Printing

Electronics For Imaging is launching into the commercial market two new high-volume, roll-to-roll UV LED inkjet printers in the VUTEk 5r and VUTEk 3r. The company first introduced the systems back in January 2017 and has already installed 3r and 5r printers with customers in North America, Europe and the Middle East. Sandy Alexander of Clifton, New Jersey, became the first company in North America to install the VUTEk 5r back in February 2017. The 3-metre-wide VUTEk 3r reaches speeds up to 3,715 square feet per hour and the 5-metre 5r reaches speeds up to 4,896 square feet per hour. In addition to LED curing, the new printers feature resolutions up to 1,200 dpi and EFI UItraDrop technology leveraging seven-picoliter print heads with multi-drop addressability. This system uses a colour distribution algorithm aimed at providing economic advantages with ink usage, explains EFI, whereby one litre of ink can cover up to 1,600 square feet, on average, across all print modes.Available options for the printing systems include inline roll-to-sheet cutting, slitters and a sheet collector kit aimed at improving throughput by reducing the need to handle printed jobs on separate finishing tables. The VUTEk 3r and 5r also offer optional features like automated double-sided backlit and block-out printing; a mobile app for remote printer monitoring; multi-layer white ink imaging; and additional light colours for extended-gamut imaging.
Canon Canada Inc. introduced its new UVgel technology platform aimed at providing new levels of speed, quality, automation and cost of operation for large-format print providers. The first UVgel-enabled Canon system is the 64-inch Océ Colorado 1640, a roll-to-roll inkjet printer for producing both indoor and outdoor graphics. This product will have its first public debut in North America at the ISA International Sign Expo, running from April 19 to 22, 2017, in Las Vegas, which is when the first units will be commercially available.“We are very excited about this revolutionary new game-changing technology” said Patrick D’Souza, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Professional Printing Solutions Group, Canon Canada. “This new technology will help large-format-print providers to increase their print production while lowering their operating costs, enabling them to profitably grow their business.” At the heart of the Océ Colorado 1640 is Canon’s recently unveiled UVgel technology. Canon explains UVgel combines a radically new UV curable ink from Canon that instantly gels on contact with the media, advanced self-aware piezoelectric printhead technology, an LED-based UV system that cures without adding any damaging heat to the media, and continuous printhead nozzle monitoring and performance compensation. Canon explains these unique technologies combine to create a 64-inch roll-to-roll printer with high standards for quality, productivity, automation, application range and operating costs. Canon also describes the Océ Colorado 1640 as the fastest 64-inch printer on the market, with a top speed of 1,710 square feet per hour and another setting to produce high-quality, point-of-purchase prints at 430 square feet per hour.As UVgel ink instantly gels on contact with media, Canon explains this results in precise dot gain and positional control, perfectly repeatable images, and instantly cured, durable prints. The system’s low temperature LED-UV curing technology moves independently from the printing carriage to help establish uniform post-print UV curing that contributes to print speed and quality.The Océ Colorado 1640 features a heavy-duty drawer mechanism that holds up to two rolls of media at one time, each weighing up to 110 lbs. The two rolls can be of the same media type and size or different media, and once initialized, the print engine can switch jobs between rolls without operator assistance for an ability to run unattended printing. If an unknown media is loaded, Canon explains the printer will automatically measure its thickness and adjust the print gap accordingly. This helps with print quality and also reduces the risk of printhead crashes. This information is then stored in the media library along with other media parameters so that the next time this type of media is loaded, the printer knows how to handle it. The UVgel printheads incorporate patented continuous nozzle monitoring to detect and correct any underperforming nozzles. During each and every printing pass, Canon’s patented nozzle monitoring technology automatically checks all nozzles using acoustic sampling and even detects whether nozzles are going to misfire before they actually do. In the event of nozzle failure, corrective maintenance is automatically performed. Canon explains the Océ Colorado 1640, suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications, provides a large colour gamut similar to solvent inks but combines this with the environmental benefits and safety profile of latex and UV-cured systems. The result, according to Canon, is nearly odorless, VOC-free, durable, colourfast, high quality prints even on thin, heat-sensitive media. Canon’s UVgel technology features ultra-thin ink dispersion with, explains the company, almost no discernible physical profile on the media surface. Canon continues to explain that the Océ Colorado 1640’s UVgel technology features ink consumption that is as much as 40 percent lower than competitive technologies. “Canon Canada is looking forward to the North American debut of this product at the ISA Show in April,” said D’Souza. “We know that there has been a lot of anticipation around this technology and we are very excited about what the future will bring.”
Agfa Graphics launched its Jeti Ceres RTR3200 UV LED roll-to-roll printer for what the company describes as mid- to high-end applications. The new engine can include a combination of optional white printing and primer for producing higher-end image quality and durability.The Jeti Ceres, leveraging Agfa’s UV LED inks and thin ink layer technology, is a dedicated 3.2-metre roll-to-roll printer capable of printing on single- and dual-roll medias at speeds of up to 186 square metres per hour.“The Jeti Ceres RTR3200 LED could be considered the roll-to-roll equivalent of the renown Jeti Titan series,” said Reinhilde Alaert, Marketing Product Manager, Sign & Display High-End. “Our goal with this new engine is to maximize productivity while staying true to Agfa Graphics’ industry-leading image quality and low ink consumption, which is why we bring a roll-to-roll alternative in the Jeti product family.”The Jeti Ceres can print on heat-sensitive medias like self-adhesive sheets and PVC without warping or wrinkling them, which opens up new opportunities and allows printers to reduce the costs.  The new printer is equipped with white ink circulation that extends along the entire ink line. “Agfa Graphics’ thin ink technology results in wide-gamut, vibrant images – no matter the substrate. Our inks’ high pigmentation, along with our deep understanding of the physics of ink jetting, keeps ink consumption low, extremely precise and waste-free,” said Alaert.Agfa Graphics’ Jeti Ceres also adds a primer option for durability when printing on unusual or difficult roll-based media. The engine pre-prints a layer of primer automatically before depositing ink, preparing the top layer for surface tension to better receive ink. Asanti, Agfa’s wide-format printing workflow software, comes with the Jeti Ceres system, which also makes it compatible with Agfa’s cloud-based PrintSphere for flow of information between customers, colleagues, freelancers, departments and other Agfa printing solutions – streamlining file sharing and enhancing data security.
Mimaki, a manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, which recently opened a facility in the Greater Toronto Area, has introduced two new Kebab options for printing on cylindrical objects.These Kebab options can be deployed using Mimaki’s UJF -7151 plus or the new UJF MkII Series printers, which are based on UV-LED inking systems. The application of UV inks and curing allows inkjet-based systems to print directly onto a growing range of substrates and objects.Mimaki explains the Kebab option for UJF Series printers has the ability to print on cylindrical objects like stainless steel tumblers, bottles, cans, vases, packaging and candle holders.All Kebab devices offer 360-degree direct printing on a range of material sizes. These new options can be mounted to the printer’s flatbed table, specifically with the UJF-3042 MkII printer, and the Kebab MkII L device for the UJF-6042 MkII and the UJF-7151 plus printers. They function via Mimaki’s RasterLink6 software.
Agfa Graphics has introduced an upgrade of the Jeti Mira to include UV LED curing technology and an enhanced varnish option to produce 3D prints. The printing system now also integrates with PrintSphere, through Agfa’s Asanti software.The Jeti Mira is a moving-gantry flatbed printer featuring up to 2.69 metre-wide prints, print and prepare functionality, a dockable roll-to-roll option, two table versions, speed (up to 231 m²/hr), six colours (white color standard), pigmented UV inks and two rows of Ricoh inkjet print heads. The latest printer upgrade also includes UV LED curing technology. “Equipped with UV LED lamps for the curing process, the Jeti Mira comes with a number of economical, ecological and business-generating benefits,” said Reinhilde Alaert, Marketing Product Manager, Sign & Display High-End, Agfa Graphics. “LEDs have minimal heat output, for example, which allows for a broader scope of print applications. They also ensure very stable bi-directional calibration, high productivity, significant power savings and consistent output over the lifetime of the system. This all leads to a greater ROI.”Leveraging LED technology, Agfa Graphics’ UV LED inks can print on heat-sensitive substrates such as thin slides, self-adhesive sheets and stretchable PVC materials. Agfa explains its UV inks hold a wide colour gamut and colour vibrancy in both indoor and outdoor applications, while their high pigment load and Asanti’s colour management tools provide low ink consumption. “At SGIA this year, Jeti Mira was the recipient of a Product of the Year Award, thanks to its high printing quality and low ink consumption, which makes it stand out from the competition,” said Alaert. The Jeti Mira is driven by Agfa’s wide-format workflow software Asanti, which controls the printing process from prepress to production and finishing. New to Asanti is the optional integration with PrintSphere – Agfa’s cloud-based service for production automation, file sharing and safe data storage. PrintSphere offers a standardized way for print service providers to automate their workflows and facilitate data exchange. The Jeti Mira can now also expand into new applications with 3D lens printing technology, using a combination of printed lenses composed of UV-curable varnish and image manipulations. “With this new potential to generate stunning 3D effects, the Jeti Mira is truly a versatile printing revelation,” said Alaert.
