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Dedicated Flatbed printer evaluations: new upcoming FLAAR Reports

After noticing the JETRIX flatbed printers since SGIA 2008, and after receiving tips from many sources that "JETRIX printers look really well engineered" we decided to initiate an in-depth evaluation.

So we began to inspect the printers at FESPA Digital Hamburg 2011, then I spent several days in the factory of JETRIX in Korea. To learn how the printers function in the real world I visited a printshop outside Sydney, Australia that had a JETRIX printer, a Kongsberg cutter, and a Rollsroller accessory.

There will be three new FLAAR Reports, as you see here. These are now available.

InkTec JETRIX 2030InkTec JETRIX 513InkTec Jetrix 3015 FQ

New inks that will bring an end to era of solvent inks?

Latex Prints Nicholas-Hellmuth

February 18, 2011

What if?

What if there was a latex ink that did not require 120 degrees C?
What if there were a latex ink that needed only 60 degrees C?
What if there were a latex ink that had color gamut significantly better than HP latex ink?
What if this new (non-HP) latex ink had a color gamut noticeably better than the colors of UV-cured inks?
What if FLAAR Reports has been in the R&D labs, and demo rooms of the ink companies that are making this ink?

Nicholas Hellmuth will be talking about these topics during his lectures at GoA 24 and 25 February.


Latex Printers other than HP

In 2010 a Chinese company exhibited a primitive "latex ink printer" at APPPEXPO Shanghai expo. Also that year we heard that latex ink was being used with Epson printheads (and not in China).

Then we heard through the grapevine that an international-oriented factory will launch a "latex ink printer".

As you see by our other FLAAR news flash (last week), we at FLAAR Reports already know of latex ink being available elsewhere that is better in most respects than HP latex ink. So 2011 will be an exciting year. If your company wishes access to latex ink, FLAAR is available as a consultant. Write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


FLAAR will cover more wide-format printer inkjet inks, media and substrates in 2012

You may have noticed that FLAAR covers a lot more than just printers this year. (plus we hope you like our new home page style).

This is because what counts is the ink. New and different ink is signficantly more important than just another new printer (which uses the same old UV-cured or solvent ink). Plus new (eco-friendly green) substrates are available (but beware of greenwashing, which means fake claims of eco-friendly that don't admit the full truth of the chemical composition of the ink or substrate).

So FLAAR is increasingly a consultant for ink companies and manufacturers of substrates. By visiting ink labs, R&D departments, test centers, and ink demo facilities we learn the reality of the new inks so that we can better assist the over 596,000 readers on this large-format site (UV-cured and solvent inks) and over 917,000 on (water-based, CAD, giclee, photo, indoor POP signage, textile printing etc). printshop owners, managers, printer operators, and printing company personnel who depend on the FLAAR Reports to help plan what to purchase.

So over a million people around the world read the FLAAR Reports; this is a readership count; not a visitor count (which is several million) and not a hit count (which is millions a month). What we count is individuals. We substract duplicate visits etc to lower the count from the actual total to a one million+ accurate list. The count is software based and is independent. Plus we test the count by switching topics and watch the readership change as a result.


In 2012 we are considering visiting more factories of UV-cured inkjet printers to prepare new FLAAR Reports.


Jetrix UV-curable printer inspection

NH Ryan Severn father Severn Jetrix

We have spent several days inspecting the Jetrix factory and Inktec facilities in Korea. In the meantime, to learn how a Jetrix UV printer functions out in the real world, we visited a customer site in Australia: this print shop, Severn Graphics, had both a Kongsberg cutter, Jetrix UV printer, and Seiko ColorPainter. We thank anitech for letting us know about this printshop.


MEMS printheads: fact or fiction. MEMJET, reality or wishful thinking?

First posted September 6, 2011

Three years ago MEMS printheads were labeled as the most incredible technology to reach wide-format printing. But the technology failed, indeed failed so badly that it cost Raster Printers and JETRIX two entire years of potential lost revenue since they had to start all over again with entirely new (non-MEMS heads).

MEMS heads were a significant factor in the final meltdown of L&P printer company. Its little remaining technology was bought at fire sale price by WP Digital (which in turn a year or so later downsized by leaving Spuhl and went to parent company Polytype).

The utter failure of MEMS printheads were a major factor in the total shutdown of the textile printer division of Yuhan Kimberly (Kimberly Clark of Korea). MEMS printheads inability to hold up to actual use out in the real world also was a factor in the demise of the HP Scitex roll to roll printer shown with great bluff at SGIA several years ago. HP subsequently bought NUR because they used non-MEMS heads which actually functioned.

During 2011 MEMS heads are back, via MEMJET of Australia. So the question is whether any, or all, or other issues will hit the reality check. It is as if everyone was deaf to what happened to the first MEMS projects of four MILLION dollar companies.

Most industry specialists have skipped MEMJET totally since it was too many PR releases and not enough actual fact (like Foveon digital sensors several years back; like CrystalJet and the Kodak 5260). But since no one seems to have learned from past failures, FLAAR is issuing a commentary on MEMS reality check. At this level of technology, is logically not a free report, but is reasonably priced and worthwhile reading (it is also entertaining, since how else can you describe a phantom technology).

So what about MEMS printheads? What about MemJet?

During 2012 we will also consider issuing new reports on MEMS printheads in general and on MemJet in particular.

Is DRUPA 2012 really worth attending? What about FESPA Digital instead?

First posted Nov. 30, 2011

Download Now

All of us at FLAAR have been working preparing for all the new inks and thus the new printers that we will see at DRUPA in May 2012. Dr Hellmuth speaks German and Spanish, so his knowledge of Deutsch is obviously an advantage at DRUPA. Nicholas has attended DRUPA many times in the past.

His knowledge of Spanish will obviously help you at FESPA Barcelona and Nicholas's assistant speaks Catalan (and English and Spanish).

The first question of course is, should you attend FESPA Digital in Barcelona? Or DRUPA? Or both? What about the huge Chinese expos? How many of these manufacturers will have a booth at FESPA or DRUPA? Or do you also need to get to the China trade shows? Nicholas, and his team, are at each and every one of these printer expositions, so you can hire FLAAR Reports as your personal guide.

Download the consulting services guide to learn how you can have Dr Hellmuth to walk the aisles with you, in-person, at any of the major printer trade shows.

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