Print 13 was a great success again this year. There was a record number of Memjet partners displaying their newest in lightning-speed printing at Print 13. It wasn’t long ago (2007) that we saw the first Memjet printing speeds and wondered if this new technology was actually true or were there just some spoofed-up videos? Well, wonder no more. Memjet printing has arrived in a BIG way, both in small format and large format printing.
What is Memjet Technology?
Memjet is a patented technology that features a page-wide inkjet printhead, which can print several times faster than a regular inkjet. Instead of having a small printhead that sweeps across the page, over and over, Memjet’s head is as wide as the page and doesn’t move. As the paper travels underneath it, 70,000 microscopic nozzles spurt ink all at the same time. Below are the Memjet large format printers featured at Print 13.
CANON OCE ColorWave 900
As you walked through the front doors of Print 13 you couldn’t help but be impressed with the quality and speed of the ColorWave 900. This printer closes the gap between digital inkjet and offset technology. It uses Memjet printheads and has a print resolution of 1600 dpi. It is able to deliver 3.4 billion 1.2 picoliter ink droplets per second, with a maximum print speed of 12,000 square feet per hour. It works exceptionally well for point-of-sale, exhibition and tradeshow displays, floor displays, CAD and maps. The ColorWave 900 has a 42 inch print width and the capacity for six 656 foot media rolls, giving it a total input capacity of 3,937 feet. This printer won a PRINT 13 “Must See ‘Ems” award. The price is rumoured to be around $160,000 USA MSRP.
RTI (Reprographic Technology Int.) featured the Vortex 4200 – a wide format printer that targets several print applications, including CAD, AEC, GIS and point-of-sale graphics. Compared to traditional inkjet, the Vortex 4200 prints up to eight times faster, for incredible job turnaround times and an attractive total cost of ownership. Most of the Memjet manufacturers claimed the average cost to be around .14 to .16 cents per sq ft. Coupled with some of the most environmentally friendly inks available and very low power consumption, the Vortex 4200 wide format printer is not only fast, flexible and of premium quality, but also a friendly product for our environment.
XANTÉ Excelagraphix 4200 P Series
Xante was featuring a 42 inch wide digital printing system that was printing on corrogated cardboard. Xanté’s exclusive substrate support and adjustable media path gives customers the ability to print indoor signage and design graphics up to 5/8” thick through a simple print path height adjustment. I did see some imperfections in the image, but this has always been a bit of a challenge for Memjet technology. The printer delivers more than 3 billion drops of ink per second, for print speeds up to eight times faster than traditional inkjet technology. You can also personalize individual pieces as you print, running variable data at full speed Applications include over-sized architectural / engineering documents, maps, indoor signage, POP displays, packaging, folding cartons, corrugated boxes, newspapers, and more, all on-demand. This printer also won the PRINT 13 “Must See ‘Ems” award. The price is rumoured to be around $100,000 USA MSRP.
Xerox IJP 2000
After several tortured years of almost invisibility, Xerox’s wide format graphic arts business is being re-emphasized with the introduction of a new inkjet, single pass, high speed, 42 inch wide machine, which was announced last week. Historically, Xerox’s wide format market efforts have focused on engineering reproduction with graphic arts applications almost an afterthought. With the growing demand for large indoor posters, signs, point-of-purchase graphics and banners, Xerox’s new Wide Format IJP 2000 gives printers the extra speed needed to produce more jobs faster. Stationary print heads allow the paper to move under five print heads in one single pass. The manufacturer claims that at speeds of 420 m²/h at 1600 dpi and can handle substrates up to 42 inches wide and 190 gsm thick. The printer, which is driven by Caldera’s Grand RIP Plus, is suitable for a range of substrates such as textile, vinyl, backlit and stoplight films as well as standard and coated papers and uses aqueous inkjet, dye-based inks in CMYK. The price is rumoured to be around $140,000 USA MSRP.