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UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

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Post Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:51 pm

UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Well I thought I would make a post for now because i have taken the plunge and had a UV Lightbar from Colorific installed on my machine.
I have been speaking with the guys from Colorific and pondering over this for some time and decided to give it a go...

We currently run two Roland Solvent roll-to-roll machines and a HP Latex, so moved the slower older printer "Grenadier" onto UV Inks with a Lightbar, with the other faster Roland kept on solvent inks.

"The Lightbar" is basically a conversion kit that can be fitted to some of the most common printers available today.
"In short" your Ink gets flushed from your currant machine and the Ink changed to UV ink.
A Bar along the front of your current machine is screwed on which houses a UV Lamp.
As your print media spills out the front of your machine and passes the UV bar, the ink is instantly dried/cured and ready for use.

Our Grenadier has to be about 10 years old, so its done us proud and has paid itself many many times. The main purpose of keeping it is basically its a Roland, a work horse and one of the best brand names our company has ever invested in. The machine just keeps going... the main key tool on this machine for us is its on-board cutting facility for contour cut graphics and the like. we do lots of this type of work so it is important we have it. (yes i know newer models available, but why replace it if its not broken? :wink:

anyway, a gripe i have for the ink is always drying time before laminating or before being able to actually apply graphics. As most will know, any solvent ink must out-gas even before use, "not only" before laminating.
If you use a solvent print fresh out the machine it is like trying to apply cling-film with super-glue on the back. just isn't going to happen!
Now using UV inks, this is easily done...

we have a very busy work place and the time window to get graphics out the door is closing more and more... Also, the new UV inks should give our machine a new lease of life as its a cleaner option without any smell/odour at all.

My understanding is there are several options on how a lightbar can be installed. i am not clued up on them all so best asking the options available and the machines it can be fitted too if interested.

well its been only 48hrs since its installation and already we are seeing turnaround times of our graphics improving. with dozens of signs printed in the morning, applied to boards and signs and being loaded on the van at lunchtime.
we are also seeing colour output vibrancy improving on certain colours / tones etc. this isn't necessarily my take on it but Andrews, who we have running the machine. could that be the profiling etc i don't know, but its just another improvement from our old machine.


I will keep this thread updated with anything significant we come across from time to time as i plan really pushing our machine to find it's pros/cons...




http://www.colorificink.com


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Post Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:35 pm

Is there any print speed benefit with the light bar conversion?

Cheers

Alex
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Post Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:50 am

hello Robert, which materials did you already print on?

Do you use standard solvent printable material or some that are especially said as UV print compatible?
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Post Fri Apr 04, 2014 11:17 am

I would be interested to see an actual picture of your conversion Rob
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Post Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:33 pm

alexc40 wrote:Is there any print speed benefit with the light bar conversion?

Cheers

Alex


Alex:
I would say no Alex, I think the speeds are pretty much the same as before if I am honest.
I actually forgot to ask Andrew this for his view on that but i think if there was any print speeds issues at all he would have been complaining to me by now as we are very busy. :D


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Fabrice Menard wrote:hello Robert, which materials did you already print on?

Do you use standard solvent printable material or some that are especially said as UV print compatible?



Fabrice:
We are printing onto exactly the same media as we always have. this includes...

Oracal, Metamark, 3M and Avery Vinyl.
Neschen wallpaper
Rollup stand media (forget the name)
a couple of banner materials. think they are Grafityp or Detec from Paperlinx.

this is all we have run through it so far and without a hint of problem.


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Simon Worrall wrote:I would be interested to see an actual picture of your conversion Rob


Simon:
Please see the attched picture of our 10 year Old Printer converted to UV Lightbar Inks.

sorry the pictures not the best, took it on my phone. shakey hand and all that! :D

as you can see it looks just the same as the picture you see in my initial post with the exception of the take-up roll visible in my picture and not in theirs.

the media being printed on in the picture is Neschen wallpaper

hope this helps...
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Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:52 am

Thanks Rob for the explaination of what the 'lightbar' was. Keep seeing it mentioned on the threads and didnt have a clue.

It looks quite a straight forward conversion from solvent to UV inks.

Is there a price difference in using the UV inks compared to solvent ink?
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Post Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:48 pm

Vic Adair wrote:Is there a price difference in using the UV inks compared to solvent ink?



Vic:

I would say one of the most surprising things Andrew has commented on is the distance the UV ink goes in comparison to the Solvent.

The UV ink comes in 440ml carts and are slightly more expensive to buy than the Solvent carts of same volume. however, we are seeing a significant amount more printing being done using the UV in comparison to the Solvent.


The following is approximate print output of what Andrew got out of his first set of UV ink.
When i say first set, he has actually only replaced "two colours," all the others colours are still running on their "first cart"

* Wallpaper – 200 metres x 1000mm
* Digital vinyl – 200 metres x 1360mm
* Reflective vinyl – 16 metres x 1260mm
* 25 metres of banner x 1360mm wide
Also a large array of one of jobs...


Sorry I am not giving pound for pound type comparison replies here, but Hope this helps give you/everyone a good understanding from a real life sign business's findings on doing one of these conversions as opposed to "biased opinions" sales pitches using profile perfect images,and unacceptable quality output as general running time speeds.

on the whole, we are very happy with the volume of print we are putting out in comparison to our solvent ink.
and for the record... the solvent ink we used previous to the UV was from the "same supplier".



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Post Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:39 am

Rob,

Thanks for taking the time to put this up. - We're planning on going to the sign show next week and taking a look.

Did you have to do anything with the rip software? - New rip/ change of profiles etc?
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Post Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:19 pm

Watching you

HI Rob watching your comments with interest like the one about how far the uv ink goes as the cost of the ink has certainly always put me off. Any contacts that I can use to try and get some comparison, we have four roland/grenadiers and could easily convert one as the waiting time is a pain, might have to come to sign uk
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Post Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:34 pm

I'm also watching with great interest,
My only concern is I've had conflicting information regarding the lightbar uv setup when it comes to wrap media,

If anyone has tried or any other info on this it would help defenateley help me decide
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Post Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:08 am

Same question as Robert. :)
Also, is the UV printed surface tougher than solvent? ie will it last longer if unlaminated?

Thanks for the pic. I am amazed by how straightforward it seems to be.
I would have thought the whole internal gubbins would need replacing - heads, pipes, filters .
This kit seems to be almost a bolt on addition!
Any theories as to why the ink would go further?
Do you get a different set of profiles to go with the new kit which would change the ink usage?
So many questions!
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:00 am

Richard Daniel wrote:Rob,

Thanks for taking the time to put this up. - We're planning on going to the sign show next week and taking a look.

Did you have to do anything with the rip software? - New rip/ change of profiles etc?



Richard & Simon
No the RIP software wasnt changed, it is Roland Versaworks

Before I had the UV Lightbar installed, they asked me to send them a list of the most common media we use.
They already had a list of profiles to provide of course, but any they didn't have. they asked for a couple of metres of vinyl to be sent prior to installation. they then profiled them for us and on the day of installation. installed the the profiles during the set-up.

additionally, Like most profiles, i would imagine there will be some sort of generic profiles will work on most media too. by that i know we run one vinyl profile for our solvent machines on most vinyls and works great.


Robert
I have various tests to do still when it comes to wrapping.
However, At this point I would have to say do not use UV ink for wrapping.

General vehicle graphics you will not have any issues with flat and gradual curved vinyl applications. but stretching into recesses and convex curves I would not advise on.

We have already done piles of van graphics and stickers without a single issue. this is because we know the limits and as long as you do too, i don't see a problem.
Remember, flat and gradual curved only applications is exactly the same stipulations of all calendered vinyl films too to prevent fail of the media. I would advise same on the ink, but for different reasons which I will elaborate on a bit more once ive done more tests.


Adrian
Maybe best calling Colorific and asking to speak to Justin.
http://www.colorificink.com/contact/
If you have 4 grenadiers Adrian, i recon it is well worth trying the conversion running alongside the others. i think you would be surprised!
I am at Sign & Digital the three days too Adrian, if your down pop by wotherspoons on day two around lunch time. think a bunch of the others will be there for a few drinks too.


Simon
I have just done a video showing the durability comparisons based on:

* Latex Ink
* Solvent Ink
* UV Ink

The video should have been loaded here tonight. but i stuffed up the audio when editing it. but will still load it and just put some elevator background music over it. :D
I will be in Birmingham the next few days, so will load it on Friday.
In short, YES, its more durable.



For anyone attending Sign & Digital UK exhibition this week. dont just take my word for it... take a little bottle of:
Isopropynol alcohol, tar & glue remover or even ink thinner... go onto the colorific stand and give the prints a good old rub down with the chemicals.
scratch with your nail or a coin... see for yourself "how it compares to other inks on other machines" at the show...

Take pictures or video with your phones and post your finds here if you get the chance. I would be interested in how your own tests compare to my video test which ill load too when i get back.
only difference i would see is my prints were left 24 hrs to make the whole comparison with latex and solvent more fair.
I think if you did, it would only add to the value of a thread like this running for others considering going this routes reference.





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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:34 pm

Colorific

Hi Rob thanks for the info very useful but if you cant use UV for vehicles apart from flat panels I cant see the point in the print being ready instantly, and therefore cant see the point of the conversion ?
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:12 pm

Adrian

No, I am saying "you can" use it and "i do" use it for vehicles right now. i just would not advise on it purposely being bought for "vehicle wrapping" as an alternative to the likes of a latex printer.

Calendered vinyl film for vehicle graphics has exactly the same limitation as the ink, but for different reasons. yet it is successfully used on millions of vehicles every day!

Cast wrapping film is a different beast altogether though...

once you see the ink durability video i did, it will put a new spin on things and is based on...
UV -v- Solvent
UV -v- Latex
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:10 pm

Thanks for explaining about the lightbar
I had no idea what is was

I remember being hit by a heavy bar once but other than that!
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Post Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:13 pm

Metal Bar

LOL John think I was hit by metal bar but cant remember it
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Post Thu May 01, 2014 7:57 pm

For those of you who went to SDUK this week, and had a look, what did you all think of the set-up, print quality, durability etc of the Grenadier and light bar that Colorific were displaying? Wasn't there myself to assess, so interested in any comments.

Lorraine
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Post Thu May 01, 2014 7:59 pm

LIght Bar

Good comment Lorraine I couldn't make it either too busy
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Post Thu May 01, 2014 8:10 pm

I looked at it whilst I was there, looking at it on the re-640 I was really impressed with the quality.

Definately seemed to do exactly what it's claiming to.

ROB - do you find it ok on the thicker materials like frontlit and stay flat banner?

Andy
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Post Thu May 01, 2014 9:58 pm

I went specifically to see this set up. I looked at the Mimaki 400suv machine previously, which is £18k ish (4 colour) the machine set up by colourific was a grenadier 6 colour machine at a fraction of the price of the Mimaki. As I dont want to use finance to purchase equipment the price of the Mimaki was too much money for me at the moment. The colourific however is very affordable in comparison (2nd user)
The samples looked impressive. As I produce interior work its gone on my " next piece of equipment " list.
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Post Fri May 02, 2014 7:54 am

I have to say the prints coming off the Colourific converted machines could not be faulted.

John
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Post Fri May 02, 2014 3:19 pm

I was asking because I called Colorific yesterday to get a price for conversion, and ended up purchasing the Grenadier that they had at the show! It is being installed next week, and I cannot wait! No more laminating, no more dust problems :oops:
Now need to get my Versacamm sold to help pay for it :roll:

I am so pleased that the comments have been positive, could have been the other way :lol1:

Lorraine
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Post Fri May 02, 2014 11:40 pm

Colorific

Go yourself Lorraine look forward to your comments re ongoing results

Couldn't make it , too busy but got a deal on 8pcs HP 1050c thedefinitive A0 poster printer and we print a lot of posters
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Post Mon May 05, 2014 6:23 pm

I got an AGFA UV and we did run all vinyls with vehicles and white vinyls on it for several months, however found that it wasn't working for us and had to purchase the latex printer to get us out of a mess. The ink is on the surface and locked to the surface with UV light, so the light have to be the right frequency and power to get though and set of the ink. The ink has to have some stretchly like feel to it for vinyl. Sadly the AGFA Ink just didn't cope at all, we found the ink weakens the structure of vinyl and u could tear it.

If the Lightbar results with the ink, will it tear on solids?
Will it crack if folded in half?
is there much 'bump' effect on the ink?

I know all these questions have been on your mind for a few years robert when we have talked about UV so be interesting if Lightbar has cracked it as my experience with Vinyl and UV so far has been to give it a miss, cost us a lot of money to correct all the jobs we put out there.
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Post Wed May 07, 2014 8:17 pm

Agfa

Ha Ha Dave still got an Agfa we aint got ours, we scrapped our £60K machine as it was unusable, watching the calorific with interest but already I keep going round my solvent printers smiling and giving them a pat on the back, onwards and upwards you explorers. We are happy in the knowledge in 6 months the ink is till exactly where we put it and vibrant as ever Roland/Uniform the ink that history was written on.
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Post Wed May 07, 2014 10:06 pm

Well the new machine was installed today, thanks to Nick (I think that's correct, I apologise if not, had a lot going on!) and Jason.

Dave, I did a 'scrunch, scrape, scratch and vigorous IPA rub' check, and found that the ink did not move one iota. Screwed the vinyl up, off the backing paper, so was stuck to itself, and pulled it out again, and it was fine. No cracking or failure that I could see, but I will continue to test it over the next few weeks.

Thee is a little lump effect on the surface, but no more than I get with Eco Solvent inks from the Versacamm, and I stretched a small area and it didn't break.

Obviously I am going to have to put it all through its paces, and will give feed-back if interested. It has been a long day today, need to have a play over the next few days, as it is a different machine to the one I have become used to., but I am looking forward to seeing how I get on.

