Printing

Lucas Crossley, Regional Manager, Canada, Mimaki, discusses advances in wide-format-inkjet imaging technologies.
Keith Soya, Application Specialist with Zund America, discusses advances in cutting technologies.
Durst Phototechnik AG has worked in partnership with Serom to create Digital Patternware technology that allows inkjet label printers to produce patterns, security lettering and textures on most any inkjet substrates. The patterns printing is done simultaneously with the main printing on the Durst Tau UV inkjet label press. Digital Patternware forms a print pattern using different heights of digital printing with the Tau UV ink on the surface to form patterns and shapes giving 3-dimentional effects. The various texture effects and patterns change depending on angle of light, and watermark patterns and characters for the security reasons can also be done digitally on the Durst Tau 330 Series platform. Patternware allows for the watermark, variable code, image, pattern or logo to be hidden.Durst explains conventional technologies used to create textured effects include the lenticular method, engraving or embossing the printing roll or using a specially textured printing medium. The company explains these conventional methods have limitations like lack of accuracy, low productivity and high development cost.
Nustream Group, which previously announced in February the creation of a new business focus on the sign and display market, is introducing two large-format substrate collections in this segment, including  the Veramax Large-Format Aqueous-Coated Collection and the Veramax Large-Format Solvent-Coated Substrate Collection.The Veramax Large-Format Aqueous-Coated Collection provides substrates for Canon, Epson and HP water-based inkjet printing. The line is aimed at applications like labels and signage in addition to current proof or CAD prints.The Veramax Large-Format Solvent-Coated Collection provided a larger variety of substrates, as it is compatible with most solvent, eco-solvent, Latex or UV-curable inkjet printers available from manufacturers like HP, Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland and Seiko among others.
CET Color, a manufacturer of wide-format UV flatbed and hybrid printers based in Atlanta, Georgia, has introduced the 3200UVRTR printer, which is a 126 inch roll to roll UV printer. It leverages two Kyocera print heads and can include up to four. This unit has the capability of C, Y, M, K, Lc, Lm and WW ink configurations and supports Onyx or Caldera RIP software. The unit is able to print on various substrates like banner, backlit, mesh and vinyl. It also has a built in light source so users can back light their material before it goes to the take up reel, aimed at the UV market.  Javier Mahmoud, CET Color Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said, “The market demand feedback from our dealers has been very strong on a roll to roll UV solution. We are very proud to announce this 126-inch roll to roll UV that has the capability of printing dual rolls of media at the same time.”CET Color offers a line of wide format UV printers, as well as a recently introduced flatbed cutter.
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.
Four of Canada’s technology leaders discuss the current state of production inkjet technology and what impact it is having in the domestic printing market.After  decades of intense research and development, supported by unprecedented technology partnerships, production-strength inkjet on the cusp of disrupting commercial printing. In mid-June, four of Canada’s technology leaders travelled to Burnaby, BC, to participate in a panel discussion focused on the business strategy of production inkjet at PrintAction’s one-day PrintForum West conference. The panelists included: Alec Couckuyt, Senior Director, Canon Canada, Professional Printing Solutions Group; Brad King, VP, Graphics Communications, Xerox Canada; Ray Fagan, Sheetfed Product Manager, Heidelberg Canada; and Edward Robeznieks, VP of Sales, Ricoh Canada. Below are key excerpts from their hour-long discussion.Why should printers invest in inkjet today, are we past the bleeding-edge?Alec Couckuyt: Yes – we are past the bleeding edge. There has been tremendous evolution in the technology with inkjet… The commercial printer right now is really looking at how can I better serve my customer and inkjet technology together with offset, wide format and digital are all services that are being offered. It really has gone from just putting ink on paper to how can I better serve my customer in a total cycle.Brad King: Cutsheet inkjet is new from a strategic point of view. In Canada, we have one [Xerox Brenva] install that we can talk about and two others we cannot talk about, so it is still fairly new. There is a lot of interest from commercial printers about these products – how it fits, what are the applications, where does it play. More products and applications are coming and the inkjet space is very close to exploding.Ray Fagan: If you think about cutting-edge or bleeding-edge technology it is still, in my opinion, in its infancy