EFI is previewing the VUTEk DS Series digital screen printer at drupa 2008. This high speed, flatbed UV printer provides a digital solution for the production of POP-quality graphics at breakthrough speed with the advantages of UV technology and digital economics.
The DS Series is a new category of high speed digital flatbed printers representing a tipping point in productivity, image quality and flexibility. It signifies a call to action for both analog screen printers and leading edge digital printers in terms of new economics and capabilities now available with digital print. The innovative DS Series design and architecture enables the cost-effective production of higher volume jobs than ever before possible using a digital press. The incredible speed and resolution made possible by the DS Series' innovative high density print array sets this VUTEk printer apart from all other competitive offerings available in the market today.
VUTEk's super high-speed digital flatbed DS Series produces sellable output at up to 557 square meters (6,000 square feet) per hour and uses a unique high productivity UV curing system, newly engineered from the ground up, to provide full curing at the fastest speeds.
"This groundbreaking product will print up to 557 square meters per hour – representing a new productivity frontier in the superwide format market," said Chuck Dourlet, vice president of marketing, EFI VUTEk. "With its eight ink channels, up to 1200 dpi quality and fast make-ready times, the DS Series is the first digital UV superwide format flatbed printer capable of cost-effectively producing high volume runs extending the digital crossover point with traditional screen print by a factor of four to five times. We expect the DS Series to be attractive to large screen printers and digital print providers everywhere who are looking for a way to step up to the next level of production and efficiency."
Digital printing not only reduces prepress time and complexity but also removes costly and time-consuming screen manufacturing, screen removal and reclamation. This quick turnaround makes it possible to go straight to high volume production for same day, order-to-delivery capability. With digital printing, jobs can easily be customized or regionalized and last-minute changes can be efficiently accommodated. Because every image off the press can be different, samples and one-offs can be produced with the same cost dynamics as high volume work. In addition, the use of digital technology greatly reduces required inventory levels associated with consumables such as ink, screens and films.
The DS Series captures all of the advantages of UV technology, including superior UV quality, print resolutions up to 1200 dpi, and up to eight colors for clear, stunning images. Additionally, an extended application range of UV ink and compatibility with key industry substrates enables printing on paper, film, rigid boards and a variety of other specialty materials.
The DS Series accommodates a wide range of rigid and cut-sheet materials with a maximum media size of 1.6 meters by 2.4 meters (63 inches by 96 inches), up to 5.08 cm (two inches) thick. A large ink reservoir and optional automated media handling for both input and output enable near-lights-out operation for up to eight hours.
The DS Series is designed with a fixed array of printheads and a bed that moves back and forth, enabling much faster speeds than existing technology that utilizes moving printheads. The system can print in four- or eight-color mode.