline how Xaar’s new bulk printhead will enable equipment manufacturers to push the boundaries of what’s possible with powerful, reliable, and efficient inkjet technology.

Global retail innovation expert Steve Lister will provide up-to-the-minute insights of what is happening in retail and how it could affect companies that produce retail-related print.

Georgia Parker, Innovation Manager of Fashion for Good, will talk about how digital is accelerating sustainable innovation in the fashion industry,

Nick Landa of Landa Digital Printing will take you on a tour of a Nanographic printing press and explain why its different than any other print process.

Young print entrepreneurs and other young print-industry professionals will help business owners learn how to make print-related careers a more attractive and deliberate choice for the next generation.

Other sessions will provide

  • updates on ink developments
  • a 2040 forecast for the packaging industry,
  • high-speed inkjet printing
  • the mysteries of pricing
  • multi-material inkjet 3D printing
  • new opportunities with 3D sublimation printing

Leading PRINT Summit
October 13, 2020

Hosted by Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech)
Fee: Free for members, $79 for non-members

Four-hour program (11 am to 3 pm ET) on post-COVID-shutdown business operations focuses on four key areas impacted by 2020 disruptive events: Culture, Operations, Sales, Business Development, and Customer Dynamics.

In a headline session on Print 5.0, print-industry expert and author Frank Romano will discuss how printing is evolving in 2020 and beyond. APTech’s Ken Garner will discuss the quest for the elusive, sustainable competitive advantage. Consultant Leslie Groene will talk about sales management for the new reality.

Other speakers will discuss how to

  • recalibrate your business to thrive in challenging times
  • navigate customer dynamics to develop a competitive position
  • prepare for our next-generation industry leaders, and
  • nurture and convert leads to sales.


Digital Print for Packaging US
October 12-14, 2020

Hosted by Smithers
Fee: $399

Online event for brand owners, converters, printing equipment suppliers, and packaging designers. Content will focus on the market need for digital print from the brand’s perspective.

Stephen Kaufman, Chief Product Officer for Esko, will discuss how workflows and color management can solve real problems.
Rob Day, CEO of Tonejet, will discuss Tonejet’s first end-to-end beverage can printing system that went live at the end of 2019.
Alexis Tonneau, Project Manager of Kurz, will discuss how to combine attractive package design and sustainability.

Other sessions will cover topics such as:

  • the efficient production of digital preprint for corrugated packaging
  • special requirements for pigments used for package printing
  • designs for canabis packaging
  • emerging technologies such as NFC, ioT, and AR cam will enable greater efficiencies in strategic packaging management
  • leveraging digital print to create one-of-a-kind customer experiences
  • how artificial intelligence can automate design for digital print projects

Case studies look at some of the pros and cons of integrating digital printing capabilities into an analog flexographic printing line and digitl designs for folding cartons printed on high-speed inkjet presses.

In addition to attending live and recorded presentations, you can join live Q&A sessions and/or facilitated virtual networking rooms.

Digital Textile Printing US
October 15-16, 2020

Hosted by Smithers
Fee: $399

High-level insights from textile printers, end users, fashion designers, retail brands, and equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and technology providers. Live and recorded sessions will focus on how business models, technology , and collaboration can accelerate the commercial adoption of digital print for textiles.

Speakers include: Gart Davis, CEO & Co-founder of Spoonflower; Luca Zaconi, Director of Raw Materials Print, Lululemon Athletica; Jena Nesbitt, Product Strategy Director, Pine Crest Fabrics; Reid Lutter, CEO and Founder, PodiumWear Custom Sports Apparel; Francesca Rosella, Chief Creative Director and Co-Founder, CuteCircuit; and Jessica Schreiber, Founder & CEO at FABSCRAP; Scott Aitken, Managing Director, SPGPrints.

Sessions will cover topics such as:

  • how color and the chemical evolutions are affecting new-century printers
  • how digital textile printing is pushing the boundaries of conventional textile printing
  • using digital print and high-end fabrics for team uniforms
  • innovation to fast track the textile industry to a circular future
  • pretreatment and pigment inkjet ink for textile printing
  • sustainability through innovative textile printing solutions
  • the role of testing in evaluating print textiles
  • color and pattern trends for fashion and apparel
  • color lifecycle management in printed textiles

Attend live Q&A sessions and/or facilitated virtual networking rooms.

