Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. have launched their Solara ion. It is, they say, a technologically advanced true flatbed and true roll-to-roll printer that meets the varied needs of wide-format, outdoor durable digital printing applications.
It uses GerberCAT cationic inks and patent-pending Cold Fire Cure technology to make it compatible
with an unmatched wide range of rolled and rigid materials.
“The Gerber Solara ion is built on a robust flatbed platform that provides the best possible foundation for printing rigid materials,” explained Curt Brey, director of digital solutions for GSP.
The printer can handle substrates up to 25.4mm thick and 1.6m wide using the vacuum table.
The printing gantry moves over the substrate during printing, which GSP say eliminates the alignment errors that can occur when moving rigid substrates through a printer.
“Gerber was not satisfied to stop with a flatbed printer,” explained Brey. “Wide-format applications require printing on flexible roll stock as well. So a true roll-to-roll system was designed into the Gerber Solara ion.
“You get the best of both worlds with the Gerber Solara ion – the dependability of a flatbed printer and the ability to print on a wide range of rigid, semi-rigid, and roll stock materials,” commented Brey. “The Gerber Solara ion dual printing system eliminates the capital expense of purchasing two separate printers as well as minimising the amount of valuable floor space that is required by the equipment.”
The printer utilises Gerber's patent-pending, Cold Fire Cure technology. This process uses low energy and low temperatures to cure the proprietary GerberCAT inks. “The Cold Fire Cure system provides features in inkjet curing that are nothing less than revolutionary,” commented Brey. “Cold Fire Cure offers a vast array of benefits over any competitive curing process in the areas of material compatibility, cost of operation, and even environmental, health, and safety.”
“GerberCAT inks are an exclusive, four colour (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) cationic ink set that UV cures at approximately room temperature,” explained Brey. “This greatly expands the range of materials that can be printed by the Gerber Solara ion. Heat sensitive plastic, vinyl, fabric, and paper-based materials can be printed using Gerber's Cold Fire Cure and GerberCAT inks without concern over ink adhesion or material damage.
“Unlike other printers that require ‘dwell times’ to dissipate heat buildup when using slower print modes, the Gerber Solara ion can print without these delays,” explained Brey. “Since the heat generated by Gerber's Cold Fire Cure UV lamps is so low there is no need to pause between passes to cool the material. Print speeds are maintained, even for delicate materials.
“Gerber has developed a genuine print-and-apply process for vehicle graphics which allows application immediately after printing; as opposed to solvent ink graphics which require 48-72 hours of complete cure time before application,” said Brey. “The ultra-flexible GerberCAT bond allows the Gerber Solara ion to support an extensive range of three-dimensional applications including fleet graphics, vehicle wraps with tight curves, and smooth application over rivets.
“The combination of Cold Fire Cure and GerberCAT makes the Gerber Solara ion one of the most versatile printers in the world,” explained Brey. “The versatility of the Solara ion opens the door to a huge set of applications such as real estate signage, POP, vehicle applications, backlit, traffic signage, exhibit display, banners, and textiles all through one printing system.”
Spandex Asia Pacific Pty Ltd