Lorraine
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Post Wed May 07, 2014 10:10 pm

Sun test

Do me a favour Lorraine, don't hit, it scratch don anything, just put it on a board that faces south and I will ask you to scratch it in 3-6 months ???????????
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Post Wed May 07, 2014 11:04 pm

Will do Adrian, and take photo's!

Lorraine :cool:
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Post Wed May 07, 2014 11:06 pm

As a ps Adrian, these inks have a small amount of solvent in, which I am told helps the ink bite in initially, then out gasses under the UV lamp, which is, I assume, why they last longer / are better than the original UV inks?

Lorraine
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Post Wed May 07, 2014 11:35 pm

I'm really excited by the UV bar....

I think my machine the XR640 is probably a bit new for the UV conversion....

I'm on the hunt for a used XC540 or Soljet 2 that I can covert over.

I'm hearing nothing but good things about this bad-boy bar!
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Post Thu May 08, 2014 3:22 pm

Last week I was printing posters to blue-backed paper, and they took an age to dry, totally stuck to themselves on the take-up, and ruined 3 metres of print.
Today I am printing the same job, in a 12.5 metre run, onto the take-up, and they are bone dry as they emerge from under the Lightbar. I am VERY impressed so far.
I have never dared to do a long run before, but am feeling quietly confident now.
As there are only a few UV profiles for Versaworks at present, I did try using the normal GPPM profile for matt paper, but the colours were not great, so I trialled the UV 'light banner', assuming this would be for matt material, and the colours are good, perhaps not quite so vibrant as off the Versacamm, but then there was a heck of a lot of ink on those posters to take so long to dry off (overnight).

Next job - vinyl!

Lorraine
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Post Thu May 08, 2014 6:43 pm

Hi Lorraine,

What machine have you had this fitted too?
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Post Thu May 08, 2014 7:11 pm

So pleased to hear a real life success story Lorraine, we've placed our order this afternoon for the RE640 conversion. Just waiting for the installation date.

The lads were printing metres and metres of metamark vinyl on your machine at the show and it looked beautiful (I've got some samples on my desk too!) I seriously dont think you'll have any problems at all.

Andy

Lorraine Clinch wrote:Last week I was printing posters to blue-backed paper, and they took an age to dry, totally stuck to themselves on the take-up, and ruined 3 metres of print.
Today I am printing the same job, in a 12.5 metre run, onto the take-up, and they are bone dry as they emerge from under the Lightbar. I am VERY impressed so far.
I have never dared to do a long run before, but am feeling quietly confident now.
As there are only a few UV profiles for Versaworks at present, I did try using the normal GPPM profile for matt paper, but the colours were not great, so I trialled the UV 'light banner', assuming this would be for matt material, and the colours are good, perhaps not quite so vibrant as off the Versacamm, but then there was a heck of a lot of ink on those posters to take so long to dry off (overnight).

Next job - vinyl!

Lorraine
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Post Thu May 08, 2014 11:33 pm

Hi Harpreet, it is a Grenadier 54 inch, (Sol Jet II)

Andy,
Thank you, I am very happy, the fact that you have seen true-to-life prints from "MY" machine is good news.
It is an 'old' machine, and I have no experience of any solvent printer over 30", but this 'ancient' Grenadier is churning out print like the trooper it was designed to be. It was faster than the VC, dry print, and tomorrow I will be putting vinyl with grey 100 PC coverage on, see how it likes that!
In total today I have out putted 20 metres solely on poster paper, Matt 150gsm

Lorraine
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Post Fri May 09, 2014 6:37 am

This is all very exciting and positive news!

Anyone know if the system caters for the new soljet pro 4 machines?
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Post Fri May 09, 2014 8:09 am

VP 540i ????? oh and how much we looking at for these conversions?

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Post Fri May 09, 2014 11:12 am

Good to see this Blog evolving into something useful for all.
I am just back from Northampton this morning and lots to catch-up on but will load more of my replies a.s.a.p.
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Post Mon May 12, 2014 12:22 am

Andy Blackett wrote:ROB - do you find it ok on the thicker materials like frontlit and stay flat banner?

Andy, so far, we have had zero issues with regards to thick, thin materials.

Dave Rowland wrote:If the Lightbar results with the ink, will it tear on solids?
Will it crack if folded in half?
is there much 'bump' effect on the ink?
I know all these questions have been on your mind for a few years robert when we have talked about UV so be interesting if Lightbar has cracked it as my experience with Vinyl and UV so far has been to give it a miss, cost us a lot of money to correct all the jobs we put out there.


Dave Rowland
As you rightly commented, I have had a bad experience with a UV flatbed costing around £75k.
So I do have my eyes wide open to the crap some UV printers can put out.
In my view, this is a different beast all together. To answer some of your questions Dave...
* It does not crack like UV flatbed ink
* it is not embossed the same as UV flatbed ink
* Will it tear on solids? Sorry I don’t understand that question mate?

Loraine Clinch
Please continue to update us in this thread with your finds on the lightbar.


Andy Blackett
Andy, good to hear you have taken the plunge for one of these bars too mate. If you get a chance, please reply here in this thread with your views and opinions on the UV Lightbar.

Now we have three separate companies all using the bar for the first time, this blog should really help others gain truly unbiased views and opinions from genuine sign makers running their day to day business with this product.


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Post Mon May 12, 2014 7:58 pm

Ordered a lightbar for my vp540i, install in the next 2-3weeks,

George: I think the normal price is £2495+vat, I got a show deal, you might still get it if you are quick!

Rob: how's the scratch resistance on the prints? Vinyl? Banner?

Barry...
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Post Sat May 17, 2014 8:26 am

Just had it confirmed that install will be on Thursday this week, running until Friday morning. Really looking forward to this.

If anyone is interested in this make sure you message rob first as there are some special uksb discounts in place.

Andy
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Post Sat May 17, 2014 10:00 am

Barry Dok wrote:Ordered a lightbar for my vp540i, install in the next 2-3weeks,

George: I think the normal price is £2495+vat, I got a show deal, you might still get it if you are quick!

Rob: how's the scratch resistance on the prints? Vinyl? Banner?

Barry...


Hi Barry,

I've got a sample done on metamark vinyl and I've scratched it relentlessly and its not budging. Sample on mesh will scratch after a good while but I think that's more the material itself than the ink.

Andy
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Post Sat May 17, 2014 11:20 am

So it has been six weeks since our Colorific UV lightbar has been installed and our guys are more than used to working with it now. I asked Andrew again if he has had any issues or things he has to do which he didn't before we switched that could be regarded as an issue, problem, cost even... So here it is...

He said: "just one"...

"The very first 2ft of the media when you "first load" the media into the machine will be regarded as "waste".
This is because when you load whatever media "for the first time" the first 2ft of media must hang in front of the bar or it may snag/jam when your first couple of feet of print feeds through.
Similar type thing happens when loading any laminator!"


"However, its an easy fix...

Take an off-cut of any media the width of your roll by 2ft and set it aside for continual use here on.
When you load your media for the "first time" simply tack/tape on the spare off cut you set aside, to the leading edge of your vinyl coming through the machine.
this off cut just makes sure it guides the media by the bar on the initial 12-18 inches."


So basically, if you are as tight a sign maker as us in Scotland and that first little bit of waste needs saved, then all that is required is a single off-cut of media kept aside and problem solved. :D


I will post more pictures and video as soon as i get the chance.


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Post Sat May 17, 2014 1:22 pm

Colorific

HI Andy put it out in the sun for 3 months and then scratch it and let me know

Regards Adrian
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Post Sat May 17, 2014 2:01 pm

Will do Adrian. Although that said the majority of our work on this machine is exhibition stuff and short term banners so the convenience of drying time and processing speed is more a concern than unlaminated outdoor durability.

Andy
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Post Sun May 18, 2014 4:54 pm

Cheers for that Andy, we probably do the same type of work, have you tried it on roller banner material? We don't laminate our roller banners due to curl, so when the banner is a solid back sometimes gives us problems.

What about inks, who supplies them? I called Robert horn/paper links and antalis they don't!
Do you only get them from colourific? Direct?

Thanks
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Post Sun May 18, 2014 5:04 pm

Not as yet Barry, its not getting installed till Thursday, reading above though Rob has done a fair bit of it without issues.

You can only get the inks from colorific but they seem to think as the ink becomes more known more agents will jump on the band wagon and stock it.

Andy
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Post Tue May 20, 2014 3:50 pm

Hi Rob

I am doing as you suggested with the extra bit of media taped to the leading edge, as it is such a waste of good vinyl otherwise.

However, how do you finish the job, to get the print to go under the Light bar lamp? I can manually feed it under, and always do, EXCEPT when I am doing print and cut jobs, as I usually am. It's frustrating, as Versaworks will not recognise a block of white, so can't add that to the end of the job.

I'll be interested in hearing how Andrew gets over this.

Lorraine
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Post Tue May 20, 2014 4:04 pm

Hi Lorraine

I have just spoken to Andrew and he says the following:

You should have a "blank" file for this very purpose.
it is basically a white square "500mm x 500mm" in eps format that you simply select and print once you have completed your print+cut job.
Because the machine will not print white here, the machine just feeds through the required amount of media to cure.

note: if you are manually feeding this, you are probably not doing it at the required feed speed needed to cure with the UV lamp.

This "pre-RIP'd" blank file should be left in your print queue at all times for convenience.

This is not our workaround, it is the process that should be used when in "print + cut mode", and should have came with your setup from colorific as it did ours.

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Post Tue May 20, 2014 5:24 pm

Thanks for that Robert, I will email Ashley at Colorific, I have an engineer coming Thursday to create some more profiles and sort out a few 'glitches', so hopefully he can help with this too.

Lorraine
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Post Thu May 22, 2014 7:22 pm

Its in!

Ashley and Jason arrived yesterday at about 1pm and worked through till 6pm flushing, fitting new lines, mounting the lightbar and testing etc. We did a test print before and after and both were perfect (and the same!)

Positives:
This definately does what it claims, prints are instantly dry and have good scratch resistance. I couldn't believe the chemical resistance too; A soaked swab was wiped over a 24 hour old ecosol max print and had predictable results. A soaked swab was wiped over the uv print literally as it passed out of the lightbar and it wouldnt budge!

We've done a 4m x 1.5m banner and were able to trim, hem and finish it within 5 minutes of it coming off the machine (5 minutes as we had to clear the bench) a roller banner print too, again instantly dry and another good side was that it was near impossible to leave greasy finger prints in heavy ink areas. Both materials were less soft and flimsy too which has always been an issue on ecosolmax making handling much easier.

Profiling is fantastic, all our medias print beautifully and even vinyl which has always been a bit mottley is now perfect (with some tweaking of profiles)

Setup:
I dont think the media "wasted" at the beginning is going to be an issue, our roller banner material went straight through as did pvc banner - we have an old reverse wound banner which was more problematic but it was teased through with the end of a swab from underneath - I could of taped more on but didnt notice the problem until it was running through.

End of print drying:
As mentioned above its just a small file which you send down after the last print in a batch, this just gets the machine to push the actual print through the lightbar at the given rate. Even this blank media isnt wasted as we just cut the print off under the lightbar (which is better as there isnt as much to wind on the take up so less chance of damage/contamination) and wind the blank back on the roll from the back of the machine.

Smell:
I cant lie, it does have a smell, not a noxious heady solvent smell at all - just different to ecosol. We've used ecosol for about 8 years so I reckon we'll get used to this too.

"Issues":
Only one "issue" is that the main power switch is underneath the unit and impossible to see unless you crawl on the floor. I'm going to sort a new switch and mount it on the side so this should only be an "issue" till I get two ticks to resolve it!

Genuinely over the moon, it is very early days but the initial feeling is very positive - naturally I'll let you know if this changes :o

Andy
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Post Fri May 23, 2014 8:48 pm

Well, based mainly on this thread and the positive comments I've read here, I've just placed my order and paid my deposit.
We're looking at 3-5 weeks before our installation date.

Can't wait! :D
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Post Sat May 24, 2014 9:15 am

You'll love it Steve honestly! One tip put some dust sheets down around the machine and move media away from the machine, when the ink lines are removed they can flick flush about and contaminate media.

Carts are really well priced too, even better with our uksb discounts! - Nice one Rob!!

Andy
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Post Sat May 24, 2014 11:32 am

The technician Tom was with me for a day and a half, in the end, and I am totally happy with the machine now, there were a few 'schoolboy' errors with the Grenadier itself, all of which were promptly sorted out, all kudos to Colorific, especially Ashley, who was sorting stuff out over the phone, whilst installing Andy's Lightbar!
Tom spent hours getting profiles correct for the media I am using, and getting the cutting spot on, as I do a lot of labels now.
The vibrancy of the prints now are brilliant, I have had two people comment that the images I showed them looked either 3D, or HD, they are so vibrant. Chromes and glitter look real. I will put up some pictures after the weekend.
I have already got extra sales simply by telling people/showing them the prints we have produced on both vinyl and canvas yesterday.
As you can probably tell, I am so pleased I made the decision to buy from Colorific.

By the way Andy, you do get used to the smell of the inks, at least they don't give me a headache!
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Post Sat May 24, 2014 6:16 pm

"Smell"
I noticed you both mention of a smell from the UV ink. I really can't comment on that other than "i have never noticed any smell". However, having thought about it now, it might be because we have a large Solvent printer and Latex printer running next to our UV Printer. so i am guessing the other printers are maybe cloaking the smell.
I think more smell seems to be noticeable on our latex printer, but i recon that's just due to the heat that generates when running flat out and drying the latex ink...


Thank you Andy and Lorraine for your feedback since your UV Lightbar installation. Having multiple people giving their own day to day findings of a new product being run by sign makers in a "real working environment" is going to be valuable to anyone considering investing in a lightbar.