PRINTING UNITED Digital Experience
October 26-Nov. 12, 2020

Hosted by PRINTING United Alliance and NAPCO Media.

During 14 business days of no-fee programming, print business owners, operations managers, and employees can choose from 100 educational sessions and 40 product launches. Each day will feature a different focus for educational programming and product demonstrations from exhibitors:

October 26: Graphics/Wide-Format – Hardware and Consumables
October 27: Apparel – Screen Printing/Decorating
October 28: Commercial Printing – Digital Inkjet
October 29: Packaging – Labels and Flexible Packaging
October 30: Graphics/Wide-Format – Finishing and Workflow
November 2: In-Plant Forum
November 3: Commercial – Offset Printing
November 4: Packaging – Folding Carton and Corrugated
November 5: Mailing and Fulfillment
November 6: Workflow and Software – All segments
November 9: Apparel – Direct-to-Garment/Direct-to-Substate
November 10: Commercial Printing – Digital Dry and Liquid Toner
November 11: Industrial
November 12: Digital Textile

Some of the topics the program will cover include:

  • Building a manufacturing mindset for wide-format graphics
  • Opportunities post-COVID in production inkjet printing
  • Wide-format growth markets for 2020 and beyond
  • Thrive in a transformative marketplace with the sheetfed offset technology
  • Trends and opportunities in folding carton and corrugated packaging
  • Workflow and automation: from date night to marriage
  • Dazzling prints with digital embellishments
  • How to research new markets
  • Developing your sales team
  • Direct-to-consumer marketing leadership
  • Emerging direct mail trends for COVID 19 and beyond
  • Establishing today’s successful screen printing business
  • The rise of e-commerce in apparel printing
  • Driving profitability and efficiency in apparel decoration
  • Essential strategies for equipment purchases
  • Facing new competition in core markets
  • How a focus on finishing can help you finish first
  • How commercial offset printers are shrinking turn times to meet short-run demands
  • How high-speed digital production inkjet printing is redefining commercial printing
  • The digital future for labels and flexible packaging
  • By the numbers: KPIs. metrics, and ratios
  • Migrating into industrial printing
  • Modern strategies for stand-out package design
  • Industrial printing: What’s hot and where is it headed
  • In-plant printing trends in the midst of the pandemic
  • Production inkjet printing in the In-plant shop
  • The science and skill of graphics installation
  • Paperboard packaging: differentiation through digital
  • Effective selling through online portals
  • Managing client color expectations
  • How sustainability is driving the next generation of fashion
  • Finding success with digital toner vs. inkjet printing processes
  • Electrophotography-digital print of the past and future
  • Beyond wallpaper: industrial printing for home decor
  • How to build a digital textile business
  • Textiles and color assurance
  • The future of signs and graphics

To see the the full program and register, visit: https://digital.printingunited.com/

The Wrap Experience Digital
November 11-12, 2020

Hosted by the International Sign Association and the Wrap Institute

Networking, education, exhibits, and demonstrations will help wrap installers explore ways to expand into new products and use cutting-edge technologies.

Sessions will focus on design, visualization tools, and upsells such as architectural items, ceramic coatings, vehicle paint protection films (PPF), and more. In the after-hours Speakeasy Area, attendees can connect with some of the wrap industry’s top influencers and shop owners.

Dan Antonelli, of the KickCharge Creative small-business marketing agency, will discuss vehicle wrap design and related brand identity design topics.

The Wrap Institute, co-founded by installer/instructor Justin Pate, is regarded as the world’s top online wrap training program. For the past two years, the Institute brought hands-on instruction to ISA in-person events. In 2020, The Wrap Experience Digital will be part of ISA’s The Link series of virtual events to help sign, graphics and visual communications companies sustain and grow their businesses.

