The RealProof system, built in Japan by Mimaki, utilises Mimaki’s micro-Piezo printheads and specially formulated inks, as well as drivers and software from EFI.
“This machine was originally envisaged by Mimaki about April last year,” said DES managing director Ian Clare, “and it has taken until now to get it to market. EFI was approached to provide drivers and software to run it, and DES approached Mimaki with a business plan in November. We were pleasantly surprised when the Japanese company got on board within two weeks. I’ve never seen a Japanese company work so fast to partner with us.”
DES also approached major packaging companies in Australia to provide customer input for the project.
DES sales director Russell Cavenagh is confident that RealProof has the all-important edge to compete with what is already available on the market. “It will deliver a better proof at a substantially lower cost than what is already out there,” he said.
The system will be targeted primarily at the packaging industry as “they’re the ones who have been screaming out for it.”
“There is a big hole in the market for accurate proofing on the actual substrate to be used for the product. Everything else on the market was a compromise,” said Cavenagh. He added that short-run proofing for samples and mock-ups on actual substrates for package and advertising clients would be an added service for users.
The RealProof system is available now in Australia and New Zealand, with DES also saying that it is in the process of discussing a roll-out in Europe and the USA through EFI’s distribution channels, as well as discussing a roll-out in the Asian market with its partners in the region.
The system has a maximum substrate width of 640mm and so far has been able to print on every substrate tested, including PET, BOPPs, coated and uncoated papers and boards, polycarbonate and rigid substrates. DES is currently testing glass and shrink films. It will produce screen and contone proofs.
Mimaki has developed UV curable inks specifically for use with this proofing system, which are supplied in 400ml cartridges. Colours used are cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, yellow, black and white, with a spare head slot available in the machine which might be used for a varnish or other possibilities in due course. The white can be controlled for density up to 160 per cent.
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