Following its first ever attendance at Northprint, Roland DG reports that the exhibition generated new levels of interest from the commercial print sectors for the company's wide-format and specialist inkjet solutions. Emulating its well-known Creative Centre at the Harrogate venue, existing and potential users of Roland technologies were able to discover a new range of design and production areas to stimulate business growth.
Being introduced to the general printing community was the Roland VersaUV LEJ-640, the company's first wide format hybrid solution which has a printing width of 1.62m and is designed to output direct to rigid and flexible materials. This machine incorporates Roland's, VOC-free flexible Eco-UV inks in CMYK plus white and clear, and produces a maximum resolution of 1440 x 1440 dpi so that the highest quality photographic prints can be output.
As this machine represents a low-cost flat-bed and roll-fed production unit likely to appeal to users who want to integrate output with an independent cutting table, Roland has partnered with EskoArtwork Kongsberg. This leading manufacturer of software solutions for the print, packaging and sign and display sectors will bring the benefits of its expertise to Roland with its RIP independent i-cut Suite layout and workflow programs as well as its series of sophisticated cutting systems.
The combination of output from Roland's LEJ-640 UV-curable printer and the Kongsberg cutting tables ensures the most accurate results can be generated across both roll-fed and rigid media. EskoArtwork's expertise in the packaging and display sectors also brings to Roland new opportunities for matching wide format digital printers with Kongsberg's high quality contour cutting tables.
Northprint also saw Roland demonstrating its VersaUV LEC-330 UV-curable integrated print and cut device which, again benefits from the company's flexible UV-curable inks. The addition of white and clear to the CMYK ink-set enables tactile and textured finishes to be produced and brings new business opportunities to print, proofing and packaging companies who want to launch into new markets in return for a modest investment.
For long-term durability, Roland complemented its UV-curable technologies by displaying the SolJet Pro III XJ-740 production printer. This tough work-horse is designed for the consistent, high quality output of interior and exterior graphic applications, including posters, banners, signs, point-of-sale and retail, front and backlit displays, and event graphics. Additionally, with its durable Eco-Sol Max inks, it is proving to be particularly popular for niche areas including vehicle wraps.
All of Roland DG's printer families are now proving themselves as valuable investments for the commercial print sector. "We received a very positive response to all of our products at Northprint, and visitors showed high levels of interest in the potential for adding a Roland solution to their existing production capabilities in order to generate new revenue streams," comments Mathew Drake, Business Manager - Commercial Print at Roland DG (UK). "Partnering with EskoArtwork Kongsberg is also a positive move for both companies by bringing together our respective packaging, printing and display production technologies to result in fully integrated work-flow solutions."
"One of Roland's strengths has always been in its integrated cutting capabilities but, by partnering with EskoArtwork, we can extend this expertise into new workflow routines and end-user requirements with the integration of Kongsberg's cutting tables," states Steve Chappell, Roland DG's Business Manager – Packaging, Proofing and Industrial Labelling. "Working together we can help print and packaging companies discover the benefits of working with Roland and EskoArtwork Kongsberg to optimise production capabilities and generate new business."
Overall, Northprint proved to be a successful venture for Roland, whose involvement within the commercial sector continues to attract businesses who want to benefit from wide format and specialist digital technologies. With the emphasis on short runs, larger applications and greater versatility in terms of colours and textures, the flexible characteristics of Roland's innovative solutions are increasing in popularity amongst print houses of all sizes.