Updated July 4, 2017 by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth
Qres Technologies, a European printer manufacturer introduced itself to the public at FESPA Digital 2017.
The company also introduced the Qres F160 HS, a new UV-curing flatbed printer designed to offer high-speed printing.
Interesting materials listed for this new UV-curing flatbed printer
Qres lists a number of unusual materials for this printer. In other words, the company lists applications beyond the signage realm.
In recent years, UV-curing printer manufacturers have been cautious with the materials and applications listed for their printers, because in the previous years most Chinese-made printer brochures claimed they could print on “everything.” Problem was that the ink did not adhere, or the material required primer, other pre-treatment, or post-treatment (which was not admitted in the brochures).
Around 2008, a company called ColorSpan (later bought by HP) used to boast its print samples on concrete block, ceramic tiles and rustic wood. But we were flown to the ColorSpan factory and we witnessed their printers actually printing on diverse architectural materials.
At the same time, a Korean company called IP&I used to exhibit impressive print samples on doors and similar architectural applications. IP&I flew us to their factory in Korea and we experienced the most remarkable aluminum printing system we have yet seen anywhere in the world.
But if you look around today, most UV-curing printer manufacturers do not venture to market their printers as capable of handling applications other than signage.
However, Qres Techologies states the F160 HS flatbed printer can print:
• Traditional signage material
• Irregular wood
• Shaped plastic
• Laminate ceramics
Although the model exhibited at FESPA 2017 did not have a take-up system for handling roll media, the company also lists
It would be interesting to evaluate this new UV-curing flatbed printer in the near future (in-person, in their factory demo room), especially because we at FLAAR Reports are always willing to learn about the companies that are putting forward new applications or technological improvements.
Since more and more signage is presented in dynamic digital signage technology (LED especially), the market for some traditional signage is stagnant.
But the market for décor is rising. Since the background of Dr Nicholas and FLAAR Reports is architecture, we are always interested in writing about printers which can print on flooring, walls material, ceiling tiles, etc.
If you Google Hellmuth architects you will see Dr Nicholas’s heritage in the world of architecture.
But to write a review it is essential to experience the printer actually successfully printing on these materials (in factory demo room, or even better, also in a local print shop).
This new UV-curing flatbed printer is part of a series consisting of three models
|Qres F160 HS||1.65 x 2.55 m (5.41 x 8.36 ft)|
|Qres F160 L HS||1.65 x 3.25 m (5.4 x 8.36 ft)|
|Qres F200 HS||2.05 x 3.25 m (6.7 x 10.66 ft)|
The Qres F-Series handles media up to and 5 cm (1.9 in) thick.
But the printer has an optional motorized mechanism called Bridge Lift, which extends the maximum media thickness up to 30 cm (11.8 in).
The vacuum system has 4 independent zones for different materials. Besides, it has 2 levels of vacuum strength.
One of the most important aspects of this new UV-curing flatbed printer is the printhead configuration
• 4 printheads in standard CMYK
• 8 printheads (2 per color)
• 12 printheads (for optional white, varnish or spot colors).
Depending on the number of printheads, you can reach a print speed of up to 75 m²/hr.
This printer uses Konica Minolta 1024i heads, which offer 8 levels of grayscale.
Grayscale printheads are capable of producing ink drops of different sizes, giving the image a higher apparent resolution.
Small drops increase the fine details in an image whereas larger drops give coverage and color density, and increase productivity (bigger drops help you print faster).
About Qres Technologies
The company has its headquarters in the Czech Republic, but there is a second facility in Slovakia.
In fact, this factory has considerable experience (which is a good thing). The people in their booth at FESPA 2017, most of them we know for many many years of experience building high-quality and sturdy UV-curing printers.
Having that industry background tells you this company is not launching prototypes, A factory visit would allow us to see if they are real workhorses.
Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR founder, has visited the factory several times in recent years (although under the previous company name).
We have also made deep evaluations on these UV-curing printers, (and their applications!).
We will continue to comment and document the appearances of this interesting printer in following trade shows.
And hopefully in the near future, we can get to the factory demo room and write a full evaluation on this printer.