Digital Printing

The Espresso Book Machine, an all-in-one book printing and finishing machine, is now available for sale in the United States. The machine has been deployed to various libraries and education places and garnered much attention the general public. The Espresso Book Machine will be on sale in Canada starting in March.

The machine is developed On Demand Books, started by Jason Epstein in 2003. Since then, the machine has gone through several revisions, culminating in the configuration today, which is roughly a 3 meter by 4.5 meter machine. The machine can print and bind a 300-page book in less than four minutes.

In September last year, the company signed a deal with deal with Xerox which sees its machines being paired with a Xerox 4112 printer. Xerox will also distribute the Espresso Book Machine.

“The on-demand book publishing market has expanded, and so has our support of this solution,” said Eric Armour, President, Graphic Communications Business Group, Xerox Corporation. “Xerox’s involvement has moved far beyond the print engine – we are now helping retailers, bookstores, libraries and universities build a profitable on-demand book publishing business.”

During the annual Hunkeler Innovation Days 2011 event, currently taking place in Switzerland, Kodak unveiled new engine options for its NexPress Versamark and Prosper lines.

The new Prosper S20 system, based on Kodak’s Stream Inkjet Technology and the ability to fire pigment-based inks, employs a 4.16-inch imprinting width and reaches speeds of up to 2,000 feet per minute (600 metres per minute) at 600 x 300 dpi. The Prosper S20 has been commercially released with up to 12 print stations and 24 printheads. Existing Prosper S10 machines can be upgraded to the S20 configuration.

“With the quality, productivity, and cost of offset, the PROSPER S20 Imprinting System adds the power of variable data to inline production and makes hybrid printing a reality for print and marketing service providers of all kinds,” said Vince Ferraro, VP of Marketing, Digital Print Solutions, Kodak.

The main enhancement of the new Kodak NexPress SX is the ability to reach speeds of up to 131 pages per minute (ppm) in addition to 91 and 109 ppm options. With a monthly duty cycle of around 4-million pages, NexPress SX also includes a long-sheet option at 660 mm, which Kodak describes as adding 27 percent more printable area over existing NexPress models.

Xerox has introduced an update to its iGen4 platform, a new model called the iGen4 EXP. The machine boasts what the company claims to be 50 percent more image area than competitive devices.

"The high-end capabilities of the iGen4 press have allowed print service providers to push the boundaries of digital print and spur growth in areas such as direct mail, sales collateral and photo publishing," said Eric Armour, president, Graphic Communications Business Group, Xerox Corporation. "iGen4 EXP puts even more power in the users' hands – set-up time is reduced, productivity is increased and new high-value applications can be created with 24/7 production."

With a maximum sheet size of 14.33 x 26-inches, the EXP can produce multi-up jobs such as full-size tri-fold brochures, postcards, greeting cards, or extra large book covers and jackets. The machine prints at 40 sheets a minute at that sheet size, effectively creating 120 letter-sized pages a minute. Stock can be fed through a modified paper tray or roll system.

Xerox is currently taking orders for the EXP and will begin to ship the machine in the forth quarter of this year. In 2011, current iGen4 owners will be given an opportunity to convert their machines to the EXP model.

Canon has announced new machines in its toner-based imagePRESS lineup. According to the company, the new C7010VP, C6010VP and C6010 presses are built in direct response to customer feedback.

"Following the successful launch of the imagePRESS line in 2007, Canon has invested three years of product research and development, incorporating significant customer input and feedback to improve the platform and deliver greater performance across a range of categories," said Sam Yoshida, VP and General Manager of Canon USA's Imaging Systems Group.

The imagePRESS C7010VP and C6010VP presses are equipped to handle an expanded range of media types from 16 lb. bond to 120 lb. cover weight while delivering rated print speeds of up to 70 letter-sized pages per minute (ppm) and 60 ppm respectively in color and black and white, regardless of paper weight. Top speeds of the new machines are unchanged compared to the C7000VP and C6000VP.

The company says it has incorporated new sensor technology that enables better humidity controls resulting in more accurate toner distribution, as well as an enhanced airflow unit and toner density stabilization providing improved color consistency and halftone smoothness throughout the print run.

Canon Canada announced the availability of two new monochrome, multifunction machines based on the imageRUNNER ADVANCE document platform unveiled by the company last year. The new imageRUNNER ADVANCE 8000 Series and 6000 Series devices are targeted for light-production and high-volume office environments.

The imageRUNNER ADVANCE 8105/8095/8085 models are designed for monochrome letter-sized output speeds of up to 105 pages per minute (ppm), 95 ppm, and 85 ppm, respectively. A single-pass duplex scanning unit enables these devices to capture both sides of a 2-sided original in a single pass, according to Canon, while delivering scan speeds of up to 200 images-per-minute (ipm) black-and-white and 100 ipm in colour at 300 dots-per-inch (dpi).

