Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed and roll-to-roll inkjet printer reviews Print

The Arizona 250 GT is no longer being sold by Oce, but the company has constantly launched new improved versions, based on this popular printer.

The Oce Arizona 250 GT (and the identical printer in a different color, the Fujifilm Acuity HD2504) became the best-selling dedicated flatbed printer ever designed. In less than a year the Oce Arizona 250 plus Fujifilm Acuity HD2504 have outsold the Zund 215's record for total sales over five years (the Zund 215 is no longer manufactured but it was the best-selling UV printer from 2001-2003, until ColorSpan took the #1 position with its 72UVR and 72UVX). The Oce Arizona 250 GT has probably sold more UV printers in the last two years than other manufacturers have sold combo UV printers in the last three years. It is worth noting that the Oce Arizona 250 GT appears to have sold more than the ColorSpan 5440 (now HP 35100/HP 45100 but this model has been phased out due to unresolved issues) and ColorSpan 9840uv (now HP Scitex FB700) put together.

Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed and roll-to-roll inkjet printer reviews
Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed and roll-to-roll inkjet printer at SGIA 2008.
Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed and roll-to-roll inkjet printer evaluations

Oce Arizona 200 GT, Fujifilm Acuity HD2504, Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed printer reviews
Here is the Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed printing samples at ISA 2008.

Does this mean one printer is “better” than the other? If a competing printer has issues, then any other comparable printer with fewer issues will sell acceptably (to see what issues the Miamki JF-1631 has, just obtain the FLAAR Reports on the Mimaki JF-1631). The Gandinnovations 1224 was the most agile competitor to the Oce Arizona.

Then, in 2008, Oce added a “200 model” (Oce Arizona 200 GT). But if the model 250 is slow, it seems that a lesser version with fewer printheads will be even less fast. A few months ago, however, an experienced engineer from a flatbed printer manufacturing company mentioned he believed the new Oce Arizona flatbeds no longer come with Toshiba Tec heads, but have switched to Ricoh, which is why the recent models are faster than the original 250 GT. In general, lack of speed is not a good idea when the Gandinnovations NanoJet tries to be fast. Unfortunately the NanoJet II was not successful (too complex to handle the internal system). The Gandy brother’s next project is however very fast: the Gandy Digital Pred8tor prints around 175 m2/hr.

Fujifilm Acuity HD2504, Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed printer reviews
Image of Fujifilm Acuity HD2504, Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed printer reviews
Photo of Fujifilm Acuity HD2504, Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed printer reviews
Oce Arizona 250 GT UV-cured flatbed and roll-to-roll inkjet printer reviews

Dedicated Flatbed UV printers are becoming increasingly popular

There are four different kinds of UV printer mechanism (for handling the materials):

Hybrid (with grit rollers to move the material) (ColorSpan 72uv, ColorSpan 5400-series, Gerber Solara, GCC 183, NEOLT, Infiniti, RasterPrinters, Flora, Teckwin and most Chinese UV printers.

Combo (with transport belt) (ColorSpan 9840uv, Durst Rho 600, Vutek 200/600, DuPont Cromaprint 22uv, etc).

Dedicated roll-to-roll (NUR Expedio, Durst Rho 350R, Gandinnovations RTR, Polytype Virtu RR50, etc.

Dedicated flatbed UV (Inca Spyder 320, Inca Columbia Turbo, Grapo Manta, Gandinnovations Jeti UV, Mimaki, TeckStorm)

As you note, the number of dedicated flatbed printers is increasing. GRAPO invited us to their factory, demo room, and corporate headquarters to meet their complete team. By being in the factory we could document how well these printers are designed and constructed. So we could quickly prepare a comprehensive analysis of the GRAPO Manta flatbed printer.

FLAAR was the featured speaker at the launch of the Mimaki JF-1631 UV flatbed printer in Europe last year. Again, we had several days to inspect the printer in detail, and had access to Mimaki staff. Again, as a result of being offered access, it was possible to have more photographs and more documentation, and to get our FLAAR Reports on the new Mimaki flatbed printer out quickly. Unfortunately, hosting a FLAAR inspection of your printer is only a good idea if the printer is really good. Our study of the Mimaki revealed several weak points and deficiencies. Later we heard of additional issues.

Subsequently we spent two intensive days at the Gandinnovations factory in Toronto. They showed us all their new printers. Since we are under NDA, we can't reveal any details of any printer that is being planned for the future, but we are allowed to photograph and publish about any of their new dedicated flatbed printers for 2007. So we even have the first available photos on the Gandy flatbed, their 4x8' model. If you are in the US, most signage materials (such as MDO boards) come in 4x8 foot size. So this is precisely the size that is best in a flatbed printer bed.