Canon Colorado UVgel Wallpaper Factory Automates Custom Wallpaper Printing

To serve the growing demand for digitally printed wallcoverings, Canon Solutions America has introduced the Canon UVgel Wallpaper Factory. The integrated system combines a 64 in. Colorado wide-format roll-to-roll UVgel printer with a motorized Fotoba Jumbo Roll media loader and Fotoba cutter and rewinder.

The UVgel Wallpaper Factory was designed for automated, unattended end-to-end production of customized wallpaper. Designs set up in prepress are printed on paper that is automatically fed into the Colorado printer. The fully dry printed wallpaper is then cut and rewound in the roll widths and lengths specified by the customer. An embedded device tapes each roll for immediate packing and shipping.

A motorized Fotoba Jumbo Roll media loader (JRL170) automatically feeds media into the 64-in. Canon Colorado 1650 UVgel printer. The inline Fotoba Cutter XLD170WP cuts the prints to the desired widths and lengths and feeds them to a Fotoba Rewinder REW162 for rolling and taping.

Advantages of UVgel Inks

To produce seamless, room-size designs from multiple rolls of wallpaper, the inkjet printing process must be exceptionally precise, with dimensionally stable materials and color consistency from roll to roll. The images must be accurately positioned on the paper for proper alignment. Plus, the substrate can’t stretch during production or the printed image could be distored and out of alignment when installed. Mismatches in color from one roll to the next would be obvious when the printed panels were hung on the wall side by side.

Canon believes the flexible, odorless UVgel technology developed for their Colorado 1650 wide-format printing system provide an ideal solution for wallpaper production.

UVgel technology is a form of UV-LED printing that uses a gel-like ink that is heated inside the printheads and jetted as a liquid onto a temperature-controlled platen. When the liquefied inks contact the media on the low-heat platen, the drops return to their gel state and are partially cured (“pinned”) by a low dose of UV light from LED lamps. Full LED curing occurs after all of the droplets required to form an image swath have been applied and gelled onto the media.

By controlling the spread of ink dots on the media (e.g. “dot gain”), the Colorado UVgel ink technology supports brilliant color consistency from print to print. Companies that use multiple Colorado printers for high-volume wallpaper production can expect consistent colors even a specific design is output on different printers at on various days and times.

Wallpapers printed with the UVgel 460 inks in the Colorado 1650 printer are odorless and have been independently tested to generate very low levels of chemicals. The inks have met the GREENGUARD Gold standards for safe use in sensitive indoor environments such as healthcare facilities and schools. Wallpaper printed with UVgel inks also meet ASTM F793 Type II classification, which means it is fit for use in commercial environments that have the potential for higher-than-average scuffing (e.g. waiting rooms, classrooms, and hallways).

The UVgel 460 ink technology in the Colorado 1650 features a FLXfinish system that enables users to produce wallpaper with either a standard gloss surface or a velvety matte finish without changing from one roll of paper to another.

This scalable, modular system can help wallpaper companies and decor firms expand into custom-printed wallpaper. Or print-service providers can use this system to diversify into high-volume digital wallpaper manufacturing.

The UVgel Wallpaper Factory is available as an end-to-end solution or as an upgrade to existing Colorado 1640 and 1650 wide-format printers. For more information about the Canon Colorado printers visit www.csa.canon.com/portal/csa/products/large-format/colorado-uvgel-printers.

“The UVgel Wallpaper Factory is a highly automated workflow solution that enables our customers to print exceptional quality wallpaper with quicker turnaround times,” said Peter P. Kowalczuk, president, Canon Solutions America, Inc.

To receive additional information about the UVgel Wallpaper Factory, contact a Canon Solutions America, Inc. representative or send your request through our website: csa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/csa/contactus

The Canon UVgel Wallpaper Factory won a 2020 Product of the Year award from PRINTING United Alliance in the category of
Automation Equipment (Print/Post Print)

About Canon Solutions America

Canon Solutions America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc. in Melville, New York. Canon Solutions America provides enterprise, production, and large-format printing solutions. They also and help companies of all sizes discover ways to improve sustainability, increase efficiency, and control costs in conjunction with high volume, continuous feed, digital and traditional printing, and document management operations. For more information, visit: https://csa.canon.com/

Canon Solutions American announced the UVgel Wallpaper Factory on May 14, 2020