in terms of long-term development. We took the advantage of some existing platforms of the XL 106 sheet transport, feeder, delivery that have been around a long time.. and we partnered with Fuji for the inkjet heads using Samba technology and their expertise to combine both technologies into one machine. We got to market fairly quickly and launched it at drupa.There are still a lot of learning curves, a lot of consistency challenges… But our first [Primefire 106] press has been installed in Europe with a beta site at a packaging customer and we will do another machine this year. The roll out will continue to be slow... By 2018 we will finish our beta testing and move into serial production.Ed Robeznieks: Because we migrated to our [Ricoh] 60000 platform we are able to now go to commercial printers and say you can move offset work over. We can run coated stocks, thicker stocks… we are not running 300, 350 gsm, but we are running 250, 260 and that has opened up the door.Copywell in Toronto put in a VC60000… They took an original application which was sold as an [offset] sheet run and have now billed 2.5 to 3 million feet a month, which are true offset transfer applications.How does inkjet present new opportunities for printers?Couckuyt: An example of a new application for one our clients is magazines… They are actually personalizing or regionalizing the advertising in the magazine. Part of the magazine is printed offset and then the variable part is printed on the inkjet web and then they assemble it. That is an advantage they can sell to their client – the ability of having regionalized information for a specific advertiser. So it is a new way of approaching the market and creating new opportunities. The critical part is that we can now combine variability with static… The question of whether inkjet can replace offset is the wrong question. Offset and inkjet together open more opportunities for clients.King: When inkjet came out it was roll-to-roll, big machines, two million plus investment in capital. You needed big volumes to justify the roll-to-roll devices and there were not a lot of printers who could participate in the economics of inkjet. Now the technology is coming down for lower volumes, as an investment with cutsheet devices, so that mid-sized commercial printers can start playing in this game...  You can do a short-run campaign with similar economics that the big players are using today. That is where inkjet is really going to open up big opportunities.These devices are not $100,000 yet – still a pretty good number that you have to spend – but they are not $2.5 million roll-to-roll devices that need to be running 3, 4, 10 million impressions a month to have the economics make sense.Fagan: Because [Heidelberg’s] Primefire is basically focusing on the packaging market, as we roll out the product, there are a lot of things happening in packaging that are forcing those printers to look at economics a little bit differently. As run lengths decrease in packaging, it is harder to make money because you do not have the pure volumes. The customer demand for individualization is growing and it is really in its infancy.We have seen jobs where a 100,000 sheet run is broken into batches of 500 cartons... and this is where the digitization of the industry and the industries around us in advertising are driving manufacturers to do something quite a bit different. Major brands are really forcing that upon packaging printers.We also see a lot of legislation for packaging with batching and traceability of the package through UPC codes. It could be in the European market in the near future where every single box has an individual identification marker on it so that we can trace it back to its origins. And this is due to the amount of piracy.Robeznieks: As the price goes down for devices inkjet will become more attractive. It is good for us in a way as manufacturers. Because there is so much downward pressure on operating costs right now, it is becoming difficult for us to make a profit because of servicing the equipment and toner-based technology requires a lot more service than inkjet-based technology. So it is better for us in the long run, from our perspective, to move toward inkjet. Your gain [as a printer] is operating costs and flexibility where you can do variable, but you are going to be able to take advantage of significant cost savings with inkjet versus toner. How do you describe total cost of ownership for inkjet to printers?Couckuyt: Inkjet uptime is a really critical issue. If you are used to a digital press, uptime is in the 60, 70 percent range. If you look at [Canon’s] i300, for example, it has a minimum uptime of 95 percent. When we start talking about total cost of ownership, for a commercial printer and a specific job, that could mean dedicating three shifts [on a toner device] or doing it with inkjet in two shifts… when you look at the evolution of inkjet devices a lot of R&D effort went into building those machines so that they really look after themselves. King: Inkjet is new technology, that over the next 15 to 20 years, I feel is going to change the