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Roland wide format enters the mix

Photo Direct has been appointed an authorised dealer for Roland DG wide-format printers.

The Roland DG Soljet PRO4 XR-640 Printer Cutter printer cutter not only prints photographic posters but can be used for signage, POS materials and even vehicle graphics.
The Roland DG Soljet PRO4 XR-640 Printer Cutter printer cutter not only prints photographic posters but can be used for signage, POS materials and even vehicle graphics.

Photo Direct customers will now have access to a broad range Roland DG printers and printer-cutters, including models which produce personalised wall paper, repositionable indoor or outdoor posters and point of sale, stickers, labels, decals, custom apparel, phone covers, backlit signs and window displays.

Roland DG printers are also capable of high-end fine art/photographic prints, with Australian photographer and designer Bob Armstrong bringing home a record 17 ‘Benny’ awards in the 2014 Printing Industry of America awards, using a 64-inch LEJ-640 hybrid UV flatbed printer.

Smartphone covers being printed with the Roland VersaUV LEF-20 Benchtop UV flatbed printer.
Smartphone covers being printed with the Roland VersaUV LEF-20 Benchtop UV flatbed printer.

‘Roland DG is a relative newcomer to photo industry circles but brings with it a wealth of success as reflected by its significant market share within the printing industry,’ said Tracy Lints, Photo Direct.

‘One of the key benefits we see for our customers is the Roland DG Care program. This innovative program offers a complete range of premium services and products including comprehensive warranties to assure the continuity of our customers’ business. It covers training, finance and recycling programs, as well as a number of Roland Creative Centres where customers can find inspiration for the wide and various applications possible with Roland.’

Photo Direct sees the printing and photo industries as converging at a rapid pace, ‘so this new relationship will ensure forward-looking retailers in the traditional photo space can immediately benefit from the value-added opportunities available from the Roland range of products and services.’

The Roland DG range offered by Photo Direct includes wide format printers from 64-inch down to 20-inch benchtop models.

‘Another highlight is that each Roland printer is supplied with its intuitive VersaWorks RIP software, with automatic free updates, as well as regular training courses so staff can get the most out of the investment a business has made,’ said Tracy.

For more information contact your Photo Direct sales representative or simply click this link

Photo Counter followed up with a few hard-hitting questions to Photo Direct, starting off with, What the hell is a printer cutter?
Tracy Lints:
Every printer has a cutter which simply cuts the paper in a straight line across the width of the roll once a print has finished printing. A printer cutter can cut in any direction around any shape, as it prints. This is most useful when you are printing on adhesive media. A cut-perforation cuts all the way through the media, and cut-contour cuts through the surface but not the backing material. So now the retailer doesn’t have to sell printed rectangles and squares anymore….they can sell stickers, labels, decals etc, that have been contour cut. It cuts multi-directional to fractions of a millimetre so if you are printing a flower for example, your print is now the shape of the flower – no square or rectangle background required, and not an ounce more labour required of staff than if it were a normal (boring) print.
What are you expecting to be the most popular products in the Roland range?
The range is extensive with price points, end products, print speeds and capabilities ranging widely so we expect to end up with sales across the range depending on customers’ desired end outputs, footprint in store, print volumes, and finances.

Retailers are already aware of the massive demand for stretched canvas but that was just the start of the market trend for personalised wall decor products, so they are actually missing out on a raft of other products that are associated with that trend such as wall decals, point of sale cut to shape, repositionable signs and wallpapers, window displays etc.

Are these printers suitable/affordable for photo retailing installations? Professional photography studios?
Yes very suitable. They do everything the ‘usual’ HP, Epson, Canon wide format printers do, as well as having white and metallic inks that enable the retailer to print clear or with metallic finishes or to create raised 3D effect on the print as well of course as the different shapes. They can also print straight onto thicker substrates – up to 13mm thick on some of the printer range, which opens up more sales opportunities for them, for example in point of sale and display applications. And yes they are affordable too – especially given the new products they can actually print on them.

Roland printers use UV or solvent inks in their printers – any issues there?
In the old days, there was speculation that solvent inks were hazardous to the environment and needed good ventilation etc, etc, but those days have long since passed and Roland inks have GREENGUARD Gold certification which is the same as HP Latex and means they are suitable for use even in sensitive environments such as hospitals and schools.


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