Over the summer it was possible to visit three Chinese factories where large-format inkjet printers are manufactured. UV printers were manufactured at two of them. The following week I visited the IP&I factory in Korea to see the IP&I Cube 260 and IP&I Cube 1606. These are both combo-style flatbed (with moving transport belts). During early October that same year I was invited to at the SkyAir Ship factory in Shenzhen to inspect their newest flatbed. and we went back again two more times to complete full reports.

So a factory visit provides FLAAR with abundant factual documentation on new printers that we can make available to our readers in the increasingly comprehensive FLAAR Reports. But so far a visit to the Oce factory has not been available. But since so many other factories are readily accessible, we will concentrate on those that are open to FLAAR evaluation. Thus we have made three visits to the VUTEk factory and will be there a fourth day as soon as we can find time in our schedule to return to New Hampshire. A comprehensive FLAAR Reports on the VUTEk QS2000 and QS3200 is a natural result of all this accessibility to this combo style UV flatbed.

We also undertake site-visit case studies of UV flatbed printers inside actual printshops

I do site-visit interviews, inspections, tests, reviews, and evaluations inside screen printing shops, photo labs, franchise sign shops, etc. In Korea I visited two successful printshops that were using IP&I Cube 260uv printers.

Currently we are inspecting a printshop that has the Oce Arizona 250 GT. They have provided a list of issues and problems, which is why our FLAAR Reports on the Oce Arizona 250 and Fujifilm Acuity HD 2504 have been updated. We have found several more printshops with the Oce Arizona 250 GT that are accessible for further site-visit case studies. Several have reported issues with the Toshiba Tec printheads. Indeed we now have three print shops where the issues with printheads have been so serious that it has been a workflow issue. Thus you might be wary of a used printer that uses this model of Toshiba Tec printhead. Of course the manufacturers claim all the issues are the fault of the end-user. But as mentioned before, rumor in the streets goes that Oce has switched from Toshiba Tec to Ricoh. But this is not an official information that will need to be confirmed, although printhead information is something Oce personnel does not discuss. This is why the FLAAR Reports on wide-format printer TRENDs are so valuable: they provide information of what we learn at trade shows. We have learned about a number of company acquisitions, technology improvements, etc. long before news were officially shared to the public.

Again, the Oce Arizona it's a beautiful printer, the samples at trade show booths are impressive. But what is this printer really like in your own printshop? This is why we offer the FLAAR Reports, so you learn the other side of the story. You will learn things in a FLAAR Report that are not explained to you in any trade show booth and never would be dared to be mentioned in any trade magazine.

In the meantime, we are keeping an eye on the main competitors: the Mimaki JF-1361, the nacent Gerber ion, the Gandinnovations Jeti 1224, the GRAPO Manta, and others that will come from China. Of the Chinese printers so far the Teckwin TeckStorm was the Asian-made flatbed with the least problems that I have inspected. But SkyAir Ship flatbed printers are also better than most other Chinese brands. I have just made a second inspection of the Teckwin factory in China, this time for two days. During this same month FLAAR is also doing an updated analysis of all the Gandinnovations flatbeds, including the Nano model. This involves two days at the new Gandy factory (second time FLAAR has inspected the Jeti factory in Toronto). A new competitor in the realm of dedicated flatbed UV-cured printers is the Meital 3000-10, shown as a fully functional prototype at DRUPA 2008. The Meital was shown again, under a different designation, at FESPA Digital Europe 2009.

Once you have your UV printer, sooner or later you will need an XY cutter to trim or contour cut what you have printed on thick rigid material. There are four major brands: Zund and Kongsberg at the high end, then Mimaki and Gerber cutters. Teckwin now offers their TeckRouter (made in Canada by AXYZ). Just realize that some kinds of Sericol UV ink (used in the original Oce Arizona 250 and Acuity flatbed printers) flakes off the edge when you cut it!

Again, a good reason to order the FLAAR Report on the Oce and Fujifilm Acuity printers before you make your final decision. This report has been updated for 2010 based on additional information from end-users and from people familiar with this printer.

 

Most recently Updated Jaunuary 2012.

Updated August 31, 2010, after hearing of a third serious incident of dissolving ink delivery system and Toshiba Tec printhead issues.

 

First posted Sept 20, 2006. Updated Feb. 12, 2007, Sept. 17, 2007, March 31, 2008 (after ISA '08). Updated May, 2008 (after FESPA Digital '08). Updated June 19, 2008 (after DRUPA '08). Updated July 14, 2008, after Shanghai 2008, June 17, 2009. Updated February 19, 2010 after learning of more problems with Oce Arizona UV flatbed printers.