CALCA flatbed UV printer product evaluation Print

Currently I have found four Chinese flatbed printers that appear to be more or less concepts based on the Inca Digital flatbed printer concept:

CALCA flatbed UV printer product evaluation

Here is Rissa Xia, Beijing Softimage Technology Co. Ltd. The CEO of China Signs was in meetings so we regret not to also have a photograph of him.

All four are slightly different from each other. What they share are the relatively small size (compared with large and heavy flatbeds from Teckwin and Yishan). If you compare prices you find that of course the Chinese printers cost less than the Inca Spyder. But the question is, how well does each brand perform? How long do they last? What is the resale value, if any, after three years?

Small UV flatbed printers have never been a successful size: there is always a high initial cost with any UV printer, no matter whether 1 meter or 3 meters in width. The small flatbed printers of Mimaki, Mimaki UJF-605c, are used only in niche applications and thus are not destined to be best-sellers.

As soon as this CALCA UV flatbed printer appears at a trade show it will be possible to provide more information. It has not been visible at FESPA, nowhere in the US, and not even at the Shanghai '07, '08, or recent ‘09 trade show. Since there was no alphabetical index of that show, there is no way to tell if they exhibited in some lost corner of a distant hall, but I have not seen or heard about this printer from any China contacts either.

Same with the Yinghe flatbed UV printer. They are sold on the Internet but not available for detailed inspection.

FLAAR does not recommend any digital imaging product until we can actually see it, inspect it, study it, do test prints, and also try to find an end-user who actually has one (for a site-visit case study).

To upgrade our recommendations we are beginning to visit Chinese factories: visited three wide-format printer factories in July, including the factory of Teckwin. Here we could actually inspect their dedicated flatbed printers, including a new small version, about the size of the CALCO and Yinghe, but a completely different structure and drive mechanism.

It is easier to write about UV printers when they are exhibited both in the US and Europe, and even easier when we are hosted to visit their factory and demo rooms. This is a lot less hectic than a trade show. For Shanghai Seaband Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd, one of their web sites, in their company history the history ends in 2006! It says they developed their F1 UV printer in 2004. There is very little on the Internet search engine results to suggest the company is still active in 2009.

The name that appears associated with CALCA is Beijing Softimage Technology Co., Ltd. But this seems to be a distributor, not a manufacturer. In recent memory I have not seen their wide-format UV-cured printer at trade shows; CALCA primarily exhibits a desktop sized flatbed that is not UV.

At Shanghai advertising signage trade show in summer 2009 I met Rissa Xia of Beijing Softimage Technology Co. and she introduced me to the CEO of China Signs, Liu Yanhang. Softimage belongs to China Signs; Softimage promotes UV-cured inkjet printers, including various brands.


Most recently updated July 13, 2009.

First posted July 23, 2007.