Agfa announces Avinci CX3200 textile printer

Agfa is introducing a new 3.2m wide dye sublimation printer, the Avinci CX3200, which can print to transfer papers as well as direct to fabric, and is aimed at the soft signage market. 

This Agfa Avinci CX3200 is a 3.2m wide dye sublimation printer.

According to Philip Van der Auwera, Agfa’s marketing manager for display graphics: “The market demand for soft signage keeps growing, as it is lightweight, resistant to wrinkles and folding, and easy to transport and reuse. The Avinci CX3200 will meet the needs of existing textile printing companies, as well as enable sign & display printers to diverge into textile printing and bring in new business. We designed it to be fit for high productivity and maximum uptime. It is extremely robust and reliable, as well as easy to operate.”

It replaces the older DX3200 and is said to have double the speed. Productivity ranges from 100 sqm/hr in high quality mode to 270 sqm/hr in express mode.

The CX3200 uses Kyocera KJ4B printheads with native resolution of 600 x 1800 dpi. Jelena Kovacevic, product manager for the Avinci, says: “We chose this head because of reliability and longer life.” It prints CMYK, with one head per colour. There don’t appear to be any plans to add other colours with Kovacevic saying that the combination of the Kyocera heads, the Avinci ink and Asanti RIP means that users will see very little benefit. 

Kovacevic says that the ability to print direct to fabric answers requests from customers of the older DX3200. It does make for a simpler workflow although printing to fabric also limits users to precoated substrates. Consequently most users will probably be better off printing to transfer paper, which gives a better choice of uncoated, and therefore cheaper, polyester materials. It should also produce better quality prints, particularly where fine text is needed and is likely to be the preferred choice for anyone producing home decor applications. 

It will take transfer papers from 70gsm and higher. Some users will favour lighter papers to save costs but Dries Hublin, global inkjet application specialist at Agfa, notes that heavier papers allow for higher ink coverage, which can lead to better print quality, though may slow the printer down, adding: “Thinner papers absorb less ink so they can transport through the printer at higher speeds but the ink coverage will be less.” Customers can expect ink consumption to be around a fairly economical 4-5ml per square metre. 

It does not have a built-in calendar unit but as Hublin points out, an inline calendar unit would slow down the printing because you cannot sublimate at higher speeds. Kovacevic adds: “We wanted to split the processes so that the printer doesn’t get burdened with the sublimation work. Also there are a lot of very fast sublimation units on the market so our customers can buy multiple printers for different applications and buy just one calendar unit.”

Strangely, there is no support for running dual 1.6m rolls. Auwera says that a single operator can load a fresh roll in under seven minutes. The rolls appear to load from the front of the machine, which should make it easier to find space for the printer. It’s been designed to have a very short media path which should help to reduce waste. 

It’s worth noting that the Avinci is a rebadged South Korean machine, though Agfa hasn’t said which vendor it has worked with. Auwera did add: “Agfa is putting in a lot of R&D to bring it to the market.”

Naturally, Agfa is supplying its Asanti RIP but Auwera says that the company is also developing support for Caldera and Onyx RIPs since many potential customers may prefer to use the software they are already familiar with, though I don’t think anyone would regret using Asanti. 

Van der auwera says that the CX3200 will be positioned as a mid-segment printer and will cost between $200,000 and $500,000, adding: “That’s the level of investment you need to look into.” It’s available now and you can find further details from agfa.com.


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