printing industry. It allows variable print onto all substrates... It is going to allow us to offer our customers, and printers’ customers, some pretty impressive product solutions to help keep print alive... having strong economics to keep print relevant for people who use marketing communications. This is really where inkjet TCO will help keep print alive, because it is variable and it will have something valuable to sell to the people who want to use print as a marketing vehicle versus just going digital. Fagan: We do not see inkjet supplanting offset in a large way for quite some time. We think they are going to run in harmony based on what is being produced. And if you follow that philosophy, the total cost of ownership for the offset printing press can also be improved... because you have another alternative which improves the total cost of ownership on your other equipment.    You are also reducing costs in prepress and you are reducing costs in other areas of building. You do not have to warehouse products. There are a lot of other costs that inkjet lends itself to... that lends itself to a facility’s overall production cost.Robeznieks: There are still heavy users of offset technology that are going to be difficult for us to strip away... it really comes down to a manufacturer partner who understands a certain vertical really well and who can help you understand your client base and then figure out where the footprint fits.Why will variable be more impactful for inkjet than it was for toner?Robeznieks: I’m going to give the non-politically correct answer but it is not. If you have a good working relationship with your client and can help them with variable campaigns, it doesn’t matter what you use – inkjet, toner, there are lots of ways to interact with the client. What is very interesting is the next phase of inkjet which will be direct to shape... That is a whole different ball game, because now you are going to have things done on the manufacturing line. All of a sudden our devices are no longer creating labels, they are going directly to their object. And all of us are looking at how to get into that space.Fagan: Big Data has been slow in being understood by a lot of people... in terms of managing the data and properly executing it into a portfolio of products. I really think Big Data in general, Industry 4.0, all of that growth we are seeing right now is accelerating at a very high pace and it is going to become much more manageable to do large variable data programs, computing that information, managing it and getting it where it needs to go. I see growth in that area with inkjet.King: There is a [Xerox] customer in Toronto who has figured a bit of this out. When you go onto a Webpage and click on a couple of items you thought of buying – and then forget about it or leave to go somewhere else – they are actually grabbing that data. That night, they run a batch file with those three items you looked at, print it the next day on a direct-mail piece and it gets mailed out to that customer within 24 hours. That is where I see some of this very interesting data management… You can do a great direct-mail campaign on a very cost effective platform like inkjet.Couckuyt: As a printer, you have to be involved in a lot more than just putting ink on paper... you have to be able to handle data, make sure it is being utilized and sent out to the client in record time to have relevance. This is where we as an industry have to be able to take in that data, configure the data properly, and get it out as fast as possible.We are under pressure to really understand what it is that our clients are communicating, what they need. Inkjet technology and the combination of different technologies, where you go inline or near-line, whichever way you set it up, is an answer to producing relevant communications tools for your client.
Appvion Inc. has extended its Triumph High-Speed Inkjet Paper line with the addition of four treated products: 9 pt. Triumph Treated Universal in rolls and sheets, 9 pt. Triumph Treated Ultra P in rolls, and 32 lb. Triumph Universal and Triumph Ultra P in rolls.“We continue to expand our portfolio of Triumph High-Speed Inkjet Papers to meet the ever-advancing demands of the inkjet printing industry,” said Scott Harman, Appvion’s Director of Digital Products. “Appvion’s commitment is to add value to paper. With these product extensions, we are offering our customers added value through more high-quality, superior-performing paper choices – all which yield the excellent finish and vibrant colour that provide exceptional results to meet their various application needs.”Triumph Universal is engineered to run smoothly on both dye and pigment based printers and, according to the company, Ultra P is designed to provide ultra bold and vibrant colour as well as improved productivity with roll-fed, high-speed inkjet presses using aqueous pigment inks.Triumph Treated papers, explains Appvion, are ideal for high-color direct mail, transpromotional pieces, catalogs, books and many other applications, and are available in a wide range of basis weights and sizes.
