Grafica News - January 2011

Mike Young gives thumbs up to Grafica's newly launched NANO-PRINT plus

Your views on Grafica launching NANO-PRINT plus?
With respect, before I can justify my views on the recent launch of the Nano- Print plus, I would like to give a comment or two regarding the original Nano-Print, which debut just nine months ago as an affordable printing machine for all printers, actually billed as the “dream machine of every screen printer”, specializing in virtually any application for small format flat sheet printing. During those short few months, an incredible 300 units have been sold with over 60 confirmed orders placed for both Nano-Print and Nano-Print plus at the Screen Print India expo. Even more remarkable, the Nano-Print is not a printing machine enjoyed by 300 printing companies but less than 100—solid proof of its success by the sudden repeated orders, as I was told, from extremely satisfied users. If this is not the power of overwhelming endorsement then I do not know what is!

This success has now been carried over to the latest Nano line-up revealed at the expo—the Nano-Print plus. The ‘plus’ is an extension of its original cousin except for one major difference in design: parallel screen lift from the side instead of the clamshell principle from the rear. This enables the screen to remain constantly in a horizontal position, a clear advantage for discriminating printers with special applications or concerns. The launch of this model could not have come at a better time.

Performance:
To be fair, the jury is still out on this one since it has only just been launched. Again, I have not doubt about its worthiness and robustness to perform as advertised—just as its cousin has done exceedingly well.
By the way, I witness these printers are physically run at maximum speed with active squeegee and pressure on a bed of oil for some 25,000 impressions before they leave the factory. In other words, each printer is operated under stressful conditions—a simple but great QA debugging programme that many high-end pricey imports never see the light of day!

Usefulness/applications: Almost any flat sheet application, from the simplest to demanding, particularly if some of the optional features are considered. While this printer may not be viewed by some as being a substitute for the much more expensive imports, it will nevertheless represent a formidable challenge to them for sure!

I have always opined that print results from a semi-automatic printing machine will always be consistently superior and manageable, by default, than from manual printing for two reasons alone; precise control of several squeegee functions during the print stroke and obtaining constant image or deposit layer due to the controllable mechanical floodcoating function—something that is a must for repeatable results but completely missing when manually printing.

Interestingly, in Grafica’a brochure, it contains a chart of Nano-Print vs. Manual Printing. This is very educational and great reading for anyone since it factually states the principal differences between manual printing to that from a semiautomatic machine. Any company contented with the status quo of manually printing will do themselves a big favour simply by viewing this chart to see what is missing from their printing operation.

Features
The ‘plus’ gives printers a little more options to consider due to fewer restrictions on the design platform. I believe it has all the functions required otherwise one should be looking beyond an entry-level designed printing machine.

Price
There is no “ifs” or “buts”, the range of Nano-Printers are entry-level designed printing machines—albeit, if sophisticatedly engineered and made. The design clearly reflects this notion with one very important distinction; no other brand or model I have seen can come close to anything to the innovative design, robust engineering, quality components and ease of operation for the price.

It is extremely rare for any company to ‘advertise’ components used, but Grafica seems to be delighted to show the world that it draws on topshelf parts to construct their creation to promote durability and reliability. In my humble estimation, I think Grafica has got their message the wrong way around! They promote the Nano-Print as an entry-level printing machine at an economic price. I respectfully opine it is a sophisticated-made small format printer designed at an entry-level price!

Compatibility
As the Nano-Print is such a small footprint it has great advantage for many small companies where space is a premium. Give it time in the field; I am sure Grafica will add desirable features to make the model even more appealing to a wider marketplace. I like the prospect of the ‘plus’ design to allow for someone to remove printed sheets from the rear for drying (who can also inspect-on-the-fly)—thus potentially doubling productivity when needed without affecting quality.

Any other views that you want to comment ?

With their pioneering ideas, Grafica has elevated in a short span of time the professionalism of existing companies that had, until now, no economical alternative to print manually by offering a range of crucial processing tools, very economically, that will have a direct impact the end quality results! Such will also be a tremendous advantage to assist newcomers/startup operations by speeding up the learning curve to quality production and become more profitable by not relying on outsourcing for screen making.

In what way this machine is useful to the screen printers?
Grafica’s designers realize they cannot possibly have everything built into one economically made printing machine, nor does every printer need certain features that more up-market printers may require. However, for printers requiring something a little more than basic, the ‘plus’ model may met better their needs since it answers the concerns of many who wants to use various frame sizes, need peel-off for 4-colour process and even print a larger image but keep the machine’s footprint as small as possible.

As an equipment manufacturer, I believe Grafica has effectively expanded its potential marketplace in a significant way by making the Nano-Print ‘family’ more attractive and appealing to an even wider audience.

What did you like in the machine with regard to its features?
The style of machine has three very important elements in my estimation for quality production: screen staying horizontal, squeegee/floodbar printing sideways (complete view of print cycle actually taking place) and a wider view of the print table/substrate between each stroke (as the parallel lift moves the print head backwards a little). It also allows for additional features, such as a peel-off mechanism to improve monotone and process printing.

Have you ever seen this kind of design in a screen printing machine?
There are a number of manufacturers around the world that make these ‘parallelogram’ models but nothing close to the price of Grafica! As for the quality, you will have to be the judge but, from my perspective, one gets a whole lot of machinery for a great economical price with the ‘plus’ model.

Nano-Print plus: Your views on its -

Design of the machine:
I have always liked the principle in general since it is technically superior to the clamshell and I have no doubt it is well designed and made—just like its older cousin.

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