DIGITAL The Japanese concern Mimaki – represented in Italy exclusively by Bompan – has launched a series of printers that set new standards for speed, flexibility and consumption materials and energy reduction. They also reduce the environmental impact of printing processes. D.B.
«We need to be forward-thinking, have entrepreneurial courage and believe in technological innovation. And, most importantly, we must not let the structural changes to the economy and society overtake us, but must know how to change ourselves in order to understand in which markets and with which tools to operate».
With these words Massimo Bompan – President of Bompan Srl – introduced the principles on which the Mimaki philosophy is founded, of which his concern is the exclusive representative in Italy. This philosophy has found favor in the market to the point that the Japanese concern, supported by constant investments in R&D (approximately 8% of turnover), has achieved significant growth even in times of crisis, closing 2011 with a rewarding +25%.
The concern’s prospects are also positive for 2012, the year of the dragon and thus, in eastern tradition, an omen for big, new changes. From now until December, in fact, the concern plans to launch twelve new products, five of which, having already been presented at Barcelona’s Fespa Digital, have garnered considerable interest from operators (the others will have to wait until Drupa and Viscom). Here are the most standout functions and characteristics of UJF-3042HG and the new JV400 series, two of Mimaki’s newest additions pre-viewed during the event held in late March by its importer Bompan.
Massimo Bompan and Rachele Bompan
respectively president and marketing manager Bompan Srl.
UJF-3042HG – Mimaki has expanded its line of UV LED printers (including solutions ranging from small to large format) with the new UJF-3042HG model, capable of processing materials up to 15 cm thick, as well as three-dimensional objects, directly printing products in A3 format, which, with other digital systems, cannot be customized. This machine works with a wide variety of materials, including plastic, metal and wood, and is capable of automatically applying Mimaki PR-100 primer, thus speeding the production process. In contrast to the traditional manual method, in fact, the 220 ml primer cartridges or 600 ml bags are inserted into special slots, and RasterLink Pro software commands its use as if it were a normal color: only when and where necessary, preventing waste. With the addition of two slots, the printer can manage 4 colors simultaneously, as well as opaque white, lucid or opaque varnish and the primer (also available with larger format machines like the JFX plus series), and are available in 6-color configurations.
• In addition to the primer, three different types of UV ink can be used: the rigid LH-100 (highly resistant to scratching and capable of guaranteeing impeccable reproductions of 4-color images, the flexible LF-200 (with 200% elasticity) and the new LF-140, available in 6 colors in 220 ml cartridges or 600 ml bags. The latter, thanks its high elasticity, can be used in numerous applications, including printing on materials that will be creased or folded for making boxes or cartons.
LF-140 minimizes the dots effect and guarantees unrivaled reproduction of subtle effects; what’s more, the white version guarantees excellent results even on transparent supports such as flexible packaging.
The new JV400 line – The new JV400 series, available in two versions, Latex or Solvent UV, for large formats (130 and 160 cm), stands out for its innovative characteristics and high productivity.
• JV400LX is a latex printer that uses eco-friendly inks with a wider gamut, guaranteeing a 50% reduction in energy consumption.
It applies six colors and is the first latex printer to also use opaque white, enabling the use of supports with more variable characteristics, including transparent PET, even in fields in which solvents are banned (but other possible applications are being studied). Equipped with the Mimaki MCT system (Mimaki Circulation Technology), which prevents pigment sedimentation, this machine reaches a speed of 18 m2/h. It is worth mentioning, on this point, that latex inks dry quickly, partly thanks to fans and three integrated heaters in the JV400LX, active before, during and after the printing process, thus enabling the use or lamination of supports immediately after printing.
Furthermore, the machine can operate at low temperatures (60 °C or less) and thus treat a wider range of materials, including heat sensitive ones, for example plastic films. The minimum drop size is 4 picoliters, with variable drop print technology, it guarantees higher quality and reduced ink consumption for uniform shading without granulation.
• JV400SUV (Solvent UV), on the other hand, uses inks newly formulated by Mimaki that combine the flexibility of solvent consumables with the resistance of UV polymerization. During printing, the solvent component is absorbed by the material surface, and the pigment is set on the support. The printed ink is then polymerized through a UV process that bestows a lucid coating effect.
• Finally, one last innovation: RasterLink6 is a user-friendly RIP that can be integrated into all Mimaki machines for performing printing three layers (color – white – color) in a single step.