New Mimaki printer/cutters define the future of sign and graphics

Print Solutions

Mimaki has announced the launch of the UCJV300-160 and UCJV150-160 roll to roll LED-UV printing and cutting solutions. These two systems add creativity to the production of signs and display graphics, while maintaining Mimaki’s signature affordability and ease of use. In bringing this outstanding solution to market, the company is also introducing a new environmentally friendly ink, LUS-170, which is guaranteed to ensure vibrant, eye catching print results. These new printing and cutting systems, representing the future of sign and display graphics production, are expected to be available for customer shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017.

‘The UCJV Series is available in two models; the four colour UCJV150-160 and the UCJV300-160 that can accommodate up to seven ink colours in cost effective one litre bottles,’ said Ronald Van den Broek, general manager sales at Mimaki Europe. ‘Each can produce a wide variety of print and cut applications offered by many signage, commercial and packaging print service providers. LED-UV curing technology enables PSPs to utilise an expanded range of materials including uncoated print media and many thin film substrates that may be too heat sensitive for latex or solvent high heat fixation systems.’

Mimaki’s exclusive distributor in the UK is Hybrid Services. National sales manager John de la Roche heralds the machine’s potential. ‘This new printer/cutter really does define the future for sign and graphics production; the application opportunities are endless and creative professionals will reap enormous benefit,’ he stated. ‘By harnessing Mimaki’s unrivalled experience across all inkjet printing technologies, we are delivering a printer that sets incredible new benchmarks.’

Mimaki states that printers will be constrained only by their imagination with the new printers, with features such as four layer day/night printing offering ‘one graphic – two views’. Available on the UCJV300-160, this process offers an enhanced print capability that allows designers to build layered, transformative graphics for backlit applications. ‘This process gives print companies the opportunity to offer a unique product,’ stated John. ‘It is possible to produce a dynamic graphic that morphs its image or colour scheme depending on the light source – a distinctive capability that enables print companies to produce high impact, high margin output while maintaining low operational costs and reduced production time.’

The new UCJV Series features integrated cutting functionality which is capable of delivering volume production of labels, decals, window clings, floor graphics, point of sale displays, vehicle markings, packaging, prototypes and more in a single unit. Additionally, UV ink technology prevents common problems such as film separation and other issues related to post cutting that can occur with solvent and latex inks. Prints from the Mimaki UCJV Series are instantly cured at even the highest production speeds, allowing users to print rapidly and immediately move to the finished product, unlike other technologies that require slower production to accommodate for drying time or out-gassing. For many jobs; instant drying, high scratch resistant UV printing can also eliminate the need for additional finishing like laminating, enabling print companies to reduce cycle time while benefiting from further cost savings.

Combining white and coloured inks on the UCJV300-160 model adds value to applications that utilise transparent or semi opaque films. Compared to alternative inks such as solvent and latex, UV curable inks deliver greater opacity with less ink consumption per square metre of coverage, while maintaining image vibrancy and density. High opacity white ink also facilitates block out printing within a single print, enabling print companies to easily and efficiently create window graphics that can be viewed differently from either side, such as a 'push/pull' door sign. These features ensure higher throughput, reduced waste, and perfectly registered double sided graphics with lower overhead costs per print.

The new UCJV Series printers will ship with updated RasterLink6 plus RIP software. This new, feature rich version of the popular Mimaki RasterLink RIP software includes an ID Cut function to make printing and cutting easier and faster. The barcode, read by the registration mark sensor on the UCJV printer/cutter, contains cutting and rotation information allowing the UCJV to automate the cutting process. This function is particularly useful when running nested print-cut jobs, as the cutter continuously reads the data for both single and combined jobs.

Mimaki RasterLink6 plus software also includes a FineCut plug-in for Adobe Illustrator, allowing a print preview for four layer printing that enables operators to preview the transition day/night effect before printing. RasterLink6 plus now also supports PDF 1.5 and above.

The new UCJV Series printer/cutters feature a range of Mimaki core technologies that deliver exceptional print quality and continuous productivity. The Advanced Pass System 4 (MAPS4) utilises an advanced algorithm pattern to reduce visible banding. Variable Dot Printing uses smaller drops to produce smoother gradations, while larger drops produce uniform solids and Waveform Control uses finely tuned frequencies for each ink’s specific gravity and viscosity to precisely shape and place individual drops.

Mimaki Circulation Technology continuously agitates the white inks to prevent settling and two features; Nozzle Check Unit which monitors nozzle outages and automatically activates a series of recovery functions and Nozzle Recovery System which automatically assigns operational nozzles when an outage is detected, ensure optimum print quality is maintained.

A number of cutting technologies are also employed including 'Half Cut' – a proprietary function where the backing sheet can be cut, leaving behind a small connecting point that can be easily detached when necessary, ensuring contour cut pieces are easier to handle with less waste. 'Over Cut' makes a cross cut at the start and end positions so the finished piece has sharp edges with no undercut fragments, Mimaki's 'Continuous' feature results in crop marks being automatically and continuously detected for accurate cutting and finally; the 'Segment' feature detects intermediate crop marks in feed direction and enables four-point corrections for each segment for accurate, long length cutting, even if the image is distorted.

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