Inca has introduced an innovative bi-directional printing technique that has boosted the production speed of its award-winning Onset flatbed UV inkjet printer by up to 25%.

Using the new bi-directional mode the automated Inca Onset handles print sizes up to 3.2 x 1.5m (10.5x 5 ft) at a production throughput of up to 600 sqm/hr (6,458sqft /hr). In pure print terms, this equates to a speed of 1,000 sqm/hr (10,764 sqft/hr). As a result, an impressive 125 plus full-bed sheets (or 375 - 60x40") posters an hour can be produced

Large format inkjet printers traditionally build an image by scanning printheads back and forth across the substrate. This creates a 'lawn' banding effect when printing in both directions (bi-directional). Banding can be caused by ink droplet placement, the shape of the drops and the differences caused by curing in each direction of printing. However, because the printing method is different on an Onset, this structural banding is not an issue due to its advanced engineering and design. The latest bi-di upgrade improves performance from 500 to 600 sqm/hr (5,382 to 6,458sqft/hr) whilst giving users the confidence that they can maintain top quality results.

Bi-directional printing has traditionally proved difficult for many inkjet printer manufacturers to achieve. "In order to attain good bi-di quality it is important to compensate for varying droplet placement. However, we have developed techniques which accurately control drop size and release according to the direction of print to deliver exceptional quality at increased print speeds on a range of substrates," explains Steve Tunnicliffe-Wilson, Director of New Product Development.

Inca's new Bi-directional printing feature is already being fully utilised on customer installed Onsets and is now available as standard on new Onset machines.

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