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HP Scitex FB6100 dedicated flatbed UV printer reviews Print E-mail

What is today the HP Scitex FB6100 is one of the oldest flatbed UV-cured printers still available. Actually we heard through the grapevine that this particular model will no longer be manufactured. Considering that this model began as the NUR Tempo, and is so many years old, discontinuing it would be logical. When the trade show season returns in 2011, we will double check to see if discontinued.

Of course this model will always be available used. Should you buy a used HP Scitex FB6100? Depends on how low the price is, and depends on which version. Early models did have some quirks. HP Scitex made many improvements, but of course they always were work-arounds for the original NUR Tempo base structure.

FLAAR has followed the NUR Tempo from its inception many years ago to its current reincarnation as the HP Scitex FB6100. The FLAAR Reports are the only reviews based on direct and comprehensive evaluation and testing of the NUR Tempo inside the factory and R&D facilities in Israel (two visits, each of two days, during 2007).

The HP Scitex FB6100 evaluations
The HP Scitex FB6100 at DRUPA 2008.

Now this printer has been updated and was issued for DRUPA 2008 as the HP Scitex FB6100. This flatbed gives HP a portfolio and diversity of printers not available from Inca, VUTEk, etc. Inca has no combo belt printers. But VUTEk has the efi Rastek T1000

FLAAR staff were at ISA, at FESPA Digital, and at DRUPA (for fourteen days), so updates will be issued as we continue to review the HP Scitex FB6100 flatbed UV printer.

HP Scitex FB6100 flatbed UV printer reviews
HP Scitex FB6100 flatbed UV printer with roll-to-roll option at ISA 2008.
HP Scitex FB6100 flatbed UV printer with roll-to-roll option
Some samples printed by the HP Scitex FB6100 flatbed UV printer.

 

The main problem that people in industry comment on relative to the NUR Tempo Q is that this platform was already many years old. Actually it is the oldest industrial UV printer that is still manufactured. So the question is logical, to what degree are other printers such as Oce Arizona 350 or Gandinnovations 1224 more agile (faster and higher print quality).

The other concern is the banding issues; one person wrote to say that banding could not be eliminated during his test printing at an HP demo center

So be sure you understand chromatic banding, pass-path overlap banding, and curing banding (lawnmower effect). The best way to learn the facts on this printer is to visit a printshop what already owns one: ask what the issues are (whether, when, and how often banding defects occur), what tech support is like, and whether they recommend this printer in light of all the newer UV-curable technologies that are available today.

Because with newer technologies you can achieve speed yet not have banding. I tested the Durst Rho 700 in the demo room in Lienz, Austria. The output was gorgeous and had no banding even in areas solid black color even at bi-directional speeds.

Today the question is not whether the HP Scitex FB6100 is “bad” because it is not a bad printer, just a venerable machine from an earlier era. And the question is not whether this is the right, or wrong printer, but what if your competing printshop across town buys a faster, more productive printer that has a superior quality, offers white ink (or better speed or both), and has either reliability or excellent tech support (since all printers need tech support occasionally).

It is true that on a billboard or banner, that the normal viewer will not notice banding. But the print buyer holds the same print in his or her hand when deciding whether to accept the job or not. If your competitor can put a nicer cleaner print in the hand of your print buyer, this is where the problem begins.

Four years ago it was considered normal to have banding. Today demo prints tend to have no banding because at a trade show or demo room the manufacturers tech support staff tweak the printer to remove banding. The question is how will the printer perform at true production speeds (in a trade show a printer is slowed down to get rid of banding).

So consider these factors when deciding which brand and which model to invest in. “price” is not a good deciding factor if the price buys obsolescence, slowness, and banding defects.


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Most recently updated December 9, 2010 after we heard (through the grapevine) that perhaps this printer was being discontinued.

First posted March 10, 2008. Updated October 13, 2008, prior to SGIA 2008.

 
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