Mutoh has shown off a new small format flatbed printer at FESPA, the XpertJet 1462UF. Like its siblings the XPJ 661 and 461UF models, it is mainly aimed at the industrial print market. This represents an expansion of Mutoh’s existing range of A2+ and A3+ table top printers and has a bed of 1470 mm x 740 mm, which roughly equates to A1+ size. Nessan Cleary reports from the show floor.
Marketing manager Nick De Cock says that the target market is screen printers, noting: “We had a lot of demand for a standard screen printing size.” He points out that Mutoh’s existing desktop flatbeds mainly appeal to pad printers looking for a digital solution, adding: “We have a very well-established base of DtO (Direct to Object) printers but the size was a limitation and this solves that.”
It’s fitted with two piezo-electric print heads mounted in a staggered formation, which allows for bi-directional printing to maintain the print speed. The heads have four colour channels with the first head printing CMYK followed by the second, which lays down white and varnish. The varnish can be built up to create textured effects as well as for printing braille characters. The maximum resolution is 1440 x 1440 dpi. As a rough guide, it can print 81 iPhone 14 cases on one bed, and can do this in under 15 minutes.
Print to almost any objects
It uses UV inks with two new 4ins wide UV LED lamps. The inks are said to be free of any SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) ingredients but without giving up any of the usual range of substrates associated with UV printers. Thus it will print to plastics, metals, ceramics and so on. De Cock says: “The ink has a very good adhesion and is safe and environmentally friendly. This will be more suitable for some industrial uses such as functional panel sheets.”
The printer has an integrated multi-zone vacuum bed. It can print to objects that are up to 150mm in height, using a sensor on the carriage to automatically detect objects and set the height, which allows the heads to get very close to the object surface. It will handle objects that have some curvature, currently up to 0.3mm but as De Cock says, the machine is still a prototype and Mutoh is still fine tuning the degree of curvature that it can cope with. The software is Mutoh’s own Vertelith RIP.
It was shown at Fespa as a preview and did seem to attract quite a lot of interest which is hardly surprising as there are very few other printers that can take objects up to this height with such a large bed size. It should be available later this year.
More on local availability when Mutoh ANZ Managing Director Russell Cavenagh returns from FESPA.
Mutoh has psoted a video of the new device in action at FESPA here: