Grange trials Roland DG VersaExpress

Checking out the VersaExpress RF-640: Alex Kouloris, owner of Grange Graphics

Checking out the VersaExpress RF-640: Alex Kouloris, owner of Grange Graphics


Sydney digital trade outfit Grange Graphics has put Roland DG’s new VersaExpress RF-640 wide format printer through its paces in a trial.

Grange provides graphics, decals, banners, posters, roll to roll laminating, vinyl cut text, substrate mounting and design services to its trade customers, including signwriters and printers, from its Western Sydney headquarters.

Alex Koulouris, owner of Grange Graphics, says he is always keen to see what new technology is available in the market so welcomed the opportunity to test out the RF-640. He says, “I was interested to see if it was faster, easier to run.”

Roland DG says the VersaExpress RF-640 is designed to produce quality print at high speeds, and at a ‘smart price’.

John Wall, president and director of Roland DG Australia, says it will appeal to sign shops and print service providers who are looking for affordable volume production printers to help them increase their productivity and profits.

Working with Roland DG’s new VersaExpress RF-640

Working with Roland DG’s new VersaExpress RF-640

He says, “Offering high-speed printing, superior image quality, competitively low running costs and ease of use, the RF-640 is the ideal production tool for many shops.”

After running the RF-640 for two weeks, Grange production manager Gunter Frohreich says it lived up to expectations.

He says, “We have been operating it for about six hours every day, printing posters onto polyester, SAV stickers, and some banner film, which it printed well. Most of the work we would use a machine like this for would be frosting films, window films, SAV films, and that type of work.

“Speed wise it is good. Even on high quality it is a lot quicker, so you are going to get a better print in a quicker time, and that is going to increase your production, and of course keep your customers happy.”

Having used digital printers for 15 years, including Roland machines, Frohreich says he is impressed with new features on the RF-640, including its front loading ink system for easy access and minimising the printer’s footprint, and new Eco-Sol Max 2 inks.

He says, “The front loading ink system is a great idea, it does free up the space behind the machine for loading media.

“Ink drying time with the Eco-Sol Max 2 inks I noticed was a lot better, so the outgassing time is a lot quicker for laminating. The colours are also great straight off the bat without having to tweak any profiles.”

While Grange Graphics have not yet purchased the new machine, Frohreich says it will likely replace one of its older machines, with a take up unit, in the future.

Roland DG’s new VersaExpress

Roland DG’s new VersaExpress

Koulouris says, “I would recommend this printer for someone looking to get into the market, but also for someone like me who has a few machines, to add in another machine that is going to produce good quality work at a reasonable cost.”

The RF-640 features Roland’s print control technology for quality imaging and colour consistency. It says it is supported by a robust take-up system, which stabilises production at print speeds up to 48.5sqm an hour, with real, day to day production speeds of 13 to18 sqm per hour.

Equipped with the new Roland Ink Switching System, the RF-640 aims to further increase productivity by supporting unattended continuous printing. This system allows users to load a backup cartridge that automatically discharges ink to the printer when the primary cartridge is empty.

Other features include an industrial print head; Greenguard Gold certified, low-VOC Eco-Sol Max 2 inks; and new optimised profiles which together Roland says deliver vivid, rich colours with ink savings of up to 20 per cent when compared to previous model, the RE-640.

The RF-640 also features Roland’s new Printer Assist system, a free downloadable app from the iTunes store, which allows you to manage printer functions remotely from the printer. The app lets operators monitor the status and manage jobs from an iPad for convenience and efficiency.

Other features include media loading levers positioned in both the front and back, and special media brackets that support heavy media rolls as they are loaded into place.




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