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Roland IU-1000F

Brian Sims unveils the golden attributes of Roland DG’s latest addition – the Roland IU-1000F flatbed UV printer, which can be used to produce a range of applications

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The maximum thickness of the sheet that can be used on the IU-1000F is 110mm

A golden introduction 

With the high street feeling the pinch like no other time, the internet shopping environment being the main one we rely on more and more, shops as we know them are changing. They are trying to ensure we have an ‘experience’ and there is more to the purchase of the item of just parting with our cash and taking our purchase home.

Obviously one of the main ways to imbue the consumer with a retail experience is visually. Clearly we can hear and smell, and whilst both of these senses can have very powerful affects, the power of sight can be the most influential as it can be experienced before our sensory smells or noise are apparent. 

Graphic designers are now being employed extensively to produce visually enticing shop front and displays, their objective is actually to hook a ‘would be’ purchaser into looking at what they don’t know yet will be their purchase.

To be able to deliver this colour on multiple substrates, Roland has brought to market one of the most impressive flatbed printers on the market. It can not only produce on a vast range and thickness of substrates, it is capable of printing high definition colour fast as well as durable products.

At the heart of the printer are a number of piezoelectric printheads that can deploy up to six colours. The inks are UV curable and come in the standard CMYK set along with a white and gloss. There are two sets, a standard UV and speciality UV ink formulation, the former designated as US and latter UE. As would be expected from an environmentally aware company, all the inks come with the GREENGUARD gold standard.

At the heart of the printer are a number of piezoelectric printheads that can deploy up to six colours

GREENGUARD certification is part of UL Environments ecological compliance program. UL Environment is part of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and acquired GREENGUARD in 2011, which provides purchasers with assurances the products being supplied will comply with the highest of ecological standards.

To satisfy the GREENGUARD gold standard, the inks supplied must meet the stringent emissions standards based on established chemical exposure criteria. Specifically the UV curable inks meet the UL2818 standard which is for low chemical emissions for indoor production.

The inks used in the IU-1000F hold the GREENGUARD Gold certificate meaning they have passed the most rigorous testing, and have a very low impact on the environment and contain very low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are nickel free.

A multitude of options

When it comes down to being able to print on a multitude of substrates, you may need to consider the use of a primer to allow the inks to adhere to materials such as leather, wood, canvass, glass or maybe even on my famous bricks. If you wish to print on these materials, a primer will be required which can be used on both the US and UE inks.

The printhead has 12 individual high definition inkjet heads each containing 1,280 nozzles, each of these being dual banked. Three heads deploy white ink making six banks of nozzles in total, cyan and magenta taking the next three heads with one bank each, same with yellow and black with the next three heads. Penultimately there are two heads with four banks of nozzles for the gloss application and finally the last inkjet head has two banks of nozzles for the primer, if it is required.

The ink comes in easy to change ink bottles and are large enough to provide extended periods of running before they need to be changed. Changing is easy with Roland, ensuring by design there is no mess of spillages when they are replenished.

The ink comes in easy to change ink bottles and are large enough to provide extended periods of running before they need to be changed

The heads themselves can deploy the ink using Roland’s variable droplet print technology which can deliver the ink droplets in 15, seven and five picolitre sizes. The purpose being to give seamless graduations and high definition images imposing from five, 50 or 500 metres.

Speed of printing can be changed to allow for varying standards of printed matter. At the higher range of production, you can produce 15 full sheets per hour with CMYK output and by adding a white colour to the output, six sheets per hour is possible.

As for the sheets and substrates themselves, the largest sheet size is 2,500mm by 1,300mm in size. You can mount these sheets onto the vacuum bed in a number of configurations, in half, third, or in sixths of a sheet for multiple image output or any number of sizes for singular multi-up output.

The largest sheet size is 2,500mm by 1,300mm in size

Along with a simple to use large flatbed using vacuum to firmly secure the sheet, there are a series of register pins that pop up to set the sheet exactly where it is needed. Simple press of a button and then retract back into the table once the sheet has been locked down.

As for the depth of the substrate, the maximum thickness of the sheet that can be used on the IU-1000F is 110mm. This means there is a vast range of substrate options including acrylic, PETG, PVC board, foam board, PC, wood, corrugated polypropylene board, aluminium composite plate, metal and glass.

Some of these materials can be a little temperamental and to avoid some of these issues, the IU-1000F comes equipped with an ionizer device which sprays positive and negative ions onto the sheet to remove or reduce the amount of static in any sheet.

The Roland IU-1000F inks are UV curable and come in the standard CMYK, with a white and a gloss

As it now becoming standard across most UV printers, the curing is no longer with high energy Mercury lamps, the modern LED lamps and drying units use incredibly small amounts of power and the disposal and life of the lamps poses far less of a negative impact on the environment.

The range of products possible using the Roland IU-1000F is quite mind blowing. Furniture, wall graphics, interior decoration, backlit products and retail graphics are all possible in high definition. 

Brian Sims principal consultant, Metis Print Consultancy, www.metis-uk.eu

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