Domino Digital Printing Solutions is targeting the label industry with its newest Digital Front End workflow for its N-Series range of colour presses. Described as providing improved operating speed and streamlined automation, DFEv2.0 maintains compatibility with the latest Esko code base and can work with a number of VDP (variable data printing) formats.“Workflow integration is a fundamental component for an efficient digital printing process that should not be underestimated,” said Simon Howes, Product Manager, Digital Printing Solutions at Domino. “The effective management of press time while optimizing print quality needs to be guaranteed, especially for brand-oriented sectors such as labelling and packaging.”The new screener, Domino ScreenPro, streamlines workflow by combining several processes into a single JDF workflow, which the company explains enhances speed and efficiency as well as enabling full offline VDP operation and additional capabilities within DFEv2.0. When compared to DFEv1.2, the increase in job processing speeds is significant, according to Domino, and has a major impact when using multiple page PDF files for variable data printing. The RIP-to-print ratio of the latest version of ScreenPro is four to five times faster than the previous DFE solution.With the introduction of a new JDF workflow, the need for manual file conversions is removed, while key information such as lead-in/lead-out, copy count by quantity or print run length can be passed from the DFE directly to the digital press.“While speed and automation are the two features likely to appeal the most to label printers, versatility also has an important role to play,” said Howes. “The new workflow adds the ability to work with various VDP formats, such as multiple page PDF and PDF/VT files for the printing of variable data, barcodes and 2D barcodes, offering the printer a wider range of options to work with.”
From August 14 to 18, 2017, PrintAction magazine will cover the growth of Production Inkjet printing with a range of dedicated and unique content around the sector.
Xaar, which develops industrial inkjet technology, introduced the Xaar 5501, a new addition to its portfolio of aqueous print heads, which complements the existing Xaar 1201 and Xaar 5601, and provides OEMs looking for an aqueous print head from Xaar with a wider choice. This is the first product resulting from Xaar’s collaboration with Xerox, aiming to provide high print quality combined with low printing and integration costs.  The new Xaar 5501 is built on proven bulk piezo technology in conjunction with Xaar Drive Electronics. Xaar describes it as a lightweight and high resolution 1,200 dpi print head that is ideal for a range of water-based digital printing applications, such as textiles (digital direct to garment, dye sublimation transfer and soft signage) and graphics (banners, posters, displays). It has 5,544 nozzles, each producing five pL sub-drops giving a 115 mm print width. The Xaar 5501’s robust construction, according to the company, makes it compatible with a range of fluids including aqueous inks, low viscosity UV or solvent-based inks.The Xaar 5501 uses a micro alignment system to position and align print heads via software. This allows rapid and easy printer set up, explains Xaar, therefore streamlining print head commissioning and reducing downtime overall. In addition, it does not require an ink recirculation system; which helps with lower integration costs and makes it very suitable to use in scanning applications such as printing wide-format graphics and textiles. In addition, for high productivity applications, single-pass printing is possible. “We are delighted to be bringing the Xaar 5501 to market,” said Jason Remnant, Senior Product Manager at Xaar. “With this addition to our aqueous portfolio we now have a full range of solutions to meet the majority of applications which need low viscosity-compatible inkjet print heads. With its simple ink supply system, the Xaar 5501 is a very cost effective solution for scanning textile and wide-format graphics printers, and will be widely available to OEMs later this year.”
Fujifilm Dimatix, which specializes in drop-on-demand inkjet print heads, has expanded its existing Samba family, with the introduction of the Samba GMA line of products. The GMA products will be based on Si-MEMS technology along with the Samba G3L (single-pass focus). The Samba GMA is described by the company as a compact, low voltage, full silicon MEMs print head designed for scanning applications such as textile, indoor signage, soft (dye sub) signage and high quality UV printing. Samba GMA print heads are based on silicon micro-electro-mechanical systems manufacturing (Si-MEMS).With 384 individually addressable nozzles, the Samba GMA 33 print head has a native 300-dpi resolution and a native ink drop size of five picoliters (pl) that can jet a range of fluids like UV curable, solvent, and aqueous inks. Fujifilm explains through continuous ink recirculation directly behind the nozzle and several innovations including nozzle plate design, specialized nozzle plate geometry, and waveforms tailored to specific fluids, known as RediJet, this process provides a range of potential of the Samba GMA print head. RediJet allows the print heads to be quickly and easily primed, explains the company, resulting in faster time to print, minimal ink waste and greater reliability.Fujifilm’s VersaDrop jetting technology used by the new print heads allows multiple fixed drop sizes in binary mode and grayscale capability from one print head, with no loss to productivity. In binary operating mode, the Samba GMA print head is designed to eject adjustable drop sizes from five to 18 picoliters, and can support grayscale levels as defined by the users control electronics.
