Océ Arizona GT/XT Printers - Oce Display Graphics Systems

Océ Arizona GT/XT Printers - Oce Display Graphics Systems
Océ ⏐ Arizona GT/XT Printers
Customer Application Bulletin
Number: 28 • Issued by: ODGS S & S, Vancouver • May 12, 2009
Selecting the Most Appropriate Océ Ink for Your Applications:
Océ IJC255 or Océ IJC256
Introduction
After many months of development and testing, a new ink formulation is available for Océ
Arizona UV-curable ink printers: Océ IJC256 UV-Curable inks. These new inks are not intended
to replace the original formulation Océ IJC255 inks. Instead they are designed for improved
performance on outdoor-oriented media and applications.
This document is intended to compare the features and benefits of the new Océ IJC256 inks
and the original Océ IJC255 inks. It will help you make the best choice for your business, based
on the applications and the media you use. It also provides some specific suggestions on how
to work with each formulation.
Converting from Océ IJC255 to Océ IJC256 Inks
Installing the New Inks in the Printer
Converting from Océ IJC255 to Océ IJC256 inks is an easy process that can be performed by
the customer in less than 2 hours; a service technician is NOT required. Each color may be
changed independently or all four colors can be changed at the same time. There is a cost
advantage to changing color by color because all ink in the previous bag (same color) can be
consumed before loading the new formulation. However, if the applications being printed require
perfect ICC color matching, you will need to change all colors at once and then load the new
profiles for Océ IJC256 inks. If you have a mix of the two ink formulations loaded in the printer,
applying the ICC profiles for either formulation will yield unpredictable results.
When a bag of the new ink formulation is loaded into the printer for the first time, the printer will
recognize it and lead you through a set of instructions and actions. This procedure will flush
enough ink through the system to “purge” the previously loaded ink formulation from the ink
system. This installation “wizard” is provided by the printer interface in all major European
languages and Japanese.
Hardware/Software Requirements
All Arizona GT or XT model printers must be upgraded to software version 3.2 or higher before
installing Océ IJC256 ink. In addition to this, all Océ Arizona 200/250 GT printers must be fitted
with a special maintenance tray conversion kit in order to use Océ IJC256 inks. The kit is called
the Arizona 250 GT H/W U/G Kit for IJC256 Ink (Océ article # 3010108766) and is available
from the Imaging Supplies division of the local Océ operating company. Like the ink, it is
designed for easy installation by the customer and does not require a Service technician.
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Changing Back to Océ IJC255 Inks after using Océ IJC256 Inks
Changing back to Océ IJC255 inks requires that the same ink flushing process be followed. If a
bag of Océ IJC255 is introduced into the printer after it has been running Océ IJC256 (same
color), the installation wizard will be presented by the interface prompting the customer to take
the appropriate actions.
General Observations about the new Océ IJC256 inks
Adhesion to Media
Océ IJC256 inks offer improved adhesion to most rigid plastic media such as polystyrene,
acrylic, foamed-PVC and also to many outdoor-oriented flexible materials such as coated
banner and self-adhesive vinyl. This improved adhesion is also evident when cutting through the
ink, as edge-chipping and ink flaking are significantly reduced on most materials.
Surface Characteristics
Océ IJC256 inks are also less brittle (hard) in their cured state than Océ IJC255 inks. This
makes them a better choice for applications where the ink is physically stressed in some way,
such as stretching canvas over a frame. However, it is important to note that the cured surface
of Océ IJC256 inks is more prone to scratches than Océ IJC255 inks, which may be a factor in
some applications.
Imaging Performance
Imaging results will be different, when printing with the Océ IJC255 compared with the Océ
IJC256 – not better or worse but always different.
Océ IJC256 has lower dot gain characteristics than Océ IJC255. As a result, there is the
potential for more structure and streaking in solid colors and for more image artifacts in areas of
heavy coverage (dark colors) with the new formulation. This is especially apparent on many
paper-based media used for most indoor applications such as foam board, corrugated
cardboard, card stock and poster paper.
