The 2013 edition of North America’s quadrennial PRINT tradeshow still is four months away and SGIA Expo 2013 is set for October, but Epson’s Mark Radogna is providing a likely preview right now of what many attendees will see at booths in Chicago and Orlando. “The SureColor S-Series will be all over the show,” predicted Radogna, who is Epson America’s group manager for product strategy. “Dealers are in love with it,” he said of the next-generation 64-inch, roll-to-roll solvent printer first shown at drupa 2012 last May. (Shipments begin this month; product specs are available here.) The trio of S-Series models has been in beta-testing mode at some 35 global sites for the past eight months, Radogna added.
Also showing will be the aforementioned T-Series, a new line of large-format color plotters for architects, engineers, and GIS professionals. These devices mark Epson’s entry into the technical printing market. Launched last October after Graph Expo, the SureColor T3000, T5000, and T7000 models offer the fastest plotting speeds in their class as well as industry-leading accuracy and new, proprietary UltraChrome XD pigment ink for crisp output. Maximum widths are 24, 36, and 44 inches, respectively, with minimal floor space requirements to fit almost anywhere, Epson said.
“The SureColor T-Series was developed based on direct feedback from architects and engineers who consistently underscored the need for easy and reliable ways to make accurate, large-format plots quickly and cost effectively,” said Timothy Check, product manager of Professional Imaging for Epson America. “The SureColor T-Series not only meets those needs but goes beyond, integrating Epson’s long-standing photo heritage and printing technology innovation into a complete line of state-of-the-art plotters.”
Built from the ground up using all-Epson engineering, and incorporating the latest in printing technology, the T-Series delivers extreme line accuracy with resolutions up to 2880 x 1440 dots per inch (dpi) at some of the fastest speeds in its class—producing a presentation quality D-size plot in as little as 25 seconds and up to 110 per hour. Its Epson MicroPiezo TFP (thin-film piezo) print head offers high-performance and consistency for precise plotting with highly accurate line placement and lines as thin as 0.018 mm. These heads deliver droplet sizes as small as 4.2 picoliters. They are more robust, too, Radogna said, yielding “a significantly longer print head life than previous generations.” How long? Tests were still being run as of press time, but he encouraged readers to go to the website for the latest specifications. Suffice it to say, “You won’t be replacing them every six months,” he added.
For added performance, the SureColor T-Series plotters feature a convenient output stacking basket that organizes up to 20 A1/D- or A0/E-sized plain paper plots for quick retrieval and to reduce sorting time. The UltraChrome XD pigment ink delivers crisp lines, brilliant color, and photographic quality on virtually any media type for accurate prints that are truly archival and smudge- and water-resistant. To maximize efficiency and keep printing costs low, each of the five colors -- cyan, magenta, yellow, photo black, and matte black -- are available in 110 ml, 350 ml and a large-capacity 700 ml, which can be used interchangeably to accommodate a range of printing needs. All cartridges are front-loading for easy access. The T3000, T5000, and T7000 are available through authorized Epson Professional Imaging resellers for list prices of $2,995, $3,995, and $4,995.
“The economic environment has increased the number of freelancers and small studios, shortened project turnaround times, and required AEC workers to be highly mobile, spending more than 50 percent of their time out of the office,” said Eric DuPaul, Designjet business development manager, Americas, HP. “The expanded HP Designjet portfolio helps our customers stay connected where the job takes them and allows first-time, large-format buyers to easily and affordably bring their printing needs in house.”
Last fall HP rolled out three new, web-connected Designjet T120 and T520 ePrinter AEC models. Listed at between $1,000 and $2,500, these entry-level devices deliver through the Cloud, enabling on-the-go customers to output large-format printing from virtually anywhere. The compact, 24-inch T120 ePrinter series ($1,000 list price) is ideal for students and free-lancers, while the 24- and 36-inch T520 models ($1,800 and $2,500, respectively) are designed for small AEC teams in need of fast, professional printing, the OEM said.