In May, swissQprint introduced two updated large format printer models with new curing options in the Impala LED and Nyala LED. The company explains there are also a range of mechanical improvements in Impala LED and Nyala LED. Two examples: the beam architecture has been reworked for even better stability, and swissQprint has ensured that the flatbed is indeed perfectly flat over its entire surface – 3.2 × 2 metres with Nyala LED and 2.5 × 2 metres with Impala LED. The Nyala LED achieves a maximum of 206 square metres per hour, Impala LED 180 square metres. Impala LED and Nyala LED are flatbed printers, expandable with options as required. There is a roll to roll option. swissQprint launched what the company calls a 4×4 version of its existing Impala and Nyala series in early 2017. Impala LED and Nyala LED are optionally available in this version as well, meaning that they come configured with quadruple CMYK at high printing speed.
Tilia Labs Inc., of Ottawa, Ontario, creator of tilia Phoenix for planning and imposition automation, has released its new automatic layout solution for wide format printers, called tilia Griffin. The software was first announced just prior to drupa in May 2016.tilia Griffin is a prepress solution to automate the layout creation process for wide format printing. It features what the company describes as a modern, ultra-responsive interface and intuitive design. Griffin leverages the Phoenix nesting engine to create true-shape tightly nested layouts, explains Tilia, helping drive down substrate costs, reduce errors, and increase throughput. The workflow in Griffin is simple, explains Tilia, and can be mastered with minimal training. To start out, artwork files are input into the system with various production information such as quantity, shape and size. Users can then select from a library a substrate board or roll size and automatically generate nesting. Once nesting has completed, marks such as registration, barcodes, and grommets are automatically added. Finally, output can be generated for printing and cutting using presets for different devices. “The release of tilia Griffin today marks a big milestone for our company. It is our second product to roll out into the market, and it also shows our dedication to the wide format segment, which we feel has a lot of room to grow and we have a lot of value to offer,” said Sagen de Jonge, CEO of Tilia Labs. “Initial testing with beta customers has been very positive so we’re excited to now begin offering to the general public and confident customers will enjoy fast return on investment with the time savings and advantages it has to offer.”
At Fespa 2017, which began yesterday, HP Inc. introduced the new HP Latex 3600 and 3200 printers, flexible signage printing option for the HP Scitex 17000 press, and HP PrintOS for Latex and Scitex HDR presses.Introduced in 2009, water-based HP Latex technology now has more than 40,000 Latex printers installed worldwide. HP also introduced the HP Latex 300 Series Print and Cut solutions at ISA Sign Expo 2017 in April. The 3.2 meter HP Latex 3600 and HP Latex 3200 printers support higher volume printing and an improved monthly duty cycle. The HP Latex 3200 is geared toweard PSPs that want to produce a range of applications with high productivity, in high quality for retail/outdoor advertising, events/exhibitions, vehicle graphics, and interior décor. The HP Latex 3600 is designed for even larger PSPs needing long-run, uninterrupted printing. It can handle production peaks of up to 35,000 square meters per month and is well suited for dedicated application production, such as banners, backlits, wallcoverings, and retail or event signage. The new HP Latex 3600 and HP Latex 3200 printers offer a special tiling mode, with an improved colour consistency; reduced media waste, saving up to one linear meter per roll, using the HP Latex Media Saver; and lower labour costs, a single operator can manage up to four printers simultaneously.The new 54-inch HP Latex 315 Print and Cut and 64-inch HP Latex 335 Print and Cut are dual-device solutions for simultaneous printing and cutting in a single workflow.HP also announced commercial availability of HP Durable Backlit Fabric that can resist damage during post-processing or light box installation. HP Durable Backlit Fabric will be available in October in a variety of widths up to 2.95 m (116 inches). Widths of up to 3.2 m (126 in) are expected to be available by the end of 2017.Paper-based signage production for indoor and outdoor applications using flexible substrates is now supported with the Flexible Media Loader for the HP Scitex 17000 Corrugated Press.