Good to hear you made the move Steve, look forward to anything good or bad that you can add to this thread once your lighbar has been installed mate.

UV Ink Usage in comparison to your Solvent Ink usage?
Its a very difficult thing to judge because everything we print varies greatly from one week till the next. but i would be interested in your comments based on how you find your UV ink usage in comparison to what you typically would go through when you had solvent ink.
This is important because its another key factor for folk to consider when investing. my finds are one thing, but if we are all finding same, well... that really is "The proof of the pudding" :D

* Production sped-up from up-to 24hrs before use, to instantly usable.
* Durability of UV prints far exceeds Solvent prints.
* UK Ink usage is less that that of Solvent, so saving also.

those are 3 very important factors for me and ive firmly ticked each one! :D


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Post Sat May 24, 2014 10:40 pm

Rob, you could also add in less lamination time and costs, both to the customer and us, certainly I am 'probably' only going to laminate prints when they are going to be placed in bright full-on sun, especially in coastal locations, or when going onto vehicles, and I possibly wouldn't even need to do this, except for peace of mind.

Tom the techie's eyes nearly rolled to the back of his head when he asked what vinyl I was using, so he could make a profile, and it told him it was called 'Koala 1D'!
By the time he had finished profiling it, he said it was one of the nicest vinyls he had profiled, and thought it far better than Oracal (which I also use).
I haven't purchased the Koala vinyl before, (Antalis supply it) but thought I would give it a go. I bought a 1520mm wide roll and had it slit down to 900mm and 620mm, because I simply CANNOT make my arms stretch wide enough to get both sides of 1370wide vinyl! I have a full width roll for when I do need to use wider, hopefully that won't be too often!
I got the Koala in bubble-free grey back, and to be honest the backing paper and ridges feel the same as the Oracal one that I use. Because I am using bubble-free, or air-release it is much easier to lay down, otherwise I would have to laminate or use app tape. For me it is worth the little extra expense to have bubble-free as a daily use vinyl. Sorry, rambling now!
Best get back downstairs, the band that's playing will be winding down soon.

Lorraine
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Post Fri May 30, 2014 1:19 pm

Hi all,

Our install has been brought forward so hopefully we'll be up and running soon :)

One question we have is that our printer is currently under a 3rd party service contract (with QPS).
We are waiting for them to call us back and let us know if the lightbar/UVconversion will have any effect on the cover we currently receive. My gut feeling is there will probably be an issue.

If this is the case, what is everyone else doing for support of their newly converted printers?
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Post Fri May 30, 2014 1:51 pm

well, the hunch was right - once the conversion is done, we will no longer have any support from QPS and as such, our support contract has now been terminated.

Can anyone recommend a suitable replacement service contract?
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Post Fri May 30, 2014 4:17 pm

Hi Steve, have you asked Colorific? The tecnician I had out is brilliant, and he also works independantly, Colorific sub him out. He was apparently in on the ground for developement of the Lightbar.

Tom Plunkett, 07853 918691. Don't suppose he would object to my giving out his number.
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Post Fri May 30, 2014 4:30 pm

Thanks Lorraine, I'll give Tom a call and see what he can offer.

Colorific have recommended A D Young, who have just given us a price for a next business day, all inclusive support contract.
This works out at quite a bit more than we were initially paying.
However, as we currently only have the single printer, we really can't afford for it to be out of action for any extended period of time.
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Post Fri May 30, 2014 4:38 pm

I've just spoke to Tom - he's actually coming to do our install next week :D
I'll have a chat with him when he arrives!

Thanks again Lorraine
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Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:57 am

As this was spoke about in another thread outside of this blog.
I thought I would post it here as it is very relevant.

Dave Rowland asked :
Dave Rowland wrote:does the light bar need new bulbs every xxx hours ? look into the costs
the UV ink is less likely to block, then dampers, wipers and any pipework, well I just thinking if the outlay is actually worth it as solvent is the one that used to block


Steve Motts replied:
Steve Motts wrote:The light bar has a lamp life of "up to 9000 hours"
That's 375 days, assuming you print for 24 hours of every day.
We reckon we'll get a 4+ years out of it at our current rate - possiby longer.

If we manage it sooner, I'll be very happy as we'll be so busy I won't care about the cost of the replacement! :D



My understanding is the following:

The Bulb itself is a Low Energy Lamp. similar idea to a fluorescent tube.
Lamp Manufacturer state it will last up to 9000 hours.

There is 260 days in a year minus weekends.
In a perfect world, Printing flat out for 8 hours a working day, for 260 days = 2080 hours.
meaning you could get up to 4.25 years life out of your lamp.

The World isn't perfect though is it? :D
I would think we should be looking at 2+ years life for your bulb.

The bulb costs about £400 depending on the size/width of your printer.
It can easily be changed yourself. so no technician required.

As Steve Motts rightly said... If your machine is running flat out every day constantly for the next few years, we wont give a damn about the cost of a bulb! :lol1: :lol1:

The bottom line here is your going to get 2-3 years from a single bulb, much longer if your machine isnt going flat out every single day.

Anyway, good question to raise Dave...

As Davie has also mentioned, because the ink is UV, there will be less likely of the ink solidifying like Solvent ink can. It will also be less damage to machine parts due to the solvent continually eating into the parts. So a kinder ink on the machine on the whole.


.
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Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:11 am

Thanks for the info on this.

Has anyone got this set up on a jV33? - My main concern is the lamp is a lot lower down the unit (nearer the take up unit. - Thats a long way down with wet ink)
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Post Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:57 pm

Richard Daniel wrote:Thanks for the info on this.

Has anyone got this set up on a jV33? - My main concern is the lamp is a lot lower down the unit (nearer the take up unit. - Thats a long way down with wet ink)


I was told that this retro fit was only possible on a couple of Roland machines, I would be interested to hear which other machines are suitable for conversion.

Thanks
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Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:49 am

Steff.

From the site: Mutoh Valuejet – Mutoh Blizzard – Mimaki Jv3 – Mimaki JV33 – Mimaki JV5


http://www.colorificink.com/lightbar/
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Post Tue Jun 03, 2014 4:59 pm

Richard Daniel wrote:Steff.

From the site: Mutoh Valuejet – Mutoh Blizzard – Mimaki Jv3 – Mimaki JV33 – Mimaki JV5


http://www.colorificink.com/lightbar/


Thank you Richard.
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Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:21 am

This Bad Boy goes to the top of my list as my next Printer purchase!

The Beast - By Roland
Converted to use the UV Lightbar by Colorific

A brilliant machine, coupled by speed and ink durability...
exactly what my sign company needs!


This has just been announced by Colorific, so I am keen to go and see it at their place some time soon.

Our Grenadier and Light Bar has never stopped since it was installed. straight off the machine and ready to use. cant beat it...
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Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:03 pm

Looks decent, any idea of costs?
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Post Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:35 pm

Hhhhmmmm getting to that time where I'm looking at new machines and I'm seriously considering a Roland XR640, now that with a lightbar would be nice, that's if I can get a definitive answer weather wrap media can be warranted with the inks....
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Post Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:16 pm

Just seen this long thread.. ok, how is the smell? I mean Solvent is bad at time and some of the solvent ink smells disguising. The UV we have smells like nappies (as someone described it once)

With regards my comment about Solid Ink and tearing, well if you print say a solid white or solid black square on a vinyl, we found that UV Ink weakens the vinyl allowing you to tear it, so it weakens the structure of the vinyl. That's what my comment above was about.

Cracking of UV ink is normally a sign of things like over exposure on the ink or the chemical formula is just not mixed correctly as we had issues with this in the past.
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Post Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:39 pm

Have read several times that UV prints are glossy. Have you tried printing with matte media and what were the results?
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Post Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:22 am

Hi, I think you can see from the photo that the print certainly is glossy. Not tried using Matt vinyl as yet, so no idea if the ink is affected.
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Post Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:17 am

Boyd Godfrey wrote:Have read several times that UV prints are glossy. Have you tried printing with matte media and what were the results?


I have never had the requirement to print onto a matt media Boyd, but think i see where your coming from.
Do you get a consistent matt ink finish using a Solvent machine in this instance?

I ask because when we print onto gloss vinyl using our HP Latex printer the ink is far from gloss like the media, but due to us laminating all our latex prints in either Gloss laminate or Matt laminate after printing, its never been an issue for us.
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Post Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:49 pm

We work primarily in TV and film and as a rule, the camera hates anything glossy due to light bounce and reflections. As you know, dark glossy surfaces can have mirror-like properties.
With printing Eco-Sol ink on matte surfaces we normally get a satin finish, not quite matte but close enough.
Turnaround time is always critical to us which is why the UV setup looks so attractive.
BTW - I just had our Roland service tech here to service our 74" Pro-2. I showed him the picture of your machine and even he was surprized how similar it looks to one of our units. He wasn't familiar with Grenadier, do they share a lot of parts with Roland?
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Post Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:08 pm

They are Roland printers Boyd rebranded as Uniform they also did a cadet and cadet plus which are versacamms.
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Post Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:16 pm

Thanks for the clarification Steve!
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Post Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:30 pm

Boyd Godfrey wrote:We work primarily in TV and film and as a rule, the camera hates anything glossy due to light bounce and reflections. As you know, dark glossy surfaces can have mirror-like properties.
With printing Eco-Sol ink on matte surfaces we normally get a satin finish, not quite matte but close enough.
Turnaround time is always critical to us which is why the UV setup looks so attractive.
BTW - I just had our Roland service tech here to service our 74" Pro-2. I showed him the picture of your machine and even he was surprized how similar it looks to one of our units. He wasn't familiar with Grenadier, do they share a lot of parts with Roland?


Hi Boyd

I am printing to a matt waterproof poster paper, and I can safely say the print is matt-as flat as can be!

Lorraine
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Post Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:39 am

Barry Dok wrote:Ordered a lightbar for my vp540i, install in the next 2-3weeks,

George: I think the normal price is £2495+vat, I got a show deal, you might still get it if you are quick!

Rob: how's the scratch resistance on the prints? Vinyl? Banner?

Barry...


can you still print cut with the lightbar fitted?
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Post Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:09 pm

Can you still use the take up roller, and are you able to print and cut instantly?

Thanks
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Post Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:00 pm

Yes to both George and Emyr's questions above.
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Post Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:13 pm

This really intrigues me. As one of the very first Guinea pigs for sepiax ink under B&P Lighqbrigade I was impressed back then but annoyed with profiling and curing I even fitted my own bulb on the Printhead to help cure and posted a YouTube video it worked fantastic. I knew it was only a matter of time for the ink to progress to something like this maybe it's a different product but it's nice to see ink advance like this . The addition with the UV lightbar is genius I just refuse to install on a new xr640 printer ;) for now and may look into another printer.

Have all the profiles been sorted yet??
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Post Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:28 pm

Actually have a question in regard to this topic but it has a different spin on it. Does anyone know if normal Roland ink would cure quicker with the lightbar? Reason why I ask is I opted out of the optional post dryer on the xr640 and now I wish I didn't. I was wondering if I get this lightbar as it would stand me in good stead if I chose to convert at a later stage ?

I know inks are different and it cites differently but does it generate head is there blowers?? Etc.
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Post Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:24 pm

Does anyone know if this ink is suitable for T-Shirt transfers?

I've read that it's not recommended for vehicle wrap, we occasionally have to use cast on some vehicles due to a recess in the bodywork, what happens - does the ink crack?

I've noticed that the uv ink is considerably more expensive than the bulk colorific ink we use at the moment, do you believe the benefits of quick drying, etc balance the increase in ink costs.

I would be grateful for your opinions.

Thanks
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Post Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:27 pm

I have some printed samples on 3M ij180 and it wraps an absolute dream, (no cracking)
my only concern is the warranty side,

im waiting for 3M to pick the samples up and for them to do there own testing and i will post any results on here

Robert
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Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:45 am

In reply to Emyr, I have done a few garment prints now, after testing for myself. I put my logo and text onto a polo shirt, which has been washed (30 degrees only) and tumble-dried on hot several times, and so far is as good as the day it was printed. I am doing a batch of clothing at the moment, have total confidence in it.

Regarding the ink cost, it is the same as genuine Roland carts, which I always used anyway, so no problem there, for me.

I did have some issues to start with, which were down to profiles rather than the ink or machine, now they are sorted out (more profiles made, thanks to Tom Plunkett and Colorific) and the cutting set-up fine-tuned, I am a very happy person, and I LOVE my printer.

I have so far printed roll-up and normal banners, polyester flags, canvas, garment vinyl, self-cling, clear and white vinyl, gold and silver chrome normal vinyl, reflective print vinyl, and various poster papers. There has not been a hitch on any, and I have not laminated anything so far.

The image I put outside on a south-facing wall still looks like the copy I have inside, no fading that I can see at all, and was put outside on 2nd June, so almost three months ago.

Best move I ever made, was buying this old printer, with new technology, and I love that I no longer stuff up prints when laminating, with creases, dust etc.

Lorraine
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Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:03 pm

Hi everyone, as above, images of prints internal and external, almost 3 months on.

Today's photo taken when the sun was not shining. No idea why some are upside-down, they are fine when clicked on!
Attachments
29-08-14-lightbar.jpg
02-0614.jpg
29-08-14.jpg
You can see from the current day picture below, in comparison to the one taken on the 2-6-14 there is no colour fade/change.
29-08-14-indoors.jpg
Last edited by Lorraine Clinch on Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:32 pm

Sorry, getting boring now, but just read through all the posts again, and recalled something else to point out.

I now turn off mains electric every night (I think there may be a piggy-back somewhere off my meter) as the machine does not need to run regular cleans. Also I only do a clean every four weeks or so. The occasional head tests are always perfect, and the machine is definitely 'plug and play', it can be off for days, and prints perfectly as soon as turned on.