Heidelberg has launched the 37-inch-format Speedmaster CS 92 into the North American market. The company reports numerous machines have been installed worldwide, primarily with small commercial printers needing to print 30 million impressions and upwards per year on one machine. The Speedmaster CS 92 was first launched at China Print 2015 as a press for printers looking to consolidate multiple, older machines or wanting to upgrade from a half-size press to widen their market offering. The new press is available in standard four- and five-colour configurations with and without coater or as a six-colour plus coater model. The CS 92 is also available with UV curing. Heidelberg states based on its productivity versus price performance, the new press offers the lowest cost per sheet against any other competitive press in its class. With a format size of 25 x 37 inches (8-up letter size sheets), Heidelberg explains customers benefit from a 20 percent plate savings over traditional 40-inch presses.Built upon the platform of the Speedmaster CD 102, the CS 92 prints up to 15,000 sheets per hour and comes standard with Preset Plus Feeder and Delivery. It can also be equipped with Intellistart technology to shorten makeready times.
Komori has commercially released its new Lithrone G37 press in the North American market. Komcan of Georgetown, Ontario, is the Canadian dealer for Komori presses.Described by Komori as a compact press that can produce A1-size products, the Lithrone G37 provides a 640 x 940 mm maximum sheet size (printing sheets up to 37-inches wide) and is equipped with an updated version of the KHS-AI integrated control system for quick press start-up. Komori explains colour management can be implemented by including a CMS colour bar on sheets even with 8-up A4 or American letter-size impositions. Its format size is also well suited, explains the company, for printing items in the international standard A1 poster size, while providing flexibility in layout criteria such as bindery register marks. The Lithrone G37 produces a maximum printing speed of up to 15,000 sheets per hour. It also provides what Komori describes as stable high-speed operation over the 0.04 to 0.6 mm sheet thickness range. The press can be integrated with Komori’s H-UV drying system.
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.
J Zarwan Partners, based in Charlottetown, PEI, has published a report on the Overall Equipment Effectiveness of digital presses, with the goal of providing printers with better information about purchasing a digital press. The report examines the OEE – based on availability, quality and performance – of three popular presses: Canon imagePRESS C10000VP, Ricoh ProC9110, and Xerox Color 1000i. Xerox provided financial support for the publication of the report. “OEE is a powerful tool that can be used to measure and improve operations,” said John Zarwan, author of the report. “The output quality, consistency, and reliability of digital production presses have improved dramatically. It is often difficult to choose among them. When buying a digital press, it is therefore particularly important to evaluate how they actually function.”The report notes that the OEE of all three presses meets standards with room for improvement, especially in performance. The Xerox Color 1000i press had the highest OEE of the three presses, according to the report, and was rated top in each of the three metrics. The report found that all of the presses produce high-quality output, with generally good availability, with the main differences being a function of press breakdowns and the amount of time to repair. The greatest amount of variation in press performance, according to the report, was how fast the machines printed compared to their rated speeds.“There are many things to consider when buying a digital press. It is important to match a press’ actual capabilities with your needs,” said Zarwan. “It is equally important to operate the press efficiently and effectively. OEE can be a powerful tool for improving print operations. Our hope is this analysis of the operating effectiveness of these three press installations is a useful start.”
Brett Kisiloski, Sales Manager of Print Digital Solutions, discusses advances in short-run printing and finishing technologies.
Electronics For Imaging and Sharp Imaging have launch a new EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) to drive Sharp’s new MX-6580N and MX-7580N Color Document Systems. This new Fiery server, together with optional modules, make available to Sharp users a range of workflow and productivity advantages, including the Fiery Command WorkStation, a print job management solution to manage multiple printers within the enterprise from a single point. The server includes Fiery VUE, a free 3D visual print client application designed to simplify the creation of booklets, sales guides, manuals, and more. It provides an interactive interface that lets users produce professional-looking materials. It can also be integrated with cloud-based operations management for in-plant print departments and production printing operations through integration with EFI Quick Print Suite workflow software. It can also include Fiery Spot-On and Fiery Image Enhance Visual Editor, and built-in Fiery FreeForm for variable-data printing.