Mutoh America, Inc. has announced its new 75-inch, four-head, dye-sublimation printer, the ValueJet 1948WX with print speeds up to 2,199 square feet per hour and dual heaters for fast dry times. The VJ1948WX also comes with adjustable pressure rollers, 4- or 8-colour ink capabilities, and automatic sheet off. It is equipped with Intelligent Interweave printing technique, DropMaster ink technology and ValueJet Status Monitor for smart printing.
IQDEMY Holding, which operates in the inkjet arena, is showcasing its recently introduced Maglev 1228 UV-LED printer at Fespa 2017 (May 8 to 12, 2017) in Hamburg. Maglev 1228 features a print table of 1.2 x 2.8 metres and can accommodate heavy materials up to 400 kg, including stone, marble and glass.Its honeycomb table is divided into six vacuum zones operated independently to help reduce power consumption when only some parts of the table are used. The UV-LED printer is equipped with levitation technology, which enables printing without noise, according to IQDEMY. The printing system uses eight different dot sizes achievable via a combination of Variable Dot technology and Technology of Invisible Dots. Able to print with eight colours (CMYK+W+LM+LC+V) the Maglev also has a white ink recirculation system and 10 tanks for ink supply featuring ink level sensors. Its LEDs, according to the company, can operate for up to 10,000 hours without having to be replaced. The printer comes with a warranty for up to five years. Another feature of the Maglev 1228 is its ability to produce layered printing. This is sometimes also referred to as 3D-print in the large-format sector, as different amounts of ink layers enable a haptic feeling, thus images and prints, for example wood reproduction.“Maglev 1228 is our best solution in the context value for money,” said Vladislav Mirchev, CEO of IQDEMY. “Maglev 1228 has been designed especially for medium scale production. Advertising, including signboards, backlit projects, exhibition booths and POS, among others, are its primary application. In addition, the UV-LED printer enables printing on glass, furniture, stone, wood, marble as well as metals.”
Roland DGA has launched its new CAMM-1 GR series large-format cutters, including the following features: An “L-shaped” integrated machine and stand design that provides stability even when cutting at speeds of up to 58.5 inches per second (1,485 millimetres per second); Up to 600 gf of down force; Dual-position tool carriage for seamless transition between kiss-cutting and perforating; Capability to read crop marks from industry-wide software; Pinch rollers electronically adjustable to 10 pre-set levels; Up to 10x overlap cutting; A tangential emulation function for precise corner cutting; Advanced media feeding system; Built-in media basket for easy cut sheet collection; Ethemet connectivity; and A choice of 64-, 54- and 42-inch cutting widths. The CAMM-1 GR series cutter also incorporates Roland CutStudio software: Perforating Cutting function for creating pop-out stickers and decals; Cut-by-Colour function for designs with multiple coloured sheets; New functionality that creates weed lines to facilitate weeding after designs have been cut; and Plug-in software enabling direct outputting from Adobe Illustrator® and CorelDRAW.
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  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.
Sun Chemical entered a collaboration agreement with HP Indigo to develop coatings to help drive digital printing in the packaging industry. “Printers and converters have already invested in digital presses and need specialist coatings and varnishes that would enable packaging applications to be printed digitally according to market requirements and standards,” said Felipe Mellado, CMO, Sun Chemical. The digital coatings will include overprint varnishes and adhesives.Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, has annual sales of more than $7.5 billion and over 20,000 employees.
Danish press manufacturer Nilpeter has expanded PANORAMA, its digital product line. The advancements include a re-design of PANORAMA’s converting and flexo printing units and an update of the press software. The digital hybrid configurations meet a number of requirements, including standalone, all-round and value-added PANORAMA hybrids. The new digital hybrid configuration features digital inkjet, flexo units, an FP-4 unit for hot foil and embossing, a semi-rotative die unit and a smart matrix unit. The enhancements to the product line will be on display at LabelExpo Europe 2017 in Brussels from September 25 to 28.