So not only do I not laminate, but I save money on electricity too.

Lorraine
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Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:38 pm

Thanks for your replies, looks like the upgrade is the way forward.
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Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:26 pm

Surely you still need to laminate for vehicle stuff?
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Post Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:49 pm

Hi Jon

I haven't so far, maybe I am taking the promise at too much face value, but as the print itself should be UV-proof, and scratch-proof, the only reason to laminate would be to protect the vinyl itself from scratches from trees, bushes etc, unless I am missing something? And if the customer takes his vehicle through bushes, that is his lookout, surely?

I tell my customers that the UV stability has been trialled for 4 years so far, and testing is on-going, so could be much longer. They all seem happy with this so far.

Lorraine
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Post Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:13 pm

There are a list of things that vehicles are exposed to that signs aren't.

one big one, is "chemicals". vehicles are washed regularly. pressure wash, drive thru, bucket and sponge jobs, then there's wax and polishes, to fumes, petrol spills when fuelling up and so on... all these chemicals break down the print and lead to a fail.

you then have abrasion damage from all washing methods, such as car washes and the like... washes sound a safe one, but i remember a van we had years ago and it being washed. within two days the gloss finish had gone from the van! we haven't a clue what's in these washes, or the level/amount being used in them.
then there is head on wind and everything the vehicle passes through in the air. you would be surprised! just look at the crap found on your bonnet when driving down the motorway after a couple of hours.

all this said, I have tested this UV ink against some of the most aggressive chemicals i could find in our work and none had an impact, where as the same on Latex and Solvent Ink destroyed the ink in seconds.

I am in no way saying "don't laminate your vehicle prints". I ALWAYS laminate my vehicle prints regardless. But i would say if ever there was an ink to use if not laminating, then UV would be my vote.
That said, look at the likes of the Various Industry Award logos and the like we see on most vans out there. they are just screen printed and stuck to vans. by that i mean your Corgi, ISO9001, Master Craftsmen, etc etc these seem to be accepted as a non-laminated, will eventually fade etc and not questioned. Then we have the gerber edge thermal printing days, again just accepted as non-laminated. yes i know they brought a clear protection ribbon out for that, but still, most didnt.
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Post Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:17 pm

Lightbar

How is service ?? I have phoned a few times about buying one dropped phone lines, no return calls, no info, if I cant findout about buying one or samples or profiles what is the chance of getting one fixed if needed
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Post Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:49 pm

Adrian, I cannot speak for people purchasing a new machine with full years warranty, but I had a three month warranty on my machine, and Colorific have been totally on the ball getting issues sorted within the warranty period. If I were a sceptic I could say this is because they know I have been posting on here (I am sure they watch this thread with great interest, of course), but none the less, they have sent out an engineer an additional two times to rectify problems within the warranty period, along with follow up calls to ensure all was OK after.
I have not got a service package on the machine, sometimes, as with pet insurance, it is a choice between paying monthly for no 'seen' need, or taking the risk and pay when necessary. Of course this does not apply to required insurances, only optional ones.
As I have had an engineer out already who is experienced with my machine and the UV Lightbar technology, it is a simple choice to make, and I take the chance.
Don't know about not getting through Adrian, I did have some difficulty, but I think they may be a bit overwhelmed with enquiries, but always have had a reply either by phone or email.

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Post Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:26 pm

Lorraine Clinch wrote:Sorry, getting boring now, but just read through all the posts again, and recalled something else to point out.
Lorraine


NOT boring in any way at all Lorraine, people are reading this thread out of interest. replies from the likes of you and andy etc are exactly what people want to read. "our combined" real life day-to-day sign making experiences with running these machines/bars/inks etc is a million times better than standing listing to a sales rep lining his pockets after feeding you any old gumph read from a spec sheet. all feedback is welcome.

You are correct, Colorific are reading this thread with interest. Good or Bad, the good replies are great to hear for them and us lot looking to make a purchase, but the negative replies will be taken on board and used to better their product or service offered. at least i think they will... :wink: :lol1:


anyway, thank you for taking the time to make these replies on the blog Lorraine, it doesn't have over 12,000 views and 90+ replies because nobody is interested! :wink:
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Post Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:53 pm

Hi Rob, thanks. As you will have seen over the years I have been a member of this group, I only really post when I feel I have a contribution to make, so thank you for the encouragement.

I said I hadn't laminated anything, but I did tell a porky....I put two printed reflective vinyl signs last month, up on the East Norfolk coast, in front of a hotel that was flooded in the December 2013 surge, and due to the sun and salt exposure, and that the material was digital reflective, I did choose to laminate, but only with normal clear vinyl, not UV protected. I have lived in North Norfolk for 20 years, so guess (hope) I shall be here for a few more years to keep an eye on it.

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Post Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:18 pm

This forum is used as a sales tool by Colorific as I was sent a link when I first enquired about the lightbar.
When my father called them yesterday to place an order it was mentioned that they've seen my posts on this forum!

I don't find the content boring at all, it's very informative and unbiased and as stated elsewhere, much better than listening to a sales pitch.
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Post Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:51 pm

I think I read earlier on this thread that this can be done on a Mimaki jv3, has anyone done it? How did it go? What were the costs? Apologies if this has been answered already, such a large thread to re-read
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Post Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:30 pm

Lightbar

Well guys was ready to take the plunge placed an order for the lightbar and eventually got samples but we did very quick light nail scrape and got horrific results we will not be proceeding, two pictures same are light bar third picture is our solvent print. Couldn't use the same photo though
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Post Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:51 pm

Adrian, Very interesting, i have already did this test several times.
However, I printed my tests on :

1, A Solvent Printer
2, A Latex Printer
3, A UV Light-bar Printer

I used the SAME :
INK & ARTWORK File

I printed all three at the same time and gave them 36 Hours to dry/cure.

I got exactly the OPPOSITE results of what you are showing here.
Your result is your result, but it certainly not a proper comparison result by any mean.

also, when i did my tests i used a screw driver, allowing the weight of the driver to determine the force i used on the print surface.

regardless, interesting results... thank you for your input to the thread.
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Post Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:56 pm

Lightbar

Hi Rob we do not have the light bar, we got the samples from colorific that is why I could not use the same file, this was a very quick test that I did just as we got the samples and compared it to a solvent print that was lying on one of the fitting tables which had not been laminated yet, the solvent print was less than 24 hours old. As everyone knows we had a Annapurna M which we scrapped because of this issue and fading in sunlight, in my opinion based on the samples that calorific sent us , prints must be laminated

Must mention that prior to posting this these photos were sent to colorific and they did not disagree with us ??
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Post Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:13 am

All prints exposed to abrasion or chemical or long term UV exposure should be laminated regardless.

Yes i remember you having the Anapurna UV Flatbed, Adrian...
I also had EFI/Raster printer UV Flatbed, paying about £75k for it... and it also came with a list of negatives from me. so much so i returned it one unhappy customer.
However, those are different beasts altogether and when i look at the market several years on, we were really buying guinea pig entry level machines even at £75,000.
anyway, we are now about 7 months into using our UV Lightbar. it has never missed a beat or had a problem and the ink far exceeds the output pf any other printer we have.
we do not laminate as much as we used too, because before with our solvent machine "everything" got laminated regardless to vehicle or not. well other than stickers.

even only today, i had a friend, who is another sign company standing chatting away to me today whilst Andrew printed him a list of things off, rolled it up and handed him the prints ready to go. definitely a game changer for me. that would simply not be possible for me on my solvent machine which we run along side it.

this thread is now approaching 19,000 views.
i know lots of people that read this, now own a light-bar too and have not come forward to complain. hence why i like to encourage others to come forward with their own finds if running one. negative or good... its more than welcome. because either way it can only make this thread more valuable to those considering buying as they can take everyone's comments combined, on board.
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Post Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:54 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I'm still very interested in this conversion for my new XR640 what are people's opinions on doing this on a new machine?? Also as it's been a longer period anyone had any extra issues I'm especially interested in the UV stability side of it all. Yellows are the worse offenders most often how do these respond?

I have not got the luxury of waiting for prints to de gas so this would be massively helpful to me and my business especially with random hospital visits needed for my son. Please any opinions would be great. Anyone compared the ink from the new eco sol max 2 to this??
Kind regards Michael
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Post Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:55 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Just bean speaking to Stuart from Colorifc about the lightbar conversion. I think I'm going to take the plunge. I was little disappointed that the uv ink range does not support White ink as my current set up is CMYK with light cmyk, light black and white.
I don't use white lots but it's a nice feature to have. I'm after some opinions especially the people that have taken the plunge.
I was told I could go with current set up but block the White cartridge. Seems a shame ?
Go all CMYKx2

Just confused not sure if losing the light CMYK will print nice??
And the lack of White is painful for when it's needed. Can be rare I must add but a god send when needed.

Any help guys and gals??
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Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:53 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Michael Kalisperas wrote:
Any help guys and gals??


Send me a file of your choice Michael, and I will post you a print back unlaminated, from my machine.

absolutesigns_uk@yahoo.co.uk

Lorraine.
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Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:06 pm

Re: Lightbar

Adrian Hewson wrote:How is service ?? I have phoned a few times about buying one dropped phone lines, no return calls, no info, if I cant findout about buying one or samples or profiles what is the chance of getting one fixed if needed


Well I have to say that Colorific are still excelling themselves, I had a problem recently (last week) and needed a new assay scan motor. This in turn led to other problems (not the ink's fault).

I paid for a new motor, and they sent out an engineer to replace the motor at their own cost, along with the offer to refund the motor cost if I do decide to upgrade the machine this year. When there were some capping issues after the motor was installed, they sent out another engineer to see to it, again at their cost. It isn't as though I live just down the road, either.....

Now if that is not excellent customer service, I don't know what is.

Well done Colorific, and a huge thank you!

Lorraine
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Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:49 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Thank you Lorraine. Stuart has offered to send me a print also unlamented thank you.

Just apprehensive because of long time ago headaches I had with third party ink on a old machine. This is a new machine but not sure of losing white ink even though it's not used lots. Aslo wondering what people's opinion on 8 cart set up currently 4 CMYK, 1 laugh black, 1 white ink and,1 light C and,1 light M

Not sure if I take the plunge I go all cmyk x2 cheaper to run but is the colour spectrum loss that big?? Or same set up but block the White ink with dummy cart. Or don't take the plunge as I have a lot of eco sol max 2 ink still ;)
What machine you running Lorraine?
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Post Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:02 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Michael, I have an old Grenadier/SP-1400con 6-colour.

I considered white ink, but rarely require it. I'm considering my options at the moment, I think I should take the plunge and have a new machine, I am very happy with the Lightbar and UV, so will carry on with this. I will definitely be at Sign UK this year, to see what all the options are under one roof. My price-bracket is at the low end for a new machine, so it has to be one of the Roland range, I think, just don't really understand all the differences between the new machines.

Lorraine
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Post Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:25 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Ordered mine ;)
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Post Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:52 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Plenty to consider as I am really impressed with the light bar, as was my dad this morning when I had him do the penny test on some prints... now do we retro fit it to our RS-640, or get an new RE-640 :lol1:

Ordered a Take Up Unit for our easy mount and additional mandrels, as we're staying in our unit for a further 3 years, so we're trying to make life easier.

Was also nice to meet James, Rob, and Hussain down there!
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Post Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:24 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Now then...

Has anyone tried a wrap using the lightbar?

We run one machine so it needs to tick all the boxes...

Awaiting quotes on a new machine and lightbar...
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Post Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:33 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I was led to believe that mdx has been passed by metamark, im waiting for a confirmation from 3M then colourific can have all my money. It's the only thing holding me back. Like you david all my eggs are in one machine and 80% of my work is printed wraps so it has to work.
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Post Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:36 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

We're 80% print 20% pribred wraps but it's ever growing.

The instant dry is a huge advantage to us... but it has to work with wraps.

I will speak to Metamark next week.
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Post Sun Apr 05, 2015 9:19 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I'm surprised at the results Adrain has posted here as I spent some time with Nick the MD of colourific having a demo....He printed a file in front of me, grabbed a coin from his pocket and tried to remove the ink. The vinyl actually ripped before the ink came off.

I know David Hammond would agree with this as he had the same 20p demo....

I didn't even want to buy the machine but after seeing the demo I ordered a RF640 with the light bar as a complimentary machine to sit in our fleet to help with all those jobs that need to go out the door quickly...This is being installed in the next couple of weeks so will keep you all updated.

Now that the light bar is backed by Roland I know this will fully supported by the exceptionally high levels of service Roland always offer.
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Post Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:51 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

James Sahota wrote:I didn't even want to buy the machine but after seeing the demo I ordered a RF640 with the light bar as a complimentary machine to sit in our fleet to help with all those jobs that need to go out the door quickly.


I knew David was looking at this but I didn't know you went for one too James. Will be good to hear yet more sign makers views on the lightbar here on this thread. The more that comment here the more valuable the thread will be to anyone interested in buying one. "Real feedback from real sign makers that actually use the product daily"
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Post Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:08 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Off down to see Jay at Signmaster Systems tomorrow to get a demo on the RF640.

We're actually now considering keeping the machine as standard solvent with additional heater to aid drying (the main reason we looked at the light bar)

The main reason is there's no definitive answer as to how it works with vehicle wrapping.

If we had the space to keep both machines, we'd have a light bar without hesitation, but for the investment in a new machine + lightbar we need it to tick all of the boxes. There's no denying that the ink, lightbar is a fantastic set up, and I am very impressed with it... it's that one [b]BUT[/b] will it be OK an customers wrap...