Agfa Graphics will use the upcoming SGIA tradeshow in Las Vegas, September 14 to 16, to introduce its new 3.2-metre-wide Anapurna H3200i LED system, which the company explains will complete its family of hybrid Anapurnas (2.05, 2.5 and 3.2 metres wide).At SGIA, the Anapurna H3200i LED, FB2540i LED (flatbed) and Anapurna RTR3200i LED (roll-to-roll) will be on display next to the flatbed Jeti Mira with dockable roll-to-roll and high-end hybrid Jeti Tauro in a ¾ automation set-up. On its family of Anapurna i printers, Agfa recently introduced new air-cooled LED UV curing as an alternative to the current mercury lamp curing technology.“The Anapurna H3200i LED exactly meets the needs of most of our customers,” said Willy Van Dromme, Manager Marketing, Wide-Format, Agfa Graphics. “This is a belt-driven hybrid machine which handles all types of roll media in a size up to 3.2 metres, both in a single-roll and a dual-roll configuration, and it also allows for printing on four foot by eight foot rigids, fed with the long size first.”The Anapurna H3200i LED has a built-in white ink function. It includes pre-, post-, spot and sandwich white. The Anapurna H3200i LED is driven by Asanti 3.0 workflow.
In February, Ricoh, through its European division, introduced the new Pro VC40000 next generation continuous feed inkjet platform aimed at transactional and direct mail clients to deliver high quality output with enhanced productivity features. This newest addition to Ricoh’s market-leading inkjet portfolio complements the existing Pro VC60000 and InfoPrint 5000 systems.The Pro VC40000 features what Ricoh describes as a combination of speed, resolution and ease of use. At the heart of this solution lies the Ricoh TotalFlow Print Server R600A digital front end (DFE) that has been optimized to deliver workflow management for the production of complex, data-driven direct mail and transactional output.The Ricoh Pro VC40000 operates at speeds up to 120 metres per minute, making it capable of producing more than 100,000 A4 images per hour. With paper support from 40 to 250 gsm, application possibilities range from lightweight books to high coverage postcards.Ricoh explains it has made significant enhancements to its software and services offerings to support the launch of the Ricoh Pro VC40000. Ricoh ProcessDirector provides transactional and direct mail workflow support designed to maximize equipment throughput, help ensure 100 percent output integrity and qualify for maximum postal discounts. Additionally, the Ricoh TotalFlow Print Server R600A provides native support for PDF, PDF/VT and AFP together with JDF and advanced colour management support.
Canon unveiled its new Océ ProStream series, which the company describes as a revolutionary new approach to inkjet printing for further adoption into the mainstream of commercial printing. The Océ ProStream prints uncoated, inkjet-optimized, gloss and matt-coated papers at a rate of 80 metres per minute or 1,076 A4 sheets per minute. “We deliberately took a green-field approach to design, with a commitment to create a product that would open up fresh business opportunities for commercial printers, particularly in high-growth segments such as premium direct mail and marketing collateral,” said Christian Unterberger, Canon’s Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President Production Printing Products. “The Océ ProStream delivers on this commitment, pushing inkjet even further into the commercial printing mainstream with its amazing quality and versatility.”The Océ ProStream, according to Canon, combines several completely new core technologies for continuous feed inkjet, and builds on a decade of experience in inkjet with the Océ JetStream, Océ ColorStream and Océ VarioPrint i300.The latest piezo drop-on-demand inkjet print head generation, explains Canon, is leveraged with Océ Multilevel technology for sharper details, smoother half tones and economized ink usage. An Océ-developed set of ColorGrip and polymer pigment inks creates strong colours – on uncoated, inkjet-optimized and gloss and matt- coated offset papers.The new press series uses a sensitive floatation air dryer in which the printed paper is not touched until the print images are fully robust – there are no scratches or changes to gloss levels and minimal paper stress for maximum quality, explains Canon.The Océ ProStream is describes as a heavy-duty production engine with a resolution of 1,200 dpi and multilevel dot modulation at full 1,076 A4 per minute productivity.The Océ ProStream recently earned an iF design award from Germany’s iF International Forum for Design, as chosen by a 58-member jury of independent experts in a competition of over 5,500 entries from 59 countries.“We are confident that the Océ ProStream series will continue to drive our success in our competitive market,” said Unterberger. “With more than 33 percent percent market share, Canon Océ is the undisputed worldwide leader in continuous feed inkjet. The Océ ProStream will build on this heritage and carry forward our proud tradition of innovation in professional digital printing.”
At the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne, Switzerland, HP introduced its new PageWide Web Press T235 HD, part of the T200 HD Color series. The company explains this new entry-level continuous-feed inkjet web press provides commercial printers with an economical entry point into production-strength inkjet printing.The T235 HD platform, explains HP, is targeted for publishing, production mail and commercial print needs. It can be upgraded to the HP PageWide Web Press T240 HD for increased productivity.  “With the introduction of the HP PageWide T235 HD, it’s easier for more PSPs to make the analogue to digital transformation,” said Eric Wiesner, General Manager, HP PageWide Industrial Division, HP Inc. “As the HP PageWide Web Press platform reaches a milestone of 210 billion customer-printed pages, it further reinforces the market’s adoption of HP Thermal Inkjet technology.” Using HP’s High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) with a native resolution of 2,400 nozzles per inch, the duplex HP PageWide Web Press T235 HD runs at 400 feet per minue (122 metres per minute) in Performance Mode, using single drop weight printing. It is capable of producing 200 feet per minute (61 mpm) in Quality Mode, using dual drop weight printing with seven levels of half-toning per colour, and finer grain printing for smoother skin tones, gradients and secondary colour solid fills. “HP's high-volume PageWide solutions allow print service providers to add greater value to high-volume data-driven print communications with uncompromising performance and colour quality that brands demand,” said Wiesner.
After previewing the technology at drupa in mid-2016, Xaar plc has launched the Xaar 502 product family of greyscale piezoelectric drop-on-demand print heads designed for a range of applications. The first release from this print head family is the Xaar 502 GS15 O optimized for Coding and Marking applications.The 502 GS15 O print head, explains Xaar, meets the needs of manufacturers developing machines to print high-quality, late-stage product identification like text, product data, bar codes and graphics onto secondary packaging or directly onto shaped products and primary packaging.Xaar states this print head delivers a step change in product identification technology by combining binary and greyscale capabilities in one wide-swathe (70.5 mm) print head. With the ability to print drop sizes from 15-75 pL, the print head can print up to six grey levels for high-resolution, intense blacks on low contrast surfaces such as cardboard outer boxes. The Xaar 502 GS15 0 works with porous or semi-porous outer packaging and cardboard, giving the ability to better manage ink usage.“The Xaar 502 GS15 O is the pinnacle of 25 years of Xaar’s investment in developing piezoelectric drop-on-demand printheads,” said Simon Kirk, Senior Product Manager at Xaar. “Today brand owners and retailers expect to be able to put larger, more detailed, more brand-orientated product identification text and graphics onto their packaging. Another key driver for manufacturers is to have more control over ink usage while delivering higher resolution print on cardboard. This new wide-swathe greyscale inkjet printhead delivers the superb performance needed to achieve this.”The Xaar 502 family utilizes Xaar’s latest piezoelectric drop-on-demand actuator design, PrecisionPlus, which, explains the company, provides a long throw distance and increases stability and robustness of the print head. Combined with the optimized nozzle guard to support automated maintenance routines, the Xaar 502 family of print heads is positioned for use in demanding and harsh factory environments.Also included in the 502 print head family is Xaar’s TF Technology which can be run in Pulsed mode. This optional new mode recirculates ink behind the nozzles during non-printing periods only.The Xaar 502 GS15 O is compatible with a range of oil-based inks popular for use in coding and marking applications, including the latest addition to Xaar’s ink portfolio black mineral oil-free (MOF) SunJet IK822. This ink is designed for use on secondary packaging, with an ability to break down easily during recycling.
At Graph Expo, continuing in Orlando this week, HP Inc. announced four new 30-inch HP PageWide Web Presses powered by its High Definition Nozzle Architecture (HDNA) technology: HP PageWide Web Press T390 HD, T390M HD, T380 HD  and T370 HD.The new system print at 500 feet per minute in quality mode and, according to HP, are aimed at applications like colour and trade books, journals, retail catalogues, brochures and marketing collateral. The company also introduced a new technology that can be applied through the HP PageWide Web Presses, called HP Link Technology, which embeds Internet-connected codes and invisible watermarks in printed collateral, such as customized textbooks, magazines or instruction manuals. Most recently, Toronto-based Webcom leveraged HP Link Technology, along with HP One Book workflow solution and its HP PageWide Web Press T360, to produce several hundred individually personalized versions of Unsquaring the Wheel,, which are being shown at Graph Expo 2016. HP PageWide Web Press customers recently surpassed 180 billion pages printed since 2009. HP explains customers are now running more than five billion pages per month, up from four billion pages per month in 2015. An HP PageWide Web Press T360M customer, explains HP, recently broke a worldwide productivity record by producing 7.3 million pages in a day and more than 32 million pages in a week. MLI Marketing Solutions became its 1,000th PrintOS customer.
