The wide-format inkjet has established itself as the go-to output device for graphics screen printers who need a solution for producing short-run or on-demand graphics and outputting at high resolutions. The machines free up the screen presses for high-volume work and enable printers to explore new markets and applications. But for all of the advantages wide-format inkjets present, most still require regular operator intervention in order to run properly.
Customer expectations for quick turnaround time, high image quality, and competitive pricing are at an all-time high. Therefore, pulling an experienced screen-press operator away from a big job to deal with a clogged inkjet printhead, for example, puts a high-stakes production run at risk. As a result, unattended printing is becoming an even more critical part of profitable digital imaging for screen printers.
Roland engineered its new SOLJET PRO III XJ series of wide-format eco-solvent inkjet printers with features designed to automate and expedite the production process. For starters, each printer in the product line features an integrated tri-heater system to support high-speed, unattended printing. It includes a preheater to improve media receptiveness, a print heater to accelerate ink fastness and brightness, and a final dryer to enhance workability and scratch resistance. An optional dryer/blower unit is also available to speed up the ink-drying process.
Each printer also offers an automated maintenance routine, which includes wipers that clean two printheads at a time and flush ink on each pass. Roland says these features minimize ink usage and eliminate the need for daily cleanings. The company also notes that an inline printhead configuration does away with lengthy calibration procedures. Additionally, printers in the XJ series are built with automated media-take-up systems.
The SOLJET PRO III XJ-540, XJ-640, and XJ-740 come in widths of 54-, 64-, and 74-in. (1372-, 1626-, 1880-mm), respectively. Each prints in six colors (CMYKLcLm or CMYK with extra CM channels) and supports resolutions up to 1440 dpi, media up to 0.04 in. (1.0 mm) thick, and media-roll diameters up to 9.8 in. (249 mm). The printers operate at speeds up to 441, 449.5, and 458 sq ft/hr (41, 41.8, 42.5 sq m/hr) and handle media in weights up to 66, 88, and 103 lb (30, 40, 47 kg), respectively. Each also features Roland’s Precision Firing Pattern technology, which was developed to enhance image quality in every print mode and produce dense, rich colors and high-contrast images that are free of banding.
All three models use Roland’s ECO-SOL MAX eco-solvent ink, which is formulated for high color density, wide gamut, scratch resistance, and three years of outdoor durability without lamination. It’s compatible with coated and uncoated media, including backlit film. The ink is packaged in 220- and 440-ml cartridges.
Roland’s VersaWorks RIP software drives the XJ series printers. It’s built on Adobe’s PostScript CPSI RIP Engine. VersaWorks features a graphical user interface and gives operators control over layout, editing, and printing functions, as well as the tools in the spot-color-fidelity system. VersaWorks also supports variable-data printing. It’s compatible with Windows XP Professional and Windows Vista, and the software can automatically update itself via the Internet and retrieve Roland DGA ICC profiles electronically. The network interface is Ethernet (10Base-T/100Base-TX).
Each SOLJET PRO III XJ printer comes standard with a stand, ink tray, waste bottle, media clamps, user manual, Roland VersaWorks, a cleaning kit, and more. The printers also carry a two-year warranty. For more information, contact Roland DGA Corp., 15363 Barranca Pkwy., Irvine, CA 92618, 949-727-2100, 800-542-2307, fax: 949-727-2112, Web: www.rolanddga.com.
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