Agfa Grand Sherpa Universal AM 65, 90 replaces earlier Agfa eco-solvent printer Print

Agfa no longer sells this printer, but a more recent model can be found in Agfa's portfolio: the Grand SherpaMatic, also based on a Mutoh chassis.

compare prices mild-solvent printers Agfa Grand Sherpa Universal AM 90

Since Mutoh Belgium designs and manufactures many of the Mutoh printers in Europe , it was not surprising that their major OEM partner was also in Belgium :Agfa. In recent years however, I have seen Mutoh models being OEM'd by Oce, and not by Agfa. But neither Agfa nor Oce continue to exhibit their version of the Mutoh printers. Especially now that Latex ink and other alternative inkjet inks are becoming popular, it is a challenge for any company to continue to sell solvent printers.

We got to see all the Mutoh Spitfire printers and the Agfa Grand Sherpa Universal AM version at FESPA 2005. Then in 2007, FLAAR evaluated the Spitfire and Rockhopper in Mutoh's headquarters, in Belgium. Since a number of years ago we began to evaluate alternative inks in trade shows all over the world. You can find some of the recent comments in the Report on Inkjet Inks at SGIA 2011.


compare prices mild-solvent printers Agfa Grand Sherpa Universal AM 90
Agfa Grand Sherpa Universal AM eco-solvent printer as seen by Nicholas Hellmuth at FESPA.

Agfa Grand Sherpa 65 Universal AM eco-solvent printer evaluations
Agfa Grand Sherpa 65 Universal AM eco-solvent printer was exhibited at VISCOM Milan trade show 2005.

Review of first impressions of Agfa Grand Sherpa Universal eco-solvent printer

In the meantime, the Agfa Universal print quality looked acceptable in trade shows held several years ago (2003-2004). Eco-solvent is a touchy subject since the first generation ink in 2002-2003 was not adequate. These early problems are one reason why FLAAR has researched and written a report on eco-solvent, mild-solvent, and lite-solvent based ink printers. This FLAAR Report is in Nicholas Hellmuth's series on solvent ink printers.

Price comparisons are tough because prices vary by country, so we review only the image quality and capability of the printing engine.

In the meantime, Agfa withdrew suddenly and without explanation from the eco-solvent market. With much fanfare they introduced the Agfa Grand Sherpa Universal AM at FESPA ’05; they had this printer at two booths at GraphExpo (Print ’05). But then this entire line of printers literally disappeared. I never saw any notice of why.

Of course FLAAR found out why, and we are now updating our publications on eco-solvent, lite solvent, and alternative inks in 2012.

FLAAR Reports on Eco-Solvent, Lite-Solvent, Mild-Solvent

For the last three years we have worked primarily on UV-cured flatbed inkjet printers. But we do continue with our interest and coverage of eco-solvent, mild-solvent, lite-solvent, and the new bio-solvent. Indeed in early 2007 we spent a week at the Mutoh Europe demo center, R&D center, and factory in Oostende. Three reports results from this already.

If you order the Solvent ink FLAAR Report Series from FLAAR now, you get ten years of Nicholas Hellmuth's experience in checking out solvent ink printers all bundled in one convenient batch of PDF downloads. These reports are all in full-color and provide independent assessment of the pros and cons of DGI, Infiniti, Oce Arizona, Mutoh Toucan, Mimaki JV3, Seiko ColorPainter 64S, ColorSpan Gator 72si and other inkjet printer brands.

The part you need in this series is Professor Hellmuth's discussion of mild-solvent, eco-solvent, and lite-solvent wide format printers.

All reports are readily available from our university center for public education on digital imaging.


Most recently updated February 2, 2012.
First posted March 10, 2004. Updated August 9, 2005. Updated September, 17 2007.