At the FESPA trade show last month in Munich, Durst unveiled the world's first "industrial" inkjet printer for the textile / soft signage markets to address the burgeoning demand for lighter-weight, easier-to-install, higher-margin, reusable, "green" and safe media options.
The 10.5-foot-wide Rhotex 320 utilizes environmentally benign water-based dye inks and on-board hot-air dryers on an advanced printing platform that delivers POP-quality print output at up to 775 sqft/hr. It features all the capabilities—efficient workflow software, Quadro Array print head technology, linear magnetic drive system, sophisticated media feed/take-up systems—found on the newest Durst Rho printers. Availability is planned for early in the fourth quarter.
Also at FESPA, Durst introduced a new, 80-inch-wide digital UV inkjet printer that does an exceptionally good job of handling and printing on corrugated substrates. The Rho 750 also is suitable for a wide range of other printing applications, and achieves output speeds exceeding 1,930 sqft/hr.
Throughout the show, a Rho 1000 Continuous Inkjet Production System was fully operational in the Durst booth. The printer, designed for flexibility and versatility in a production environment, attracted big crowds as it ran in a continuous-feed workflow that eliminates load/unload delays.
"At Durst we're constantly evaluating imaging markets to identify needs, and then designing printers that best respond not only to what's in demand today – but where all these markets are heading," said Christopher Howard, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Durst US. "That's true with our Rho 1000 and also with our newest printers introduced at FESPA.The Rhotex 320 gives the industry a high-quality, high-production ‘industrial' printer that addresses the continuous, growing demand for soft signage—flags, banners and wall coverings—while our new Rho 750 is designed for shops looking for a production printer with a special capability for challenging corrugate printing."
As the imaging business progresses and both printing processes and media improve, the benefits of "soft signage" are becoming more apparent: light weight, easier transporting, ability to be reused, distinctive new "apps," environmental advantages, and so on. The Rhotex 320 allows users not only to print in vibrant colors on the widest variety of soft media, but to print in high volumes at production speeds.
The six-color printer—CMYK + Lc, Lm, Lk (gray), spot colors—features an inline ink dryer positioned ahead of the take-up roll to prevent smudging and sticking. An automated Capping Station covers all 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. Along with Durst's workflow software, advanced feed/take-up systems and other high-tech capabilities, the Rhotex 320 can run unattended 24 hours a day.