Karibu, swissQprint’s first roll-to-roll wide-format printer, is a UV inkjet with a maximum print width of 3.4 metres that incorporates “ingenious features aimed at high efficiency, reliability and maximum versatility,” said the OEM. Because of its cassette system, rolls are loaded and ready to print within minutes. Karibu features a Light Box next to the printing area for immediate and continuous quality control of backlit prints, along with reduced material and time loss should optimizations prove necessary. Karibu also has a Mesh Kit integrated with its print bed. This makes clean and simple work of processing permeable substrates, as well as full-bleed printing. No additional set-up work beforehand or cleaning afterwards is necessary. A mouse click by the operator sends the Karibu print beam – which is movable in the X direction – from its standard position to the mesh position. Printing can then start immediately. The Karibu also offers a dual-roll option capable of handling two rolls, each up to 1.6 metres wide. This doubles Karibu’s productivity. The roll holders are split into two sections with each half of the shaft driven individually, thus ensuring optimum web tension and ideal results on both rolls. Karibu has 136 keys ranged across the print bed width. Each one opens or closes a vacuum channel, thus eliminating air leakage, even in the gap between dual rolls. A light finger tap on the switches is all the user action required to open or close the entire vacuum area width within four seconds. This is called Tip Switch vacuum, a technical solution for which swissQprint has already filed a patent application.
Karibu has four beacon-like status indicators affixed to the print beam. They’re observable at a distance and inform the operator about machine status and printing progress. So it’s always possible to keep an eye on Karibu – even while the operator is elsewhere in the print room taking care of other equipment or tasks. SwissQprint has also developed an ink set specifically for the new Karibu roll-to-roll printer. The cured ink layer is flexible to ensure suitability for all imaginable roll media. The inks themselves are NVC-free and Greenguard-Gold certified. Printed products are thus safe to use in critical places such as hospitals and schools, potentially broadening a print provider’s range of services. The international swissQprint distributor network is now accepting orders for delivery starting this September.