In May, HP unveiled the Indigo Pack Ready Laminator commercial model, optimized for the HP Indigo 20000 press, which the company explains to allow for immediate time-to-market for flexible packaging. Now commercially designed, the laminating system will be manufactured and supplied by Karlville. Customer beta testing of the laminator is scheduled for this summer. First units are to ship by the end of the year. The HP Indigo Pack Ready Lamination is new machinery created with thermal lamination as part of the HP Indigo Pack Ready. It is targeted at the digitally printed flexible packaging market.HP also recently announced new substrates for the HP Indigo 20000 and 30000 presses, as well as new white ink offerings for the HP Indigo labels and packaging press portfolio, for expanded possibilities and higher performance. The 762 mm HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press for flexible packaging, labels and shrink sleeves now supports printing on aluminum and polyethylene, new substrates that expand packaging solution offerings. 
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.
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.
Nilpeter introduced a newly updated FA flexo press which the company describes as the most versatile flexo press on the market. It includes a new user interface and fully mobile print controls.
The FA press provides a strong level of stability, explains the company, with a tight register tolerance and quality printing on multiple substrates relative to the company's earlier versions. Based on Nilpeter’s Clean-Hand design approach, the FA provides clean hands during press operation, with a minimum of hands-on press interaction. The company also explains with the new press that all data is saved, jobs can be recalled, and the press will auto register.The new FA design allows printers to enhance the performance and capability of their press with Value-Adding Units, as well as Application and Automation Packages, according to needs and budget.
Israel-based Scodix announced beta testing for its Scodix E106 enhancement press is on schedule, after introducing the technology at drupa 2016 in May of last year. The press is aimed at the folding carton market and is now being used at CopyCenter, the largest folding carton printer in Israel. “The versatile Scodix E106 digital enhancement press is the perfect addition to our portfolio,” said Uri Drori CEO of CopyCenter. “The outstanding range of enhancements in a B1 format means we will be able to fulfill all our enhancement jobs on just one platform. “Also, working with high profile customers in the beauty category means that shelf appeal is critical to the products we produce,” continued Drori. “Digital technology will allow us to meet the ever-increasing demand for new applications including versioning and short runs that these products require.” The Scodix E106 made its debut at drupa 2016 to deliver enhancement solutions for folding carton converters who work with a 1,060 x 760-mm format. Scodix explains the technology provides converters ways to differentiate their offerings and a new standard in registration tolerance.“Printers and converters investing in the Scodix E106 will be able to offer short to medium run lengths profitably, offer new products, enter new markets and – fundamentally – clinch a competitive edge in tough market conditions with value-added services that truly energize brands,” said Roy Porat, CEO of Scodix. “At drupa 2016 we pledged that beta testing would be underway mid-2017 and we are delivering on that promise. This phase takes us a step closer a new standard in packaging enhancement.” The Scodix E106 press provides applications like Scodix Foil, Scodix Sense, Scodix Spot, Scodix Variable Data and Scodix Cast & Cure. The company explains it allows brand owners to create products using foil over foil, adding Scodix Sense effects over foil, or personalizing with Scodix Variable Data Sense or Scodix Variable Data Foil.
Esko's Studio software will now include integration with the 3D real-time rendering application KeyShot from Luxion. This solution provides the best of both worlds for brand owners and premedia: print modeling plus realistic, high-resolution rendering, in a short amount of time. All print modeling is done by Studio, while KeyShot handles non-printable materials and final renderings. Studio includes patented print modeling technology directly within Adobe Illustrator, making it easy to quickly decide on any number of print and finishing effects and packaging specific substrates. KeyShot provides drag-and-drop material, environment and lighting capabilities in a real-time interface to create high-quality visuals extremely fast for throughout the package development process. Luxion is a leading developer of advanced 3D rendering and lighting technology including applications such as KeyShot and the Velux Daylighting Visualizer. KeyShot is the first real-time ray tracing application that uses a physically correct render engine based on scientific research in global illumination and material appearance. With a focus on making the creation of high-quality visuals from 3D data as simple as taking a photograph, KeyShot is recognized as the standard visualization tool for industrial designers and marketing professionals worldwide. Luxion’s customer list includes many of the Fortune 1000 and major industrial design companies including Chrysler, Fossil, Microsoft, Philips, Specialized, Whirlpool, and IDEO. For more information on KeyShot 3D.
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.
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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