HP recently reached a milestone with the sale of its 500th Indigo Series 4 press. The Series 4 press includes the HP Indigo 10000 and 12000 for commercial printing, HP Indigo 20000 for labels and flexible packaging and HP Indigo 30000 for folding cartons. The oversized, roll-fed HP Indigo 50000 also just completed its first customer installation at Digital Lizard in Las Vegas, Nev. “We have used HP Indigo technology to offer innovative solutions that are tailored and customized for our clients to help them secure the growth they are looking for,” Jayme Wisely, President and CEO, GLS/NEXT Precision Marketing, says. “The B2 sheet size and high quality output have been a real game changer, and we expect our new HP Indigo 12000 to enable our company to raise the bar even higher.” HP has also sold more than 200 HP Indigo 7900 units in less than a year, since drupa 2016 this past June/July.
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.
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.
In May, Epson introduced its new SurePress L-6034VW, a UV-based label press for short- to mid-run jobs. The SurePress L-6034VW is Epson’s first single-pass industrial press, the first to use Epson’s PrecisionCore linehead technology, and the first to use Epson’s low migration LED UV curing ink. The company explains the L-6034VW is suitable across a range of industries, including health and beauty, nutraceuticals, and food and beverage, as well as standard consumer packaged goods. The SurePress L-4033AW is designed for prime label converters and commercial printers. It is a seven-colour inkjet digital label press with white ink that for working with clear and metallic substrates.
DuPont Advanced Printing has announced the addition of the DuPont Cyrel EASY EPC to its plate portfolio. The Cyrel EASY EPC, a soft digital plate is equipped with a built-in flat top dot for post-print corrugated printers. It also comes with medium durometer plates designed with flat-top dots which fit into the FAST and solvent workflow. Cyrel EASY EPC plates minimize fluting when printing on a variety of corrugated boards. Other features include simplified workflow, consistent ink transfer and printing, high exposure resolution, quality reproduction, and efficient make-ready times.DuPont highlighted the new Cyrel EASY EPC at INFO*FLEX 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.
At FTA INFOFLEX 2017, running until May 3 in Phoenix, Arizona, DuPont showcased its new Cyrel EASY EPC product, a soft digital plate with a built-in flat top dot developed especially for post-print corrugated printers. The company also highlighted medium durometer plates designed with flat-top dots that fit into its FAST and solvent workflow. DuPont explains the Cyrel EASY EPC delivers high-quality image reproduction while minimizing the fluting effect when printing on a variety of corrugated boards. “The expansion of our EASY plate portfolio confirms our commitment to customers, particularly in addressing their need for increased productivity and less make-ready time,” said Sam Ponzo, Regional Director, Americas, DuPont Advanced Printing.DuPont Cyrel EASY plates are designed to simplify the prepress process with built-in flat top digital dots, resulting in increased productivity and consistency.
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.
