Fujifilm at Fespa introduces new wide format Acuity Prime Hybrid

Fujifilm expands large format portfolio

The Fujifilm Acuity Prime Hybrid, a roll-to-roll hybrid version of its existing flatbed models shown at Fespa 2023 Photo Nessan Cleary
The Fujifilm Acuity Prime Hybrid, a roll-to-roll hybrid version of its existing flatbed models shown at Fespa 2023 Photo Nessan Cleary

Fujifilm at Fespa in Munich, Germany, introduced a new wide format printer, the Acuity Prime Hybrid, which is essentially a roll-to-roll hybrid version of its existing flatbed models complete with a four-zone vacuum platen.

The new Hybrid model is based on the existing Acuity Prime devices, which were launched at last year’s Fespa show. Consequently it has the same print carriage as the Prime 20, 30 and L models and uses the same Ricoh Gen5 printheads.

The Acuity Prime models are built by a well-known Chinese company, which Fujifilm does not want to name, but which is free to sell its version itself, and to other OEMs. Steve Cookman, wide format inkjet solutions manager for Fujifilm Europe, told me, “We work with our partners to advance their offering. There are new elements on this that we designed.” Thus Fujifilm has developed its own waveforms to drive the printheads and had a hand in developing the Graphical User Interface.

The heads have been set up to produce a native drop size of 7 picolitres plus one other larger drop size for three levels of greyscale (including 0). There are seven ink channels for CMYK plus white, clear and primer as optional extras. The inks are Fujifilm’s own Uvijet HM backed up by an air-cooled LED UV curing system.

The maximum printable width is 2 meters and it will take rollfed media up to 100 kilograms. It is supplied with tables for rigid media and will take boards up to 1350 mm in length with one table or up to 2120 mm long with two tables. The media can be up to 45 kilograms per square meters in weight and 51 mm in height.

It can produce up to 141 square meters an hour though a more realistic production speed would be 43 square meters an hour, dropping to 14 square meters an hour in its Fine Art mode.

It can print to all the usual display graphics media including self adhesive PVC, banner and polyester textiles as well as correx, acrylic, foam PVC and aluminium composite boards.

It’s not available yet – with Fujifilm targeting an Autumn launch. The pricing has yet to be decided. You can find further details from fujifilm.com.

First published in Printing and Manufacturing Journal on 23rd May 2023 www.nessancleary.co.uk. Republished with permission.

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.

– Naresh Khanna

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