Inkcups has announced the commercial availability of a versatile new printer that can print directly onto pliable reusable bags and other items such as hard goods.
The Inkcups XJET Switch is a flatbed printer with four rotating platens. It prints in CMYK plus two whites, using UV inks and with the white described as “highly opaque”.
The new device is available now, with the first units just arrived at Inkcups’ European HQ in Germany.
“We are prepping those machines now for the first installation in Europe,” explained Inkcups Europe managing director Bobby Grauf.
“It’s an absolutely fantastic machine because you can be continuously printing with hardly any makeready time at all, and you can very quickly switch from one product to the next.”
The XJET Switch has customisable platens and can print onto a variety of products including the extra-sturdy ‘bags for life’ that are found at many supermarkets and retailers, and the clear PVC bags required by large event venues.
Bed size is 650x350mm, while maximum part height is just over 200mm.
Grauf said the digital, on-demand production would lend itself to, for example, seasonal or local promotions.
The XFLEXX UV ink is cured “instantly” using two 16W adjustable lamps.
“It’s an extra flexible UV ink,” he added, which avoids issues with cracking or distortion.
The Switch can print onto polyester, PVC, nonwovens, canvas, a variety of plastics, “and more”.
The robust device is designed to operate over three shifts.
Pricing is from around £155,000.
The device was previewed at last year’s Printing United show in the US and will be shown at the upcoming Printing United in Atlanta, Georgia, which takes place from 18-20 October.
CEO Benjamin Adner said the manufacturer hoped to exceed customer expectations with the new device: “This direct-to-bag printer generated a tremendous amount of excitement among our customers, who have been eagerly seeking a consistent and sustainable way to decorate reusable bags.
“We enthusiastically anticipate the creative possibilities that our customers will bring to life with the XJET Switch.”
Separately, Grauf has expanded his team in the UK with the appointment of Nick Macfarlane as regional sales representative for the UK and Ireland.
Grauf said: “Inkcups’ strategic growth plans for Europe are well underway, and the addition of Nick Macfarlane to our thriving European team is further evidence of that. We are thrilled to be strengthening the support and service we provide in the UK and Ireland and delighted to have an experienced and results-driven salesperson like Nick serving an important region for Inkcups Europe.”
Macfarlane was most recently UK sales manager at Kornit Digital, and prior to that spent eight years at Ricoh. He brings considerable know-how in direct-to-garment printing to his new role.
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