Canon Unveils UVgel Wide-Format Printer
With great fanfare, Canon U.S.A. unveiled an innovative printing technology on Wednesday in Boca Raton, Fla., that uses new UV-curable ink that instantly gels on contact with the media. This UVgel technology is a key part of the new 64˝ Océ Colorado 1640 roll-to-roll printer, which was demonstrated to industry journalists during the One Canon Press & Analyst Event this week, held at the elegant Boca Raton Resort & Club.
Referred to by Canon as "the fastest 64˝ printer on the market," the Colorado 1640 boasts a top speed of 1,710 sq. ft. per hour and delivers high-quality prints at 430 sq. ft. per hour faster than any competing system in this segment. Aiding in this is the unique low temperature LED-UV curing system, which moves independently from the printing carriage, enabling uniform, post-print UV curing.
Canon's new UVgel ink instantly gels on contact with media resulting in precise dot gain and positional control, repeatable images and instantly cured, durable prints. The ink boasts ultra-thin dispersion with almost no discernible physical profile on the media surface. Prints feel smooth, unlike other UV ink technologies, and satisfy environmental standards for indoor usage with a virtually odorless profile. In addition, UVgel technology reportedly boasts lower ink consumption than competitive technologies — as much as 40 percent lower, according to Canon.
The Colorado 1640 uses an advanced “self-aware” piezoelectric printhead technology, along with continuous, on-the-fly, printhead nozzle monitoring and performance compensation to detect and correct any underperforming nozzles. During each and every printing pass, Canon’s patented nozzle monitoring technology automatically checks all nozzles using acoustic sampling and even detects whether nozzles are going to misfire before they actually do. In the event of nozzle failure, corrective maintenance is automatically performed.
A sturdy device weighing 1,500 lbs., the Colorado 1640 features a heavy-duty drawer mechanism that holds up to two rolls of media at one time, each weighing up to 110 lbs. The two rolls can be of the same media type and size or different media, and once initialized, the print engine can switch jobs between rolls without operator assistance.
The media handling system uses an optical feedback loop that continuously monitors media advance. Using virtually invisible printed index marks at the edges of the media, the system measures media advances in real time to automatically correct the subsequent step size as needed.
The Colorado 1640 will make its US debut at the ISA International Sign Expo in April.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.