Printer Review: Screen USA Truepress Jet2500UV Grand-Format UV Inkjet Printer

As the inkjet and offset printing worlds continue to collide, some large commercial printers are looking at wide-format printing as a new revenue stream that will give them the option to offer new services to their existing client base.

One such company is The Garvey Group, a $50 million commercial printing operation headquartered in Niles, IL with additional facilities in the Wisconsin cities of Sturtevant, Oak Creek, Racine, and Milwaukee. The Garvey Group has the distinction of being the first US printing company to install the Truepress Jet2500UV from Screen USA.

“We wanted to purchase a large-format UV digital inkjet printer that offered output that was as close to commercial litho as possible. We wanted to find a wide-format printer that would help us integrate with our offset work. We started testing the beginning of last year and we looked at all top wide-format printers on the market. The people at Screen USA heard we were looking at printers and they said they were working on something that was going to be shown at Drupa and they wanted us to take a look at it. The prototype model was only running in Japan, so we sent some files to Japan and when we got them back it was quite apparent to us these images were very high quality. The detail of printed samples set the Truepress Jet2500UV apart from all the other inkjet machines we were looking at,” said Dennis Muraro, general manager of their commercial printing facility in Milwaukee.

Muraro said that they wanted to get this edge in image quality and get a jump on the competition, so they decided to work with Screen USA, and that they would be the first company in the country to have it.

“The installation took place in January 2009 and since then we have been consistently producing high-quality, tightly-calibrated grand-format work. The Truepress Jet2500UV not only has the ability to print images at a higher resolution than competing inkjet printers, but the variable dot technology helps produce superior quality when imaging fine detail or high-density areas,” Muraro added. “If you compare images printed on the Truepress Jet2500UV with images printed on other inkjet equipment, the Screen images look superior. They are very ‘litho like’ in appearance.”

The Truepress Jet2500UV supports a maximum output resolution of 1,500 dpi. The drop-on-demand eight-level grayscale print head, coupled with Screen’s screening technology enable smooth gradations for photo-quality color printing.

“The unit’s state-of-the-art digital imaging technology coupled with both roll-to-roll and flatbed capabilities have expanded the quality, productivity and flexibility of the work we offer. We can also alternate between flexible and rigid substrates in minutes,” said Greg Ebert, prepress manager in the Milwaukee facility.

“The Trupress gives us unique capabilities that we never had before. It can print up to 1500 dpi at very high speeds in full color plus opaque whites on substrates up to 1.9 inches thick. We also have our unit color-managed with our Certified G7 status which allows us to match printed pieces off our presses or expand the color gamut for products that are stand-alone. We can print roll-to-roll 91 inches wide by 160 feet or flatbed 98.4 inches wide by 51.1 inches long. In addition, this press features brand new UV ink technology offering a VOC-free output and flexibility and light safe not found in traditional UV inkjet. We just upgraded to offer white ink and we are pretty excited about that. We are really doing some cool stuff on it,” Ebert added.

Special Certifications

Additionally, the Garvey Group recently completed and received its G7 Master Printer status from the International Digital Enterprise Alliance (IDEAlliance). The Garvey Group is one of just 370 companies worldwide to achieve this distinction. G7 Master Status identifies printing companies, prepress service providers, and agencies that have been trained to use the G7 Proof-to-Print Process, a calibration method that allows printers to reliably achieve a close visual match from proof to press. Earning the qualification signifies that a company uses the most modern technology and techniques required to ensure color fidelity throughout the printing process.

“Our company underwent several weeks of intensive review by a G7 expert consultant, who measured and tested our company’s presses and evaluated their proofing system against known G7 standards,” explained David Nolte, VP of sales The Garvey Group. “To maintain our G7 Master status, The Garvey Group will undergo a yearly re-qualification.”

The Truepress Jet2500UV can run roll-to-roll media, including paper, vinyl film, banners, and many other materials, depending on the job requirements. Products that can be created using the roll-to-roll format include posters, banners, backlit signs, fine art, billboards, decals and vehicle wraps.

“We continue to work on profiling all of the many different substrates for use on the Truepress,” said Ebert. “We’re using the ORIS Press Matcher workflow software to automatically convert digital files to our customer profiles or industry standard profiles that match our hard proofs.”

“We are very impressed by the flexibility of the Truepress Jet2500UV,” Muraro said. We already see some unique applications for backlit displays, POP materials, prototype printing, and projects using thick substrates. Printing on rigid substrates has opened up new markets for signs, transit advertising, exhibits and displays,” he added.

Post-Press Additions

Once the press completes printing the job, the firm’s post-press department begins finishing with its new GBC laminator. The laminator can apply over-laminates, matte, dull, hot or cold gloss and adhesive applications. The Garvey Group also recently installed the first Zund G3 2XL-1600 router/cutter/plotter to trim any size steel rule die-free, all from vector art based files to give exact cuts, scores, perforations, hole cuts, and kiss cutting.

“Screen has been great to work with and has been there for us every step of the way of this project. We have been extremely happy with the results. We have also exceeded our clients’ expectations with the level of quality that we are getting with this printer. It has provided us with a total integrated solution. It also has given us a competitive edge. We now truly have something new to talk to our clients about for other services. It opens the door for us to do their signage work as well as their entire print campaign,” Muraro concluded.