Océ IJC256 inks also have a softer surface when cured and printed materials are less scratch
and smudge resistant. Océ IJC256 inks feel slightly “tacky“ when cured and have a more satin
finished appearance when compared to the semi-gloss finish of Océ IJC255 inks. This can be a
benefit to distant-viewed applications where glare, caused by the semi-gloss finish of the
original Océ IJC255 inks, can be a visual distraction. This particular characteristic is highly
subjective and will be appreciated by some customers but not all.
Maintenance
The original formulation Océ IJC255 inks are famously easy to maintain, requiring only daily
maintenance with the vacuum system and a weekly physical cleaning.
The new Océ IJC256 inks require small jetting actions (“spitting”) between printing times to keep
the printheads in a ready-to-print state. This spitting action amounts to very little ink usage but
does require that the user clean the maintenance tray covers more frequently.
Océ IJC256 inks have a more pronounced odor than the original formulation. Customers with
weak ventilation systems may be more aware of the odor.
The following table compares the two inks in more detail.
Page 2 of 11
Comparing Océ IJC255 and Océ IJC256 Inks
Océ IJC255 Inks
Océ IJC256 Inks
Working Characteristics
Low odor, average dot-gain, edgechipping low user maintenance
Slight odor, low dot-gain, moderate
ink system maintenance.
Imaging Characteristics
Brilliant luminous color, superior print
quality, smooth semi-gloss finish.
Dense, saturated colors. Very good
print quality, slightly tacky satin finish.
Maintenance
Requirements
Daily cleaning and as needed.
Daily cleaning and as needed.
Recommended
Applications
Indoor oriented: Point-of-purchase
(POP), exhibition graphics, fine art,
posters, etc. Signage made on
Foamed-PVC & Foam-cored board.
Outdoor oriented: Backlit rigid signs,
Billboards, contour cut full bleed
signs, banners, framed canvas, self
adhesive vinyl (excluding vehicle
wraps)
Recommended Rigid
Media
Foam-cored Board, poster paper,
PET-G, Di-Bond™ Digital, Digital
Grade Hi-Impact Polystyrene,
corrugated cardboard, card stock
PVC, DiBond™, Hi-Impact
Polystyrene, PET-G, Acrylic,
polycarbonate, blue-backed billboard
paper
Recommend Flexible
Media
IJM652 - Océ Frontlit Banner, Matte,
MPI 3021 - Monomeric Vinyl Matt,
IJM601 Océ Outdoor Paper, IJM628
Océ Polyprop Solvent, IJM608 Océ
Double-sided laminated banner vinyl
IJM613 Océ Outdoor Paper Blue
Back, IJM628 Océ Polyprop Solvent
MPI 1900 Vinyl Gloss, IJM667 Océ
Scrim Banner Light Matt, IJM657 Océ
Scrim-less Banner. IJM606 Océ
Coated Scrim Banner Vinyl
Inadvisable Applications
Long-term outdoor graphics,
billboards, contour cut full bleed
output, wet-pasted posters
Frequently handled output, such as
activity center graphics and closelyviewed indoor prints, such as posters
and POP/POS graphics.
Inadvisable Media
Acrylic, polycarbonate, coated banner
vinyl,
Poster paper, Foam-cored Board,
card stock (Eska card)
Preparation Guidelines
Use of adhesion promoter may be
required to achieve satisfactory
adhesion on some media
Applying adhesion promoter on some
media may improve adhesion but is
typically not required.
Printing Guidelines
Pre-cutting for full bleed images
advised. Slower speeds and higher
lamp settings generally result in better
adhesion.
Pre-cutting not required for full-bleed
data on most materials. Use lowest
lamp setting required to cure ink on
band-prone materials, increase lamp
power to decrease print tackiness.
Finishing Guidelines
Cut using least chip-prone method
(See App Notes). Adhesion improves
slightly over 24 hrs.
Cut as required, stack double -sided
prints with protective sheets on
scratch-prone media. Ink odor will
fade over time.
More media are available:
www.mediaguide.oce.com
Special Considerations
Idle print head spitting procedure in
effect for CMYK; minimal ink
consumption per annum.
