Printer Review: Durst Rho 320R UV Inkjet Printer

Not too many output providers can back up the claim that they have been in business for more than 100 years, but Seattle, WA-based Rainer Displays can. When the company first opened for business, they were making supplies for prospectors heading for the big Yukon gold rush of the 1890s.

"Rainer was previously known as Puget Sound Tent & Awning and was established in 1896, where at the time they were specializing in making tents and camping supplies for prospectors headed north for the Alaskan gold rush," says Charlie Rueb, display division manager at Rainer Displays.

"We've come a long way since then, today we specialize in visual merchandising and digital wall coverings," he adds.

Rueb says that the company had a recent gold strike of its own when it purchased the Rho 320R UV inkjet printer at SGIA '08. "We were looking at adding a roll-to-roll UV printer to our shop so we could increase our production capabilities. And, being located in the northwest, the green options a UV printer offers is also a good selling point for perspective clients. We already had some Durst equipment in house and after some research we felt that for the durability and the quality of output that the Durst 320R was the best machine for us," he says.

Rueb reports that they first saw the printer in action at the SGIA '08 in Atlanta and they purchased the floor model at the show. "We had the second 320R in the United States. The printer was shipped to us right after the show and we were up and running in about three days. The unit prints on a wide range of coated and uncoated media up to 10.5 feet wide at speeds up to 1,440 sqft/hr."

"Durst's 126-inch-wide Rho 320R large-format UV printer really sets raises the bar for production inkjet roll printing. The overall resolution of print quality is incredible. The colors are brilliant…they really pop. We are hitting colors on the 320R that we haven't been able to hit on other printer," he says. The two-pass mode on the Rho 320R is fabulous in terms of image quality and productivity. It offers unprecedented image quality, productivity, versatility and workflow benefits—all with a very low impact on the environment," Rueb says.

The Rho 320R also offers precision components and capabilities developed by Durst and incorporated into all of its newest UV inkjet printing platforms. They include the innovative Quadro Array 30-picolitre print head technology, and a new print carriage that moves via a proprietary magnetic linear drive system. They also include Durst's unmatched white ink and special-effect varnish printing, versatile light color and spot color options, and intuitive user software. The printer's image processing and workflow is controlled by the Caldera Grand RIP+.

Options on the 320R include a high-productivity media-handling option for printing two rolls up to 62 inches each side by side, and a media-tracking apparatus for perfectly registering doubled-sided printing. The Rho 320R also is compatible with Durst's heavy-duty roll media feed/take-up accessory—designed for long runs and fast media changes, capable of handling oversized rolls up to 440 pounds with a roll diameter up to 12 inches and a width up to 80 inches.

"We are printing on a lot of vinyl wall coverings for commercial use on it as well as some canvas. The roll-to-roll function gives us a wide variety of media we can print on. So far its printed great on everything we've put through it," Rueb concludes.

The Durst Rho 320R At A Glance

  • Addressable resolution 600 dpi
  • CMYK Rho Roll Inks and Optional: Light Cyan and Light Magenta, White, clear varnish, selected spot colors (on request). UV curable inks allows for immediate use of printed material
  • Low ink consumption achieved by high pigmented inks providing low ink cost/m²
  • Environmentally friendly ("green technology"), no VOCs