swissQprint has launched Karibu, the company's first roll to roll printer, at Fespa 2019. This sturdy Swiss product features a compelling concept and will be available from September 2019.
The Karibu is a UV inkjet printer with a maximum print width of 3.4 metres. As the Swiss manufacturer hinted in advance, Karibu incorporates ingenious features aimed at high efficiency and reliability as well as huge versatility.
The swissQprint stand at Fespa had live demonstrations of how easy and fast it is to change rolls with Karibu. Thanks to the cassette system, rolls are loaded and ready to print within minutes.
The printer features a Light Box right next to the printing area, for immediate and continuous quality control of backlit prints. As a result, neither much material nor time has been lost should optimisations prove necessary. That having been said, what visitors to Fespa saw was impeccable backlit printing in typical swissQprint quality.
Karibu has a Mesh Kit integrated with the print bed. This makes clean and simple work of processing permeable substrates, as well as full bleed printing. There is neither additional set up work beforehand nor cleaning afterwards. A mouse click by the operator sends the Karibu print beam – which is movable in the X direction – from its standard position to the mesh position. Printing can then start immediately.
For users who regularly print in parallel, swissQprint offers a dual roll option capable of handling two rolls each up to 1.6 metres wide. This doubles Karibu's productivity. The roll holders are split into two sections with each half of the shaft driven individually, thus ensuring optimum web tension and perfect results on both rolls.
Karibu has 136 keys ranged across the print bed width, rather like a piano. Each one opens or closes a vacuum channel, thus eliminating air leakage even in the gap between dual rolls. A light tap on the switches using a fingertip is all the user action required to open or close the entire vacuum area width within four seconds. This is called Tip Switch vacuum, a technical solution for which swissQprint has filed a patent application.
Karibu has four beacon like status indicators affixed to the print beam. They are observable at a distance and inform the operator about machine status and printing progress. So it is always possible to keep an eye on Karibu, even while the operator is elsewhere in the print room taking care of other equipment or tasks.
The company has developed an ink set specifically for the new Karibu roll to roll printer. The cured ink layer is flexible to ensure suitability for all imaginable roll media. The inks themselves are NVC free and Greenguard Gold certified. Printed products are thus safe to use in critical places such as hospitals and schools, potentially broadening a print provider's range of services.