Mimaki has commercially released its TX500P-3200DS machine, described by the company as a complete digital fabric printing system. The 3.2-metre-wide direct-to-textile printer features an in-line colour fixation unit for soft signage, exhibit graphics, and décor applications. The TX500P-3200DS printer will be on display at the upcoming International Sign Expo, April 20-22, in Las Vegas.Direct to fabric dye sublimation printing requires fixation of inks through a dry heat process, a step that is traditionally performed separately. The TX500P-3200DS printer, explains Mimaki, utilizes an inline colour fixation unit to optimize the printing and finishing process by enabling simultaneous printing and colour fixation, thereby reducing two steps to one in a single device. Additionally, the TX500P-3200DS printer provides efficient finishing by linking the printer and the heater units. This enables synchronization, explains Mimaki, so that the printer is initiated when the heater reaches the optimum fixation temperature. Mimaki states this feature helps to control cost by reducing production time, labour, and transfer-related waste.The TX500P-3200DS printer includes new print heads that enable printing directly onto various types of textiles. The high gap setting, explains Mimaki, gives users the ability to print on thin and thick textiles, plus woven patterns or raised fiber surfaces.The 12 print heads are arranged in a staggered array and provide a range of printing modes from high-speed draft (1,399 square feet per hour) to high quality (538 square feet per hour).An Auto Media Feeder (AMF) and a pulling roller provide consistent feeding of fabric by automatically applying the appropriate tension to the fabric during conveyance.The system also includes waveform control, whereby each ink colour has its own specific gravity and viscosity. To achieve placement of the ink droplets onto the media, Mimaki designed a waveform control that enables the printhead to jet each ink colour at the appropriate jetting angle while maintaining ink droplet circularity. The system provides variable ink droplet sizes – small, medium and large – and Mimaki Advanced Pass System 4 (MAPS4). This technology incorporates an advanced algorithm that reduces banding, uneven ink drying and bi-directional.
Agfa Graphics is introducing the new Avinci DX3200 dye sublimation printer for soft signage printing at ISA International Sign Expo 2017 (Las Vegas, April 20 to 22). The company explains this dedicated signage engine is designed to provide high print quality on polyester-based fabrics.The Avinci DX3200 engine allows users to create soft signage prints of up to 3.2 metres wide, at a resolution of up to 1,440 x 540 dpi. “The engine features six colours (CMYKLcLm) at a droplet size of 14 picoliter,” said Reinhilde Alaert, Product Manager at Agfa Graphics. “This guarantees a vibrant colour gamut, outstanding tonal rendering and fine detail reproduction.”The Avinci DX3200 offers different quality modes, with a speed of up to 173m2/h depending on the application. “Avinci can handle a wide variety of polyester-based applications, such as banners, point-of-sale displays, indoor wall graphics, outdoor advertising, trade show displays and flags,” said Alaert. “On top of that, the Avinci DX3200 has smart algorithms on board that enable very low ink consumption – another important benefit for our customers.”Avinci DX3200 comes with Agfa Graphics’ Asanti software designed to automate all preparation, production and finishing steps of signage products. The core includes automation, colour management, job pre-flighting, and templates. Asanti also includes features for soft signage printers like Integration with Storefront (Agfa’s tools for the automated management of Web-to-print and Web shops) automated positioning of grommets on banners, and the design of canvas extensions (like air pockets) for flags.Asanti also recently introduced integrated tiling so that oversized banners or billboards that extend beyond the maximum printing width can be produced on Avinci DX3200. Asanti creates mounting instructions and adds the necessary marks to the tiled prints to help the operator mount them.With a textile-dedicated media transport system and is also compatible with most off-line calendering solutions on the market, explains Agfa, which fix the colours deeply into the structure of polyester-based fabrics.
SPGPrints has introduced a 914mm version of its rotaLEN direct laser engraver. Features: A sealed CO2 laser that ablates the printed areas without film, chemicals or water; Images SPGPrints’ non-woven nickel re-engravable RotaMesh rotary screens with resolutions of up to 5,080 dpi; A narrow-web version accommodates screens up to 660 mm wide; RotaMesh rotary screens with a seamless hexagonal hole-structure; Printing speeds up to 150m per minute (490fpm), depending on the application; Fine positive and negative prints created with SPGPrints’ software; Capable of applying ink or varnishes of up to 250µm thickness; Capable of imaging two reusable RotaPlate screens simultaneously, exclusively for label printing, when applied to a drum of 1,300 mm circumference; Compatible with the complete rotary screen range, such as SPGPrints’ RotaMesh 405 and RotaPlate 355F screens, to RotaMesh 75 for 250µm-thick Braille dot reproduction; Examples include raised, coarse and textured varnishes, rich and opaque colours, metallic finishes, warning triangles and Braille.
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.
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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35th Annual Gala GutenbergThu Jun 01, 2017
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