New technologies from the PRINT 17 Must See ‘Ems

Every year, the printing industry’s top vendors submit their best products for a shot at the MUST SEE ’EMS awards. These new innovations could impact businesses and revolutionize market segments. The MUST SEE ’EMS provide a valuable roadmap for customers looking for the next cutting edge technology. Exhibitors at PRINT 17 held at the McCormick Place in Chicago, were invited to submit their newest products for consideration by the MUST SEE ’EMS Selection Committee.  This anonymous group of industry experts evaluates and rates each entry, with the top vote-getters earning recognition as a “must see” product in one of eleven categories.  From this pool of winners, the highest scoring product in each category is awarded Best of Category status.

Our interest this year was to see which large format printers were bringing cutting edge technologies to the print industry. The 2017 Must See ’Em award winners in the large format printing category are listed in alphabetical order and include: Canon with the Océ Colorado 1640, EFI for the Cubik printer and also for the VUTEk 3r and 5r LED printers.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. – Océ Colorado 1640

The Océ Colorado 1640 printer, from Canon was spotlighted as a new emerging technology. The game-changing UVgel technology has been developed by Canon to deliver unprecedented productivity, matched with excellent output quality on a broad range of media for optimum application versatility. With top speeds of 1,710 ft²/hr, this 64˝ roll-to-roll printer has been designed for high quality indoor and outdoor applications.

Canon UVgel ink is instantly ‘pinned’ on contact with the substrate, resulting in a highly controlled and precisely positioned dot with minimal gain. The state-of-the-art low temperature LED-UV curing system moves independently from the printing carriage, enabling uniform, postprint UV curing that further contributes to print speed and print quality. Customers at the show were able to see the Colorado handle high volumes with automation, including the automated media loading of multiple online rolls. The Océ Colorado 1640 printer features on-the-fly quality assurance that enables printing without operator intervention. It can also produce instantly-cured prints on a wide variety of media, including heat-sensitive media.

EFI –  Cubik printer

EFI has entered the wood-printing market with the new Cubik for Inkjet Printer. EFI showed off the new Cubik system for industrial digital inkjet wood-decoration printing. EFI says that “Thanks to digital printing, there are no limits regarding individualisation and decoration of wooden surfaces.” EFI Cubik inkjet-printing technology for printing in the wood industry is said to provide both premium quality short-runs, as well as high-speed mass production of decorative surfaces for indoor and outdoor applications on wood.  Based on EFI’s single-pass inkjet printing technology, the Cubik is said to provide the wood industry “top-quality decoration, maximum performance and ink savings” through EFI printing that “gets the printer, inks, and Fiery proServer colour-management system all working together as a fully integrated concept solution.” With up to eight printing bars, EFI says that a wide variety of decoration effects can be directly applied to wooden surfaces, not just CMYK. As a digital printing system, Cubik supports both, short run, variable prints as well as high-volume runs. Cubik’s main features include printing width up to 1.814 m and print speeds up to 75 linear m/min.

EFI VUTEk 3r and 5r LED printers

EFI is working to redefine the sign market with these two new LED-UV inkjet printers. The basic difference between the two printers is size and speed. The printers provide high-volume, roll-to-roll signage and graphics printing, offering the fastest throughput available in their product classes. The EFI VUTEk 3r is a technically advanced LED roll-to-roll printer with high image quality at top speeds up to 3,715 ft²/hr. Resolution is up to 1200 dpi, with a maximum print width of 138 in. White ink is optional, which could be very helpful. The EFI VUTEk 5r is the same as the 3r, but the maximum print width is 198 inches and maximum print speed is 4,986 ft²/hr. With a seven picoliter UltraDrop Technology, the printers provide high-definition image quality, with superb transitions, vignettes, skin tones, and shadows. Available options for the printing systems include inline roll-to-sheet cutting, slitters and a sheet collector kit aimed at improving throughput by reducing the need to handle printed jobs on separate finishing tables.


Peter Dulis

Peter Dulis is an award-winning photographer & large format-printing executivehaving worked with Canon Canada for the last 14 years as National Manager, Large Format Printers. Peter is a frequent contributor to Luminous Landscape, Graphic Arts Magazine, Photo News, Visual Wilderness and his photography and articles can be found on his websites - Peter is available for consultation or keynote speaking engagements related to the photography & printing industry and can be reached at