Mutoh has been showing off a new A2 industrial printer, the ValueJet 626UF, at this week’s Fespa show. This is a flatbed printer that’s designed to print graphics to a range of objects from bottles and boxes to small parts. This could include short run production, personalized gifts and awards as well as prototypes.
Essentially it’s a scaled up version of the existing VJ426UF, with the new printer having a bed size of 594 x 483mm. Dirk Devroye, commercial marketing assistant, explained: “The A3+ model was doing well and there was a demand for a larger machine with increased thickness from the customers.” The new model can print on items up to 150mm thick, which should allow it to handle most bottles and cans. There’s an optional roll system to hold cylindrical items in place. It can automatically measure the thickness of the object.
As with the smaller model, it’s a six colour machine, with CMYK plus white and clear ink. It can print up to seven layers, with Mutoh showing a number of highly textured samples that were very impressive. There’s an integrated vacuum bed, an automatic table lifting system as well as an LED pointer to facilitate accurate media placement and origin point detection.
It uses an Epson print head with eight channels but Mutoh only uses six, with no plans to add further colours. Resolution is 1440 x 1440dpi.
It should be available from September with the price yet to be fixed. There’s a fast growing market for these small flatbeds, almost exclusively amongst industrial users, with little cross over with the wide format graphics market. Apart from Mutoh, both Mimaki and Roland also produce similar models.
Mutoh also showed off new, more flexible inks for the larger 1638UH and 1626UH UV flatbed, both of which use LED curing. These inks can stretch by up to 180 percent, also useful for a number of industrial applications as well as vehicle wrapping. This inkset comes in CMYK plus white and varnish and is suitable for both rollfed and rigid applications.