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Roll to roll option for Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II --Nanojet 2-- Print E-mail

Adding a roll-to-roll printing option to a dedicated flatbed is an interesting idea for Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet 2. We classify this kind of printer as a dual structure or dual purpose: dedicated flatbed + full roll-to-roll. Oce was the first to be successful with this concept. Of course, true to style, trade magazines kept issuing PR releases saying it was coming, but trade show after trade show it did not appear. Then at SGIA 09 finally the roll-over-the-entire-flatbed-down-the-back appeared. Unfortunately the higher res version Jeti, with Ricoh printheads, turned out to be a prototype that has not seemed to really replace all the models with Spectra heads. In other words, the Nano II never functioned adequately its first two years as a prototype. Now, under Agfa, this model has advanced more.

On the printer it is named Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II but on their company web site it is listed as Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet 2.

Last year Oce had already sold over 800 of their flatbed UV printers. By Spring 2009, Oce had already celebrated selling over 1000 of their Arizona 250 and Arizona 250 models. And by september 2010 Oce announced it had sold an unprecidented 2000 flatbed UV printers.

This beats the earlier sales record of the Zund 215 combo and ColorSpan 72UV hybrid and makes the Oce flatbeds the best selling printer of any size or price class in the history of UV printers. The FLAAR Reports on the Oce are based on visiting the Oce factory near Vancouver airport, as well as site-visit case studies of Oce printers in contented printshops.

The roll-to-roll option of Oce, Gerber, Teckwin Teckstorm R are all independent roll-to-roll; in other words the media does NOT need to go across the top of the printer.

Since the Jeti flatbeds were originally not envisioned to handle roll-to-roll material, they add roll-feeding by pulling the media across the entire top of the table. If Mimaki ever gets its engineers to wake up, they might do something similar.

In the future, if the flatbed and roll-fed option were designed together from the ground up, perhaps a different system could be developed.

Even GRAPO, without any roll-fed option, and without even selling in the US, Canada, or Latin America, has sold about 300 of their Manta flatbed. The FLAAR Reports are based on three visits to the GRAPO Technologies factory. Over 3200 people a month download the FLAAR Report on the GRAPO flatbed. This printer will be introduced to the North American and Latin American markets during Autumn 2009, at which point the FLAAR Reports will be available also in Spanish.

The caption for Gandy's web site calls it a hybrid. No this is not really a hybrid. A hybrid flatbed is an old solvent printer that has roller tables added. This is a dual-structure or dual-purchase flatbed because the roll to roll is added on. Normally a dual structure is better than a hybrid.

It is unfortunate that the roll-to-roll option can't be retrofitted. You have to order it up front in the beginning. This is all the more reason that I would prefer to wait a few months and see how this previously untried concept of pulling the material all the way across the flatbed actually works.

Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II (Nanojet 2)

The policy of James Gandy is to wait and see what works best for other companies, and then to come in a year later and try to offer a better version of the solution that is already popular elsewhere. So the Nanojet 2 was advertosed as an answer primarily to the Oce Arizona 350GT, but also a bit to the success of the Inca Spyder series of printers as well. But the Oce has gone on to sell over one thousand printers: the most of any single UV flatbed technology in the last ten years.

Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II printer reviews
Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II printer, a dual structure or dual purpose: dedicated flatbed + full roll-to-roll. FESPA Amsterdam 2009.

Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II printer evaluations
Samples printed by the Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II at FESPA Amsterdam trade show 2009.

HAL, High Speed Auto Loader

I did not notice HAL at either ISA 2009 nor FESPA 2009. Instead One Solutions Vega, Meital 302, GRAPO Manta, and especially the new Durst Rho 1000 are potentially faster than any dedicated flatbed. Nonetheless, I am always interested in seeing new technology, and if HAL and Gandinnovations survive long enough to reappear at SGIA '09 then I will be interested in learning about HAL.

What is impact of corporate financial regrouping filing?

The collapse of Gandinnovations, the long interim period of empty trade show booths, and the restructuring under Agfa has taken its toll. Now, in late 2010, the machines are all still Gandinnovations despite their exterior Agfa color. There is not yet that much that is new from Agfa itself. Surely this will change, but in the meantime all the other brands are selling more and achieving better market share.

Roll to roll option for Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet 2, Gandinnovations declares bankruptcy
Here the Gandinnovations 1224 Nanojet II printing samples at ISA trade show 2009.
Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet 2, Ricoh printheads, with FTR Roll to roll option
Picture of the Gandinnovations Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet 2, Ricoh printheads, with FTR Roll to roll option

Ricoh printheads are new to the market and need to be proven

The second aspect of the interesting new Jeti 1224 UV Nanojet II, will be to document that these Ricoh printheads will escape the problems that an earlier cheaper Ricoh printhead provided for several hundred hapless owners of the ColorSpan 5440uv (HP Designjet 45500UV)? The earlier cheaper Ricoh heads had manufacturing issues and performance issues, both in misdirected nozzles in the central rows, and a hard-nozzle defect. Since Gandinnovations is using a newer more sophisticated Ricoh printhead, and a more expensive Ricoh printhead, naturally we will hope this problem is not in the new model. But I would prefer to inspect the printer in a printshop after an end-user has it for several months in daily use.

Spec sheet has an honest recognition of need to use primer on some plastic films

It is rare that a company admits, up front, that you need to use a primer on some plastic materials. It is nice to know that someone in the Gandinnovations company is including an honest assessment here. Hopefully Agfa will continue this policy.

How will the Gandy Digital Pred8tor affect sales of older Gandinnovations printers via Agfa

The Pred8tor, so far, is a "concept car," a polite way of saying it is a hand-made prototype. There is not yet any documentation there is a complete factory ready to produce them. SGIA will reveal whether it can really print a 4x8 in 1 minute. If it can, then the Pred8tor will be excellent to provide competition for slower brands and less agile models. But so far I have not seen anything that is convincing that the Pred8tor will be production-ready by SGIA. Hopefully this is more than a concept car so that I can revise my comments.

It will also be interesting to see if the chassis (the metal structure) and the Ricoh printheads are the same as used in the original Gandinnovations factory in Toronto. In other words, which aspects of this printer are based on past success, and which aspects are completely new?

If the Pred8tor is an actual printer (meaning a machine that has a factory and distributors standing behind it), then such a machine has the potential to blow away older models of Gandinnovations printers that are still the focus of Agfa. Competition is the most helpful factor in the wide-format inkjet printer industry.

 

Most recently updated September 16, 2010.

First posted May 25, 2009, after FESPA. Updated June 16, 2009. Updated Oct 15, 2009 after an SGIA with low attendance.

 
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