Inca Onset S20, an industrial production flatbed printer Print

The Inca Onset S20 is the fourth generation of flatbed printers from the company based in England. But Inca has rarely exhibited at tradeshows by themselves and their flatbed printers are exhibited in the booth of Fujifilm.

This printer is designed for POP signage for fashion, perfume, jewelry and other similar industries demanding high quality printing. There are now several flatbed printers that reach the quality accepted by picky clients, but not all of them reach the 275m2/h, which is translated to around 60 boards per hour.

To give you an idea of the difference in speed, the following chart lists the speeds of several UV printer brands in the market:

Inca Onset S20


Notice that the Inca Onset S20 is only beaten by the HP Scitex FB7500. These two printers have in common the automatic feeding mechanism that takes the boards in and out of the flatbed table. Obviously these feeder stacker is part of the reason of the difference in speed between these two models and the other flatbed printers in the market.

Inca Onset S20 FESPA Munich 2010
Inca Onset S20 at Fujifilm booth, FESPA Munich 2010.

Specs and Prices

The technology put together in this machine includes (as mentioned above) an industrial automatic feeding mechanism that can be easily removed in case you need to do manual feeding; laser registration, and pin registration systems.

The ink is manufactured by Sericol and comes in CMYK; light cyan, light magenta and white are also available as an option. The Onset S20 comes with 156 Dimatix SE-128 printhead, which means almost 20,000 nozzles firing ink This is the other reason of the printer’s high speed.

But this type of industrial UV flatbed printers will not have too many chances of being a number one selling printer, not because of issues, but because of price: at FESPA 2010 the list price was US$1.2 million.

Six colors is needed to stay competitive, but white also

Six colors is definitely better than four colors. But if you wish or need white, on many brands and models you have to give up light Cyan and light Magenta to use those two printheads for white.
But lack of white ink makes it tough to see how this can compete with printers which offer white ink plus six colors. White ink makes backlit prints so much more awesome looking.

28 picoliter drop size is closer to older 30 pl systems such as Durst and Gandy

Today 15 picoliter and 14 picoliter drop sizes are norm. Yes, the smaller the drop size sometimes performance is slow (look at how slow Epson piezo printheads at their even smaller drop size). And yes, there are issues with Toshiba Tec printheads in several Oce Arizona 250 GT printers. Fortunately the Inca Onset S20 utilizes Dimatix Spectra printheads, so these have fewer known issues.
Thus if you need speed for billboards and banners, 30 pl and even the older 50 pl are the norm. Thus I would have to be convinced that 28 or 30 pl is adequate in today’s world for cosmetic and fashion products, especially backlit.


First Issued May 2011.