I had a discussion with Roland today, and mentioned my concerns, and it seem's that most wrap media was developed for Solvent Inks, even other UV and Latex ink doesn't perform as well as solvent on wrap media, as these inks apply a layer to the vinyl, rather than being absorbed into it. I'm not sure how accurate the explanation or my understanding is.
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Post Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:45 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

My Lightbar is being installed in a week. I'm sure I read somewhere it worked great on wraps ?? Didn't Rob lamb test and say it was good?? Rob can you confirm. I know someone did??
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Post Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:30 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I print allot of "vehicle graphics" that are either un-laminated or laminated.
We have not had a single problem with them since having our lightbar installed.

However. you will see from the original post i made, this was installed on an OLD Grenadier / Roland Soljet printer which is about 11 years old now i think. So I do not print wraps using this machine because it is just too slow. We opt to run wraps on out HP Latex 360 machines. So I have no real world testing to go by, hence why i have not reported my finds.
However, I did do a series of tests on the inks on the UKSG Wrap Training vehicle on a series of very demanding panels. the prints worked perfectly fine. also, if you take the prints and pull the vinyl you will see the prints do stretch. however, as i said, as i haven't been able to test these on a live job over a significant time. I cannot give an accurate report when it comes to over stretched wraps into recesses.

What I will say is, i have heard of companies already running lots of wraps via their lightbar. i don't know them personally
but this is a picture of one of many they have done.

The following Mini was done by CL Signs in Holland
CL-Holland.jpg


So in a nutshell, done tons of vehicle graphics laminated and un-laminated. no problems at all over a period of a year or so. vehicle wraps, i have not done anything long term or large enough that i would term as a wrap. once i do i will post it here.
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Post Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:03 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Arrrggggghhhh Robert you are really not helping!!!

I've not had a definitive answer, I understand why... the light bars been out 12-18 months so by no means a long term test has been conducted in the real world.

Hmm some more thought is needed before we decide either way.
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Post Wed Apr 08, 2015 7:13 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I believe there are issues with latex and certain wrap vinyls.
So it does seem best to hold off until the big boys say it's safe, I have had a few conversation with colourific and 3m and not had an answer either way.
I Gave 3m some light bar prints samples on ij180 and I will post any info if and when I get it.
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Post Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:10 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I think it will work fine. when I get mine I'll do some tests. Mine will be on a XR640 so will have a better idea. I'm guessing the lack of a definitive answer is because there are countless Vinyls and I bet there maybe some issues with certain types of vinyls. Having said this I found this issue with solvent ink so don't think it will be a biggy.
I think the boys are onto a good product here and I maybe regretting my purchase when things go wrong but I've done my research and I believe all will be ok.

The scratch test is the dogs. And I'm actually thinking this type of mixed ink UV/part solvent is the future for the best of both worlds. My biggest concern is how the yellow holds up in the sun but again spoken to a few companies that had this installed and no problems.

Only thing I forgot to ask is if it works on printable flex vinyl for garment printing
So bring in 14th April my install date.
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Post Tue May 12, 2015 8:51 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Any update on these?

We are looking to upgrade and im seriously tempted but need to be able to print part wraps.

I have been told that this has now been profiled since the partnership with roland.
Has anyone tried it??

Thanks
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Post Tue May 12, 2015 5:54 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Yes it works fine no cracking nothing even in deep recesses. I've only done couple of jobs since we received the latest profile as I have added the Lightbar on a recent machine the XR640 I used metamark wrap series material. One ward fanatic. I love the fact I don't have to wait and even trailed a no laminate wrap after discussions with client wlth large discount to customer as we agreed we would test. So far fanatic no problems it's been only a month but works great. Gives a nice shiney flat finish. I only found one issue and that is that I'm currently waiting on more profiles as with my machine there has only been a few done.
I have Md5 , MD7 MDPX Wrap, Banner, clothing print flex, renown vinyl profiles all coming out nicely. Need a few more and I'll be happy.
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Post Thu May 28, 2015 3:01 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi All Im thinking of getting my old JV3 160sp converted, because you have all had chance to use / test the conversion would you recommend it ???

Thanks Gary
Last edited by Gary Barker on Thu May 28, 2015 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Thu May 28, 2015 5:31 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I had a good conversation about this with Michael Kalisperas

He raises some good point about this as his been using it for a while.

I think currently the biggest issue is profiling

Many Thanks

James
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Post Thu May 28, 2015 8:06 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Yes my machine still needs profiling in conversation I was under the assumption it was change of inks and lightbar and plug and play. Obviously not the case entirely as it needs profiling and there are limits on certain materials. Generally though it's really good and the no out gassing is a major selling point. The sale and technical team are top people. My issues are because my machine is new model that needs profiling as the ink sets are set differently. As for other models like the one your getting James I believe there is a large volume of profiles.

Because of the chassis on my machine the technician is currently redesigning the lightbar to be placed slightly higher up like it is on the other machines.

For older machines it's a no Brainer as you are updating the technology and at a fraction of the price of a new uv machine.
A bit annoying is the amount of ink and material Waste on profiling I have been reassured will be sorted for this.


I will wait for more profiles before I can give full review.
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Post Thu May 28, 2015 8:15 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Gary Barker wrote:Hi All Im thinking of getting my old JV3 160sp converted, because you have all had chance to use / test the conversion would you recommend it ???

Thanks Gary

Will transform your jv3 just get the materials you use most ready as I have had a situation where before with solvent i just knew it would still print on any material practically but with my recent situation to print on roller blind that hides cigarettes at a counter I would normally had said yes I can do but because I don't have profile for this material I wouldn't risk trying. With solvents I would.
Just one example. Some jobs that i take on are so random. I know of your sticking to certain materials and get profiles for those then your laughing.
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Post Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:27 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

We looked at the lightbar on a Roland printer at Newtech yesterday, looked good and I think we will be ordering a a conversion shortly for our aging SP540V, I've asked them a few extra questions but one that current users will be able to tell me better is about cleaning.
As I understand it the inks don't dry unless they go past the UV light so how is the inside of your printers with overspray and how do the outer parts of the heads look? fluff or dust sticking?
Is it easy to clean off?

Thanks
Steve
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Post Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:06 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Stephen Morriss wrote:We looked at the lightbar on a Roland printer at Newtech yesterday, looked good and I think we will be ordering a a conversion shortly for our aging SP540V, I've asked them a few extra questions but one that current users will be able to tell me better is about cleaning.
As I understand it the inks don't dry unless they go past the UV light so how is the inside of your printers with overspray and how do the outer parts of the heads look? fluff or dust sticking?
Is it easy to clean off?

Thanks
Steve



Well it's not full solvent and I barely clean mine and have full nozzles.
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Post Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:16 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Thanks for that Michael but I was thinking more of the ink on other parts of the printer, like the wipers and other parts that get ink onto them.

Steve
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Post Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:32 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Stephen Morriss wrote:I was thinking more of the ink on other parts of the printer, like the wipers and other parts that get ink onto them.


Stephen, Do you mean is it aggressive on the plastic machine parts?
Quick answer i would give is no!
its not like solvent that will continually bite into the plastic and rubber parts of the machine. Which can lead to deterioration of the part and often makes them brittle.
example: snapping manifold pin and the like when changing dampers etc if you have had your machine a number of years. the plastic pin mounts get brittle. anyway...

The UV ink does not solidify anywhere near as quick as Solvents which can turn to a jelly quickly, which is why light manual maintenance cleans/wipes are required.
which is why you you don't get the same nozzle heads clogging with the UV bar like you do with solvent machines.

For the record, I am in no way knocking Solvent Ink machines here, i would be a complete hypocrite if i was as i have run multiple solvent machines for over 12 years. I am merely giving you comparisons on how i find the uv inks in my Roland machine.
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Post Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:08 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Robert Lambie wrote:
Stephen Morriss wrote:I was thinking more of the ink on other parts of the printer, like the wipers and other parts that get ink onto them.


Stephen, Do you mean is it aggressive on the plastic machine parts?
Quick answer i would give is no!
its not like solvent that will continually bite into the plastic and rubber parts of the machine. Which can lead to deterioration of the part and often makes them brittle.
example: snapping manifold pin and the like when changing dampers etc if you have had your machine a number of years. the plastic pin mounts get brittle. anyway...

The UV ink does not solidify anywhere near as quick as Solvents which can turn to a jelly quickly, which is why light manual maintenance cleans/wipes are required.
which is why you you don't get the same nozzle heads clogging with the UV bar like you do with solvent machines.

For the record, I am in no way knocking Solvent Ink machines here, i would be a complete hypocrite if i was as i have run multiple solvent machines for over 12 years. I am merely giving you comparisons on how i find the uv inks in my Roland machine.


Spot on thank you for replying more in detail had a busy day and I dangerously texted my previous comment whilst driving hence why it was short.

Maintenance is very minimal , parts are prolonged but there is flaws but more gains than flaws.

Only flaw at the

Gains :
instant curing
Less maintenance
Less ink used so save money
Extends older machines life span
Supported by Roland themselves
More money revenue as print is ready saving de gassing time
Top company nice team of experts on hand

Not so great: (but can only improve and have workarounds )
Profiles for media needed not like solvent you can get away with generic vinyl profile etc
Limits to colour merged so minor but for instance yellow to black blends fir edges on magnifying. Work around though.
Wrap limits on stretches by wrapping is certainly possible just hard excessive stretches won't work like they do with solvent.
Some material waste on lead edge to light-bar
Not as forgiving with dust particles as solvent is as pools round them like fish eye.

Very minimal issues but
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Post Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:23 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Tried replying once but it seems to have gone missing so here goes another attempt.

I'm not worried about solvent effects on parts, it was more about the ink spray/mist staying wet and collecting dust or fluff. If it's not been noticed then it's probably not a problem anyway.

I'm hoping that profiles are more sorted for the Roland printers.

Thanks
Steve
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Post Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:00 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Stephen Morriss wrote:Tried replying once but it seems to have gone missing so here goes another attempt.


Stephen i did exactly the same with this thread 5 minutes ago. typed up about 500 words and the whole lot vanished when i submitted it. :banghead:
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Post Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:51 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Had the Lightbar fitted yesterday and some profiles done on my regular materials. Looks good so far but time will tell.

Feels a tiny bit weird rubbing your finger across what looks like wet ink and it's completely dry.

Steve
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Post Thu Jul 09, 2015 11:11 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Stephen Morriss wrote:Had the Lightbar fitted yesterday and some profiles done on my regular materials. Looks good so far but time will tell.

Feels a tiny bit weird rubbing your finger across what looks like wet ink and it's completely dry.

Steve


On what printer Steve.
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Post Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:57 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Stephen Morriss wrote:Feels a tiny bit weird rubbing your finger across what looks like wet ink and it's completely dry.


You are right Stephen, it does feel odd and first whipping out a print and handing it to a customer right away or just applying it right away...

Non Laminated Ink Durability is second to none in my opinion.
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Post Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:43 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hey guys

I'm looking at buying my first printer, I was looking at the sp540i but this colourific light at sounds awesome.

I've got a couple of questions I'm hoping someone can answer:

Is there anyone that will do a service package on your printer once it's fitted?

Will it work with a sp540i if not what's the best print and cut machine it will work with?

What are the ink costs lije compared to original inks?

Thanks
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Post Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:32 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Gary Barker wrote:
Stephen Morriss wrote:Had the Lightbar fitted yesterday and some profiles done on my regular materials. Looks good so far but time will tell.

Feels a tiny bit weird rubbing your finger across what looks like wet ink and it's completely dry.

Steve


On what printer Steve.


Sorry, should have said, it's a older RolandSP540V, was a Cadet plus that I converted back to EcosolMax inks.

Steve
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Post Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:27 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I've had my Lightbar for over a year now, and there has been no issue at all with overspray on the visible areas, and under the casing there are some splashes etc, but most of this is probably from when it was a solvent machine. It doesn't have wet ink/dust collecting. (Unless I don't give it a wipe over now and again!)

Lorraine
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Post Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:43 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Mine should be ok now as the mist pad has been put back in, I guess is was removed in the conversion to Uniform solvent inks as it may have melted or something.

Steve
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Post Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi all Im just about to order a lightbar has anyone used it of printing vehicle wraps, does the ink stretch at all ? I've just tried a sample they sent me and it gives no stretch the ink just splintered but it wasn't on wrapping film, but it should still stretch !

Thanks Gary
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Post Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi Gary, scroll up to May 12th, Michael Kalispera gives his review of wrap material and performance.

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Post Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:18 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I've not done any real stretching of mine yet but the bits I've have stretched haven't splintered or cracked at all. I'll have to have a go and see how far it'll go.

Steve
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Post Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:34 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Gary Barker wrote:does the ink stretch at all ? I've just tried a sample they sent me and it gives no stretch the ink just splintered but it wasn't on wrapping film, but it should still stretch


I will stick my neck out here and say that there is something wrong with your sample mate.
I have stretched prints with and without laminate and not had this happen at all. yes you get the usual discolouring of print, the further you stretch the lighter/whiter it gets. but that happens regardless to ink or machine you use.
However, it Does NOT Crack or flake.
Cracking or flaking is a typical example of what to expect from the likes of a UV flat bed printer were the ink because a dry crust. This is not the case with the UV lightbar Ink.

So why does your sample do it?

I do not have the answer, but I remember issues many years ago when a UKSB board member was sent samples of B&P Activasol prints after we did a similar type test to this one. Their sample prints came off easily. I asked the member to send me the prints he had been sent and it was clearly NOT Uniform Activasol inks that had been used. After much a do, the suppliers apologised and said he had run the prints on another solvent printer, rather than the Uniform Cadet. "problem solved". Could this be the same happening here? I dont know but possible.

Another, could simply be the wrong profile used or the wrong media used for the profile.

I spoke with Colorific a few months ago and they have told me that even since I started this thread, they have advanced so far these days with regards to profiles and more. all adding to the durability of the ink running from this system.
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Post Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:18 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I have finally decided to go ahead with the lightbar and its due this week. I will certainly be putting it through its paces when it arrives! I will keep you all updated.
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Post Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I have had my VS 540 Lightbar machine since 13th July so far the experience has not been good. Purchased from Clourific.

