Gerber CAT UV replaces GERBER ion X, Y, Z, etc. Print

At FESPA 2010 it was my understanding that the Gerber CAT UV brand name would replace the Gerber ion X, Y, and Z. But maybe I misunderstood what I was told, because on their web site a month after FESPA they still show the Solara ion printer, and in their product list they also show Solara ionV and ionX.

I am in favor of short names for printers. So Gerber CAT UV to me is better than Roland SolJet Pro III Print & Cut XC-540.

Gerber CAT UV printer reviews
Here is the Gerber CAT UV printer, this machine replaces the Gerber ion, X, Y, Z. FESPA Munich 2010.

Cationic ink in Gerber CAT UV flatbed and roll to roll printer

Cationic ink does not require high heat to cure and cationic ink in general does not need primers for most materials. Normal UV-cured ink (free radical UV curing chemistry) requires primers sometimes even for normal signage materials such as Coroplast (corrugated plastic). So most Oce Arizona 250GT, 350GT and the Fujifilm printers need primer for Coroplast (and other materials too).

In fact so many rigid signage materials need primers with mercury-arc free-radical inkjet chemistry that Jetrix, Oryx, and a new manufacturer in Asia have put in printheads that can jet primer in the same printhead carriage that jets the ink.

That is about the best documentation of the downsides of normal UV-cured ink that is used in 90% of the brands and models of flatbed and roll-to-roll UV printers.

Gerber is the only company in the world that had the patience to get cationic UV inks to function in a production printer. Cationic ink is a complex chemical and other than Konica Minolta and Gerber, no one could get cationic ink to work.

There are FLAAR Reports on earlier Gerber cationic ink printers. The Gerber CAT UV is new and until we can be flown to the demo room or to an end-user site to do an evaluation, you can utilize the reports that exist on the earlier models. But since all Gerber wide-format cationic ink printers are no longer being manufactured, there is no update planned.

Gerber hopes to offer tech support and spare parts for several more years

It is honorable that Gerber will offer tech support and spare parts for those who already have a Gerber CAT or earlier model Gerber flatbed printer.

Used Gerber Ion or used Gerber CAT

Be sure you speak with end-users to learn about these printers, before you buy one. I spoke with an end-user several months ago. He was content. He did not mention any terrible features that made him want to get rid of the printer. We were planning a site-visit case study but then learned that Gerber would no longer manufacturer wide-format flatbed printers.

Gerber CAT UV printer evaluations
The Gerber CAT printer at FESPA Munich 2010.



Updated after ISA sign expo, May 2, 2011.

First posted August 9, 2010.