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Under the Hood

Mimaki UJV100-160

The UK is waking up and coming out of its long slumber. The high-street needs help and that includes beautifully printed signage. Brian Sims finds out how the new Mimaki UJV100-160 can help

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The UJV100-160 is a new entry-level printer from Japanese manufacturer Mimaki

A high-street explosion of colour  

Consumers, like bears coming out of hibernation, will start to roam the high-streets now shops and stores up and down the country are open and are keen to gain our custom. The scene will still not be the normal pre-pandemic bustling place it was, but to make it start to feel more like we remember, businesses will do their utmost to make us comfortable and distract us from our concerns.

Nothing distracts better than colourful images – they can evoke emotion and stimulate us, entice and encourage, which is just what UK PLC needs. Yet again, the print industry is on hand to supply the materials to do just what is needed, and they say print is dead – quite clearly not.

Nothing distracts better than colourful images – they can evoke emotion and stimulate us, they can entice and encourage

Point-of-sale (POS) experiences and advertising has gone big, not only in value, but also in size and images the size of double duvets now adjourn our shops. You should expect to see an explosion of colour post-pandemic. 
The timing from one of the sign industry’s main players Mimaki could not have been better to assist printers supplying what is needed to produce tantalising high-street imagery. Working on the success of the UCJV300-160, they have launched a new ‘100 series’ of printers supplied in both UV and solvent based inkjet configuration.

The model likely to be of greatest interest for the colouring of our high-street is the UJV100-160, a twin-head inkjet printer with UV cured ink. The reason it will turn heads is the fact Mimaki has worked on the needs of printers and produced an entry-level machine, honed down from the fully ladened UCJV300-160. Meaning, printers will have the core image production needed without the trimming and finishing equipment as standard.

At the heart is a staggered inkjet piezo-electric unit which can print four colours with each of the process set, meaning you have a total of 5,120 nozzles (1,280 nozzles–320 nozzles x four lines). The resolution that can be achieved is 360, 720, 900 and 1,200 DPI. The heads also deliver droplets in three different dot sizes which ensure the high-quality images have smooth graduations with a minimum size of four pico litres.

The UJV100-160 uses a newly designed set of UV inks which, by the nature of the process, are instantly dry post-production. The colours available in this new LUS-190 ink set are the standard CYMK set with white and a clear ink (at a later date) to add the ability to features for backlighting and glossy impact.

The UVJ100-160 is available from Mimaki’s exclusive UK distributor, Hybrid Services

The UJV100-160 accomplishes a vast array of products by the use of a two-layer process. The CYMK colour provides the base image and then the white of clear ink supplies the finishing touches to build depth or finish.

Up to (Gold) standard

In this day and age when there is an added need for traceability or compliance, these inks are underpinned by the GREENGUARD gold standard.  To satisfy the GREENGUARD gold standard, the inks supplied must meet the stringent emissions standards based on established chemical exposure criteria. Specifically, the eco-solvent inks meet the UL2818 standard which is for low chemical emissions for indoor production.

The eco-solvent inks used in the LUS-190 Series printers hold the GREENGUARD gold certificate, meaning they have passed the most rigorous testing and have a very low impact on the environment. They also contain very low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are nickel free.

A new feature in the inkjet heads of the UJV100-160 is the Dot Adjustment System (DAS) which has been designed by Mimaki to automate the placement of the dot, depending on the media and printing conditions. The idea being that DAS reduces the input needed by the operator and reduction in streaking for overlaid inks, lack of image definition and the avoidance of white streaking across the sheet.

Ink deployment is enhanced by a key Mimaki gadget, the newly upgraded Mimaki Advanced Pass System (MAPS4). MAPS4 disperses the ink pattern on the sheet in such a pattern in a very specific array to allow the even drying of the product.

Further to MAPS4 the eco-solvent inks used in the UJV100-160 printers come equipped with Mimaki’s Waveform Control technology (WFC). With this system the printheads are able to round nearly perfect circles of ink droplets rather than the deformed circles that can form once the ink is deployed. The benefit is to allow the eco-solvent inks and Plus Series printers to produce high quality images with sharp letters and line and almost perfect sized dots.

Finally, with regard to the inkjet heads there is a Nozzle Check Unit (NCU) which checks and cleans each nozzle automatically. If the cleaning process has not been successful, the Nozzle Recovery System (NRS) monitors and swaps nozzles when any become clogged or blocked. Both NCU and NRS allow the Mimaki to keep production stable meter upon meter.

The new model is a European Digital Press Association Awards 2020 winner

As explained earlier in the review, Mimaki clearly set out to produce a printer that would attract interest at an entry-level. By no means however is quality compromised; with a resolution of up to 1,200 DPI, coupling this with the proven technology such as MAPS, NCU/NRS and the new DAS, the printer can deliver a vast array of products needed by the high-street.

Given the very fast moving environment business owners on the high-street are now faced with, the fact the UV LUS-190 inks are dry directly after printing, clients can have the images and signage they need up in a fraction of the time it takes with more conventional solvent based machines.

The UJV100-160 comes with the new Mimaki RasterLink 7RIP software included, which greatly reduces pre-production time and should you feel it needed, the printer can come with additional features such as ID cut function.

Hopefully we will be back in the high-streets and the confidence the pandemic sucked from us will return, with the colour the UJV100-160 can deploy on those streets, businesses will be doing their best to ensure it does.

Brian Sims Principal Consultant, Metis Print Consultancy, www.metis-uk.eu

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