Installed by an "engineer" who it turns out is part of the sales team. Was unable to profile any media except downloading profiles from Roland partner website. Told me that I couldnt use the machine for unattended print and cut with the take up system !!

The print produced is not robust, so far the results from the HP 360 which I looked at prior to purchasing the Lightbar, are more durable to a scratch test. Reported my concerns to Colourific who, with the intervention of Justin, said they would send up an engineer.

Waited 10 days for an engineer to come and provide profiles for my media and the machine. The engineer who came has profiled my media and the print results in terms of colour reproduction are much better. However scratch tests still remove ink. The engineer suggested that the lamp may not be functioning to its full capacity ( it should have been run for 100 hours prior to install) so may be the reason why ink is removed with a scratch test. The engineer produced some media he had profiled on another lightbar, this print was not removable with a scratch test so I am not suggesting that my problems are an inherent problem with all lightbar conversions/systems. I also noticed that areas where more ink has been put down are more resistant to scratching than areas with lighter ink coverage.

To date (13 days) I cannot produce product which is robust enough to sell for interior use without lamination, I purchased this machine because I did not want to laminate.

I will update with more information, for those who may be interested.

Steff
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Post Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff
with the amount of interest in this system i cannot believe that Colourific are not putting 100% of there resources into solving this issue. Hopefully the sign industry is not going to see another company that's created a step forward in ink technology start growing too fast and begin to neglect its clients. Using a salesman who can only do a partial install on a conversion like this, which relies on media profiles as part of the install is poor and echoes B&P when they introduced the major ink development of full solvent ink in printers, so many people took it up they did not have the resources to service everyone

Hope they make you their No.1 priority to get your machine up and running correctly

Kev
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Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:02 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

These guys pretty much has a order in the bag from me - 13k for a brand new machine. Sold at Sign Digital on the Roland Stand.

Took the guys 21 days to come back to me with a reply, in that time I revisited the HP Latex 360 which I was doubtful of due to the back experiences I had with the L26500 but I'm glad I did take half a day out to go see it.

My concern with the Lightbar is the lack of material profiles and the more I read this post the more its confirmed that perhaps there is the right back and support there.

I originally decided to go for it due to Roland backing it but reading about the issues with profiles and I know one user in particular who has told me about him requesting a refund as he can't get on with it.

In the defence of colorific Nick Wintle did personally call me and apologies and offered to take control of my order and see that things were addressed, I think by this time the sour taste was just to much.

21 days to answer my questions all media and profile related, God forbid I have an issue I wonder how long I could be waiting.

I will hold fire on my purchase until the light bar has gone through some revisions.
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Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I've had quite a good experience so far. Emailed questions replied to quickly and my order went through fast but did have a slight hiccup when the lightbar came with the wrong arms, my printer needed the older arms as it's an early SP540V so the legs and mounting are different to the newer SP540i.
Anyway the engineer then profiled my printer and tested all the media I used and did a few tweaks of the profiles to suit but on the whole the media either worked or didn't, and to be fair there was only one media that the inks didn't seem to like (it'd been hanging around for 2 years) plus my banner material was a bit variable, it seems to print great on one part then not on another so I've changed to another media.

As far as the prints go I've taken them straight off the printer and rubbed over them quite aggressively with a used plastic squeegee and the print didn't seem to mind at all, in fact the vinyls & laminate I use mark easier from the same treatment.
I don't do wrapping and try not to get involved in stretching prints into deep recesses so I can't comment on that but the vehicle prints, banners and signs I've done so far have been great. Especially banners, they do seem more resilient than with the Roland inks.
It's not all good though, my office can be dusty and the inks don't like dust, the Roland Ecosolmax inks will print over dust but then when you wipe it the dust comes off and leaves a white patch anyway so I just have to keep on top of dust control.
I've no idea if my conversion will turn out to be cost effective with it being nearly 10 years old already but the heads are still good and it seemed the right way to go for us at the moment, the ability to print and apply straight away has helped us, no more leaving large prints hanging around to dry and then having heavy ink areas take more than a day to dry properly, I've had prints ruined when they stick to each other the day after they were printed.

So far I'm happy we did the conversion but ask me again in 6 month ;-)

Steve
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Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:11 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi
please don't get me wrong but see this scenario before, at the time solvent inks where the big step forward for the sign industry which i feel led the machine manufacturers to research more on there eco inks which as led to bet colours and adhesion. The problem seems to be that the growth comes just to quick for the company to keep up with it and so you start getting bad installs, disgruntled customers and questions, repairs being left. Hopefully Colourific are looking to get back on top of it and get Steff's machine sorted and anyone elses because as some owners have said the system is a major step forward and i'm sure we will see more development on the back of it

Kev
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Post Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:36 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Light bar is now installed on a second hand pro3. This is to run along side my sp540i. The plan is to ease the work load on the sp540i and to help with last minute jobs.
IMG_4266.JPG

IMG_4265.JPG


So far I'm very impressed with the drying, scratch resistance, gloss level and colour depth. A lot more testing required as I have only printed on Metamark md5 and Hexis hx200wg.

Its very strange going straight from the machine to mount onto a board. Or straight into the laminator. But it works!
I will try and keep everyone updated.
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Post Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:17 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I'm having some print quality issues not sure if it's the media or printer. It's a Grenadier with the lightbar conversion.
I would be grateful for any help with this issue.

It's also not as scratch resistant as I expected, I can scratch the surface with a felt covered squeegee.
Attachments
streaks.jpg
spot.jpg
spot etc.jpg
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Post Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:34 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

The red looks like a spot of dust on the vinyl, the ink sort of pools around it leaving a thinner layer next to the bit of dust.
No idea about the blue.
Mine prints are far more durable than the EcosolMax inks but if you were running the solvent inks before then I've no idea how they compare. Is the print going past the light too fast?

Steve
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Post Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:54 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Thanks for the reply Steve, hadn't thought of the spot being created by dust, we've had problems with dust before but it didn't look like that.

The problem on the blue might be media as it was near the end of the roll - we had that effect all the way down the left hand side.

We used activasol full solvent previously, after changing the ink we can breathe better when near the machine. The biggest benefit is the quick drying time.
We only have generic profiles - no specific profiles were made for our media during install, would that cause any problems?
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Post Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Maybe but if they have done a few conversions on that printer then the profile should be close, they don't alter much from machine to machine or Roland (and other manufacturers) wouldn't be able to provide generic profiles either.
I got the impression that the ink doesn't change much from material to material once the machine is profiled, the ink tended to either work or not.
I have a paper that just about worked with Ecosolmax inks but the UV ink loves it, but my printable reflective just doesn't work with the UV inks at all. I also have another cheap temp vinyl that doesn't take the ink very well but it was very cheap.

Steve
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Post Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:07 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Could be a compatibility problem. When the lightbar was installed we were using Arlon and Vion vinyls, but now we've changed back to Hexis.
Haven't had any problems with banner, paper, polypro or roll up media.
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Post Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:32 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Its been nearly 3 weeks since my last post regarding issues with my Lightbar install. I have purposefully delayed any further comments on this topic in order to give Colorific ample time to rectify print durability issues I am experiencing with my Lightbar

In the past 3 weeks, from my perspective, nothing has changed at all. I still have a brand new VSi 540 that cannot produce a consistent range of images which are durable enough for me to send out to my customers. I have 3 product ranges which I am confident enough to send out without lamination at the moment.

I produce all my current products on one particular media using the same Lightbar engineer customised profile. I can design 1 range of product and the print is fairly robust as regards a scratch test. I can then put another design through, exact same media profile etc and the print scratches easily. I have new products I want to start selling, I cant because the print isnt durable enough.

Mr Nick Wintle was kind enough to visit my workshop personally, after seeing the problems first hand he assured me that he would take charge of the ink durability issue on my machine.

Although Mr Wintle has replied promptly to my questions other members of his team haven't. I asked for someone to email me a profile on Wednesday of this week, despite reminding them a couple of times and being assured the profile would be sent I do not have the requested profile. I was told I would be contacted with an update end of business Thursday, I am still waiting.

I have asked Colorific where the problem lies with my ink durability problem. I have not yet had an answer. I dont know if the ink " doesnt like the media" as other posters have observed. Is it a bad batch of ink? is the lamp faulty?

I was under the impression that because the company and product were part of the Roland Partner programme my investment in this technology would be a safe one. At this moment in time I am not so sure.

5 weeks since install...... not good.


Steff
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Post Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:38 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi Steff bonny lassie to be honest this is what I was expecting to see this is the reason we did not convert one of our four printers to this new device, maybe in a few years time
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Post Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:15 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi,

I was also looking at buying the lightbar and convert our VSI but from the feedback I have been hearing they are having to many issues that would seriously stress me out 8). Maybe in a few years once they have all issues fixed with these.
Some people are really happy with there conversions, so maybe it's a roll of the dice.

I hope they get your issues fixed ASAP, so you can get to printing!.

Regards
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Post Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:22 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Havent updated my thoughts on this but having had it for a while at my previous employment here are my findings;

Scratch and durability were never an issue however maintenance was a nightmare - we had to do far more manual cleans on the machine before we could print as the ink would quite often not fire at all. Of late we even had to use ink renew a couple of times to resolve the issue.

Calibration was a nightmare too as the indicator lines were curved rather than straight - even our engineer couldn't sort this. It appeared the ink was either the wrong viscosity or just different as we never had a problem to begin with.

The principal of the light bar is great but I do feel it needs some fettling to get it right.

Andy
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Post Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:53 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Quote "I was under the impression that because the company and product were part of the Roland Partner programme my investment in this technology would be a safe one. At this moment in time I am not so sure."

Steff sorry to hear you are still having problems but as i said this as under tones of B&P, technology moving too fast and users businesses end up being the testers of the system. Have you tried speaking to Roland maybe they can help apply a little leverage.

Kev
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Post Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:46 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Kevin Flowers wrote:Quote "I was under the impression that because the company and product were part of the Roland Partner programme my investment in this technology would be a safe one. At this moment in time I am not so sure."

Steff sorry to hear you are still having problems but as i said this as under tones of B&P, technology moving too fast and users businesses end up being the testers of the system. Have you tried speaking to Roland maybe they can help apply a little leverage.

Kev



Thank you for your reply Kevin, I have not thought about speaking to Roland at the moment, I am trying to work with Colorific to rectify the problems I am experiencing. I still believe that they should be given reasonable opportunity to resolve my problems. I suppose everyone's interpretation of reasonable differs.

However I will say that my need to produce more profitable work from my machine doesn't give me the luxury of too much time, Colorific are aware of this, and I hope that they will provide a suitable solution sooner than later. My machine needs to be producing more product, at the moment its not and the reason is the lack of scratch resistance on certain designs.

Steff
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Post Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:14 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff
if it had been my machine i would have expected them to be there pretty much continually until the problem was solved. As you say the machine needs to earn its money to pay for the chunk of change you paid Colourific for it. I'm sure Colourific want it solved so here's hoping for a speedy resolution to the problem. Keep us informed

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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:15 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I have been reading the replies to the blog over the weeks and see a pattern forming with regards to profiles. So I thought I would add my opinion to the others offered…
Over the years i have had thermal printers, UV Flatbed, Solvent printers, HP latex 260 and even the new HP360.
Each one newly launched at time of purchase. Not a coincidence, but because I like to look ahead of what’s coming into the industry and purposely try to be in there early. However, I do do my homework and test what I need to test. I am not what I call a Print House, we are a predominantly "a Sign Firm"... that also offers printing, big difference in my opinion, so for me durability has always been paramount.

Let’s take the latest HP 360… it’s an amazing machine, very fast, great quality and easy to run.
To be honest, the same can be said about the older model HP 260. So it’s obvious to me why these machines are so popular around the world. Hence why I bought my second.
However… I use each machine for specific types of production.
The 260 purposely for van wraps and other types of production.
The 360 for truck wraps and everything else in high volume. Why?
Well because we have found both print better on certain types of media and both perform better with different types of media. Both latex machines yet perform different, great on some but not all our media. One also has better ink durability than the other, just Facts!

e.g.
I had two last minute roll-up stands to print for a funeral only last week.
Quality roll-up media used, yet simply buckled like puff-pastry and would not work in either Latex machine. Wasted 10 metres trying but gave up and stuck it in our trusty 12 year old Roland Soljet with a UV lightbar. It’s an old machine, runs painfully slow “in comparison to these new machines” but did it perfect with no adverse effects to the media and a more durable ink output into the bargain.
I noted the issue and will no longer buy the same roll-up media. I have now switched to a HP compatible roll-up stand media that also performs just as well in my Roland UV lightbar machine. Problem solved!
Note: The Roland lightbar didn't have the problem, the HP's did. but i was forced to switch media to have an all round compatible solution. I am sure you can see where i am going with this by now? :cool:

I do not have to go over my thoughts on the lightbar, you can clearly read from my initial posts that I love ours. Like the HP machines, I have zero regrets in purchasing it. My point in what I have said above is… HP are one of the largest companies in the world. Their latex technology is amazing, but regardless, they have their problems, they have their limits. What YOU need to do is understand the limits of ANY machine you buy and use it to the best of its ability. I have even had to change my digital wrap media simply because I cannot get the red I want from my HP for one of my biggest customer. Pain in the ar$e but you do what you have to do… because I certainly wouldn’t replace the machine due to this.

Same applies with Roland back in the day on their eco-inks on first launch of their versacam machines. Shortly after changing to eco-sol max giving a more durable ink solution in what I call a “tank” of a machine... they just keep going! (touch wood) :wink:

Stef, I am sorry to hear your problem but I can honestly tell you that you must have a rogue machine or simply an underperforming UV bulb perhaps. My prints are bullet proof and I have had various reps from different suppliers ask me about the machine when they are in my workplace and I simply show them a test. See for themselves And after it they are completely with me on its performance. All I can suggest is bear with colorific on it, I am sure you will be more than happy once resolved.
Stef, Out of curiosity, you haven’t mentioned the brands/types of media you are currently using?

