What are the differences between the Dilli UV-curing combo printers? Here we discuss each model
Dilli is a company we have admired for several years. This is a Korean company that has specialized and gained substantial experience on UV-curing printers.
Since the sibling company, DGI is dedicated to solvent and textile printers, Dilli focuses mainly on UV-curing printers. I say mainly because the company also has a single pass label printer called the Dilli Neo Picasso and a CNC flatbed cutter called the Neo Triton.
When you analyze printers like the Dilli UV-curing models, you realize the media feeding mechanism has pros and cons versus a dedicated flatbed printer.
What is a “combo” printer and what is a “hybrid” printer?
Not all UV-curing printers are made for the same type of media. Some printers are designed specifically to print only on rigid boards; others, to print only on roll media.
In the wide-format printing industry, there seems to be a general consensus on what a flatbed printer is: a printer with a flat surface to print on rigid boards.
Most people in the industry also know what a roll-to-roll printer is: a printer designed with a system of bars and rolls to handle flexible media.
In the early days of the UV-curing printing technology (2000-2003), some printer manufacturers began to modify roll-to-roll solvent printers, by attaching a set of UV-curing lamps to the printhead carriage.
These modified printers were also equipped with accessory tables to allow this new breed of UV-curing printers to handle rigid boards.
Because this type of printer promised to print on both roll media and rigid boards, people began to call it “hybrid”.
The idea of a versatile printer seemed clever. It would save thousands of dollars to print shops by not having to buy a flatbed printer AND a roll-to-roll printer.
But there was one single problem: the system of pinch rollers designed to move boards forward, never worked adequately. Most signage boards were too heavy to be moved by this weak system.
Most printer manufacturers decided to drop their hybrid printer projects because of the multiple issues in the media handling systems.
Then, at drupa 2004, a Swiss company called Zünd exhibited a new concept: A UV-curing printer that moved media with a transport belt, like those belts that move your luggage in an airport (conveyor belt).
That model was called the Zünd UVJet 250-Combi. This new concept accomplished what the “hybrid” printers could not: the model was successfully printing on both rigid and roll-to-roll media.
The “Combi” concept was born and several other printer manufacturers around the world began experimenting with this type of printer. By 2006, the printers with this media feeding mechanism were already among the most popular types of UV-curing printers.
Although Zünd disappeared, the name “Combi” or “Combo” was picked by FLAAR to designate this type of printer, and distinguish them from the ill-fated hybrid printers.
Dilli UV-curing combo printers: three options
Although you might find two or three Dilli UV-curing printers exhibited at every major tradeshow, the company has more printers than you could imagine.
In the last few years the company has been classifying their UV-curing combo transport belt printers under these model designations:
• Neo Titan
• Neo Sun
• Neo Sirius
In this article we will discuss the differences between these three models.
1. Dilli Neo Titan
This is the company’s flagship combo UV-curing printer. The Neo Titan is one of Dilli’s earliest models. We have seen the Neo-Titan UV-curing printers since 2006.
In other words, Dilli has substantial experience manufacturing and perfecting this type of printer.
This Dilli UV-curing combo printer comes in two print widths: 1.6 m and 2.5 m. As for the number of ink colors, you have several options:
• CMYK + W
• CMYK + W + V
This printer comes with Konica Minolta 1024 heads, and depending on the selected ink configuration, you can have 4, 6, 7 or 8 printheads.
The Konica Minolta 1024 printheads have five variations, and it is not clear what version is used in the Dilli Neo Titan. So the printheads in this model produce an ink drop size of either 6pl, 14 pl or 42 pl.
A Dilli distributor in India lists eleven variations of the Neo Titan in its website.
The UV-curing lamps on this model are based on Mercury-arc technology.
2. Dilli Neo Sun
The Dilli Neo Sun is the high-end printer. This is a more industrial type of UV-curing combo printer, mainly in the sense that it comes in print widths of 2.5 m and 3.2 m.
In this model, you have four colors (CMYK) plus two channels for white.
The Dilli Neo Sun comes with six Kyocera KJ4A-AA printheads, which have 2,558 nozzles, and the drop sizes range from as low as 3 pl. to 13 pl.
The UV-curing lamps on this model are based on LED technology.
3. Dilli Neo Sirius
This is the newest of the Dilli combo family. The Neo Sirius UV-curing printer comes in a print width of 1.6 m and comes with four colors plus two channels for white.
This model comes with Ricoh Gen5 printheads, which have 1280 nozzles.
Although this printer has the same print width as the basic Neo Titan, the UV-curing lamps on the Dilli Neo Sirius model are based on LED technology.
The Neo Sirius comes with CMYK, plus two optional channels for white.
All of the Dilli UV-curing printers have a printing technology called TVD (True Variable Dot), which allows for smoother color transitions.
As you can see, when you buy a Dilli printer, you have several options to choose from. Dilli manufactures very versatile UV-curing printers, and most importantly, this is a reliable printer manufacturer that has gained experience as a manufacturer since 1996.