Towards the end of 2020, and in context with the economic turmoil several industries experienced that year, Mimaki, the Japanese inkjet printer manufacturer announced the launch of a roll-to-roll UV-curing model, the UJV100-160.
This new printer is a 1.6-meter-wide UV-curing printer that has a competitive price with the technology of Mimaki’s upper tier models.
This model is being presented as an entry-level option and it is easy to imagine Mimaki is looking to attract print businesses that want to expand towards the UV-curing ecosystem.
As is expected in recent UV-curing models, this new UJV100-160 comes with LED curing technology, which allows printing onto a wider range of materials, especially those sensitive to heat.
Mimaki is not particularly specific as to the types of media that can be printed with this new model, but you get the idea this is a general-purpose UV-curing LED printer that handles
- Uncoated paper
- PET film
This model has three optional ink configurations:
- CMYK + W
- CMYK + W + Cl
This optional Clear channel increases the printer’s creative possibilities. Mimaki has already shown the print jobs that can be achieved with Clear in a number of trade shows in the past.
However, the Clear option will be made available gradually around the world in the following months after its official launch.
Although this is technically a new model, Mimaki has been acquiring experience with this type of printer since more than a decade ago. At SGIA 2009 (Now PRINTING United) Mimaki introduced the UJV160 roll-to-roll printer, one of the first entry-level models to incorporate LED UV-curing lamps.
By then, printers like the Gerber Solara flatbed were already known for their LED lamps, but in general, the first UV-curing printers with LED technology were in another price range.
Mimaki UJV100-160: a UV-curing model with two printheads
The early Mimaki UJV160 (launched in 2009) came with Toshiba Tec CA5 printheads, then a popular brand among entry-level to mid-range UV-curing printers. But the newer Mimaki models probably come with RICOH Gen5 heads.
Even high-end brands like EFI have switched from their old printheads to the popular RICOH heads.
Until a few years ago, EFI had a long-term relationship with Seiko, but the Japanese printhead manufacturer has not been innovative in recent years.
Mimaki’s press release states its new UJV100-160 comes with two printheads, which opens the possibility that Mimaki is using EPSON heads, although this is a guesstimate, just based on the fact that this is being launched as an entry-level printer.
Similar printers in that range, like the SkyColor SC4180 come with two EPSON DX5 heads.
This new model comes with an interesting technology called Dot Alignment System which allows for a faster and streamlined printing process.
Two ink options in the Mimaki UJV100-160
As for the inks, this new model can use two types of LED UV-curable inks: the LUS-170, which is a type of ink also used by the Mimaki UCJV300-160, a UV-curing model introduced in 2017 that prints and cuts.
The second option is a new LUS-210, which is apparently an improvement of the current LUS-170 ink, although Mimaki has not widely discussed the advantages of this new ink formulation.
Together with the new Mimaki UJV100-160, the Japanese printer company also launched its solvent version, the JV100-160. Both models can print at up to 23 m2/h, which is faster than the average roll-to-roll printer in this range.