Adrian, I do not follow mate, just like the Lightbar is, your 4 machines are simply converted Roland’s and probably just as new to the industry then as the Lightbar is now, when you decided to make your investment, four times over! :P This was also not long after uksignboards.com posted up yet another “ink durability tests” showing the durability of activasols ink over eco-sol. I remember you mentioning this at Sign & Digital exhibition whilst sat in the bar with me… :)
The company that did the conversion on your machines no longer exists, so you will have switched ink types yet again. Meaning profiling issues yet again…

James Sahota, shame on you mate. :tongue: You know fine well no machine comes without its pros and cons, especially with the wide range of media you will have to stock, as well as wide range of machines. :wink:

All I can advise is that if you have a concern over profiles, give a list of the media you use daily for printing and make sure the machine has the profiles before it is delivered.

I haven’t been replying to this as much as I would like, but I do read every reply as it goes in. so please feel free to add to it.
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:35 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Robert Lambie wrote:


Stef, I am sorry to hear your problem but I can honestly tell you that you must have a rogue machine or simply an underperforming UV bulb perhaps. My prints are bullet proof and I have had various reps from different suppliers ask me about the machine when they are in my workplace and I simply show them a test. See for themselves And after it they are completely with me on its performance. All I can suggest is bear with colorific on it, I am sure you will be more than happy once resolved.
Stef, Out of curiosity, you haven’t mentioned the brands/types of media you are currently using?



Robert, I do hope you are right and it is something as simple as a "rogue" bulb. The reviews given on this thread and also the fact that the technology and company are Roland partners has been a major influence in my decision to purchase the Lightbar. I wanted a technology that meant I didnt need to laminate for interior work, that was extremely robust to scratching. Your most recent comments even reaffirms how robust this ink technology is. Unfortunately the print being produced on my machine isn't.

Its been 5 weeks since the machine was installed, we didn't sign the installation satisfaction form at the end of the installation because the machine's print durability was not performing to our expectations. An engineer from Lightbar who visited 10 days after the install confirmed that the print produced was not scratch resistant enough. I have a copy of his report.

I recently received an email (after my previous post) which stated amongst other things " Training and expectation is key, which is required here" I find that comment slightly insulting, it suggests that the print is fine and its my expectations which may be at fault. This statement may also offer an insight into why, from my perspective nothing has changed. If its my unrealistic expectations at fault then there must be nothing to fix. All the evidence suggests otherwise.

I have looked at both the HP360 and Mimaki SUV, after watching the demonstration I was invited to scratch the media so I could see how durable it was, the results were impressive, there was no visible damage to prints being scratched. Colorific recently told me that a scratch test wasn't a real world test. Multiple replies on this thread mention how robust the print is to scratch testing, not once has colorific refuted these claims.

As regards " bear with colorific" that is what I have done, I have recently stated in communication with them that I still believe they will rectify the problem. I hope my assumption is correct.

As regards the media I am using, I wont name the brand because I don't want to imply that their media is responsible for my problems. However I am using a media recommended by Colorific for the Lightbar machine, I cant do any more than let the manufacturer choose the media for their technology.

Steff
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:16 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi Steff

Are you printing onto vinyl?
Would it be an option to send some artwork to one of us to print onto vinyl?
The colours might not come out right but at least you'd have a reference to work from.

Steve
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:15 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Stephen Morriss wrote:Hi Steff

Are you printing onto vinyl?
Would it be an option to send some artwork to one of us to print onto vinyl?
The colours might not come out right but at least you'd have a reference to work from.

Steve


Thanks for your reply Stephen, I only want to print onto vinyl at the moment. It would be an option to have another member to kindly reproduce a print with their Lightbar set up, its not an option I have considered.

In my opinion it is Colorific's responsibility to rectify the print problem. Using another member's lightbar set up would only confirm what I already know, my machine and ink setup isn't producing consistently scratch resistant prints.

Steff
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:28 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff Davison wrote:
Thanks for your reply Stephen, I only want to print onto vinyl at the moment. It would be an option to have another member to kindly reproduce a print with their Lightbar set up, its not an option I have considered.

In my opinion it is Colorific's responsibility to rectify the print problem. Using another member's lightbar set up would only confirm what I already know, my machine and ink setup isn't producing consistently scratch resistant prints.

Steff


Yes but you'd have more information, it doesn't even have to be the whole print just the part your having problems with.
Anyway the offer is there if you want me to do a quick print, mines only cmyk though so it'll not give you a true indication.

Steve
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:32 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I too was impressed with the durability of test prints and did for a while consider converting our Mimaki CJV30 to the Lightbar system, however I was put off by the waste of vinyl needed to pass the print beyond the lightbar prior to cutting.

Since that time I have spoken with several colleagues who implied that in their experience, Colorific ink quality has been too variable and that we had made the correct decision to avoid this system.

Reading through these posts, it seems to me that the problem either lies with the curing process or the ink quality since everything else has been checked by the engineer and others with the same system are clearly satisfied. I am not sure how you check the quality of the UV lamps but presumably trying a different batch of ink will be a simpler process and one that colorific can carry out at minimal cost.

I am not saying that Colorific are unique in this aspect as we have had a similar ink quality issue with our current supplier, but I will say that once they were aware the problem they immediately set about curing the issue and now all is well again.

Perhaps you could check your ink batch against others on here to see if anyone is using the same ink as yourself?
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:06 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Colin Crow wrote:however I was put off by the waste of vinyl needed to pass the print beyond the lightbar prior to cutting.


Hi Colin

There is no waste as such mate. you simply attach a cutting of paper or vinyl, the "same piece" use every time you load the machine. this just allows the media a weight to feed itself behind the light bar on the first 18 inches or so as it spills out.

The same could be said about ANY machine were you loose up to 1.5m of media setting your media up on the take up system.
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Post Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:38 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Rob

Many of the jobs we produce on the CJV are shorts runs of stickers around .5-1m long, printed and cut in succession, often unattended and fed onto the take-up, sometimes 20 jobs in a row with minimal gaps in between.

For this to work with the Lightbar, each job has to be fully run past the lights to cure them before running back to cut. At the time we looked at this there was no sensible way to automatically push the print forward and then return to cut it without building in around .5m of extra vinyl into each job. I think the Roland software had some fix for doing this and also the Lightbar was closer, but with rasterlink on the mimaki it was not an option. It didn't seem as if it had been thought through properly and any gains in durability and speed (we have to build in a 5 min delay with forced air drying) were offset by costs in both vinyl and the more expensive inks.

Overall it didn't suit our mode of production but I'm sure it has benefits for other users.

Hope this makes sense.
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Post Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:37 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Colin Crow wrote:I think the Roland software had some fix for doing this and also the Lightbar was closer, but with rasterlink on the mimaki it was not an option. It didn't seem as if it had been thought through properly and any gains in durability and speed (we have to build in a 5 min delay with forced air drying) were offset by costs in both vinyl and the more expensive inks.


Thanks for the reply Colin... Hoping i understand you right here mate.

there is probably a different/better way of doing this now, however It wasnt a software option as such, well wasnt for us back in the early days of the lightbar. you simply send or add a small white blank to the end of the print/graphic which is stored in your RIP queue. because the software sees the white blank the machine feeds the media through past the UV lamps, but does not print white. then it is zipped back to origin point and begins contour cutting. very simple process really and should not matter what software you use.

what you do have at this point is :

* 100% cured Ink.
* Much better durability of the print.
* No curling back of edge printed stickers due to solvent occupancy in the media.
* No snagging, dragging of graphics contour cut on top of bleed outlines due to outgassing issues.
* Ink carts are slightly more expensive yes, but please see my initial post above regarding how much further they go. so your costs should be much less, definitely not higher.

At the end of the day everyone will make their own choice on what type of machine best suits their needs.
This blog has been made so i can share my experiences because all to often this site is used only to complain about a supplier or a product. very little do we read praise when things go right! :D
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Post Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:24 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Thanks Rob

My conversations with Colorific said more or less what you describe works with Roland software but not with Rasterlink.
The white square would be processed only after the cutting was complete on the previous file. Equally, the next file in the queue would be processed after white square, leaving a large piece of waste vinyl in between each job.

As I said, this does look like an excellent product with the correct software and the additional support now from Roland does make this more viable. However, with Steph's problems in mind it seems there are still some areas of concern.

By the way, we use a bulk system running Sun inks and the cost comparison with these is not so favourable, not to mention the convenience of much larger tanks. I did ask colorific if they intended supply a bulk system but they dodged the question saying it wasn't necessary at this stage.
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Post Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:12 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi guys,

I've come across this video based on the lightbar and I thought I would add this to this thread because it gives a good independent view from someone who is currently using the machine/lightbar!

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Post Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:44 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Anyone have any more updates on this, how their machines are going etc as the last post was a while ago?
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Post Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:58 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

In reply to Colin Crow
You do not need to send a blank file after every job, you can send as many jobs as you like through and they will all be cured except the final job. The final job needs the blank file to push the last job past the "Light Bar" curing lamp.

As regards waste media, I lose about 2 meters of every roll I put through the machine, attaching waste to the first job just increases the chances of the media getting tangled in the curing section. However I do use my machine for print and cut at the moment.

Regards
Steff
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Post Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:12 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi Steff,

Did you get your scratch-proof-ness sorted out?
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Post Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:20 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff Davison wrote:
Stephen Morriss wrote:Hi Steff

Are you printing onto vinyl?
Would it be an option to send some artwork to one of us to print onto vinyl?
The colours might not come out right but at least you'd have a reference to work from.

Steve


Thanks for your reply Stephen, I only want to print onto vinyl at the moment. It would be an option to have another member to kindly reproduce a print with their Lightbar set up, its not an option I have considered.

In my opinion it is Colorific's responsibility to rectify the print problem. Using another member's lightbar set up would only confirm what I already know, my machine and ink setup isn't producing consistently scratch resistant prints.

Steff


Hi Steff,

I'd be interested to know if you had your problem resolved by Colorific as well?
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Post Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:42 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

At this moment in time I do not wish to express any opinions regarding colourific or my Solvent UV ink set up.

I am,however, in the process of purchasing a UV LED set up to replace what I have now.

Regards

Steff
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:24 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff Davison wrote:At this moment in time I do not wish to express any opinions regarding colourific or my Solvent UV ink set up.


That's worrying.

When you said earlier you waste around 2M per roll of material, did you mean 2M every time you load / unload the roll?
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:27 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Andrew Blackett wrote:we had to do far more manual cleans on the machine before we could print as the ink would quite often not fire at all. Of late we even had to use ink renew a couple of times to resolve the issue.

Calibration was a nightmare too as the indicator lines were curved rather than straight - even our engineer couldn't sort this. It appeared the ink was either the wrong viscosity or just different as we never had a problem to begin with.


Apologies if I missed it but what machine was this on? Was it a new machine from Colourific or a retrofit?

Thanks.
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:35 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Jonathan Dray wrote:
Steff Davison wrote:
When you said earlier you waste around 2M per roll of material, did you mean 2M every time you load / unload the roll?


I only print on one media type, so I lose 2 meters approx per roll. If I was swapping media over then I presume I would lose more, maybe 4 foot at the start of each job ( remember I print and cut so the media has to go back through the machine to cut). If I stuck a piece of waste on the front of the roll then I would lose less, but then I have the problem of the waste piece possibly jamming in the lightbar curing unit. If it was print only then I dont think you would lose much material because its only moving one way (out).

It also depends on the type of work your machine is doing. I can only tell you what happens when I print and cut a full roll of media. I am in the process of changing to print only with it ( I need more speed) and using a cutter separately to finish the job.

When I have information on how it performs as a print only machine I will let you know how much difference there is in the amount of waste it produces.


Steff
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Post Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:11 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff Davison wrote:I only print on one media type, so I lose 2 meters approx per roll. If I was swapping media over then I presume I would lose more, maybe 4 foot at the start of each job ( remember I print and cut so the media has to go back through the machine to cut). If I stuck a piece of waste on the front of the roll then I would lose less, but then I have the problem of the waste piece possibly jamming in the lightbar curing unit. If it was print only then I don't think you would lose much material because its only moving one way (out).


Thanks for the reply Steff.

Having read this I can only assume you are not attaching your bit of waste media to the roll properly or it would not jam, as you say. Even if that was an issue, watching over it for a minute till it passes the exit an inch is all that is surely all that is required.

Also, 4 foot of media each time? surely If this was correct the media you have fed through would be hitting the floor, rather than just past the lightbar.

Please read back to the first post i made in this thread. you will see the sole purpose of us keeping our old print & cut machine was for on board contour cutting graphics.

Latex...
I also have HP 360 Latex Printers as i have said. When they finish printing they too must feed the prints forward to pass by it's heaters and fans to properly cure the prints. then it rolls back in before the media can be cut off.
I have also see prints from our HP coming out scuffed and on occasion jammed dependant on how much care has been taken by the operator watching the initial pass of media past the heaters/fans. And yes, this is happening without a cutting of paper attached to the leading edge.

We also have our HP machine set to "media cut-off" at 6 inches. this is an allowance for us to have a lead when we laminate after print. now if we do 50 single jobs at a linear metre each, that is 25 feet of waste per roll.

Of course, we are seeing a similarities of both here... and by a machine that is one of the most dominant on the market. However, the HP does NOT have an on-board cutter.

Laminating...
Pretty much any laminator on the market requires an initial setup with "each media type".
This setup requires the prefeed of the media around the rollers to align the film. is is easily two feet at a time. also, every time you load a new print to laminate you need to lose about 6inch of laminate between joins from one job to the next. and thats assuming you are laminating "everything" with the one type of laminate.

