Inca Digital has announced a new addition to its Onset X range of heavy duty flatbed printers, the Onset X HS, which is essentially a faster version of the existing X-series.
There are two new models, the X2 HS and X3 HS. As with the existing Onset X series, these printers can be configured with up to 14 channels, with CMYK times 1, 2 or 3 channels per colour. Stephen Tunnicliffe-Wilson, CEO of Inca Digital, says that the most popular choices are X3 plus two White channels and X2 with 6 or 7 colours. Inca Digital will continue to offer the existing X1 with up to 8 colour channels though not in a HS version. My report on the launch of the original X-series flatbeds is here.
The HS are much faster than the existing models, able to produce up to 283 beds per hour, which translates into 1450 sqm/hr. This is down to a number of factors, including a new 2-pass single cycle print mode. Fujifilm has developed a new Uvijet OX inkset that’s said to achieve exceptional adhesion on rigid plastic media, especially polystyrene and fluted and flat sheet polypropylene. To start with it’s a six colour inkset, with CMYK plus Lc and Lm.
Tunnicliffe-Wilson explains: “Our customers have used a 2-pass mode on the original Onset X3 for the last few years, but the substrate range was limited due to the speed of this mode combined with the previous ink sets. The new OX ink set provides good adhesion in all print modes including single-cycle on all typical POP plastics, including Polypropylene and Styrene and with any finish from Matte to Gloss.”
This ink uses a specifically weighted monomer blend that gives particularly low shrinkage when polymerised and inherently low polarity, which combine together to produce good wetting properties both before and after polymerisation that in turn leads to good adhesion between the plastic media and ink.
The idea is that printers will be able to move away from printing on PVC media and towards more environmentally friendly polypropylene and polystyrene in line with current industry trends. It’s worth noting that customers can still use these printers with the existing OW and OL ink sets, without affecting the speed, but that the OX inks give a wider adhesion range particularly in the fastest print modes.
The printer also gains several new automated features, such as UV shutter alignment and table skin adjustments, to reduce job changeover and set up times.
Tunnicliffe-Wilson adds: “The HS models also have a range of features to provide ’30 second’ job set-up. The new motorised robot end-effectors now adjust automatically to suit the sheet sizes selected via the Substrate Set-up in the Onset GUI. Combined with the automatically adjusting UV side-shutters and table skin, these provide much faster job change-over. These features were developed in response to our customers’ demand for greater efficiency with shorter print runs. During recent demonstrations of the Onset HS many customers have told us that the POP market is moving towards shorter runs with faster job turn-around. This means that the ’30 second’ job set-up is as important to them as the high speeds of Onset HS.”
Inca Digital is continuing to use the Fujifilm Dimatix Q-Class heads, with a choice of 10, 14 and 30pl versions for the CMYK channels with most customers opting for 14 pl. Inca uses the 40pl version for the white inks for faster laydown. However, for the HS models Inca is using higher frequency jetting waveforms.
One further point to note is that Inca Digital has been offering robotic loading and unloading since early 2017 and now has now over 40 installed worldwide ranging from standard three-quarters and fully-automatic systems to customised dual-robot industrial solutions integrated with conveyors and finishing equipment.
The X2 HS and X3 HS models are available to order now through Fujifilm, which is Inca’s global distributor for these printers. The original Onset X2 and X3 are still available, but Tunnicliffe-Wilson says that most customers are interested in the new HS versions. You can find more details from www.incadigital.com.