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Duoyuan Jet3200 and Duoyuan Jet5000, new roll-to-roll UV-cured printers Print E-mail

At the upcoming Spring Beijing China Sign Expo two new roll-to-roll UV printers will be launched: the Duoyuan Jet3200 and Duoyuan Jet5000. The manufacturer is a large and well established manufacturer of offset presses.

It is very daring of any manufacturer to attempt to enter this crowded market (more than 45 brands of UV-cured printers are available). It is even more daring to start with such large printers, without prior experience with smaller simpler models. I wish Duoyuan Electric the best of luck. I just wish companies would read the TRENDs reports that discuss which size and shape of UV-cured printers have the most chance of gaining market share, and which not.

Four or five years ago several Chinese companies launched 2.5 and 3.2 meter roll-to-roll UV-cured printers. None were successful in gaining significant market share outside China. Several of these were exhibited only as prototypes; I am not even sure they all ever became production models.

Within the last two years there have been several companies showing 5-meter UV-cured roll-to-roll printers. JHF is one (at the recent D-PES 2011 expo in Dongguan, China). But it is tough to compete against Matan, HP Scitex, Durst, and VUTEk.

If a print shop has enough business to support a 5-meter printer, they will tend to prefer to consider a well-known brand with considerable experience (VUTEk, Matan, Durst, HP Scitex, among others).

As soon as HP Scitex launches a 5-meter latex ink printer, no need for UV-cure

I predict that HP will eventually need to launch a 5-meter latex ink printer, for several reasons. First, the HP Scitex versions of the popular NUR Expedio UV-cured roll-to-roll printers are now past their prime. The first generation of these printers were first launched by NUR at FESPA 2004!

A 5-meter latex ink printer, if it needs 120 degrees C, would require more electricity than most print shops can wire into their building. So a new ink will need to be developed that requires half the power (so the increase of twice the width from a 2.5 meter will stay at the same power needs as the original narrower model).

These are only intelligent estimates. I am not privy to any HP secrets on this respect. If I were, I could not write these predictions, so often I like it when HP does not ask me to visit their printer-in-development labs.

As soon as a 5-meter latex printer comes out, this will also take away market share for any Chinese UV-cured printer at this size. In other words, an offset press company in China would spend their money with more hope of success if they would jump ahead to a next-generation ink. UV-cured ink is now over 12 years old!

As soon as the newer, better non-HP latex ink is available in 72” and above, no need for HP version (or UV-cured production printers)

I have now been invited to visit several ink company R&D departments. For one I am not under NDA but I am nonetheless being discrete. But I can say openly and clearly: if the inks that I saw, which are better color gamut than HP latex ink, and require only half the furnace-like heat to cure them, if any good printer manufacturer is clever enough to get a license for these inks, and make a printer from the ground up to handle these inks, they can beat both HP latex ink and all UV-cured roll-to-roll printers.

These are the inks that an innovative Chinese printer manufacturer should be using: not simply another-UV-printer.

Canon outdoor printer will also spell end for UV-roll-to-roll less than 72”

During 2010 Canon had two private Canon-only expos: one in America and one in Europe. Canon showed a new “outdoor printer” at each of these. These are not Oce printers; they will be Canon-branded.

No information is available about what ink these printers will use, but it is not HP latex ink and not Sepiax ink either. The most likely ink would be a variant of one of these. I can’t believe Canon would be so naïve as to try to produce a bio-solvent ink (like Mutoh keeps trying to push). Epson was not successful with their bio-solvent outdoor printer: too many other brands were too well established.

I estimate that the new Canon outdoor printer will need curing, but hopefully at no more than 60 degrees. The question is whether Canon will stick to the 42, 44-inch and 60-64” markets, or try to go to 72” (doubtful on first generation; Canon is a printer manufacturer for office printers; not for outdoor signage).

If Canon produces an ink better than HP latex ink (better color, and lower curing temperature) it will be successful at entry level. But if HP can come up with a new generation latex ink that is better than their first generation, HP will hold and gain market share for production printers at 60” to 3.2 meter widths.

Either way, once the Canon printer comes out there is absolutely no need any more for any roll-to-roll UV printer at less than 72”. So the market for 1.6 and 1.8 meter UV-cured roll-to-roll printers will fade away.

Sepiax AquaRes printers will also impact both UV-cured and HP latex ink printers

Sepiax prints on about everything, though is a bit slow for curing on PVC. But as soon as Sepiax can be jetted through Ricoh or Specta heads, and as soon as innovative curing systems are available, Sepiax can also be used for signage. But at present Sepiax is best for special applications, such as printing on leather. There are several FLAAR Reports that cover AquaRes ink so you can get the information in those reports.

As soon as printers come out, built from the ground up to handle Sepiax ink, this will compete favorably against UV-cured flatbeds and UV-cured roll-to-roll. Sepiax ink printers could also hold market share against HP latex ink.

The First International Sign Expo of 2011
Super Wide  Format Roll to Roll UV Printer
The First International Sign Expo of 2011
No primer needed Sepiax
The First International Sign Expo of 2011
Sepiax New Water-based Resin Ink
Latex Int HP Scitex LX600

 

I first read about this new Duoyuan Jet3200 and Jet5000 printers in a Chinese trade magazine

Now that I have been studying Chinese characters for about a year, I can read just enough so that I can wade through a printer spec sheet in Chinese. I can’t pronounce the characters but I recognize which speak about colors, which about other aspects.

I was reading a Chinese trade magazine in Guangzhou this weekend, and saw a news release and a separate advertisement about this printer.

Moral of the story: it helps to learn other languages. I was curious to learn Russian Cyrillic script but have decided first to learn Mandarin Chinese script (to keep my brain from atrophying).

 

First posted March 14, 2011

 
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