MemberFebruary 15, 2010 at 8:20 am
Eco-Sol Max. NEW TECHNOLOGY – NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Pure metallic inks and metallic effects in print are not new. Printing them on a wide format inkjet printer and digitally manipulating their rendering is though. Free of the constraints of fixed colour metallic transfer systems, expensive offset processes and prohibitively expensive origination and volume requirements, Roland has changed the rules. Now designers, print specifiers and graphics producers in any industry can economically add valuable creative effects to their output with absolute ease.
Imagine a sign or banner, rendered in crisp head-turning four colour print. It also has printed metallic accents that catch the light and reflect it back with mirror-like intensity. Add to that, fields of pearlescent colours swept in density and tone, colours you’ve never seen before. Just for laughs throw in a photo-like image rendered not in warm sepia or chilly selenium, but in a rusty hue derived of a metal that doesn’t exist in nature. The image flows the whole tonal gamut with gradations smoother than you’d think possible. A scattering of high fidelity spot colour looks faultless and artefact-free. Now imagine you could print it all in a single pass on one machine that cuts too. That hints at the potential of Roland’s latest in a long list of industry firsts – metallic Eco-Sol Max ink and the printer technology developments required to print it reliably and affordably.
Roland’s Eco-Sol Max silver ink metallic solution will be a prime driver in the further development of the market for inkjet output, and it will drive the development of new printer technologies too. The new ink has a relatively heavy content of suspended solids and this would present daily printer maintenance issues, had Roland Engineers not designed a novel recirculation system to handle it all. The system works economically in the background and ensures the printer is ready to deliver its stunning, second-generation output with the ease and speed Roland printers are famed for as well as avoiding costly ink wastage. Users of white ink can rejoice too – the new technology makes working with white ink easier as well.
As a market-facing solution, the new Roland ink and the printer it works with represent Roland’s answer to a question that’s always being asked by designers and other creatives – “what have you done for me lately, what’s the next big thing?” With the established trajectory of developments in inkjets being centred to a great extent on bigger, faster, the advent of metallic inkjet printing is significant as it does so much more for the market than shift the performance factor in the direction of more output for less effort alone. The option of metallic printing is a new tool entirely in the creatives’ toolkit.
As already noted, the ink does a quite a bit more than put metal-like accents in output. It represents the potential to do, practically without limitation, new things with the already potent combination of process colour, white, modern design tools and any imagination with the horsepower to really test the waters. Roland has canned a tiny corner of the expanded creative envelope for the convenience of its users, and introduced an extension to its Roland Color System selection tool, which features the Roland Metallic Color Library and supports over 500 new solid metallic colours. Some of those colours will put ticks in the obvious boxes such as silver, bronze and gold. Other will attract the eye purely for the sake of the colour itself, metallic pinks that hint at subtle variation on the gold theme, polished bronze to contrast perhaps with a solid deposit of a woody brown. There are also colours that force a double-take, metallic purples, pearlescent oranges and fruity looking greens never before seen from an inkjet.
It’s an overworked word, but the metallic output from the new Eco-Sol Max silver is differentiated from the competitions’ with a capital “D,” The extent to which it is differentiated is entirely in the control of the user. It can range from the simply outrageous to the unimaginably subtle. Done properly though, either extreme represents a new class of output that’s difficult, expensive and in some cases impossible to do any other way.
To the expansive gamut of colour already made possible by Roland technology, Eco-Sol Max silver ink adds a new branch and extends it way into the distance. It defines new potential, and infers output with the power to turn heads and with the appeal to make money.
The question on everyone’s lips of course it, “what does it cost?” The good news continues. The cost is proportional to the extent the metallic effect features in the output. Total coverage will cost more than a few subtle accents here and there. In relation to the value added, production costs are minimal.
Clearly, there are, in relative terms, few buyers in the signing and display market who are routinely asking for something the world has only just been given the means to produce. The market is however well populated with creative graphics producers with the imagination to sell it. To those, the market for the new class of inkjet output that the development of Eco-Sol Max metallic ink makes possible, awaits. It’s a market that will grow as it follows the opinion leaders and does start to ask for the next big thing on a regular basis. It’s only a matter of time, and at today’s pace, not a lot of it, before the world is metallic.
For more info:- http://www.rolanddg.co.uk
Roland DG (UK) Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1275 335554
Fax: +44 (0)1275 335541
MemberFebruary 16, 2010 at 9:08 am
Awesome – but why have Roland just released the vs-640? Aren’t they shooting themselves in the foot?
MemberFebruary 16, 2010 at 9:25 am
You’ll probably find the print speeds a lot slower on the VS range. Haven’t seen any specs as of yet. But I know with white you really need the extended heater system if you want to print white unattended something the versacamm hasn’t got. So you’d need to slow down your printing and thus through put.
MemberFebruary 16, 2010 at 9:28 am
Have you got yours yet? If so, I’ll give you a call next week to see how it’s going ‘cos I’m due to have a look at the new one over here (and I want to justify buying it :wink:)
Did you keep your other XC 540 as well? do you print white with the new one? does it make coffee and does it have nice breasts?
MemberFebruary 16, 2010 at 9:34 am
Still waiting on a machine. I don’t think any are due until March.
I’ve still got my XC540W at the moment.
At this rate I’ll have my label press first.
MemberFebruary 16, 2010 at 9:42 am
label press??? Do tell 😉
I just got an email this morning about a label press and finishing station.
About the $60K mark
MemberFebruary 16, 2010 at 11:03 am
Hey Lee thats the one. I already have the printer just waiting on my finishing system.
MemberJune 6, 2010 at 11:45 am
Just for info:
We have just received the message that our VS has arrived at CPH-airport here in Denmark 🙂 .
So Thursday it will be installed at our facility at MediaMouse.
That is the first installation of its kind here in Denmark and this machine will be our fourth Roland. So i looks like we will remain a Roland-house for at least a couple of years.
We have actually planned that the progress of the installation will be posted on our twitter-account through the day. But a believe that it will be in Danish, since almost all our followers are Danes 🙁 .
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