The adhesion of both ink sets to fluted polypropylene (i.e., CoroPlast, Core-X,
Cor-Flute) is not optimal. While IJC256 ink may provide slightly better edge
chipping results, the use of an adhesion promoter such as Océ UV Adhesion
Master 720 is recommended for any mid to long-term outdoor print applications,
especially when printing high ink-load data. See Application Note 6 – UV Ink
Adhesion for additional tips.
Page 3 of 11
Imaging Characteristics of Océ IJC256 versus Océ IJC255 Inks
Ink Adhesion
Océ IJC256 inks offer improved adhesion on many media types, particularly hard plastics and outdoor
vinyl media but do not print as well on paper-based media. This makes them a good solution for outdoororiented applications but less suitable for indoor graphics and point of purchase applications than Océ
IJC255 inks.
Figure 1: IJC256 (right) offer improved adhesion
on foamed-PVC media and many others.
Figure 2: IJC256 (left) show more banding and
structure on paper-based media than IJC255.
IJC256 seems more sensitive to UV Lamp
accumulated hours and may require more frequent
lamp changes.
Finishing and Handling
Due in part to improved adhesion and in part to a “softer” cured state, Océ IJC256 inks allow for more
predictable cutting (through the ink) without chipping or flaking. However these same attributes also make
them more prone to surface marking if scratched or handled excessively.
Figure 4: IJC256 (right) softer surface finish is more
sensitive to scratching and handling.
Figure 3: IJC255 (left) is prone to more
chipping/flaking when cutting through the ink.
Page 4 of 11
Imaging Characteristics
In terms of general appearance, Océ IJC255 inks print with a smoother, more glossy finish than the
newer formulation but are harder and more brittle in their cured state, making them somewhat less
flexible than Océ IJC256 inks.
Figure 5: IJC255 (left) has a smoother, less
grainy finish, especially on low dot gain media
such as paper, foam board, etc.
Figure 6: IJC256 (left) has a less glossy finish on
most media, allowing for a wider viewing angle
without glare but with lower saturation/contrast.
Figure 7: IJC255 (left) shows more surface cracking when wrapped around a corner.
Page 5 of 11
Imaging Characteristics (continued)
Figure 8: IJC256 (left) cause less edge curl on blue-backed papers.
Figure 9: IJC256 (left) withstands wet-pasting for short-term
outdoor applications without media deformation.
Page 6 of 11
Working with Océ IJC255 and Océ IJC256 Inks
The following section provides additional information and detailed printing guidelines to assist in
obtaining the best possible output quality when using Océ IJC255 or Océ IJC256 inks.
Maintenance
Regular daily maintenance is similar for both ink sets. However, there are some variances in ink
composition and delivery that may influence maintenance requirements. Appropriate gloves and
protective eyewear must be used whenever handling any ink formulation.
Océ IJC256 inks require that a very small amount of ink be jetted from the print heads during
extended idle times in order to keep the nozzles in a print-ready state. This action is referred to
as “spitting” and it occurs in the maintenance station at set intervals, ejecting ink onto an
absorbent foam pad. This foam pad should be changed when it becomes saturated or when ink
can be seen close to the underside of the slots in the Spit Catcher. If it is not changed when
required, ink may drip onto the floor when the maintenance drawer is opened or it may cause an
excessive build-up of ink mist on top of the spit catcher.
The Océ IJC256 ink formulation also causes a more sticky ink build-up between nozzle plates
when compared to Océ IJC255. This ink build-up requires cleaning with a flush-soaked lint-free
cloth, rather than a dry one. Ensure that all residual flush is cleaned from the surface or
particulate matter from the environment and print surfaces will be re-deposited on the recently
cleaned surface.
Both Océ IJC255 and IJC256 are hazardous to aqueous organisms. Please ensure that any
uncured ink waste is properly disposed of in accordance with local regulations.
Environment
Since UV inks can be irritating to the respiratory systems, adherence to the minimum ventilation
specifications is important. As stated in the Site Preparation Guide, the minimum space /
working room volume for using the Océ Arizona 200/250/300/350 GT and 350 XT is 69 m3 or
2430 cubic feet. The printer should operate in an area where a good standard of general
ventilation is available at 5 to 10 air changes per hour. Mechanical Ventilation must be added
where the air changes per hour are less than 5 per hour.
