Durst Image Technology US, LLC

Duggal to Install First US Rhotex 320

New York City-based Duggal Visual Solutions Inc. is about to add to its reputation for innovation by installing the first Durst Rhotex 320 in the US.

This latest acquisition adds to New York City-based Duggal's impressive list of firsts over the last 50 years—several recent ones involving new Durst printing platforms. In October 2009, the company took delivery of the nation's first high-resolution, high-production, 16-foot inkjet printer: the Rho 500R grand-format UV inkjet roll printer. Last year, Duggal installed the first Durst 900—a 98-inch-wide printer featuring efficient automated media handling, "process color additions" and high-speed printing—in the US.

In recent years, the increase in digital printing on fabric, textile and similar media has been astounding. Whether it's for flags, banners, billboards, wall covering, POP displays, trade show exhibits or other "soft signage" applications, market researchers predict this segment will grow by more than 50 percent, year-on-year, between now and 2014.

The way to take advantage of this development: Increase capacity and efficiency in the production of these imaging products. But it was only within the last year, with the introduction of the 10.5-foot wide (3.2m) Rhotex 320, that an imaging platform developed specifically for fabric / "soft signage" printing at production speeds became available. Not only is Durst's latest print platform attuned to fabric's specific printing and media handling requirements—it also is remarkably environmentally "friendly" and exceptionally cost-efficient to operate, Durst said.

"The Rhotex 320 allows us to offer our customers the highest quality dye-sublimation printing possible at impressive speeds, which in turn allows us to be the leader in the growing fabric market," said Mike Duggal, CEO, Duggal. "We are excited about adding this to our growing list of offerings for our clients. And the fact that the Rhotex 320 is environmentally friendly, using VOC-free water based inks, fits well with Duggal's corporate ‘green philosophy' and is an added bonus for our customers as well."

"As digital imaging technologies progress and both printing processes and media improve, the benefits of ‘soft signage' are becoming more apparent," said Christopher Howard, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Durst US. "Mike Duggal and the people at Duggal Visual Solutions understand this as well as anyone, and we're pleased with their latest 'first'—the first Rhotex 320 in the United States."

"This new digital platform represents a high-quality, high-production printer that addresses the large and still-growing demand for 'soft signage,'" Howard said. "We think the Rhotex 320 is the correct ‘tool' for where the market is today, and for where it's headed tomorrow. And Duggal is right at the forefront of the market."

Durst's Rhotex 320—winner of the United Kingdom's Angel Award for 2010, which acknowledges product innovation most likely to have a significant impact in the wide-format sector – was designed specifically to address the growing popularity of lighter-weight, easier-to-install, higher-margin, reusable and "green" media options in production environments.

This wide-format roll-to-roll platform utilizes environmentally benign water-based dispersed dye inks, and comes equipped with the company's proprietary Quadro Array 30D AQ print heads (calibrated to Durst's water-based inks), to deliver POP-quality output at up to 775 sqft/hr. Fabrics printed with these inks are entirely environmentally friendly, recyclable and disposable—a strong selling point with today's "green-conscious" customers.

The printer, which has eight ink bays, is configured to print six colors (CMYK + Lc, Lm, Lk/gray). It features an inline ink dryer positioned ahead of the take-up roll to prevent smudging and sticking. An automated Capping Station covers print heads automatically when the sled is in "park" position, to eliminate evaporation of the printer's water-based inks. And an Integrated Ink Absorbing System keeps inks from penetrating through the media.

As a result of Durst's workflow software, advanced feed/take-up systems and other high-tech capabilities, the Rhotex 320 can run unattended 24 hours a day. It features all the capabilities—efficient, intuitive user interface; Quadro Array print head technology; linear magnetic drive system, sophisticated media handling—found on all of the latest Durst Rho roll media printers.