Agfa announces Avinci CX3200 textile printer

New Agfa textile printer targets soft signage market

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Agfa Avinci CX3200 dye sublimation printer
This Agfa Avinci CX3200 is a 3.2 meter wide dye sublimation printer
Agfa is introducing a new 3.2 meter wide dye sublimation printer, the Avinci CX3200, which can print to transfer papers as well as direct to fabric, and is aimed at the soft signage market. According to Philip Van der Auwera, Agfa’s marketing manager for display graphics, “The market demand for soft signage keeps growing, as it is lightweight, resistant to wrinkles and folding, and easy to transport and reuse. The Avinci CX3200 will meet the needs of existing textile printing companies, as well as enable sign & display printers to diverge into textile printing and bring in new business. We designed it to be fit for high productivity and maximum uptime. It is extremely robust and reliable, as well as easy to operate.”It replaces the older DX3200 and is said to have double the speed. Productivity ranges from 100 sqm/hr in high quality mode to 270 square meters an hour in express mode. The CX3200 uses Kyocera KJ4B printheads with native resolution of 600 x 1800 dpi. Jelena Kovacevic, product manager for the Avinci, says, “We chose this head because of reliability and longer life.” It prints CMYK, with one head per colour. There don’t appear to be any plans to add other colours with Kovacevic saying that the combination of the Kyocera heads, the Avinci ink and Asanti RIP means that users will see very little benefit.

Kovacevic says that the ability to print direct to fabric answers requests from customers of the older DX3200. It does make for a simpler workflow although printing to fabric also limits users to precoated substrates. Consequently most users will probably be better off printing to transfer paper, which gives a better choice of uncoated, and therefore cheaper, polyester materials. It should also produce better quality prints, particularly where fine text is needed and is likely to be the preferred choice for anyone producing home decor applications.

It will take transfer papers from 70 gsm and higher. Some users will favour lighter papers to save costs but Dries Hublin, global inkjet application specialist at Agfa, notes that heavier papers allow for higher ink coverage, which can lead to better print quality, though may slow the printer down, adding, “Thinner papers absorb less ink so they can transport through the printer at higher speeds but the ink coverage will be less.” Customers can expect ink consumption to be around a fairly economical 4-5ml per square metre.

It does not have a built-in calendar unit but as Hublin points out, an inline calendar unit would slow down the printing because you cannot sublimate at higher speeds. Kovacevic adds, “We wanted to split the processes so that the printer doesn’t get burdened with the sublimation work. Also there are a lot of very fast sublimation units on the market so our customers can buy multiple printers for different applications and buy just one calendar unit.”

Strangely, there is no support for running dual 1.6m rolls. Auwera says that a single operator can load a fresh roll in under seven minutes. The rolls appear to load from the front of the machine, which should make it easier to find space for the printer. It’s been designed to have a very short media path which should help to reduce waste.

It’s worth noting that the Avinci is a rebadged South Korean machine, though Agfa hasn’t said which vendor it has worked with. Auwera did add, “Agfa is putting in a lot of R&D to bring it to the market.”

Naturally, Agfa is supplying its Asanti RIP but Auwera says that the company is also developing support for Caldera and Onyx RIPs since many potential customers may prefer to use the software they are already familiar with, though I don’t think anyone would regret using Asanti.

Van der auwera says that the CX3200 will be positioned as a mid-segment printer and will cost between US$ 200,000 and US$ 500,000, adding, “That’s the level of investment you need to look into.” It’s available now and you can find further details from agfa.com.

Republished by permission from www.nessancleary.com

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

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