Fujifilm has launched a new entry level wide format printer, the Acuity 15, supposedly designed for light production.
It’s significantly slower than existing Acuity’s with a maximum print speed of just 23 sqm/hr though most people will probably rely on the standard Production mode, which runs at 14 sqm/hr.
Tudor Morgan, Fujifilm’s Sign & Display Segment Manager, says that this has resulted from surveys carried out at last year’s Drupa amongst distributors and customers as to what they wanted from the Acuity range. He says: “The answer was a need for a high quality UV flatbed that was priced below €100K capable of printing rigid media but made 6-10hr production week financially attainable.”
It has the same bed size as previous models at 1.25 x 2.5 metres with three vacuum zones. There’s also a 2.2m wide roll media option. It takes rigid and flexible media up to 50.8mm thick.
It uses the same Toshiba Tec heads as previous models complete with variable drop sizes, ranging from 6-42 picolitres, giving a resolution equivalent to 1200 dpi. As a result it should produce the same print quality as the more productive models.
It uses Fujifilm’s highly pigmented Uvijet KN inkset, as well as the Uvijet KV thermoforming ink system, both of which include CMYK plus a single white. Morgan explains: “The inclusion of Uvijet KV is a direct result of talking to companies who wish to produce 3D promotional work “one off’s etc” wanting a low cost printer for specific campaigns.” Fujifilm is clearly hoping that this will give it a competitive advantage.
As with all of the Acuity printers, this new model appears to be based on a Canon Océ Arizona. Morgan says that this particular combination of printer and inks will only be sold through Fujifilm, adding that Fujifilm has specified the Acuity 15 for its own needs. Personally, I’d guess that it’s only a matter of time before Canon announces a replacement to its ageing Arizona 318 GL, with similar specs to the Acuity 15 but with Canon’s own branded ink.
For RIPs, Fujifilm recommends Caldera GrandRIP or Colorgate Production Suite. It should be available now.