The 8000 Series, which only require 120-volt power, has a maximum paper capacity of up to 7,700 sheets and are equipped to handle up to 80 lb cover media and paper sizes up to 13 x 19.25-inches.

The imageRUNNER ADVANCE 6075/6065/6055 models carry letter-size speeds of up to 75ppm, 65ppm, and 55ppm (Letter), respectively. Canon describes these devices as suitable for high-volume corporate environments. The 6000 Series also has a maximum paper capacity of up to 7,700 sheets and can support up to 80 lb Cover media, while handling paper sizes up to 11 x 17-inch.

The new imageRUNNER ADVANCE models utilize "pO" toner in conjunction with the 8-beam laser technology employed in Canon's black-and-white imagePRESS line. The new models also provide 1,200 x 1,200-dpi resolution and Auto Gradation Adjustment.

Canon lists suggested retail pricing for the machines as follows:

imageRUNNER ADVANCE 8105 – $58,525
imageRUNNER ADVANCE 8095 – $41,000
imageRUNNER ADVANCE 8085 – $36,500
imageRUNNER ADVANCE 6075 – $32,000
imageRUNNER ADVANCE 6065 – $26,700
imageRUNNER ADVANCE 6055 – $21,600

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. has increased the capacity of its production line with the introduction of the bizhub PRESS C8000. The machine features a twin-fusing system like the Canon imagePRESS, which allows for producing 300-g/m2 work at rated speed.

The bizhub PRESS C8000, which is designed to work with Konica Minolta’s Simitri HD+ toner, is rated to run full-colour work at up to 80 pages per minute (ppm). The machine, which has a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, can work with substrates of up to 350 g/m2, while automatic duplex printing is applicable for papers of up to 300 g/m2 thick.

Konica Minolta is debuting the bizhub PRESS C8000 at the 2010 On Demand Conference and Exposition, beginning today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

At the On Demand conference this morning, Xerox announced the North American release of its new 800 and 1000 model presses, described as sitting just under the production capacity of a DocuColor iGen3/iGen4, and above the company’s DocuColor 7002/8002 systems.

The new Xerox 800 and 1000 machines can produce up to 80 and 100 pages per minute, respectively, while reaching a resolution of up to 2,400 x 2,400 dpi. The machines can handle stocks from 55 to 350 gsm, working with a maximum sheet size of up to 13 x 19.2 inches. Employing Xerox’ recently developed low-melt Emulsion Aggregation (EA) toner, the machines are also available with an optional clear dry ink station.

Xerox 800/1000 presses can include two 2,000 sheet trays, as well as an optional high-capacity feeder with two additional trays to increase capacity to 8,000 sheets. From a front-end perspective, the new machines can be integrated with Xerox’s FreeFlow Print Server and EX Print Server (Fiery), and eventually with the Xerox CX Print Server (Creo).

Xerox has announced that it is introducing a new software package which will allow users to track as well as predict the effectiveness of a direct-mail campaign. ProfitQuick Direct Marketing ROI Planner is the latest addition to Xerox's ProfitAccelerator portfolio.

"I've seen a few ROI calculators, but never one this complete for customized campaigns, or one as easy to use," said Bob Pente, President of Wired Pente Inc., a Toronto-based marketing and advertising firm. "It takes the benefits that marketers have been touting for years and turns them into a quantifiable resource that makes it very easy to tell the story. It's a fantastic tool for marketers." 

Information such as the number of mail pieces, cost per piece, and revenue per item or service sold is put into an online calculator. In turn, print providers and marketers receive financial data that can drive new business or convert an existing customer's static campaign into a more targeted, personalized approach.

Xerox, at the same time, has also introduced two other tools to help its users. ezBusiness Planner allows printing companies to generate a 5-year plan based on customized production volumes and equipment on the floor and Xerox's Wide Format Essentials Kit is a tool to plan and run a profitable wide-format printing business.

Xeikon will demonstrate a new high-end digital label press at IPEX next month. The Xeikon 3500 press has a web width of up to 512mm wide and prints at 19.2 metres per minute, regardless of the amount of colours used.

"We believe the Xeikon 3500 will also have a significant impact on the breakeven point between digital label printing and conventional printing technologies," said Filip Weymans, Business Development Manager of Labels & Packaging at Xeikon. "This will enable the cost-effective production of volumes beyond the 4,000 linear meters using digital technology, and will speed up the transition from analog to digital label production."

The Xeikon 3500 is equipped with five colours as standard, process and one spot colour. Its LED-based imaging technology produces a true 1,200 dpi resolution, with variable dot density. Special security-focused toner can also be used for anti-counterfeiting applications. The Xeikon 3500 runs on Xeikon's new QA-I toner, which is approved for indirect and direct contact with dry food.

