Durst Image Technology
The Durst Rho line of printers has several specialty inks available in the wide-format platform. All of the Rho printers have the capability for white-ink printing, and its flatbed products also have the capability to print varnish as a special effect.
“We have also introduced the new Process Color Additions of orange and violet, or orange and green to our Rho 900 platform, which was launched at the SGIA show in New Orleans,” reported Christopher Howard, senior vice president, sales & marketing, Durst Image Technology U.S., Rochester, NY.
The white ink printing is a key component for many Durst’s clients who utilize it for many types of applications such as reverse backlit printing, printing on a non-white substrate, or for specialty effects such as black-and-white reproduction. The varnish is used mostly in a spot application where a PSP highlights an area of the print with the additional gloss effect to draw attention to, for instance, a product or logo. The process color additions are primarily utilized for gamut enhancing effects, particularly in hitting difficult corporate brand colors that their customers require.
In the future, UV inksets will be developed that will meet other specific market needs, particularly for industrial type applications such as glass, flooring, and packaging market segments. “These specialty sets will drive growth for the digital print industry overall as the demand to utilize digital platforms for these areas is growing quickly,” he said.
Both the roll-to-roll and hybrid QS series printers from EFI Vutek use flexible inks, which add value to its customers in several ways, according to RJ Sullivan, product manager, EFI Vutek, Meredith, NH. “PSP’s are using our flexible inks to print on very thin substrates without embossing or curling and the ink does not crack when folded,” said Sullivan. Customer replaceable backlit signage is very popular in Europe because the image quality is fantastic and the end user can easily replace image.
“The key to success is the image can be folded and shipped in a standard envelope,” explained Sullivan. “This simple shipping method is economical and environmentally friendly because it reduces the packaging materials that are typically required for a large display. Folding an image causes extreme stress on the ink. The QS series inks can be folded without cracking, which enables this application.”
As for what’s coming down the road, Sullivan thinks the next step for inks will be improved adhesion and durability, which will eliminate the need for lamination.
“We have been offering white ink as well as the Ultratone colors—orange and violet—as options on all our UV flatbed presses for the past few years,” reported Jeffrey D. Nelson, product marketing manager, Wide Format Flatbed Solutions, Fujifilm Sericol, USA, Kansas City, KS.
White is a popular option and offers opportunities to print on colored or clear substrates and can be used as part of the image content or as an underprint or overprint layer. The company’s Acuity Advance can also print white ink in-line, allowing much greater flexibility in the application of white within a job.
“The use of orange and violet has been instrumental in enabling our customers to differentiate their output based on a wider color gamut and cleaner, more vibrant colors in certain areas of the gamut,” said Sullivan. “This enables printers to more closely match corporate brand colors or create areas of spot color within an image.”
The Inca Onset family of printers can produce variable gloss levels, from high gloss to matte. Specific areas within an image can be printed gloss, while the balance of the image is printed matte, according to Sullivan. “This creates a spot varnish look without the extra step of applying the varnish,” he explained. “The ability to easily alter gloss levels is very appealing to customers and opens up opportunities to create unique graphic appearances.”