The Barak5 is Matan Digital Printers’ best-selling product. “It is popular thanks to its production speed, versatility, and multi-roll and backlit capabilities,” said Hagai Valach, marketing director, Matan. “Our customers are constantly working on projects for advertising, decoration, sports events, concerts and more.” Valach said a 2,000 sqm mesh building cover that was recently completed by Yahav Digital printing in Israel was perhaps the most unique project created with the Barak5. “It is built up from eight 5x50m mesh rolls all printed in one shift,” he said.
While the poor economy has slowed business, Matan took this as an opportunity to boost its development plan. “We released new quality modes and backlit workflow, and will announce new production capabilities and a camera-based backlit at SGIA,” reported Valach.
The future looks very positive. “Grand-format applications offer the most cost-effective advertising with the best CPT (cost per thousand). The UV technology opens new printing applications on exotic media making it almost borders free,” he said.
Roland DGA Corp.
The AJ-1000i is the top-selling grand-format printer at Roland as many AdvancedJET customers who have been have migrated into grand-format printing as their businesses have expanded. “Adding wider print capabilities on banner and mesh media up to 104 inches enables them to dramatically increase their shop throughput and services,” said Robert Ozankan, senior product manager, Roland DGA. ”
Despite the economic challenges, Ozankan reported there are still businesses looking to expand their services and bring previously outsourced grand-format jobs in-house. “We are finding that some customers who might have added another six-figure printer in the past are now considering a more cost-effective platform like the AdvancedJet, or other printers in its class,” he said. “These printers allow them to add the capacity they need in the short term without the payments of an even larger device.”
Ozankan has noticed the trend away from solvents to UV curing devices. “As printers and print buyers try to move away from PVC-based materials, we have seen a dramatic growth in fabric printing across solvent, UV, and dye sublimation grand-format printing.”
As sustainable and recyclable materials such as Tyvek become more popular, Ozankan said we would see more recycling of signs and banners after installation. “The infrastructure for this process is starting up in the US,” he reported. “Digitally printable fabrics are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and reduced weight, shipping costs and lower carbon footprint. With the economy gradually improving and marketing dollars coming back, advertising campaigns will see continuing demand in the grand-format market. The continued improvements in quality will also mean that grand-format devices will be used for applications where they might not have been suitable in the past, ultimately cutting into offset and screen printing even more than they already have.”
The bestselling grand-format Swiss-built printers at WP Polytype are the RS25 and RS35 with the white option. The printers feature six printheads per color (CMYK lclm) plus 12 printheads for white, for a total of 48 printheads. “Its extraordinary hybrid system (roll-to-roll, flatbed and overlength substrates) offers genuine diversity, as it can handle substrates up to 3.7 inches high and carry weight up to 10 pounds per square foot,” said Michael Albrecht, vice president, sales and marketing, digital printers at WP Polytype.
The company has a unique glass decoration process that ensures excellent adhesion with UV ink. “This industrial application has been developed for the manufacture of kitchens, tables or other indoor glass decoration projects,” said Albrecht.
Albrecht agreed that the trend is to get away from solvent printers, which increases the demand for more eco-friendly UV printers, but says the future is all about lower production costs and a continuous increase of quality and speed.