Sign & Digital Graphics

September '14

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Page 46 of 142

40 • September 2014 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS D uring my time in the field in the early to mid-2000s I had the oppor- tunity to work on a variety of UV flatbed and hybrid machines. During this time, products from Colorspan, HP, Agfa, Océ and Gerber worked their way through our portfolio. The realistic output off of these devices was around 50-100 square feet per hour. A few of the machines were able to produce up to 10 boards per hour, but in reality this was not a sellable qual- ity. These devices had a sellable quality of around two to five 4' x 8' boards per hour. This production level was adequate for beginners to UV-cure production but left people wanting more as their cus- tomers' demand grew for direct printing solutions. Fast forward a few years and head manufactures such as Ricoh have drasti- cally increased the nozzle density allow- ing for high quality and speed from the same machine. C E T Color used the generation four Ricoh heads in their last generation Q Series. This printhead has the ability to print as small as a seven picoliter variable droplet for high-quality production while also printing a fixed 21 picoliter droplet for high-speed printing. This machine was capable of printing up to 21 boards an hour. This year CET Color released its Q5 series of printers, which use Ricoh's gen- eration five printheads. With twice the nozzle density and a native 600 dpi this new generation of flatbeds has eclipsed the 1,000 square foot per hour mark printing up to 35 boards per hour. This high-speed device prints almost twice as fast as the last generation Q series with half the printheads. H I G H - P R o D u C T I o N P R I N T I N G Print Like the Wind Blowing past the 1,000 square-foot- per hour milestone B y D u S T I N D A v I D Dustin David is the Product Development Manager at Advantage Sign & Graphic Solutions. Dustin has been in the sign and graphics industry for 15 years, starting his career as a technician for Advantage. The HP Scitex FB10000 industrial flatbed press features HP's High Dynamic Range (HDR) printing technology which enables high-speed printing at up to 6,456 square feet an hour while retaining high print quality by laying down multiple drop sizes (15, 30, 45 picoliters) on the same print. (Image courtesy of Hewlett-Packard)

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