Part II of The pulse of print heads focuses on the advances of manufacturing piezo and thermal systems for use in inkjet presses taking greater aim at commercial printing and packagingWith the growing range of investment options, PrintAction is producing a series of articles, called The pulse of print heads, to better understand one of the most-critical components of any production inkjet press. In Part 1, last month, we took a look at the relatively simple discussion of drop size, primarily because print head R&D and inkjet messaging for more than a decade focused on printing ever smaller drops of ink with the goal of improving overall inkjet quality, even as some commercial settings may require larger drops for higher volume work. This month, Part II of The pulse of print heads focuses on the manufacture of print heads and how it relates to the adoption of inkjet presses for a wider range of commercial-printing applications. When a production inkjet system requires dozens of print heads each costing a few thousands dollars, for example, the manufacture of print heads also relates to the initial purchase price of inkjet systems and subsequent print head replacement costs. Crystals, diaphragms and heatThe past few years have seen the rise of two important technical terms in relation to the key piece of hardware – print heads – of production inkjet presses: Nanotechnology and MEMS. Print head makers and their press-building OEM partners – if not one and the same – have put both nanotechnology and MEMS into play for decades now. Short for Microelectromechanical Systems, MEMS basically describes any type of microscopic device, particularly devices with moving parts. MEMS manufacturing, therefore, relates more directly to piezo print heads that eject ink with moving mechanical elements, walls or diaphragms. Thermal print head manufacturing is experiencing similarly important advances, albeit with different process definitions, as developers of both print head types absorb massive upfront factory costs to propel the printing industry’s adoption of inkjet.“When we talk about MEMS, Xaar talks very holistically about our whole product portfolio – older [print heads] and new stuff. The difference being that we now use silicon MEMS, as well,” says Jason Remnant, Product Line Manager with Xaar, which has built inkjet print heads since 1990. He explains silicon is more or less used to form the base of the print head, providing it with fluidic chambers before a film is applied with PZT (piezoelectric pumping components). Xaar’s older generation print heads were built with what the company refers to as Bulk PZT that would be cut down to make the actuator ejection device, with control signals and a source of energy. The advances in silicon PZT manufacturing provides print-head makers with scalability and accuracy, resulting in an ability to fit more nozzles onto the given size of a print-head plate, with corresponding drivers, at less cost – even if the head may not be as durable as a Bulk PZT build.In 2007, Xaar started working toward silicon-based MEMS production and in May 2016 introduced its next-generation 5601 print, which is also built with what manufacturers describe as Thin Film technology for holding PZT components. “It has to be biggest thing to come along from Xaar in a decade,” says Remnant. Over the past decade, print head developments ensured the mass adoption of wide-format inkjet for commercial work, as well as ceramics printing and print products with lower quality requirements like the inner pages of books, statements and forms. The commercial printing industry – with its many applications and quality demands – requires a print-head evolution that is well under way.“The 5601 is a new platform of print heads that will absolutely drive the opportunity to digitize more print in the world,” says Remnant. In addition to reaching higher manufacturing levels at smaller micro-scales (nanotechnology), the new generation of print heads for commercial work, packaging and laminates, need to jet fluids other than solvent and UV. Remnant explains the 5601 can jet low-viscosity fluids, including aqueous and latex-type inks, which also opens up inkjet to the world of textiles.To deploy the 5601, Xaar is working closely with Ricoh, which holds significant press interests in commercial and high-speed printing markets. “Past print heads have included silicon MEMS techniques and now new designs are being developed. MEMS and thin-film technology are not changing Ricoh’s print head position, but rather, these two technologies are enhancing and expanding Ricoh’s inkjet print head capabilities,” says Joseph Ryan, Director Business Development, Ricoh Printing Systems America.The most-advanced print head manufacturing models today integrate components to create more of a print chip than a print head. “MEMS is a bit of a misnomer for HP thermal inkjet technology,” says Ross Allen, Senior Technical Specialist, HP Inkjet Technology Platform, who first joined the company as an engineer in 1981. “There are no moving mechanical elements in an HP print head. The ink is the only moving part. So, HP thermal inkjet is a MicroElectroFluidic System, and that term is not in common use.”HP builds its newest generation of print heads with silicon and photolithographic polymer technologies. Allen explains this allows the entire print head, including on-board electronics, to be built with technologies that were originally developed for manufacturing integrated circuits like computer chips. HP’s MicroElectroFluidic advances resulted in the launch of its Scalable Printing Technology (SPT) around a decade ago. Allen explains SPT enables fine structures, both electronic and fluidic, to be defined, precision-aligned and built on a silicon substrate.Just as Xaar faced limitations producing Bulk PZT, HP also previously faced manufacturing challenges with its original thermal heads because they employed separately fabricated nozzle plates that had to be mechanically aligned and adhered to a silicon substrate with fluidic channels and chambers. Allen explains more complexity came from the use of different material properties, such as thermal expansion between an electroformed nickel nozzle plate and the silicon (polymer) component.“By building fluidic – ink – chambers, passages, and nozzle plates out of the same photo-imageable polymer in layers up from the surface of a silicon wafer – with its electronic circuits – larger and more complex print heads may be produced,” says Allen. “HP thermal inkjet print heads are essentially integrated circuits that eject ink.” Like Xaar’s 5601, Epson’s PrecisionCore and Fujifilm Dimatix’ Samba technology, HP SPT is print head platform, meaning it continues to receive R&D dollars to include what Allen describes as smaller fluidic structures: Smaller drop generator chambers, ink passages, nozzles and built-in filters that catch particles in the ink. “This means that current generations of an HP print head chip – typically about an inch long – can have thousands of identical nozzles and deliver two or four different colours of ink. These chips are placed end-to-end, staggered – and with a small overlap – to build print heads that are 4.25- and 8.5-inches wide.”Compact nozzles and zonesThe ability to design nozzle-dense print heads – and manufacture them on a grand scale – is critical for inkjet-press adoption in commercial printing for a number of reasons from quality to cost. Technically, nozzle-dense heads allow press makers to build larger format presses with smaller print zones. Xaar’s 5601 is built in a Z-pattern to interlace the print heads and reduce the printing area of – ideally – a single-pass inkjet press built by one of its partners. A smaller print zone reduces potential printing complications with fast moving paper. “Being able to assemble a number of print heads into large arrays allows large systems to be assembled,” says Ryan. “Aligning print heads, especially in high-resolution printing applications, has always been a challenge to system designers. Almost all print heads have alignment techniques using precision locating pins, flat control surfaces, and incorporating physical configurations, such as Z forms and trapezoidal configurations for interlocking and alignment.”Employing traditional print heads in a single-pass production inkjet press, explains Xaar’s Jason Remnant, typically required staggering the print heads on a print bar to address issues like number of applicable colours and redundancy, particularly as press format sizes increased. Staggering heads can equate to deeper print bars, which in turn increases the print zone. “A small print zone is really critical because it has a [reduced] cost on the build of your machine and it also has a big influence on the print quality of your output,” explains Remnant. “If you are making a huge single-pass printer and it turns out that your print zone is two-metres wide, you have to control your substrates [to] get them from the first colour all the way to the nozzles of the last colour – and [the paper must] be where you expect it to be, so the drops end up where you want them.”Challenges of running a larger print zone are exacerbated, explains Remnant, because it allows for more swelling when paper is hit with fluids, particularly if absorbing water. “Part of the design of this [5601] head was to allow the OEM to make a very compact print zone and, in fact, the concept for a four-colour system with our print speed would actually mean you are printing quicker than the swelling of the paper.”The application of staggered print head bars, of course, becomes efficient when building integrated print chips with super-packed nozzles. For the first generation of print heads used in the HP PageWide Web Presses, Allen explains nozzles were spaced in two offset columns of 600 nozzles per inch to print at 1,200 dpi across the web. “The newest generation of HP print heads, called High Definition Nozzle Architecture, places small drop weight nozzles between the original high drop weight nozzles for dual drop weight printing. Across each ink feed slot – a slot through the silicon chip that supplies ink to the fluidics layer – these print heads feature 2,400 nozzles per linear inch,” says Allen. “A low drop weight nozzle prints in the same dot row as a high drop weight nozzle across the ink feed slot, so the printing resolution is still 1,200 dpi across the web.”HP’s print head build with integrated circuit technologies means many hundreds of its print head chips can be made on one silicon wafer. “This leads to large economies of scale in manufacturing,” says Allen, “where many different print head series can be built in the same HP factory.” Economies of scale provided by today’s print-head manufacturing results in lower-cost products that will ultimately affect the price of production inkjet presses and introduce a wider range of lower-cost, smaller-format systems for commercial printing. With growing use of total-cost-of-ownership investment models, printers should also consider the cost of replacing silicon-based print heads.“I don’t see any breakthroughs coming in any inkjet technology that could be considered a dramatic reduction in replacement cost. HP SPT already delivers manufacturing economies of scale that are reflected in print head price,” says Allen. “What could happen to reduce effective print head cost-to-print is longer print head life, which drives down cost per square metre. Of course, HP and others are always working to develop longer life, more reliable print heads, but lower prices will be evolutionary and not a dramatic breakthrough.”
Komori Corporation has added a new press to its Lithrone G Series, the Lithrone GX44RP offset press, describing the system as the ultimate in one-pass double-sided printing. The 44-inch Lithrone GX44RP is equipped with H-UV technology to deliver high quality, high productivity and short turnaround stability for double-sided printing.Komori describes the press as being well suited for applications like publication printing, magazines and books, and duplex package printing. Key features of the new press include single-edge gripping, which makes the margin on the tail edge of the sheets unnecessary. This enables paper costs to be cut by minimizing the sheet size. The Lithrone GX44RP also employs four double-size transfer cylinders, which eliminates sheet reversal and to help provide stable sheet transport for handling either light or heavy stocks through. Additionally, front/back plate imaging is in the same direction, (just as with single-sided presses) increasing efficiency in prepress. Supported by the KHS-AI integrated control system, benderless Full-APC and the H-UV curing system, the Lithrone GX44RP provides short makeready and powderless instant drying to accommodate fast turnarounds. Options that can be included with the press are the A-APC Asynchronous Automatic Plate Changer, the PDC-SX Spectral Print Density Control SX ,odel and the PQA-S Print Quality Assessment System.
