Matan Digital Printers Barak3, Matan Barak5 Print

The bright friendly colors of the Matan Barak5 stood out in the Matan booth at FESPA. The booth staff was courteous and helpful. Unfortunately there are lots of competing UV printers out there.

FESPA ’07 was the launching venue for:

 

Matan digital printer Barak 3 and Barak 5 UV reviews and evaluations
Matan stand at Graphics of the Americas, 2008, in Miami.

The challenge is to find out which of these have unique features that make them stand out from competing printers. For example, at the Zund factory, with two entire days available, two of us from FLAAR were able to acquire so much information and documentation, we now better understand the unique features relative to layering (multi-pass print-over layering, especially with white inks). At a crowded trade show we never could have learned this.

Matan Digital Printers Barak3 reviews, Matan Barak5 multi-roll, roll-fed, 5-meter roll-to-roll UV, price comparisons, compare prices
Matan Barak5 roll-to-roll UV printing samples at ISA trade show 2009.
Matan Digital Printers Barak3, 5-meter Matan Barak5 ratings, reviews

Indeed there were so many UV printers at FESPA '07 that even with seven days there (5 days of open trade show and two pre-show set-up days), there were more printers to study than time to cover them all. So FLAAR will be writing evaluations and reviews primarily of those printers where it is feasible to visit the company headquarters (to interview key managers), to visit the factory (to inspect inside the printer to make sure it is well constructed), to visit the demo room (for test printing), and then to visit a real printshop that has this printer out in the real world (to make sure this printer actually functions after it leaves the factory).

So far MacDermid ColorSpan, Gandinnovations, GRAPO, HP, Mutoh, NUR, VUTEK, and Zund have invited us to their international headquarters. The results are improved documentation that you can see in the reports pictured here.

At DRUPA 2000 and other European trade shows in those years the Matan thermal dye transfer printers were my favorite. The color was bright and saturated, and the dye sublimation-like chemistry resulted in continuous tone quality. But for wide-format, and especially for grand format sizes, thermal dye transfer is not realistic (too much of the ribbons are wasted and too much of the ribbon is used turning on the printer for each new print job if you had to turn if off after the last one). So thermal dye transfer is now primarily viable at moderate sizes.

Reviews prices Matan Barak 5 and evaluations
Matan Barak 5 printer

Then Matan experimented with solvent ink printers for about three years. Now Matan has bravely entered the new world of UV-curable inkjet printers with their Barak3 and Matan Barak5. All companies have several paths of entry: have a Chinese factory manufacture your printer, or do it yourself. Doing it yourself means you can be sure of good quality and save headaches from repair nightmares. Some companies were successful with their first product: GRAPO: it's Octopus UV printer has sold over 200 units. A few companies had less than successful launches: virtually every first-generation printer manufactured by the Flora factory in 2004-2005 had to be taken back from printshop owners: we learned this when visiting a large print shop in Turkey which had returned a DuPont UV printer. Most early Flora printers sold in the US by Raster Printers all had to be returned. Now (2007) this factory has a slightly better track record.

But it's not just Chinese-made UV printers: the $650,000 Luscher UV printer has now been stalled (hard to know if cancelled, postponed or just stalled). Either way, there was not a single Luscher UV printer exhibited at ISA '07 or Luscher '07. So being Swiss-made does not insure that a complex UV printer actually functions adequately.

So our prudent policy is not to issue any recommendations or ratings on any new printer until we have visited the company and concluded a realistic evaluation of their UV printer.

Price comparisons

Compare prices for the Matan Digital Printers Barak3 and Matan Barak5 will be a challenge: there are over a hundred models of UV printers in the FLAAR List.

It gets confusing real fast. This is why so many sign shops and screenprinting companies come to the FLAAR Reports. To attend a single trade show can take many days of your time, and cost thousands of dollars in airfare, hotel, rental car, and meals.

So it's a lot easier just to order the FLAAR Reports. Although the Matan Barak is too new to have any ratings until we can visit their factory, we have plenty of reports on other comparable UV-curable hybrid, combo, roll-to-roll, and flatbed printers. The FLAAR Report on the launch of the WP Digital Vir tu RR50 is now available. A FLAAR Report on the new Durst Rho 500R will be finished this summer; a factory visit to Durst in Brixen is already scheduled. It was possible to inspect other models of Durst printers in five factory visits last year. The WP Digital 5-meter roll to roll printer is also based on a factory inspection in Switzerland.

 

Matan digital printers Barak 3, Barak 5 compare prices ratings and UV reviews and evaluations
Sample printed by Matan Barak 5.

evaluations of the Matan digital printers Barak 3, Barak 5 UV
Matan booth, ISA trade show 2009.

Most recently updated the day before FESPA 2009, May 12, 2009.

First posted March 18, 2008.