Digital Printing

The latest tech innovations in the superwide print market

by Rob Fletcher | 07/03/2024
The latest tech innovations in the superwide print market

When it comes to superwide printing, companies need specialist machinery to deliver the larger-than-life applications associated with this form of production. Rob Fletcher takes a look at some of the options available to print businesses.

While being among some of the most impressive and eye-catching print applications, large-format work presents print service providers (PSPs) with plenty of challenges. How do you ensure image quality when work is blown up to such a large scale? How do you go about installing the piece? Can you even create work this big?

Such is the size of some of these applications that the only way for PSPs to consider taking it on is to invest in specialist machinery, allowing them to print at huge sizes. These behemoth machines will often take up a lot of floorspace but offer users untold opportunities when it comes to exploring work across the market.

Those seeking superwide print solutions would be well advised to visit the FESPA Global Print Expo 2024, which takes place 19-22 March in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Here, manufacturers from around the world will gather to showcase their latest products and developments, including some within the superwide sector.

The VKR3200-HS has a top speed of 3,000sq m/hr

With plenty to look forward to in Amsterdam, picks out some of the options from manufacturers that will be on display and maps out the core advantages they offer to PSPs seeking growth in the superwide format market.

Phenomenal quality

On Stand 2-B10, will be showcasing the VKR3200-HS, a 3.2m-wide roll-to-roll UV LED printer from Durst Group-owned Vanguard that has a top speed of 3,000sq ft/hr. The model features Kyocera’s 4.25" KJ4A printhead, a two-channel solution that supports two colours simultaneously. The VKR3200-HS delivers drop droplet sizes of 4, 8 and 12 picolitres, which the manufacturer said ensures tight dot placement for “vibrant print output” on substrates up to 2.5cm thick.

The VKR3200-HS also comes standard with water-cooled LED curing lights, the ability to print on two rolls and an ink collector for mesh banner, window film and other porous materials.

“The VKR3200-HS is a true roll-to-roll printer that delivers phenomenal quality for banners, static posters, wall coverings and other flexible materials,” Vanguard said. “It is specifically designed for shops that need to UV print large volumes of flexible media.”

Also on the stand will be sister model VK3220T-HS, another 3.2m-wide solution from Vanguard that offers high production levels to users. Features include LED curing technology, static elimination ionisation bars, vacuum zones, 3.5 picolitre drop size, and support for CMYK, white and varnish inks.

“The VK3220T-HS can be configured in a variety of ways to meet your needs as your business grows,” Vanguard said. “The option to upgrade to 15 heads/three rows allows you to expand your capabilities and never slows you down.”

New solutions

Also exhibiting at the FESPA Global Print Expo 2024 is Liyu Deutschland, the German division of specialist distributor Liyu. Among the solutions set to feature on Stand 1-B80 is the new Liyu Platinum Q3XL UV hybrid printer, the latest addition to the Liyu Platinum family.

The Platinum Q3XL UV has Ricoh Gen 6 printhead technology, configurable with up to 24 printheads, with five picolitres and 2400 dpi, allowing PSPs to achieve photo print quality at maximum speeds using eight colours: CMYK light cyan, light magenta, white and varnish.

In addition, a new feature for users of all Platinum products is a modular LED Curing System, which the manufacturer said makes production even easier.

“The curing LED bar is divided into 20 sections, all of them can be controlled individually, and users can switch each module on and off and control the power from 0% to 100%,” Liyu said. “Thanks to this new technology, you can achieve matt and shiny varnish as well as colour results in one print.”

Liyu Deutschland will be showing its new Liyu Platinum Q3XL UV hybrid printer

More choice

Also making at appearance at the main FESPA event this year is swissQprint, a manufacturer that is known across the industry for its gigantic printers. Based on Stand 1-C40 this month in Amsterdam, swissQprint will be displaying several machines, including two that may be of interest to those in the market for superwide solutions.

First is the Kudu, which, at 3.2m wide, offers users printing speeds of up to 304sq m/hr and can print at a quality of 1350dpi. The machine can print in six colours in addition to CMYK and handle media in weights of up 100kg/sq m.

“Kudu stands on a solid base that was developed from scratch,” swissQprint said. “It is the foundation for precise droplet placement – in combination with the latest linear drives and print heads currently available on the market. You can look forward to flawless print quality.”

Also set to be showcased at the FESPA Global Print Expo 2024 later this month is the Nyala 4, another 3.2m-wide option from swissQprint, offering users a flatbed with roll-to-roll option. The printer has a top operating speed of 206sq m/hr and allows for five colours in addition to CMYK, allowing users to consider options such as white varnish and neon effects. Like the Kudu, it also has a top print resolution of 1350dpi.

“Our Nyala model has been the leader within European UV inkjet printing for over six years,” swissQprint said. “This gives us incentive to raise the bar a little higher with each machine generation – with an eye to keeping your business ahead of your competition.

“Nyala 4 is the symbiosis of premium print quality, multifunctionality and efficiency. No comparable printer offers better price or performance and more opportunities to stand out from the competition in terms of both quality and quantity.”
Such strong words from swissQprint raise the excitement level even more ahead of the FESPA Global Print Expo 2024. With these machines just an example of the array of print technology that will be on display across the halls in Amsterdam, the event is one that cannot be missed for anyone seeking to succeed and grow in print.

Discover the latest innovations in wide format printing at FESPA Global Print Expo 2024 Europe’s leading print and signage exhibition. Taking place from 19th – 22nd March 2024 at RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands. Register here to visit and use code FESJ401.

by Rob Fletcher Back to News

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