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Wide Format Printers Present Significant Innovation at drupa 2012

 By Joe Tischner, wide format test specialist, June 4, 2012

BLI editors had a chance to check out the latest offerings from a number of manufacturers in the wide-format arena represented across many of the halls at drupa 2012, the quadrennial print trade show that took place in early May in Düsseldorf, Germany. Enthusiastic product managers and sales reps eagerly discussed new ink colors, improvements in printhead design and the productivity enhancements of a great many newly-unveiled devices, as well as a few prototypes. BLI’s coverage primarily includes models in the 36- to 64-inch width range employing aqueous, latex or solvent inks, as well as two toner-based wide-format solutions.

Canon/Océ

Keen focus in Océ’s section of the Canon booth was on the Velocity, Océ’s high-volume color wide-format printer currently under development. The unit is the result of collaborative efforts between Océ engineering teams and Memjet, the printhead manufacturing company. According to Eelco Schillings, Océ business development manager, the 42-inch width four-color unit, which employs five Memjet printheads, is capable of printing up to 500 A0-size color documents in one hour at 1600-x-800-dpi. The Velocity supports up to six media rolls for a maximum output capacity of nearly 4,000 feet. Schillings stated that Océ will be offering beta-version models of the Velocity to existing customers in an effort to obtain critical feedback, and the company will determine if and when Velocity will move to the production phase based on that feedback, which they hope to have compiled by the second half of 2012. The recently-released Océ ColorWave 650, which utilizes the company’s CrystalPoint technology, was also busy churning out posters, maps and renderings during the show.

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