Tech Watch: Mimaki USA’s UJF-6042 MkII
by Lara Copeland, contributing editor
Making its first public appearance at SGIA in September 2016, the new UJF-6042 MkII from Mimaki USA, Suwanee, Georgia, is the next-generation model tabletop printer following the success of the UJF-6042HG. Intended to maximize efficiencies for production, this small-format UV-LED printer facilitates users in creating a variety of products while also allowing for “just-in-time” production, component pieces and more.
To effectively produce greater quality output, the UJF-6042 MkII combines higher accuracy dot placement with speed improvements of up to 20 percent over the previous generation. The print area is fully enclosed, reducing opportunities for dust or other airborne particle contamination. “This feature will reduce reprints, ensure production stays on track and also enable placement in more demanding environments, such as a production floor,” noted Josh Hope, senior manager, Mimaki USA.
Automated efficiencies were added to the updated model to increase production with little effort. Laser sensor media detection and automated gap check guarantee that the print head is at the optimal height on each print. Exchanging the smaller cartridge system for larger, one-liter bottles for all colors makes ink delivery more efficient and enables longer runs without stopping for ink replenishment. “The switch to one-liter bottles also ensures customers running other Mimaki UV-LED printers can better manage their overall inventory when using compatible Mimaki original inks,” Hope stated. Additionally, the print bed of the new machine accommodates jigs created for previous models. Current UJF-6042HG users purchasing a new UJF-6042 MkII can quickly expand their printer line-up without the need to rework jigs.
The UJF-6042 MkII streamlines production with multiple workflow enhancements. “UJF-6042 MkII printers are fully networkable, with industry standard Gigabit Ethernet for multiple printer connections over greater distances, ensuring the highest productivity,” explained Hope. “Users can take advantage of features in RasterLink6 RIP software, such as the ability to build a template and auto-populate the data using variable data with the Adobe® InDesign® data merge function or third-party VDP plug-ins, to create a table’s-worth of personalized items.”
The latest version of Mimaki’s UJF-6042 printer comes with integrated tools that offer high-tolerance repeatable output. Where the previous model featured a stationary table and gantry movement, the new device incorporates ball screw table movement paired with precise ink drop placement. The modifications result in enhanced image quality. Additionally, threaded registration pins are utilized for repeatable media placement. “Combined,” Hope emphasized, “these features ensure consistent accuracy resulting in beautiful images, maximum production and minimal waste, even with the most complex jobs.”
Several of Mimaki’s core technologies are included to guarantee high quality and productivity. The Mimaki Advanced Pass System 4, for example, uses an advanced algorithm pattern to reduce banding, and the Waveform Control shapes and places individual ink drops by using well-tuned frequencies for each ink’s specific gravity and viscosity. Mimaki Circulation Technology continuously circulates white ink, thus reducing the need for manual maintenance and waste. Furthermore, the Nozzle Check Unit monitors nozzle outages and automatically activates a series of recovery functions, and the Nozzle Recovery System assigns operational nozzles when an outage is detected.
Since its worldwide debut in September, Mimaki’s UJF-6042 MkII has been well received. “The printer was designed to help customers realize the benefits of digital printing with higher margins and lower production costs without compromising quality,” Hope pointed out. Shipments are expected to start in the US by early November 2016.
The UJF-6042 MkII features a maximum print area of 24x16.5" (610 x 420 mm) with maximum media thickness of 6" (153mm) and maximum media weight of 17.6lbs (8kg). Print resolutions are 600, 900 and 1200dpi, with a maximum print speed of up to 39.4 square feet (3.66SqM) /hr.
The printer measures 65.5x50.8x33.7" (1660 x 1290 x 856 mm) and weighs 342lbs (155kg). Ink types include LH-100 UV for high scratch and chemical resistance: C, M, Y, K, Lc, Lm, W, clear; and LUS-120 UV for flexibility and scratch resistance: C, M, Y, K, Lc, Lm, W, Clear. Available in the future will be LUS-150 UV for balanced adhesion and flexibility: C, M, Y, K, W.