Featured markets: Hybrid printers and converting equipment

Typically, large-format inkjet printers have either a roll-fed or flatbed option, but what about the printers that have both? Print companies today need to be able to offer their clients a wide variety of capabilities without breaking the bank. That’s where hybrid presses are the perfect option. With the ability to print on rigid substrates as well as flexible materials, print companies are able to print on both types of materials without incurring the cost of a second machine. The flexibility of hybrid presses makes them suitable for a variety of applications in many different industries, including signs, displays, backlit displays, interior building materials, large-size posters, POP displays, vehicle wraps and more. For this section of Featured Markets, we’ve looked at four different printers, each with their own unique features.



This printer from EFI offers its users photorealistic quality printing, high productivity, and exceptional flexibility. The VUTEk GS3200 uses 12-picoliter droplet technology in combination with advanced three-layering capabilities to create high-definition print. The three-layering capabilities enables white to be printed as an overprint, underprint, spot, underspot, fill and overspot. All three layers are printed in a single pass and the technology allows the white to be used to emphasize certain aspects of an image instead of just using it as a flood.

To make sure there’s no downtime in your pressroom, the VUTEk GS3200 provides continuous board-to-board, board-to-sheet and roll-to-roll printing capabilities. In addition, changing from a rigid substrate to flexible material takes less than one minute.

Not only does the VUTEk GS3200 offer the flexibility of being able to print on both rigid and roll-to-roll material, but it also offers dual resolution, either 600 dpi or 1000 dpi, and dual printing speeds. To achieve the dual printing speeds the VUTEk GS3200 prints with CMYK plus white (named Fast-5 by EFI) for optimized throughput and a printing speed of up to 2400 sq. ft/hr. The printer is then switchable to eight-colour plus white for enhanced image quality and a printing speed of up to 1200 sq. ft/hr.

Another interesting fact about the VUTEk GS3200 is that it has the capability to print up to two 60-inch rolls simultaneously!

Screen USA Truepress Jet2500UV

Screen USA’s Truepress Jet2500UV is a wide-format ultraviolet inkjet printer. What sets this printer apart from its competition is the image quality it produces using variable dot technology, its grayscale printhead with multi-layer function and its high-resolution capabilities, up to 1500 dpi. The Truepress Jet2500UV’s variable dot technology uses the grayscale printhead to output multiple droplet sizes, to produce better and smoother image quality in the highlight and fine detail areas.

The multi-layer function of the printhead means the Truepress Jet2500UV can print five layers (image, white, black, white and final image), which enables the image to be seen from both sides on transparent material, enhances the density and vibrancy of backlit displays and increases range of substrate that can be printed on.

The Truepress Jet2500UV also offers a secure substrate fixing system that ensures materials stay completely flat when they travel through the printer. This is a great feature for companies that print on a lot of corrugated board or other media that tends to curl at the edges.

Mimaki UJV-160

The UJV-160 from Mimaki Engineering is a unique UV inkjet printer because of its UV LED curing technology. The printer uses UV curing inks that are sensitive to light emitting diodes (LED), which are fixed immediately after exposure to LED radiation. The LED lamps that are used emit ultraviolet rays that do not create heat and, therefore, do not have to be pre-heated or cooled-down. The LED curing technology allows for faster turnaround time and increased productivity, with the elimination of post-press drying time. In addition, the energy consumption is approximately 50 percent less than UV printers using halide lamps.

The UJV-160 also has specially formulated flexible ink, which allows the ink to be stretched up to 200 percent without cracking, even if it is bent or curved. This enables better print quality on thin PVC that is usually used for vehicle wraps.

Other features of the UJV-160 include variable dot technology for better image reproduction and white ink overlay that enables brighter and more vivid images.

Mutoh ValueJet 160HA

The ValueJet 160HA from Mutoh Industries, Ltd. is a hybrid printer that prides itself on being environmentally friendly. The ValueJet 160HA uses MUBIO INK, which is recognized by the EPA Design for the Environment program. The ink is a corn-based product that is comprised of 80 percent plant derived substances and contains no VOCs. To dry the ink only requires a pair of hot air knives and is typically dry just seconds after the ink is laid down.

Another feature of the ValueJet 160HA is that it uses Dynamic Variable Dot Imaging (DVDI) technology in combination with Intelligent Interweaving (i2) print technology to print. The DVDI technology adjusts each droplet of ink individually to ensure high speed and quality without consuming a lot of ink. The i2 technology lays down ink in a wave pattern to reduce or even eliminate typical inkjet printing problems such as horizontal banding, ink mottle and step mismatch banding.

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As long as there has been printing there’s been the need to convert printed work into the final product. Packaging such as bags, pouches, labels, tags, folding cartons and corrugated boxes will always have to be created. This makes the converting industry a very large and broad sector and means there are hundreds of options when it comes to converting equipment. With so many options available, converters need to look into equipment that’s going to truly compliment their specific workflow and increase their quality and productivity. In this section of Featured Markets, we’ll take a look at some of the converting industry’s most innovative and interesting equipment available today.

Converting Equipment

Rotoflex Vericut 2

In today’s printing market, digital printing is becoming more and more popular, especially in the packaging and label industry. With this trend, comes the need for specialized digital converting equipment with more effective and flexible options. The Vericut 2 is a die cutting machine specifically designed for digital web finishing. Coined the “next generation in digital web finishing,” the Vericut 2 not only die cuts but includes spot coating, cold foil, hot foil embossing, rotary sheeting and stacking, and slitting and rewinding capabilities.

The Vericut 2’s flexographic coating module allows for UV and water based vanish or ink to be applied in a flood varnish or spot coat. The die cutting module includes a 19″ magnetic die cylinder, complete with flexible plate alignment. This means that the operator can take an existing flexible plate, for example a 12″ plate, and mount it on the cylinder without having to change the cylinder.

The Vericut 2 also has an automatic registration control system that automatically positions on first registration mark and has an auto-learn feature that dynamically compensates for web print variables. This system ensures outstanding registration and tension control.

Hudson-Sharp Inno-Lok machine

The Inno-Lok machine, manufactured by Hudson-Sharp, is a pre-zippered film system that uses transverse direction closure technology to attach reclosable fasteners transversely to produce pre-zippered rolls of film. The film can then be used on most horizontal FFS (form/fill/seal) packaging applications to manufacture zippered packaging products. Only a slight clearance modification is needed on the FFS fill tube in order to use the Inno-Lok pre-zippered film.

One of the main benefits is a potential savings the technology offers. This includes up to 50 percent in zipper material, up to 15 percent in packaging material and up to 20 percent in lost scrap. In addition, the Inno-Lok zipper has the desirable horizontal placement because the zipper is applied transversely to the edges of the packaging film.

Hudson-Sharp also offers the Pour & Lok zipper, which uses a similar manufacturing process and creates a reclosable pour spout for side gusseted packaging.

Kluge OmniFold folder gluer

The OmniFold by Brandtjen & Kluge Inc. is an automatic folding and gluing system that is designed to maximize converting capabilities while minimizing set-up time. The feature that sets the OmniFold apart from other folding and gluing systems is that it is modular in construction, enabling immense flexibility. One OnminFold has the capability of producing a virtually infinite range of final products; something that would typically require multiple different folder and gluer machines.

The machine can be configured with the features that best suit your body of work and then additional elements can be added as your company grows or changes. Some of the features that can be added include drop-in scoring kit, fold hooks (for auto-lock boxes), tabbing, tipping, onserting, taping units and more. The OmniFold is commonly used to create lock-bottom boxes, partition packages, CD wallets, boxes and sleeves of various sizes and presentation folders. 

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