Innovations (by field)
Innovations (by product type)
Vehicle Art Robo (“VAR”) is a unique digital printing system specifically designed to “digitally paint” full color graphics directly onto the surface of commercial vehicles. VAR employs automated curved surface tracing to print on multiple shaped surfaces, from flat surfaces to curved and uneven metal surfaces. VAR Applications include the decoration of trucks, trailers, buses, containers and other materials.
Unlike printing onto expensive adhesive vinyl wrap. adding lamination, and the extensive labor of installation, the RICOH VAR system “digitally paints” full color graphics directly to very large flat, curved, and corrugated metal surfaces. Unlike vinyl wraps that often crack and become brittle and hard to remove over time, the VAR images closely maintain their original image quality on the vehicle surface with an easy to remove ink process being all that is required to create a clean vehicle surface to print – no PVC to dispose of.
~ 50% the production time as vinyl wrap
50-70% less labor cost as vinyl wrap
50-70% less operating cost as vinyl wrap
Though it varies by the conditions, it takes about 23 man hours for one truck with conventional wrapping film process,
On the other hand, only 12 man hours with vehicle Art Robo. And that work can be done by one person.
In addition, the cost will be increased by not using film or laminate, so the overall running cost can be reduced.
The RICOH VAR system is similar to a grand format flatbed inkjet printer widely used for display graphics and signage, only much larger in size and standing vertically to print instead of horizontally.The other primary differences are the unique Ricoh inks (“paint”) and Ricoh industrial jetting nozzles that enable such demanding outdoor durable decoration applications. The VAR system prints full color using a highly accurate three-axis control featuring a surface tracing system to follow the contours of the surface.
To ensure quality, the Vehicle Art Robo has a unique curved surface tracing system to enable the Z Axis print head to surface distance consistency on uneven or curved surfaces at jetting distances up to 100mm. Surfaces with patterns such as corrugated or lapped siding may also be traced and transferred to the print controller to achieve excellent print quality and protection from printhead collisions.
While the Vehicle Art Robo was originally designed for the primary application of vehicle graphics decoration, there have a number of other creative applications.