Solvent...
The Solvent version of your machine... had you just cut 1 or 1000 stickers in it. you would...
* Not be able to instantly contour cut direct to edge of printed graphics without the possibility of the blade snagging soft media due to Solvent content for at least 3-5 minutes at a time.
* even successful kiss-cut graphics may shrink on the carrying paper due to solvent content in the media, dependant on the media used.
* Solvent or latex printed graphics are not anywhere as durable as the UV prints.

Based on three different ink types and 4 machines mentioned, there is one major similarity. they all have different drawbacks and waste costs involved that must be taken into consideration when running them and pricing your jobs.
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Post Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:02 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Robert Lambie wrote:
Steff Davison wrote:I only print on one media type, so I lose 2 meters approx per roll. If I was swapping media over then I presume I would lose more, maybe 4 foot at the start of each job ( remember I print and cut so the media has to go back through the machine to cut). If I stuck a piece of waste on the front of the roll then I would lose less, but then I have the problem of the waste piece possibly jamming in the lightbar curing unit. If it was print only then I don't think you would lose much material because its only moving one way (out).


Thanks for the reply Steff.

Having read this I can only assume you are not attaching your bit of waste media to the roll properly or it would not jam, as you say. Even if that was an issue, watching over it for a minute till it passes the exit an inch is all that is surely all that is required.

Also, 4 foot of media each time? surely If this was correct the media you have fed through would be hitting the floor, rather than just past the lightbar.

Please read back to the first post i made in this thread. you will see the sole purpose of us keeping our old print & cut machine was for on board contour cutting graphics.



Hi Robert, thanks for the comprehensive reply. I could attach media to the front but I dont want to risk a media jam. I lose about 4 foot when I start the roll, its not a complaint, I just put it down to the cost of operating the machine.

Its not a case of watching the first inch pass through either. It may print a meter of a job, then rewind to cut, then it does what it does and winds in a bit more I think. On a couple of occasions I have trimmed off what I thought were completed jobs only to find the machine rewinds past the point I have trimmed off and I get maybe 4-5 ft of unfinished media laying on the floor at the back of the machine.

My machine is working for over 10 hours most days. I'd rather lose a meter or 2 of media than have to lose jobs, and more importantly time trying to save a couple of foot of media.

As you say every machine has a cost, my machine costs me about 2 meters a roll in waste. For those with more time to spare they could possibly save a little media by attaching a waste piece and watching it for (in my case) 30 minutes to make sure its got through the curing section unscathed for the first couple of jobs or three.

Regards
Steff
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 7:37 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Update

As per this thread, I have reported issues with the Lightbar technology scratch resistance, slow support service etc.
However, fairly recently I had a serious problem with my machine, which meant total loss of production Colorific got to me first thing the next day which meant my business stayed in production (and in business, that may sound a little drastic but I am an online retailer and 200 odd orders not going out on time can have a significant impact on my selling accounts)

I need to increase my production capability and have been looking at possible alternative machines which will give me instantly usable, hard wearing prints, a crucial requirement in the way I run my business and the market I serve.
I have looked at Latex options and UV LED options and when comparing the quality of the printed product the Roland Lightbar printed images were far superior to those of the other machines and ink systems that I have looked at , the colours were richer and more vibrant than the latex and for my main application not only were the images more vibrant they had a much better glossy finish than the Latex and UV LED curing systems.
OK so I can spend more money and buy a UV LED machine with a varnish channel, but unless I go with machines in the £100,000's then I am going to have a machine producing 12m2 an hour if I'm lucky with a capital cost 4.5-5x the money of a Lightbar. I need to be able to produce just shy of 180 m2 per day to reach my sales targets, with instantly usable glossy vibrant prints.

Today I took delivery of my second Roland Lightbar machine.
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 7:54 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff
did you use the same vinyl as the latex would not necessarily print as well on the same vinyl that the light bar machine will

Kev
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Kevin Flowers wrote:Steff
did you use the same vinyl as the latex would not necessarily print as well on the same vinyl that the light bar machine will

Kev


We have both latex and UV and the UV Lighbar print finish is much more vibrant, glossy and durable Kev.
Yes we used like for like in our machines. same media, same print file etc

Thank you for the update Steff, and good to know you now have two UV Lightbar machines.
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 8:34 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Great news Steff.

Perhaps I was walking around with my eyes shut at S&D but I don't recall seeing much about the lightbar? Unlike last year?

180m2 a day, :yikes: thats some going! :praise1:

I was pulling my hair out this morning trying to cut 40 sets of printed text.
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 8:46 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

David Hammond wrote:Perhaps I was walking around with my eyes shut at S&D but I don't recall seeing much about the lightbar? Unlike last year?


It was on show on Roland's stand David, as opposed to their own individual stand like last year.
They have now introduced UV white ink option with the lightbar which I am keen to keep an eye on the developments.
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Robert Lambie wrote:
Kevin Flowers wrote:Steff
did you use the same vinyl as the latex would not necessarily print as well on the same vinyl that the light bar machine will

Kev


We have both latex and UV and the UV Lighbar print finish is much more vibrant, glossy and durable Kev.
Yes we used like for like in our machines. same media, same print file etc

Thank you for the update Steff, and good to know you now have two UV Lightbar machines.


That was my point Rob Lightbar may print really well on say 3M but the latex may excel on say Avery, i know we would normally compare same vinyl same file when comparing solvent type machines but 2 different types of ink may require 2 types of vinyl
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

When i purchased our first Latex I had issues getting the correct Red required for a fleet of vehicle wraps.
I tried Arlon, Oracal, Avery, 3M media and the only one to come close was printed on Arlon. The Lightbar hit the colour pretty much on them all.

When you print to digital media using the lightbar it is vibrant and gloss. When you print anything using the HP Latex, the finish is a sort of Satin sheen finish. Thats on any media, but most noticeable on vinyl media because anywhere in the print that has to be white, leaves the glossy white of the vinyl showing, where other areas with ink coverage shows a satin finish.
again, brand of media used is irrelevant, its same outcome unless matt finish base or laminated.

It is just something I quickly became aware of running solvent, latex and UV printers side by side in the same room, then there was ink durability etc. it was this and other differences that made me actually start this thread.
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Post Wed May 04, 2016 10:30 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

See your point Rob just highlighting a possible cause of the differences, as you know it can be all to easy to rule a machine out when not given a fair trial. Watched the video of the new HP the other night looks impressive perhaps thay have improved the gloss levels with that

Kev
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Post Thu May 05, 2016 12:05 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Yep, know where your coming from mate...
New HP is same as the HP360 but has a second optimiser, but the output is same.
Don't get me wrong, I love the HP Latex and looking to purchase our third in 2 years. But the Roland UV ticks boxes that the latex does not.

As I have said in previous replies, machines are what they are. They all have pros and cons, the lightbar is no different.
But we are professionals, its upto us to do our homework before making a purchase. Thats why threads like this are great for those researching. If nothing else it arms the would-be buyer with questions they should ask about before committing.
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Post Thu May 05, 2016 8:18 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

@ Kevin
I let the dealer decide which media they chose to print onto, I presume they would pick a media which showed the print in its best light. I also did quite a bit of online research which confirmed the problem with muted reds from the 300 series.

As regards how well it prints versus the latex, I have tried different media through my machine, it produces vibrant glossy prints on all of it (Its obviously gloss media to start with) I have looked at the finish coming out of the latex machines and it doesnt compare to solvent UV ink. I have given the latex more than a fair trial, as mentioned previously, if latex produced even comparable results I would probably be using latex now, but it doesnt. That may all change with the new 500 series machines. But I have decided to go with Lightbar because it gives me a better product for the application I produce.

@ David
As I have previously said I am not a traditional sign maker, everything I sell is pre designed and I am set up for fairly decent volumes for a small business. If I had to do what you do in your business I would have no hair left at all :banghead:

@ Robert
The white ink is another good reason for me to stay with the technology, I am developing another range which, although not crucial, would benefit from a white ink for more vibrant spot colour.

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Post Fri May 06, 2016 12:23 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi Steff,

I assume as you bought another machine you got over the durability issues then?

Thanks.
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Post Fri May 06, 2016 12:26 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Also, has anyone tried creating their own profiles for any of the lightbar equipped machines?
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Post Fri May 06, 2016 12:22 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

@Johnathon

The print isnt as scratch resistant as Latex or UV LED inks from the samples I have tested. The print is passable for the particular application I need it for. Sometimes you have to compromise, I would like it to be better than it is, but it is what it is.

I have custom profile for the media I use, primarily for colour reproduction and optimal ink usage. As Robert has said previously its a "trade off" My costs would escalate if I laminated the product, and I would lose the advantage I have over competitors who produce with solvent inks.

I could have more durable print with latex, but I lose on colour vibrancy and gloss finish, with UV ink which I found to be the most scratch resistant, I have matt effect looking colours which are also slightly grainy (partly caused by the way in which the LED curing system is set up on the print head, so I have been told)
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Post Fri May 06, 2016 1:12 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Hi Steff,

Thanks for the reply. What material are you printing on? (Sorry if i missed it but it's a long thread).
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Post Fri May 06, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I put one brand of Self Adhesive Vinyl through the machine. My machines are currently only producing 1 product.

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Post Fri May 20, 2016 4:58 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Steff Davison wrote:@ Kevin
I let the dealer decide which media they chose to print onto, I presume they would pick a media which showed the print in its best light. I also did quite a bit of online research which confirmed the problem with muted reds from the 300 series.

Steff


Hi

Just to update you re gamut in the Latex 300s - we now have the Latex 560 in and HP has addressed this point.

The combination of an extra Optimiser head and a more efficient curing system has allowed them to open up the ink limits allowed by the printer software. So whereas in the 300s you can set a max limit of 100% ink at 8 pass for SAV you can now use 120% ink for example. On top of this there is a vivid mode which can pour down up to 185% ink if required.

Thus we are seeing more vibrancy now with the Latex 500 series - not an issue for you now I understand but just for your info re the saturation point you make re the 300s.

The semi-matt finish of the ink is the same however as the ink is the same as in the 300s.

Hope this keeps you updated with the current situation.

Andrew
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Post Fri May 20, 2016 5:44 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Andrew
always good to keep us up to date with mods on the machines, saw the video of the new machine & it looks quite impressive

Kev
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Post Fri May 20, 2016 6:01 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Andrew Edwards wrote:
Steff Davison wrote:@ Kevin
I let the dealer decide which media they chose to print onto, I presume they would pick a media which showed the print in its best light. I also did quite a bit of online research which confirmed the problem with muted reds from the 300 series.

Steff


Hi

Just to update you re gamut in the Latex 300s - we now have the Latex 560 in and HP has addressed this point.

The combination of an extra Optimiser head and a more efficient curing system has allowed them to open up the ink limits allowed by the printer software. So whereas in the 300s you can set a max limit of 100% ink at 8 pass for SAV you can now use 120% ink for example. On top of this there is a vivid mode which can pour down up to 185% ink if required.

Thus we are seeing more vibrancy now with the Latex 500 series - not an issue for you now I understand but just for your info re the saturation point you make re the 300s.

The semi-matt finish of the ink is the same however as the ink is the same as in the 300s.

Hope this keeps you updated with the current situation.

Andrew


Thanks Andrew, I have seen the print produced by the 570 and the colours are more vibrant, it looks an impressive piece of machinery. The print finish was not as glossy as the Lightbar print, but life is full of compromises, Its much more scratch resistant than the print produced by the Lightbar machines.

I am seriously considering swapping part of my production over to Latex when the 570's are available for shipping as I feel its more of a volume production machine.
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Post Sat May 21, 2016 9:10 am

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

Andrew Edwards wrote:
Steff Davison wrote:@ Kevin
I let the dealer decide which media they chose to print onto, I presume they would pick a media which showed the print in its best light. I also did quite a bit of online research which confirmed the problem with muted reds from the 300 series.

Steff


Hi

Just to update you re gamut in the Latex 300s - we now have the Latex 560 in and HP has addressed this point.

The combination of an extra Optimiser head and a more efficient curing system has allowed them to open up the ink limits allowed by the printer software. So whereas in the 300s you can set a max limit of 100% ink at 8 pass for SAV you can now use 120% ink for example. On top of this there is a vivid mode which can pour down up to 185% ink if required.

Thus we are seeing more vibrancy now with the Latex 500 series - not an issue for you now I understand but just for your info re the saturation point you make re the 300s.

The semi-matt finish of the ink is the same however as the ink is the same as in the 300s.

Hope this keeps you updated with the current situation.

Andrew


Thank you for the update, I have seen the print quality from the 570 and its much more vibrant, its an impressive machine. The print is not as glossy as the Lightbar, as you say, but life is full of compromises.

I am seriously considering replacing one of the Lightbars for the 570 as I feel it may be more suited to longer periods of unattended production.

Steff
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Post Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:46 pm

Re: UV Lightbar from Colorific now installed on my machine!

I haven't been on for a fair while, but I have a question to ask.
Some of you may remember that I purchased a JV33 4-colour printer a while back, along with the matching cutter and an Easymount laminator.
Now I like the quality of print that the Mimaki puts out, it is almost always spot on, and I get far less material wastage through cockling or getting caught up passing past the Lightbar on the Roland/Lightbar set-up.
However, I love that the Lightbar prints are ready to use immediately, and without lamination. I hate laminating with a passion, I am hopeless at it, even with a laminator.

My question is, does anyone have any experience of a Mimaki/Lightbar conversion?

Colorific say they use a portable Lightbar with Mimaki's, which sounds perfect for me, I actually like that idea. I am more concerned that the quality of print may decline, hence my asking here.

Any thoughts always welcome.

Lorraine

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