Flint Group is introducing a new UV lamp retrofit conversion program called VANTAGE LED aimed at sheetfed printers. The full suite of products and services included in the retrofit program consists of pre-conversion consulting and training, LED inks and coatings, matching pressroom chemicals and blankets, as well as service support during and after conversion.At the heart of the VANTAGE LED program, according to Flint, are EcoLUX LED lamps supplied by Air Motion Systems, which develops LED UV technology often applied in the sheetfed offset industry. Flint explains VANTAGE LED is geared toward users of legacy UV methods and for those printers who have had no exposure to UV curing methods but are now investigating LED technologies. “LED curing technology will change sheetfed offset printing forever – there is no doubt,” said Jim Buchanan, Global UV Business Development Director for Flint Group Packaging & Narrow Web. “VANTAGE LED has been developed to ensure those wishing to convert to LED curing can do so with confidence in a very short space of time. Our expert print technicians will audit an operation in the first instance and a full cost-benefit analysis will follow – a press can be converted in as little as one day. “We have seen a staggering increase in factory-fitted LED presses, but the process of converting existing presses to LED, with retro-fitted lamp systems, allows printers a fast track to the benefits this technology brings.”
KBA is introducing a new double-pile delivery system for its Rapida 145 sheetfed press, which will be shown at drupa in a six-colour configuration with coater and automated pile logistics. The double-pile delivery option is now also available in medium format for the Rapida 106 press.The new double-pile delivery for the Rapida 145 is designed to optimize production at packaging companies with high throughput. A waste-free delivery pile which stands next to a smaller pile of waste, explains KBA, can be sent straight to a die-cutter or laminating machine to be converted. Productivity is increased as manually sorting through a pile for waste is now no longer necessary.KBA explains both piles can be embedded in substrate logistics. Waste can be ejected at full speed, i.e. at 18,000 sheets per hour (Rapida 145) and 20,000 sph (Rapida 106). This allows for start-up and run-up waste to be removed automatically. Further applications are planned in the future, explains KBA, which adds that double-pile delivery makes nonstop pile change at maximum speed safer. Production with two piles is possible in both manual and automatic mode.
At drupa 2016, running from May 31 to June 10 in Germany, Heidelberg plans to present three key new innovations for its Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2 short inking technology, applied to both commercial and packaging printing.Heidelberg explains its Anicolor advantages are summarized with the formula 90-50-50: “Around 90 percent less waste thanks to fast and constant inking. It takes just 20 to 30 start-up sheets to reach the correct ink levels for a new order. The result is a 50 percent reduction in setup times combined with a 50 percent increase in productivity.”“We presented the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor as prototypes at drupa 2012. We have sold over 200 printing units since then – split down the middle between commercial and packaging printers,” said Stephan Plenz, member of the management board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment. “At the next drupa we will be showing how easy it can be to complete short production runs quickly, flexibly, and economically using offset printing with the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor 2.”The first of three Anicolor 2 innovations highlighted by Heidelberg is the Anicolor Booster, which can be activated at the push of a button on the Prinect Press Center and permits a wider use of inks based on a new setting range for ink density on different printing stocks. Heidelberg explains, in most cases, Anicolor Booster does away with the need to change the ink chamber as was previously required with very absorbent printing stocks, adding this shortens the setup time in commercial printing since both coated and uncoated paper can now be processed with the same ink series. Heidelberg states this benefit is even more pronounced in packaging printing, with its ever-changing spot colours – up to 15 minutes can be saved here by not having to change the screen roller, which is mostly only required for orders involving the application of opaque white, gold, or silver.The second innovation of Anicolor 2 highlighted by Heidelberg is a faster washup program that provides for faster ink changes and, therefore, shorter setup times based on 9,000 revolutions per hour instead of the previous 7,000. As a result, Heidelberg explains the changing colour shades can now be achieved up to a minute faster.The third innovation of Anicolor 2 highlighted by Heidelberg is a new function allowing the operator to choose between “standard,” “short,” or “none” for the ink shut-off time, depending on the colour assignment from one job to the next. The shortened ink shut-off, according to Heidelberg, saves another 20 seconds, while eliminating it altogether reduces the setup time by 40 seconds. The option of “none” is suited for successive orders of the same type.Anicolor 2 with a new design, new feeder, and the new Prinect Press Center XL 2 will be available as standard from November 2016. A number of technical functions such as the new Anicolor Booster and the faster washup programs will be available earlier from July 2016.
IST METZ GmbH of Nürtingen, Germany, is repositioning itself to take advantage of the growing business in LED UV systems. In May 2015, the company acquired the majority interest of Integration Technology Ltd., which develops such systems, and IST METZ has now reorganized its management board.The UV market is changing: Besides the classic UV medium pressure lamps, in recent years the curing of inks and varnishes by means of UV LEDs has been established. This has even opened up whole new business areas, e.g. in the industrial joining technology. Offering both types of UV systems, IST METZ GmbH has even further expanded the LED business this year. Apart from the successful market launch of its own high-performance LED products, the acquisition of the majority interest in the British UV systems manufacturer Integration Technology Ltd. in May brought an additional gain in expertise in this field.Christian-Marius Metz, grandson of deceased company founder Gerhard Metz and previous Head of the Central Area Operations & Services, becomes Chief Executive Officer of IST METZ. Holger Kühn was named Managing Director Sales. He has been part of the company for 17 years in various functions in sales, most recently as Head of the Central Area Sales. Dr. Robert Sänger will complete the management board at the beginning of next year as Managing Director Technology. Having been Head of Development at the subsidiary eta plus electronic GmbH, he will now join the parent company. Dirk Jägers, previous Managing Director of IST METZ GmbH, left the company.“We are looking forward to running the company in the spirit of my grandfather”, said Christian-Marius Metz. “We are leading in the industry in terms of know-how in UV technology, and we will know how to make the most of it.”
Komori, at Graph Expo 2015 in Chicago, plans to focus on its recently introduced Lithrone GLX sheetfed press, IS 29 inkjet press and the PQA-S system for offset printing.Launched worldwide at the beginning of 2015, the Komori Lithrone GLX sheetfed press features a fully automatic, non-stop feeder and delivery, camera inspection and inline colour control. The GLX’ A-APC plate changers can change plates in one minute regardless of number of printing units. The company also points toward how the press runs on vegetable-based greases and oils. The new Komori GLX is rated at 18,000 impressions per hour, and although focused for the carton market, is described as a versatile machine is also suitable for the high-end or ultra-quick make-ready commercial market, as well as printers with long runs. Scheduled for a launch after Graph Expo 2015, the Komori IS 29 is a B2-format sheetfed UV inkjet press that can operate in perfecting or straight mode, printing on up to 18 point board substrates. It runs at 3,300 sheets per hour in straight mode. The IS 29 is a 20-inch web-fed machine that prints at up to 150 meters per second. According to Komori, this machine will be available as a roll-to-roll, roll-to-sheet, roll-to-saddle stitching or roll-to-perfecting binding configurations.PQA-S, introduced in 2014 for Komori press integration, is an external camera inspection system designed to detect defects like hickies, scratches, dry-up, lost image, oil drops, that can occur during printing. In addition to detecting colour changes, PQA-S automatically corrects them. The system is focused through a narrow slit in the catwalk to the last impression cylinder. It photographs each sheet at press speed for comparing to master sheet.
Canon on March 9 released the third generation of its varioPRINT DP product line, aimed at the monochrome production print market, with the varioPRINT 140 Series. Models in the new series print at speeds of up to 140 ipm, 130 ipm and 115 ipmAimed at small- to mid-sized commercial printers and in-plants, the 140 Series is rated for average monthly print volumes up to 800,000 letter-size images and, explains Canon, has the capability of producing peak volumes up to 2.2 million letter-size images per month.“Monochrome printed documents likely affect all facets of our everyday life… [they] are projected to remain the largest by volume in the coming years and there is still a strong desire for devices dedicated to black-and-white printing,” said Toyotsugu Kuwamura, Executive VP and GM, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. Software tools for the 140 Series include: PRISMAsync Job Scheduler, PRISMAsync Remote Manager, and the new PRISMAsync Remote Control app for smart devices. The Remote Control app, which can be applied to multiple PRISMAsync Print Server-driven printers, provides notifications of upcoming operator actions like loading media or adding consumables, or alerts of immediate actions needed. PRISMAsync Print Server is currently driven from a Windows 10 operating environment.The 140 Series includes enhancements to copy and scan capabilities for document digitization with tools like book-copy mode, an easy-copy screen, page numbering and a smaller scan file size. Canon explains theses tools are well suited for high-volume copy/scan environments. The printing systems use ScreenPoint Technology’s SuperCell rasterization, which allows for the reproduction of colour halftones and photographs as grayscale images – without operator intervention. Canon states the 140 Series’ DirectPress Technology all but eliminates quality degradation, based on working within a process taht isn’t affected by light, static charge, temperature, humidity, developer or toner mixtures.The varioPRINT 140 Series offers a range of in-line finishing and output options, including stapling, saddle stitching, folding, die punching, inserting, ring binding and high-capacity stacking. The 140 Series’ open Document Finishing Interface enables in-line connectivity to third party devices.The varioPRINT 140 Series is equipped with new security features to help provide better control over unauthorized usage and activity reports. Security features include user authentication by role or via LDAP-based operator login, a configurable user interface and extended audit logging.