It can print on scalable widths and an unmatched range of substrates from all sorts of self-adhesive materials including paper, co-extruded films, Bopp and PET, regular paper, transparent and opaque foils, and paperboards with weights ranging from 40 to 350 gsm. Owners of Xeikon 3000 and 3330 machines will be offered an upgrade path for the 3500.

Océ has joined the likes of HP and Xerox in launching its own managed print services offering. The service provides companies with "optimized utilization of document output equipment, better control of document-related expenses and improved operating efficiency."

“Assessing, optimizing, managing and continuously improving a diverse fleet is a process that most organizations find challenging,” said Joseph R. Marciano, President and CEO of Océ Business Services. “Océ MPS offers an outsourced solution that can meet these goals and help companies leverage fleet management as an opportunity to reduce printing costs and improve efficiency.”

According to Océ, using Océ MPS can cut printing costs of an enterprise, costs which is typically represent about three percent of an company's revenues. Océ MPS provides organizations with a single, accountable source for their office document production. This includes copiers, printers, scanners, fax, and wide format printers, regardless of brand, service provider and ownership status.

Ricoh has introduced the Pro C720 to the Canadian market, a machine aimed at the light production arena. The machine prints at up to 72 pages per minute at sizes up to 13- by 19-inches. Ricoh says the speed of the C720 is independent of stock processed or whether or not it is colour or black and white.

Ricoh claims that the machine is built with critical components which a trained customer can replace themselves, reducing the downtime of waiting for a technician. The duty cycle of the C720 is 320,000 images a month.

The C720 uses a EFI Fiery print controller to process large files and control colour. Various finishing options are available, including a third-party puncher by GBC and a production-level booklet maker manufactured by Plockmatic.

Océ yesterday unveiled what it describes as “the world’s first single footprint multifunctional printer,” under the model name ColorWave 300. While the ColorWave 600 was introduced in mid-2009, this new machine, the 300, is unique in that it integrates technologies for printing, copying and scanning wide-format documents in both colour and black-and-white.

Designed primarily for the reproduction of technical documents, the ColorWave 300 is built with a 36-inch printing width and can reach 600 x 600 dpi. The machine can handle substrate weights of up to 175 g/m2.

Océ continues to explain that the ColorWave 300, which is based on thermal inkjet, is the first multifunctional wide-format printer with a truly integrated scanner.

The ColorWave 300 employs Océ’s Image Logic and Dynamic Switching technologies, working with most file formats – HP-Gl/2, PDF, DWF, JPEG. Users can also print and scan documents via a USB flash drive.

First launched in the United States in September 2009, Canon’s Canadian division is now introducing the imageRUNNER ADVANCE Series of multifunction printers to Canadian companies.

At the top end of the imageRUNNER ADVANCE Series, Canon’s C9075 PRO model has the ability to produce letter-sized output at up to 75 pages-per-minute (ppm) in black-and-white and 70 ppm in color, while the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C9065 PRO will operate at up to 65 ppm in both black-and-white and color.

The sheetfed machines operate with a page format of 13 x 19-1/4 inches, while handling paper weights of up to 110-pound cover (300 gsm).

GPA Specialty Substrate Solutions, which distributes printing stocks for offset- and toner-based presses, but with a clear focus on HP Indigo materials, has entered the Canadian market with a warehouse in Toronto. This represents the 18th North American distribution centre for the Chicago-based company, which was founded in 1940.

“Our new Toronto warehouse will allow GPA to provide local product and service to support the needs of our growing Canadian customer base,” said Mike McConville, Eastern Region General Manager for GPA.

GPA is an HP Indigo Preferred Partner and a Platinum Partner of Dscoop – an HP Indigo user group. The company focuses on the distribution of coated and uncoated papers, pressure-sensitive and specialty papers, synthetic films and substrates engineered for HP Indigo digital presses.

Konica Minolta Canada, next week at Graphics Canada, will showcase several of its toner-based presses, with particular emphasis placed on its recently launched Bizhub PRO 1200.  This black-and-white production system is rated, by the company, for a monthly duty cycle of 3-million sheets. The PRO 1200 runs at 120 pages per minute, with a high-capacity stacker of 14,000.

While at Graphics Canada, Konica Minolta also plans to highlight its Bizhub PRO 2500P system, as well as the Bizhub PRO C6501 and Bizhub PRO C65HC models.

On its booth, the company is demonstrating its internally developed Printgroove system, which includes software applications for Web-based job submission (using automated job ticketing and quoting tools), print queue management, online proofing, device status monitoring, finishing, shipping and billing.

Specific modules of the business software system include: Printgroove Serve, for browser-based job submission and tracking; Printgroove Guide, for job ticketing; Printgroove Queue, for job management; and Printgroove Ready; for prepress functions.

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