Why no Roland UV-cured ink flatbed printer (as of summer 2005)? Print

Why no Roland UV-cured ink flatbed printer (as of summer 2005)?

During five days atttending FESPA 2005 trade show it was possible to gather so much information on UV-cured ink flatbed printers that I had to find a box to hold everything. I had so many brochures on UV-curable ink flatbed printers that my suitcase and carry-on luggage would not hold them all for the flight home from Munich.

Yet there was not one single solitary brochure or spec sheet on any Roland flatbed printer.

The very nice Roland FLJ-300, which was at DRUPA 2004, was not at FESPA (or if so, was not easy to find). This was a solvent ink printer. Virtually all other solvent ink printer manufacturers have used a solvent ink printer as a predecessor for an eventual UV flatbed.

Vutek, ColorSpan, and now Keundo all had solvent ink flatbeds just a month or so before they showcased a UV-lamp version.

The Roland “table top extension system” is a $1995 add-on that I vaguely remember seeing at trade shows back in 2001 or 2002. I never saw it significantly featured again at any Roland booth in 2004 or 2005.

Obviously Roland has a flatbed under development, for the simple reason that ColorSpan has a nice UV-flatbed for over a year now, as does virtually every Chinese, Korean and Taiwan printer manufacturer.

What I don’t understand is why the PR agency for Roland Europe did not create any splash for this Roland UV printer at FESPA trade show (June 2005)?

solvent ink flatbed printers, Roland FLJ-300, table top extension system
Roland booth, FESPA trade show 2005.

Mutoh, Agfa, and Durst had impressive releases of their new UV-flatbed printers. The Mutoh and Agfa 100-inch UV flatbed is the most impressive we saw during 5 days of FESPA. FLAAR now has an entire report on these two printers (both described in the same dedicated report). We have enough information on the ColorSpan 72 UVR to update that report, and for our European readers we are substantially updating our coverage of the GRAPO (bedigital, Colormy) printer, NEOLT UV, plus dozens more.

What was all the more noticeable, is that in the entire 5 days at FESPA, with so much being discussed in the corredors, not one single person, not one other member of the press, not any of the industry specialists said a single peep about the Roland UV-flatbed. Again, whoever does PR for Roland Europe failed to make even a ripple. Of course one reason no one mentioned a single word about the Roland printer is because everyone was talking about the Agfa-Thieme M Press printer, about the Agfa-Mutoh printer, and about the dozens and dozens and dozens of other UV-cured ink flatbed printers from all over the world.

As a university professor dedicated to learning about UV-cured flatbed inkjet printers, it was relatively easy to obtain information about the Roland UV-cured flatbed printer. We have samples of the tidbits in a FLAAR Fast Facts. The printer exists, it is just not yet functioning enough to let inquisitive people see it in its current birthing pains.

So get your hands on all the FLAAR Reports on UV-cured ink printers and learn about what stage the Roland UV printer is, at present, summer 2005.

Roland FLJ-300 printer reviews
Roland FLJ-300 printer at DRUPA 2004.

Roland FLJ-300 printer evaluations
Samples printed by the Roland FLJ-300 at DRUPA 2004.
Roland FLJ-300 printer samples


Roland UV-cured ink flatbed printer still being worked on.
Roland booth, Shanghai trade show 2007.


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First posted June 22, 2005.