Ricoh at the start of January unveiled its Pro C5200s series, a toner-based colour production printer aimed at in-house print centres, corporate reprographics departments, print-for-pay and commercial printers. The new Ricoh Pro C5200s and Pro C5210s produce colour and black-and-white documents at up to 65 and 80 ppm, respectively, reaching VCSEL resolutions of up to 1,200 x 4,800-dpi. Along with optional oversized media support, the Pro C5200s works with medias of up to 360 gsm simplex and 300 gsm duplex at 13 x 19.2 inch standard format. The optional oversized media support provides a 13 x 27.5 inch format.“With the RICOH Pro C5200s series, we are helping expand customers’ capabilities so they can serve as a one-stop shop for their clients, whether they’re an in-plant or print-for-pay…. This series is designed to fit easily on our customers’ production floors, within their information flows, and within their budgets,” said John Fulena, VP, Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh USA Inc. The system has a total paper capacity of up to 8,250 sheets and four paper trays available as standard. This feature combines with the series’ saddle-stitching, embedded paper library, and folding capabilities to make the Pro C5200s devices suited for booklet production. Optional Cover Interposers and Booklet Finishers are available. The new systems leverage Ricoh’s optional Smart Operation Panel for workflow automation, as well as a variety of scan-to options, including Scan-to-URL, Scan-to-Directory, Scan-to-USB and Scan-to-SD.
Canon Canada has introduced the imagePRESS C850 Series, consisting of the imagePRESS C850 and C750 colour presses, aimed at commercial printers, in-plant operations and franchise printers, among others. The imagePRESS C850 Series is the successor to the company’s imagePRESS C800 Series.Canon explains the imagePRESS C850 Series is designed to provide offset-like image quality through its gloss optimization technology, enabling users to match the gloss of the toner image to that of the media. The press also leverages a 32-beam R-VCSEL red laser to help produce crisp and clear images efficiently at 24,00 x 2,400 dpi. For increased flexibility, the system comes with a number of screen patterns to choose from and new 190-lpi dot screen capabilities, again aiming to provide offset-like reproduction. By using CV Toner and an Advanced Image Transfer Belt, Canon explains these devices can print high-quality work on a range of medias, including textured stocks..The imagePRESS C850 and C750 devices operate at print speeds of up to 85 and 75 letter-sized pages per minute, respectively, in black-and-white and colour. Canon also points to the press line’s reliable paper feeding with air separation and double sheet detection intended to reduce paper jams and production interruptions. The Compact Registration Module is designed to provide consistent colour. The presses can be integrated with a range of inline finishing options to stack, fold, saddle-stitch, staple, perfect-bind and ring-bind. A new option for this series will be the Multi-Function Professional Puncher-A1 for die punching on a wider range of media sizes and weights for letter size and larger, oblong bound books. Utilizing Canon’s die set, this new finishing module can crease documents in-line to produce folded applications, including saddle stitch booklets, with less paper cracking on the spine of the document. This series of printers now supports auto-duplex printing of up to 30-inch long sheets – helpful in the short run production of 6-panel brochures, posters and dust jackets.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is now offering an optional neon yellow spot colour for its Versafire CV printing system. The toner glows under UV light and the effect can also be used as a security feature, because the toner is near impossible to copy. Heidelberg explains this makes it especially interesting for printing admission tickets or wristbands, for example, and other applications in the event industry that only light up under UV light. In total, three additional toners can now be used with the Versafire CV in addition to CYMK: white, varnish, and neon yellow. To apply the toner, operators need an additional developer unit, while leveraging the Prinect Digital Frontend developed by Heidelberg and colour tools from its PDF toolbox.The new toner application can be retrofitted to all Versafire CV and Linoprint CV systems already in the market.
Canon Canada has launched the imagePRESS C10000VP Series to enter a new higher volume segment, engineered to run a range of media types and to support a monthly duty cycle of up to 1.5 million letter-size images. The imagePRESS Series reaches print speeds of up to 100 letter images per minute with the C10000VP model and 80 letter images per minute with the imagePRESS C8000VP, on all supported media weights up to 350 gsm. The imagePRESS C10000VP Series produces a resolution of up to 2,400 x 2,400 dpi with automatic colour control and adjustments, and more accurate calibration using new inline spectrophotometric sensors and Gloss Optimization technology to help match gloss levels of the printed image to the substrate it is printed on.The systems run medias from 60 gsm (uncoated) and 70 gsm (coated) up to 350 gsm, on textured media and supported specialties like vellum, film and synthetics based on the Series’ CV toner.Workflow support and integration is provided by the latest PRISMAsync Colour Print Server and Fiery-based imagePRESS Servers with new Fiery FS200 Pro System, which integrate with Océ PRISMAprepare.
Komori announced some of its technology plans for drupa 2016, which will mark the start of general availability of its Impremia IS29 press. The Impremia IS29’s UV inkjet architecture and ability to print on a range of stocks, explains Komori, allows the system to be used for commercial printing and package printing applications.Komori will also demonstrate its B1-size Impremia NS40 printing system based on the branded Nanography technology under license from Landa Corporation, which first introduced the process at drupa 2012. Komori explains the system will reach speeds of up to 6,500 sheets per hour.At drupa 2016, Komori will also showcase the Lithrone GX40RP as a one-pass, double-sided press that reaches print speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour. The GX40RP requires no flipping of the sheet, explains Komori, making it suitable for package printing with double-sided, multi-colour printing.Komori’s Lithrone GX40 with coater will also be at drupa demonstrating printing control and a print inspection system aimed at high-speed package printing and specialty printing. The machine exhibited will be shown with optional accessories that include PDF Comparator System, Sheet Numbering System and automatic mask creation software for inspection in packaging applications. All offset presses on the drupa floor will be equipped with Komori’s H-UV curing system and K-Supply H-UV ink.  In Düsseldorf, Komori, among other systems, will debut the new Lithrone G29 29-inch offset press with a renovated design. The press maker will also debut the new Lithrone G37 with a 25 x 37-inch maximum sheet size to produce A1-size products.
Goss has launched a colour control upgrade for the 16-page M-600 press, which the company describes as a way to help eliminate potential obsolescence issues for the press model.The benefits of the new automated Omnicolor II press controls, according to Goss, include start-up waste lowered by anywhere from 20 up to 50 percent, as well as significant reductions in turnaround time.“Customers can see the potential pay-off, whatever their current production model may be,” said Rutger Jansen, head of customer service, Goss International Europe. “Together, we plot in their average number of jobs and current makeready figures against the investment cost and the new figures they can reliably expect. I can't claim that the calculation methodology is groundbreaking, but it certainly helps convince our customers that the Omnicolor II upgrade is.”Features of the Omnicolor II upgrade include the ability to automate press setting direct from CIP3 data to reduce what Goss describes as a three-stage process down to a single step, which also helps eliminate error potential.More waste reduction improvements include what the company explains as quicker reaction of the ink keys and repetitive positioning; an ability to move all ink keys simultaneously; and the selection of up to 10 papers and inks, to optimize the presetting.New functionality like Ink Tracking and Color Boost are designed to enable the fastest possible process to achieve good copies. New auto learning, by saving all running job settings, job after job, allows Omnicolor II to fine tune the presetting by taking into account ink, paper and coverage specifications for optimum results.Following a one-day press audit, Goss engineers require full press access for between two and four days to install the upgrade on existing M-600 systems.
Goss International plans to open a new Packaging Technology Center in January 2014 at the company’s headquarters in Durham, New Hampshire. The company’s 650-square-metre (7,000-square-foot) Packaging Center is to be equipped initially with a Goss Sunday Vpak 500 press systemThe facility is being designed to accommodate both brand owners and packaging producers to test, demonstrate and implement cooperative printing programs based on web offset technology. To this end, the centre will also be focused on consumables testing.“The Sunday Vpak platform can provide higher quality, lower costs and faster turn-around times for packaging printing,” stated Rick Nichols, President and CEO of Goss International says. “Our investment in the equipment and the resources to staff this centre demonstrates our commitment to the packaging sector and our confidence in the advantages that web offset can deliver over traditional gravure and flexographic systems.” The Sunday Vpak 500 press system at the Goss Packaging Technology Center will feature seven web offset printing units with a web width of 850 mm (33.5 inches) and a repeat range of 406 to 812 mm (16 to 32 inches). The system will be equipped with a flexo unit and UV and EB curing capabilities and will accommodate film substrates from nine to 75 microns thick and paper products as heavy as 100 gsm. “With the first Sunday Vpak system now producing excellent results and another confidential project underway, we look forward to expanding our ability to demonstrate this new-generation web offset option to packaging producers throughout the world through customized print tests,” explains Peter Walczak, director of product management for Goss packaging presses. Walczak says Goss will host seminars and programs at the Packaging Technology Center that will allow packaging producers, brand owners and suppliers worldwide to jointly explore emerging demands in the market and share new ideas for addressing them. 

“This will also be an industry resource where suppliers can test inks, chemicals and auxiliary technologies for web offset production in a neutral, controlled environment,” stated Peter Walczak, Director of Product Management for Goss packaging presses.Partners supplying equipment and consumables to support the new Packaging Technology Center and its first Sunday Vpak press include ESI, Flint, Martin Automatic, Nela, Prime UV, QuadTech, Technotrans and Vataphone. Additional suppliers will be confirmed prior to the opening of the centre.