In addition, this new ink is slightly more sensitive to static than Océ IJC255. This trait makes it
especially important that the environmental guidelines for heat and humidity be enforced. Use of
a static suppression system is recommended for best output results on static-prone materials.
Color and Media Models
While the two ink sets are similar in density and color appearance, there is enough difference
between them to require alternate media models and ICC profiles. These can be downloaded
from several locations:
http://www.dgs.oce.com/PrinterSupport/Arizona250GT_Customer/index.htm,
http://www.mediaguide.oce.com/
http://www.onyxgfx.com/index.php?area=printers.
The printed output of Océ IJC256 inks may appear slightly less saturated or of slightly lower
contrast than that of Océ IJC255 inks, partly due to the reduction in glossiness, which impacts
the perception of saturation and contrast. Dmax densities and lab color values of the two inks
are actually very similar when measured with proper instruments.
Page 7 of 11
Dot Gain and Graininess
When a droplet of ink makes contact with the substrate, it spreads (or gains) and covers a larger
area than the area of initial contact. This action is known as dot gain. The lower dot gain
propensity of Océ IJC256 ink relative to Océ IJC255 affects the appearance of smoothness and
uniformity and may increase graininess in susceptible areas. This increased graininess can be
improved in a number of ways, but the first step is to ensure that a trained service technician
has aligned your printer and media thickness has been accurately measured. Once alignment
and media thickness have been verified, try the following.
•
adjust overall UV power (maintain enough power to sufficiently cure ink)
•
adjust UV power of trailing lamps
•
use ICC profiles, which in general produce less grainy output. Adjusting GCR/UCR
settings may also improve spotty appearance
•
try alternate materials; the absorbency of the substrate significantly affects dot gain,
with more absorbent substrates having more dot gain
•
use a higher quality print mode; Quality and Fine Art Modes will exhibit less
graininess than Production Mode
•
print uni-directionally (if this resolves/improves the issue the bidirectional alignment
of the printer should be checked)
Image Artifacts
As stated earlier, Océ IJC256 ink tends to be more sensitive to streaks and artifacts in areas of
heavy coverage (dark colors) on paper-based media such as foam board, cardboard and poster
paper. These artifacts have a softer, more graduated look than banding caused by lost nozzles.
This artifact is not exclusively seen on these materials, but may be more common or
pronounced on them. Taking the following actions can often reduce the appearance of this type
of banding.
•
try alternate materials with less thermal insulating properties (i.e. not paper based
and/or foam-cored)
•
reduce overall UV power (maintaining enough power to sufficiently cure ink)
•
reduce UV power of leading lamp
•
apply full carriage travel setting to print jobs smaller than table width
•
add delays to carriage print travel
•
maintain environmental guidelines for heat and humidity
•
ensure the media has an opportunity to acclimatize to the printing environment
before printing
Note: As the Océ IJC256 ink set is more sensitive to the effects of UV Lamp Power,
it is especially important that UV lamps be replaced when they reach 500
hours of usage, even if they still seem to be functioning. New lamps are more
efficient and generate less heat for the same amount of UV energy, thereby
infusing less heat in the media, and reducing associated image artifacts.
Page 8 of 11
Print Finish, Texture and Odor
Océ IJC256 ink produces a more satin (less glossy), and tacky finish when compared to the
hard, semi-gloss finish of Océ IJC255 inks. This is not necessarily an objectionable difference,
and in fact many Beta test customers preferred it. However it is a characteristic that is best
shared with clients, especially if they are familiar with the output produced with Océ IJC255 inks.
In fact, the satin finish of the output allows for a greater viewing angle, as glare does not reflect
back at the viewer as strongly as with the same image/media printed with Océ IJC255 inks. On
more reflective materials, this satin finish look may be more pronounced. Using a less glossy
material will help reduce the obvious dissimilarity in surface finishes. Reducing UV lamp power
will slightly increase glossiness of ink as well, if desired.
The texture of ink will be tackier than that of the Océ IJC255 inks, even when fully cured.
Increasing lamp power does reduce this effect, but will not eliminate it entirely.
