Flora PP1816UV and PP2512UV flatbed printers with optional roll-to-roll mechanism Print

At first sight the basic difference between these two models is the size. But the flatbed table is not very different in both models. What makes the difference is the position of the gantry (the bridge over which printhead carriage moves) in the PP1816UVprinter the printhead carriage moves across the narrow dimension whereas in the PP2512UV the printhead carriage moves in the widest dimension.

Specs and Price

This following table describes the specifications for both models

Specs and Prices table content

*Every manufacturer uses their own nomenclature for print modes. Some manufacturers list their fastest print mode, but the output at the fastest speed is not always something you can sell. This is where FLAAR can assist end-users. Our reports are unbiased evaluations that help you discern what claims are true and what claims are false.

The price of the PP2512 is US$70,000. This page will be updated when we have the price of the PP1816.

As for the printheads, at D-PES Dongguan 2011 Flora exhibited two PP2512 printers, one with Konica Minolta, and the other with Spectra Polaris. The comment of one of the sales managers is that Flora did not yet officially recommend the Spectra Polaris (not necessarily because they are bad, but because Flora does not have the experience with this brand of printheads as compared to the experience they have gathered with Konica Minolta).

As you can see, having the gantry mounted along the widest dimension of the flatbed table makes the printer faster than if the gantry is mounted along the narrow dimension. This is because the longest the gantry, the best advantage the printer takes of the speed developed by the printhead carriage.

Flora PP2512 UV printer ISA Sign Expo 2011
Flora PP2512 UV printer ISA Sign Expo 2011.

Optional Upgrades

As shown in the chart above, you can ask for light colors, white, and varnish. Also the roll-to-roll system, which intelligently goes integrated at the front. Spectra Polaris heads can be ordered too. Having these options available makes it much more useful (and easy to market) than a plain flatbed printer that does nothing more than printing on rigid boards with CMYK.

Flora PP2512 UV printer ISA Sign Expo 2011
Flora PP2512 UV printer at ISA Sign Expo 2011.

Timeline of our notes on these models

The first time we saw a dedicated flatbed from Flora was at APPPEXPO 2009 in Shanghai, where the company exhibited the small model, the PP1816. By then, the model was for sure still in beta stage, the movement was a little bit to mechanic. In other words, the printer was noisy, UV lamps needed to be shielded more efficiently (UV light was blinding, but this was common in a dozen other models in APPPEXPO 2009) and looked a bit too boxy. Then, at following tradeshows the printer began to be gradually improved. By Dongguan 2011 trade show, the Flora PP2512 looked much more finished.

Flora PP2512 UV printer ISA Sign Expo 2011
Flora PP2512 UV printer at ISA Sign Expo 2011.

About Flora and its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) experience in wide-format UV printers

Flora is the commercial brand name of RTZ (Shenzhen Runtianzhi Image Technology), the manufacturing plant. Flora has years of experience with UV printers, but the company has traditionally concentrated in combo (with transport belt) UV printers.

Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed at Dongguan 2011
Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed at Dongguan 2011.

The company has experience and curiously has been OEM for several brands: DuPont, Raster Printers, LexJet, CET and EFI Rastek. Of course, the level of success with printers manufactured by Flora has not been the same among these companies. The DuPont printers had an unfortunate fate to the point that DuPont totally closed its portfolio of UV printers. On the other hand, FLAAR visited a sign shop near Seoul, Korea where the owner liked its EFI Rastek printer so much, that he went on and bought an EFI VUTEk QS3200. So, if you saw a graphic chart showing Flora printer quality you would see a constant growth, from the unlucky DuPont CromaPrint models up to the EFI Rastek printers.

Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed at Dongguan 2011
Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed at Dongguan 2011.

 

Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed at Dongguan 2011
Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed at Dongguan 2011.

 

Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed at Dongguan 2011
Close up of the Flora Digital PP2512 UV flatbed printer at Dongguan 2011.

 

First posted May 11, 2011.