Greg Blue becomes the new CEO of manroland web systems Inc. in North America, replacing the leadership of Roland Ortbach, who continues with the organization as Vice President of Sales.“I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to lead our team through our first year,” stated Ortbach. The North American branch of manroland web systems was incorporated in March 2012, when it began business in both the United States and Canada. “We are now ready to move forward and our next critical phase of growth requires the leadership of an individual who has spent much of his career in the service and customer support area of our industry.”Blue brings with him 19 years of experience in the printing industry, including a range of knowledge gained from working in areas like application engineering, project and support management, and aftermarket business development.“I’m excited to take full advantage of the opportunities manroland web systems has in its future,” stated Blue. “My primary goal is to search for new growth opportunities which will continue to strengthen existing relationships with our customers.”In relation to its goals achieved over the past year, manroland web systems points to the strengthening of its parts and service support, relocating its North American parts inventory to a new warehouse in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, expansion of the printcom pressroom consumables product portfolio for U.S. and Canadian customers, relocating North American Headquarters to a new office in Lisle, Illinois, and completing the year with a financial profit.
At China Print 2013, running from May 14 to 18 in Beijing, Goss International is featuring its new Magnum Compact press model. A four-high Magnum Compact tower will be displayed at the show, which is to be demonstrated with Goss’ Autoplate fully automatic plate changing system.The company describes the Magnum Compact press as a cost-effective approach to traditional single-width newspaper and semi-commercial production that is designed to drive new short-run, multi-product business models. It is build for extremely fast changeovers, versatility and simplified operation.Along with the new Magnum Compact model, Goss is highlighting its portfolio of single- and double-width newspaper presses at China Print, including the Community SSC/Magnum series, which the company describes as the market leader for single-width production in Asia, as well as Universal and Uniliner presses and the Colorliner CPS and FPS compact double-width press options.At China Print 2013, Goss is highlighting its Vpak packaging technology as a variable repeat web offset press for folding carton, flexible packaging, pre-print and label printing. Sunday Vpak presses feature quick-change blankets and printing cylinder sleeves and are available in web widths from 520 to 1905 mm. For the commercial printing market, Goss is also highlighting press range from the 16-page M-500 and M-600 models to wider-web Sunday presses, as well as the M-800 model that was recently installed in Beijing with a 4x4 configuration.
It was two decades ago when the first Sunday web press unit entered production. Since then, over 2,300 Sunday printing units have been shipped to 27 countries around the world.The 1993 Harris Sunday press featured the then-revolutionary gapless-blanket technology, which allowed printers to run at 100,000 impressions per hour compared to 75,000 impressions which was typical at the time. The gapless blanket technology reduced vibration and eliminated streaking which led to higher print quality with reduced non-print area, leading to paper savings.Since 1993, the technology changed hands twice, first to Heidelberg Web Systems in 1988 (when Heidelberg bought Harris Graphic) and finally onto Goss International in 2004. Along the way other features have been added, including Autoplate, Automatic Transfer, pinless folding and DigiRail digital inking technologies, as well as automated controls and high-performance splicers, dryers and auxiliaries.The Sunday 3000 won the PIA/GATF InterTech award in 1994 and made its drupa debut in 1995. By the end of that year, 31 units had been installed in six countries. According to Goss, the first Sunday press still remains in operation in the United States.
Goss International has been named as one of five companies to earn a 2012 Siemens Customer Excellence Award. The award recognizes the application of Siemens technology in delivering advanced automation in Goss presses.“We are especially delighted to have been recognized for our achievements in automation, as they are part of our long-term mission to help our customers improve productivity and short-run agility while reducing waste and maintenance requirements,” said Jeff Upchurch, senior vice president of Research and Development at Goss International. “We are streamlining press and finishing system performance, including job changeover processes, with a comprehensive approach aimed at automating, simplifying or even eliminating steps. Results can create new market opportunities for web printers allowing them to compete at run lengths that were formerly in the domain of sheetfed printers.” Other companies receiving awards include Conoco Phillips (oil and gas energy), Fori Automation (equipment designer and manufacturer), Lockheed Martin (aerospace), and GT Advanced Technologies (LED and solar technologies)."Our Customer Excellence Awards illustrate the power of partnership, specifically highlighting best practice sharing and providing inspiration to other users in the Siemens automation user community. Each of this year's winners has clearly demonstrated their leadership in driving innovation, collaboratively overcoming barriers and delivering success," says Raj Batra, President of Siemens Industry Automation Division.
Mark Andy will debut Digital One, a new entry-level inkjet printing and converting label press, at Labelexpo Americas 2016, running from September 13 to 15 in Rosemont, Illinois. Deliveries of Digital One are scheduled to begin in December 2016 in North America and to the rest of world in Q1 2017.The new press, according to the company, is designed to print short run prime labels with in-line converting at a low investment level – using what Mark Andy describes as a pay-as-you-go model. The press provides 4-colour CMYK printing with a 1,200 x 1,200-dpi resolution combined with a single flexo station for in-line converting and decorating.The standardized configuration features a web width of 13 inch (330 mm) with printing speeds reaching 63 feet per minute (19 metres per miute) on various substrates including pressure sensitive paper and film, unsupported paper and tag stocks. The servo-driven flexo station offers capabilities to spot colour, varnish, laminate, and cold foil with in-line finishing offering die cutting, stripping and slitting capabilities. Equipped with air-cooled UV LED curing and an onboard compressor, Digital One requires a 220v single phase power source.Mark Andy Manager of Business Development, Tim Brasher, believes that the Digital One will go hand-in-hand with the company’s strategic growth initiatives, providing superior, productive digital solutions to a wider range of markets and converters. This extension of our robust product line reinforces the Mark Andy commitment to being a Total Solutions Partner to the label and packaging market.“Demands for digital capabilities are steadily increasing,” said Mark Andy Manager of Business Development, Tim Brasher. “Digital One is a viable solution for converters allowing them to engage with more customers and seek more opportunities to generate revenue for their businesses.”
Kodak expanded its line of brand-protection products, primarily aimed at thwarted counterfeiting, to include Thermal Transfer Ribbon printing with its Traceless Anywhere System and Traceless Ultracovert System. Kodak explains the new technology allows for deploying Thermal Transfer Printers that companies already use to print barcode and product identification labels. This drop-in solution only requires switching from current Thermal Transfer Ribbon (TTR) to Kodak Traceless TTR, which creates the same look but results can then be detected – separating counterfeit from authentic product – through the use of the pocket-sized Traceless Anywhere Reader. Kodak explains its Anywhere Solution has the advantage of requiring a lighter, smaller, and less expensive Reader than the Ultracovert System while still providing covert protection against duplication by counterfeiters. Kodak TTR are super-premium resin-based for maximum durability and sample ribbons for conducting print trials are available at no charge.“Brand owners and brand protection managers are looking for solutions to their authentication challenges but don’t have the time and patience for solutions that require changes to label artwork and production processes,” explained Richard Gammons, Product Manager for Kodak Brand Protection Solutions. “Other solutions require alignment among many different departments and convincing various company stakeholders to make changes. With thermal transfer ribbons from Kodak, the solution can be added to any flat-head style TTR printer and you’re done. Very few people in the company even need to know that a security feature is being added, which further protects the brand from accidental disclosure to would-be counterfeiters.”
Nilpeter plans to introduce a new inkjet press platform called PANORAMA, focused on packaging, at the upcoming LabelExpo 2015 tradeshow, running from September 29 to October 1 in Brussels, Belgium. The first new press in the PANORAMA line to be highlighted will be the 5-colour DP-3 UV-inkjet press designed for single-pass printing, while the company is also preparing to unveil the FA-4 flexo press. Nilpeter explains the PANORAMA product-line is designed to produce a range of label jobs in short- to medium-run lengths with minimum wastage. The company continues to explain, in developing PANORAMA, it has adapted several of its inline finishing modules to digital production. This includes a web in-feed, varnishing unit, the QC-Die-cutting system, smart matrix stripping, length slitting, varnishing unit, and small-roll dual rewinds. A mark sensor used by PANORAMA technology allows for precision re-inserting of webs for reverse printing, or overprinting of pre-printed webs, including variable data.
The PANORAMA product-line has a maximum printing width of 322 mm (12.67 inches) on up to 350 mm wide webs. It prints up to 50 metres per minute (164 ft/min) using paper or filmic label laminates from 90 to 350 microns. In addition to CMYK UV-inks, PANORAMA features an opaque white ink as standard for printing transparent films and metallic foils.
The PANORAMA DP-3 print engine uses single-pass 600-dpi piezo print heads with 4-level greyscale imaging. A minimum droplet size of three picolitres allows small-dot halftones for hitting flesh tones and fine vignettes. The digital front-end includes what the company describes as strong typeface optimization and automated step- and-repeat functions. Expanded options for vivid colour reproduction is also available.
Asahi Photoproducts has introduced what the company describes as two new premium digital photopolymer flexo plates, called TOP (solvent washable) and AWP (water-washable), which use Pinning Top Dot (PTD) technology. PTD is designed to provide clean ink transfer and to prevent ink accumulating on the plate surfaces and shoulders in screen areas. It allows what Asahi refers to as a kiss-touch printing pressure settings. Its polymer chemistry provides low plate surface tension to inhibit liquid flow. The ink forms a globule, with a large contact angle and high pinning point. This results, according to Asahi, in a cleaner and homogeneous ink transfer from plate to substrate. Asahi explains the higher pinning point also allows for applying reduced printing pressure throughout the printing run, regardless of ink set used, which leads to lower dot gain. Asahi’s PTD plates offer a resolution of 80 l/cm (200 lpi), minimum isolated dot of 150 µm micron, and is available in thicknesses of 1.14mm (shore A hardness 77) and 1.70mm (shore A hardness 69). It is compatible with all commonly available laser types, as well as the latest high-definition microcell screening technology.