Tip: If the lamp power required to achieve desired surface texture is higher than
you would like to run with this media/image combination, print as desired,
leave the material on the table and run an ‘empty’ file in Production Mode at
UV Power 7 (Max) over the media for additional curing.
Because the ink remains tacky and sensitive to scratching, printing double-sided work requires
that your print bed be completely clean of debris to avoid it being deposited in printed areas. As
well, when removing the printed material from the table, lift rather than drag the media in order
to avoid scratching the surface. This action is particularly important when working with heavier
media.
Odor from the printed pieces will fade, but can linger and may prove unpleasant to operators in
smaller, enclosed areas if there is not adequate ventilation.
Media Considerations
On the majority of media, Océ IJC256 prints exhibit greater adhesion and edge chipping
resistance than that of Océ IJC255. However, these improved properties are not without
limitations nor are they universal to all media and print scenarios.
In particular, it should be noted that adhesion on fluted polypropylene, while improved is still not
ideal. Although the ink provides slightly better edge chipping results, the use of an adhesion
promoter such as Océ UV Adhesion Master 720 (Océ article number 3010105398) is still
recommended to eliminate chipping entirely as well as for any mid to long-term outdoor print
longevity, especially when printing high ink-load data. See Application Bulletin 6 – UV Ink
Adhesion for additional adhesion tips.
In addition, materials printed with Océ IJC255 that exhibited cracking when stretched, such as
canvas stretched over a frame, may still respond in the same manner although to a lesser
degree. Océ IJC256 is a more flexible ink, but it is still not recommended for stretching and
forming applications such as vehicle wrapping. Finishing of banner materials with grommets and
hemming is more successful with Océ IJC256, but it can still exhibit some minor flaking in areas
of higher ink load.
Page 9 of 11
Océ IJC255 wrapped around
a corner
Océ IJC256 wrapped around
a corner
Some applications that were not successful with Océ IJC255 inks may be more successful with
Océ IJC256. For instance, Océ IJM613 or IJM 713 Blue-backed paper prints can now be
applied to surfaces with a wet-pasting process without excessive curling or media failure.
IJC256 (left) withstands wet-pasting for short-term outdoor applications
without media deformation.
As this new ink set is more sensitive to the effects of UV Lamp Power, it may be necessary to
increase UV lamp power as the UV lamps age, and to replace UV lamps even before they reach
500 hours of usage. If the ink is not sufficiently cured it may offset to the backside of roll media
when printing dark images and winding onto the take-up.
In addition, the durability of ink finish on all materials, commonly referred to as scratch
resistance, will be lower than Océ IJC255. Use the highest UV lamp settings when printing roll
materials with liners to ensure that all ink is cured, including the ink on the liner.
See the Recommended Media Document and Océ Imaging Supplies Media Guide at
http://www.mediaguide.oce.com/ for more comprehensive information.
Page 10 of 11
Printed Media Handling
Océ IJC256 ink has been formulated to be more flexible than Océ IJC255, as a result it is also
somewhat softer than Océ IJC255 and is more prone to scratching, smudging and “bruising”
from improper handling. It is especially important that printed materials be carefully handled
while finishing. The use of cotton gloves is helpful to prevent smudging.
If materials are printed on both sides, a protective sheet with a smooth surface should be placed
between sheets to prevent ink rubbing against each other and potentially smudging and
scratching.
Conclusion
Océ IJC255 inks produce the highest quality images on paper-based media and are best suited
for indoor applications where close-viewed prints are required and where prints are subject to
excessive handling. Océ IJC255 inks are more prone to edge chipping/flaking during finishing,
especially on hard plastics.
Océ IJC256 inks offer improved adhesion to most media and are especially useful for printing
on hard plastics, banner vinyl and self-adhesive vinyl, making them ideal for outdoor
applications where media/image integrity is of crucial importance and where prints are subject
to less handling. Océ IJC256 inks are more prone to image artifacts and graininess on lower dot
gain media and have a softer surface finish making them less scratch resistant.
Both Océ inks can be used to print on any media but the results may differ significantly in terms
of image quality, scratch resistance, ease of finishing and ink adhesion. Testing your specific
media and applications is advised before selecting the appropriate ink set.
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