OMET at the upcoming Labelexpo Americas show in early September plans to introduce its new 17-inch width XFlex X4 converting system. The XFlex X4 includes OMET’s patented chilled impression roll print head design and fully automatic (MD & LD) register control system. This includes twin servo-motors on each printing unit for label and thin film printing. The extended 17-inch width of the XFlex X4 system, accord to OMET, is geared toward printing companies that produce  short to medium runs of labels and long runs of flexible packaging. Also at Labelexpo Americas, OMET plans to demonstrate a 10-colour XFlex X6 530, based on shrink sleeve printing and also self-adhesive converting applications. The company plans to demonstrate the XFlex X4’s changeover and production of self-adhesive label printing for the wine and spirits sector. OMET Americas reports an install base of around 130 machines in North, Central and South American markets. Its facility is located in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Anderson & Vreeland released its new AVCAP product, which is a liquid photopolymer capping resin – sold under the AVantage line – designed to improve print quality and performance in flexography. AVCAP is designed for use with softer-base liquid photopolymer plates applied within multi-wall, folding carton, corrugated and wide web printing applications. The addition of AVCAP during the platemaking process creates liquid photopolymer plates for imaging. The 60 durometer (Shore A) photopolymer resin, according to Anderson & Vreeland, broadens overall tone range from 2-95% @ 133 lpi, improves ink transfer, reduces dot gain, and provides strong coverage of solids while minimizing fluting. “AVCAP enables printers to control print gain under impression for high quality and process colour printing,” stated Randy Reynolds, AVantage Business Development Manager with Anderson & Vreeland. The new liquid photopolymer capping resin is available in 20- and 40-pound weights. AVCAP fits in the AVantage product line of liquid photopolymer resins designed for printing on corrugated board, multi-wall bags/sacks, molding applications, and for the production of hand stamps.
Mimaki has released the new TS500P-3200 super wide dye sublimation printer in North America. This 129-inch (3.2 metre) wide dedicated transfer printer enables production runs for producing extra-wide textile applications such as home furnishing and hospitality fabrics.The company explains typical home furnishing fabrics – curtains, upholstery, and bed linens – are extra wide, which makes the TS500P-3200 printer well suited for these applications. Mimaki also points to the growing demand for large indoor fabric signage and decorative point-of-purchase environments, while noting dye-sublimated fabrics can be folded, stretched and cleaned without damaging the prints. Using new print heads, 12 arrayed in three staggered lines, the TS500P-3200 printer produces speeds of up to 1,937 square feet (180 square meters) per hour. The print heads also feature a high head gap, enabling high quality printing on thin transfer paper.
In January at the Heimtextil exposition in Germany, HP Inc. introduced its next generation HP WallArt Suite as a Web-to-print tool designed to help small- to medium-sized printing companies involved in the decoration space. The WallArt technology was created exclusively for HP’s line of Latex printers. It features what HP describes as an improved interface, updated dashboard design to better manage customer orders, easier Web integration, four free HP Wall decoration Web apps, and access to different content sources like Fotolia, Pattern Design, Instagram and Dropbox. The HP Latex 310 and Latex 360 printers include third-generation HP Latex technology for proofing interior decoration applications like home textiles, while the recently introduced HP Latex 3500 Printer allows for unattended operation with heavy-duty roll-handling and 10-liter ink cartridges.“Our PSP customers have told us they want easy-to-use, affordable, intuitive software that makes printing and communication with their customers easier,” said Joan Perez Pericot, Worldwide Marketing Director, HP Inc. “With the new HP WallArt Suite, PSPs and their customers can manage everything from design to order information in real-time online.”
EFI, at the first dedicated textile exhibition since the mid-2015 acquisition to form EFI Reggiani, will showcase new technological solutions and processes for what the company describes as the new era of green textile factory production.At ITMA 2015, running from November 12-19 in Milan, Italy, EFI Reggiani will highlight textile manufacturing with reduced energy and water consumption for greater efficiency and a lower environmental impact. The TOP printer, available in both 1.8- and 2.88-metre widths, is a heavy-duty, flexible machine to be demonstrated with reactive dyes printing direct to cottons. The machine can also be used with acid, disperse, sublimation and pigmented inks, providing versatility and speed.The Essetex 2-metre-wide washing box is a system suited for knitted and light fabrics, particularly where print washing is beneficial for delicate textiles and for post-dyeing of printed cloth.The new entry-level ReNOIR NEXT printer is described as a versatile product that prints onto fabrics and papers using the same ink set with a 1.8-metre beltless printing system. It joins the Reggiani line-up of textile printing solutions and offers what EFI describes as simplified material handling, a compact footprint and lower acquisition cost.All of these inkjet digital textile systems are based on new eco-chemistry, using water-based inks that, together with automation, provide what EFI Reggiani describes as a total solution for textile businesses. The water-based inks are developed to be eco-friendly by significantly reducing pollution without compromising quality and speed. Also making their debut at the show are new Artistri PK2600 inks developed by DuPont for cotton textile roll-to-roll printing on EFI Reggiani printers.
Roland DG Corporation received OEKO-TEX Standard 100, product class I certification, for its Texart SBL3 dye-sublimation inks. This Nissenken Quality Evaluation Center certification provides assurance that these inks, made for use with the company’s new Texart RT-640 dye-sublimation printer, are safe for inkjet printing on polyester fabric to create sublimated items, including products for babies and toddlers.OEKO-TEX is an independent certification system for testing the safety of textile materials and chemicals at every stage of production, from raw materials to end products. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 is divided into four classes based on human ecological requirements, with class I (which ensures that printed textile items are safe for babies and toddlers) being the most difficult to achieve.“Receiving OEKO-TEX certification is significant because it opens up a world of opportunities for our users looking to make and sell products for this market segment,” said Lily Hunter, Roland DGA’s Product Manager, Textiles and Consumables.Roland’s Texart SBL3 ink and the RT-640 dye-sublimation printer were both launched in October 2014. This was followed by the introduction of Texart Transfer Paper in March. Roland’s new SBL3 inks are available in both four-colour (CMYK) and eight-colour (Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Orange and Violet) sets.
Mutoh America launched its new 74-inch ValueJet 1938WX printer designed for high-production, dye-sublimation printing.With a staggered dual-head design, the VJ 1938WX is rated to produce 1,440 dpi resolution, while printing at speeds of up to 1,327 square feet per hour. The system holds up to eight colours and also provides automatic sheet off, which means it cuts off the material when the print is done. The printing system also includes Intelligent Interweave printing to help eliminate banding, DropMaster ink technology, and ValueJet Status Monitor app for mobile printer monitoring. It holds a suggested retail price of around US$31,995.  
Kornit Digital, which focuses on the development of textile printing technology, has launched a new-generation discharge ink for the Kornit Avalanche DC Pro direct-to-garment printing system. The technology creates what Kornit describes as unique digitally printed garments that have a natural feel. The company believes this technology allows garment decorators to expand into new fashion markets and achieve higher revenues and margins. “Textile printing businesses seeking to enter the fashion industry can now print on dark garments without a white layer base, thereby creating a soft, natural feel on the garment,” said Kobi Mann, Director of Application and Consumables Products, Kornit Digital. The company leveraged more than 10 years experience in developing hardware, software and NeoPigment inks for garment decorators to arrive at its new solution. “By drastically reducing the amount of white ink and eliminating the need for pre-treatment fluids, the Avalanche DC Pro expands printing capabilities and creates a competitive advantage in today’s demanding fashion-oriented market.” The new discharge ink is described by Kornit as an improved, ready-to-use version that does not require special handling or mixing, and remains stable in print-heads for up to a year. The Kornit Avalanche DC Pro has two additional print-heads by which the new discharge ink is applied to bleach the dye molecules of the dark garment, providing a base for CMYK printing, creating a great natural feel for the finished product. In combination with the discharge ink, the system can apply flexible amounts of white ink for full opacity control. Support for the new ink will also be available as an upgrade kit for Kornit Avalanche systems with Spectra Nova heads. Kornit states its Avalanche DC Pro is the only industrial textile system that provides an array of discharge and white options: it can print CMYK over discharge, CMYK over white, or CMYK over a discharge and white combination.
The Xerox Direct to Object Printer, which is a customized solution built to order, allows for printing photos, images and text directly onto 3D Objects in just a few minutes. The technology, which can be aimed at on-demand personalization, relies on Xerox print head nozzles that are half the width of a human hair.The print head nozzles, explains Xerox, can accurately spray ink on objects as small as bottle caps and as large as football helmets. The printer can print on plastic, metals, ceramics and glass, eliminating the need for costly labels. “This innovation opens up a path for creating customized products instantly at a time when the consumer’s appetite is all about personalization,” said Brendan Casey, VP of Xerox Engineering Services. “Imagine a sports fan coming home from a game with a helmet or ball that was personalized right at the stadium, or a retailer offering on-demand personalization on hundreds of different store items.” Xerox explains it uses enhanced image-quality algorithms to direct the microscopic nozzles half the width of a human hair. By accurately spraying ink at distances of one-quarter inch, the printer is able to print on smooth, rough, slightly curved or stepped surfaces at print resolutions ranging from 300 to 1,200 dpi. The printer can handle up to 30 objects per hour, with the ability to scale for production. “The real innovation here is that we can now print on items, such as steel water bottles with multiple curves, without the setup time and costs that analog printing such as flexography or screen printing require,” said Wayne Buchar, Chief Engineer, Xerox Engineering Services. Xerox explains the ink jets are compatible with virtually any type of ink chemistry including solvent, aqueous and UV inks and can be operated at temperatures as high as 140°C, enabling jetting of specialized inks that meet demanding requirements. As well, the architecture of the Direct To Object printer features a flexible design for holders so that objects can be changed out easily.
International Data Corporation (IDC) released a new report, called The Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide, which forecasts global revenues for the 3D printing market to reach US$35.4 billion in 2020. This is more than double the US$15.9 billion in revenues forecast for 2016 and represents a compound annual growth of 24.1 percent over the 2015-2020 forecast period.3D printers and materials will represent nearly half the total worldwide revenues throughout the forecast, according to IDC, with software and related services also expected to experience significant growth. Revenues for computer-aided design (CAD) software are forecast to triple over the five-year forecast period while the market for on-demand parts services will nearly match this growth. IDC explains the gains in both software and on-demand parts printing are being driven by the rapidly expanding use of 3D printing for design prototyping and products that require a high degree of customization in non-traditional environments.The use cases that will generate the largest revenues for 3D printing in 2016, according to IDC, are Automotive Design, Rapid Prototype Printing (more than US$4.0 billion) and Aerospace and Defense Parts Printing (nearly US$2.4 billion). IDC explains Dental Printing has also emerged as a strong opportunity in 2016.“Customer spending on 3D printing capabilities is following the market away from mass market consumer printers towards holistic solutions that enable higher-end – and more profitable – use cases,” said Christopher Chute, VP, Customer Insights and Analysis, IDC. “As the market for printers, materials and services matures, IDC expects new 3D printing capabilities to enable a next-wave of customer innovation in discrete manufacturing, product design, and life sciences.”IDC continues to explain that given the increased use of 3D printing for prototyping and parts production, it comes as no surprise that discrete manufacturing will continue to be the leading industry, generating 56 percent of worldwide 3D printing revenues in 2016. “IDC expects the worldwide 3D printing market to continue its rapid expansion over the next several years, driven by the need to reduce manufacturing cycle times and to reduce prototyping costs,” said Keith Kmetz, VP of IDC's Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions research. “This growth will be fueled by an explosion of 3D printer manufacturers from around the world, seeking to capitalize on the anticipated growth in this market with faster printers that offer better quality output at lower prices.”Healthcare and professional services will remain the second and third largest industries, according to the new report released on August 12, in terms revenues over the 2015-2020 forecast period, while retail will experience the greatest revenue growth, vaulting into the fourth position by 2020. Meanwhile, IDC predicts revenues from consumer 3D printing will grow modestly as this market has already matured.The Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide by includes revenue data available for more than 20 use cases across 20 industries in eight regions. Data is also available for 3D printing hardware, materials, software, and services.
Fujifilm Dimatix unveiled the new Dimatix Material Printer DMP-2850 aimed at printed electronics, displays, and similar applications. The product, to be available from September 2016, with enhanced user applications coming in the first quarter of 2017, is an enhanced version of the company’s deposition research platform, the DMP-2831. Launched more than 10 years ago, the DMP-2831 is a laboratory tool for the development of inkjet deposition fluids and processes, with approximately 1,000 units placed worldwide in academic and industrial facilities. The DMP-2850 includes an embedded 64-bit PC preconfigured with Microsoft Windows 8.1 and updated Drop Manager software. Two high-speed cameras with finer resolution optics provide superior images for drop-watching and print inspection functions. To accompany the hardware changes, the DMP-2850 will build on user accessibility and flexibility with an enhanced software platform. Remote access API and open architecture enable remote monitoring of cameras and printer status. More options for complex printing will be available with feature recognition, auto registration functions, and support for multi-layer printing. Jetting evaluation and drop watching operations will also benefit from automated analysis.
Ultimaker, a 3D printer manufacturer in The Netherlands, signed a sales and service agreement with Shop3D to distribute its technologies in Canada. Shop3D offers the Canadian technology market a selection of products for sale, as well as personalized design and printing services. Online purchases can now be made in the official Canadian Ultimaker Web store and consumers can also visit the Shop3D showroom in Brampton, Ontario, where consumers can purchase the Ultimaker Original+, Ultimaker 2, Ultimaker 2 Go, Ultimaker 2 Extended, Ultimaker Filaments, Add-Ons and Spare Parts from Shop3D.“With the growing interest in 3D printing in Canada we realize more and more how suitable our 3D printing is for this territory – great service and local support are of the utmost importance here,” said Siert Wijnia, founder and CTO of Ultimaker. “It is therefore important that we select the right local partners. We have full confidence that, together with Shop3D, we will be very successful in Canada.”Ultimaker focuses on producing products that make 3D printing accessible to all, with desktop printer models that based on open source programming. “Canada has always been a central hub for creativity and avant garde thinking. A mentality that fits perfectly with the Ultimaker community,” said Kenneth Wan, CEO of Shop3D. “As such, Shop3D is delighted to form this new partnership with Ultimaker so that Canadian engineers, designers and makers have access to the best 3D printers on the market paired with unbeatable local support without cross border hassle.”
The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association and PAC, Packaging Consortium, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore how printable and organic electronics can help Canada’s packaging industry. This is a non-financial commitment between the two organizations to collaborate on a number of initiatives over the next two years.“This partnership with PAC is a tremendous stride forward in our commitment to our members, to forge the linkages that will help them create compelling new products and applications that meet the pressing needs of key end users,” said Peter Kallai, Executive Director of Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA).PAC explains its 2,200 members come from all sectors of the packaging industry, including retailers, consumer brands, package manufacturers and services, waste management and government. The association explains printable and organic electronics are providing new ways to manage inventory, track shipped items, better maintain product freshness, monitor medication usage, identify packing materials for re-cycling, and turn consumer packaging into an interactive platform.PAC continues to explain its collaboration with CPEIA includes a priority to address waste. For example, the association explains, a third of the world’s food goes to waste. The PAC Food Waste initiative is investigating waste in the supply chain and looking at ways to extend product shelf life through innovations in packaging. PAC NEXT, meanwhile, is looking at ways to identify sustainable solutions that can lead to zero packaging waste.“A key aspect of our mandate is to drive progressive change in the packaging value chain through leadership, collaboration and knowledge sharing,” said James D. Downham, President and CEO of PAC. “Intelligent packaging enabled by printable electronics could drive one of the greatest advances to reduce waste in the packaging industry since the widespread adoption of recycling programs.”
HP, after a long expectation based on its decades of inkjet printing and materials sciences development, has officially entered the 3D Printing space with the introduction of Multi Jet Fusion system. While the technology is available today through a partner program, HP expects to begin wider distribution of its 3D print systems in 2016. Built on HP Thermal Inkjet technology, Multi Jet Fusion, according to the company, features a unique synchronous architecture to address the commercial viability of 3D printing. HP states Multi Jet Fusion is 10 times faster than the fastest technology in market today based on its ability to image entire surface areas versus one point at a time. The company’s proprietary multi-agent printing process, utilizing HP Thermal Inkjet arrays, simultaneously apply multiple liquid agents that combines accuracy, resiliency and uniform part strength in all three axis directions. The company also explains Multi Jet Fusion is able to manipulate part and material properties, including form, texture, friction, strength, elasticity, electrical, thermal properties and more – well beyond other 3D print processes.   HP has also started the HP Open Customer Engagement Program to work with users to extend the capabilities of the HP 3D Print platform, which will include a certification process for partners to drive materials innovation.   HP also introduced its vision for the future of computing and 3D printing by unveiling its new Blended Reality ecosystem. This ecosystem is underpinned by two key advancements, including Multi Jet Fusion and what the company calls Sprout by HP. Sprout is described as a first-of-its-kind Immersive Computing platform that combines an advanced desktop computer with an immersive, natural user interface. “We live in a 3D world, but today we create in a 2D world on existing devices,” said Ron Coughlin, Senior VP, Consumer PC & Solutions, HP. "Sprout by HP is a big step forward in reimagining the boundaries of how we create and engage with technology to allow users to move seamlessly from thought to expression." Combining a scanner, depth sensor, hi-resolution camera and projector into a single device, Sprout by HP allows users to take physical items and merge them into a digital workspace. “We are on the cusp of a transformative era in computing and printing,” said Dion Weisler, Executive VP, Printing & Personal Systems, HP. "Our ability to deliver Blended Reality technologies will reduce the barriers between the digital and physical worlds, enabling us to express ourselves at the speed of thought – without filters, without limitations.”
Toronto-focused urban site BlogTO has highlighted Toronto’s Letterpress printing scene with a short list of the city’s printers.“Since the dawn of the internet, geek chic has reigned, so it makes sense that a love for typography would resurface,” writes post author Sarah Ratchford, “Combine that with the maker/DIY takeover, and you've got yourself a town full of folks seeking out letterpress printers.”The list includes Trip Print Press, previously profiled by PrintAction in October 2006 and five others. The posting also solicits readers to contribute other letterpress operations in their comments section.Read the full post here.
In the age of computerization, where metal type in China has been falling in popularity, there are a few who are working hard to save the cultural asset.The Associated Press has published a profile on Chang Chieh-kuan, one of the few remaining lead-type printers in China and Taiwan. "Lead type makes an impression on paper that digital printing cannot," says Chang. "It allows people to feel the weight and power of the character."Taipei once had 5,000 printing shops in the 1960s, but today only 30 old-style establishments remain. Chang's company, Ri Xing Type Foundry, is the last print foundry in the capital and hasn't turned a profit in 10 years. "If I can't save this business ... it would be a big loss for Taiwan," Chang said. "As for humanity, the Chinese-character movable letterpress is a huge cultural asset and could very well disappear."Read the full story here.

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