Digital Printing

EFI announced yesterday that new Fiery Color Controllers E-42 and E-82 are now available for Ricoh PRO c901 Graphic Arts + print engines. The E-42 and E-82 digital front ends (DFEs) are powered by EFI's new generation of system software, Fiery FS100 Pro.

The Fiery FS100 Pro software also allows Ricoh customers to create end-to-end workflows by integrating with EFI’s large portfolio of MIS/ERP software, eCommerce/Web-to-Print products and scheduling tools.

"The Ricoh PRO print engines are designed to deliver exceptional quality and performance, no matter how large or complex the applications," said Tim Vellek, VP, Ricoh Production Printing Business Group. "The new Fiery FS100 Pro system makes these engines an ideal production printing solution to meet the needs of demanding printing environments. The Fiery server's advanced color management, automation tools, ease of use and speed are critical to a print provider's success and profitability."

Fiery HyperRIP, included in the Fiery Color Controller E-82, is described by EFI as a unique, speed-enhancing technology that splits individual files and processes them simultaneously with multiple interpreters.

"We have incorporated advanced technology in the design of our newest Fiery platform that processes files twice as fast as the previous generation. With the addition of HyperRIP technology, some files will have an added benefit of increasing that speed by another 40 percent," stated John Henze, VP of Fiery Marketing, EFI.

EFI continues to explain that Fiery FS100 Pro is the first, and currently only, DFE that carries a 100 percent perfect pass rating from VIGC's PDF RIP Audit. PPML 3.0 on the Fiery FS100 Pro provides an open, device-independent standard for producing personalized print applications in high volumes.

The FS100 Pro also includes: Fiery JobMaster, a make-ready solution to assemble complex documents; Fiery JobFlow, which provides prepress capabilities in a browser-based solution; Fiery Color Profiler Suite, integrated in-RIP colour management; and the Fiery Command WorkStation 5.4 user interface.

Konica Minolta introduced a new online resource called the Konica Minolta bizhub MarketPlace, which provides customers with downloadable apps directly from the bizhub MFP control panel screen. The applications are designed for enhanced document management and productivity.

Current available apps via the Konica Minolta bizhub MarketPlace ( include:

Connect to Microsoft SharePoint ($99), an online storage and retrieval directly from the bizhub MFP control panel;

Clean Planet, for streamlined recycling processes;

Paper Templates Lite, a library of forms to access and print at the touch of a button;

Paper Templates ($1.99), additional forms and functions over the Paper Templates Lite app;

Announcement, as a way communicate to employees with customized ads or announcements from the MFP control panel;

RSS Feeds, a simplified way to get the latest information from news feeds at that bizhub MFP;

Connect to the Weather, access to current weather at the location of the bizhub MFP or location of your choosing; and

Connect to Twitter, to automatic Tweets relevant to your business or organization.

At the upcoming Graph Expo show this weekend, Xerox will be exhibiting two new additions to its Nuvera black-and-white production toner line, the Nuvera 157EA and the Nuvera 314EA.

The new machines will feature production speeds of 157 (single engine) and 314 (dual engine) sheets per minute, respectively. The machines also feature a revamped production stacker, which unloads printed material even as a job continues to be run and can handle more pages without manual intervention.

According to Xerox, the two systems can handle a variety of substrate weights at a maximum sheet size of 12.6 x 19.3-inches.

The entire Nuvera line will also see the following updates, to be introduced in Chicago: 

- Updates to Xerox FreeFlow Print Server: New security standards, user interface enhancements and improvements to processing TIFF images on selected mainframe data streams.

- IntegratedPLUS Finishing Solution for Booklets: Designed to reduce bottlenecks associated with in-line and off-line booklet production. Available on all Nuvera systems installed after Oct. 2009.

- Production Information Management System: Tracks performance information, such as machine status and productivity metrics, allowing operators to manage multiple Xerox presses, in real time, regardless of location (optional feature).

The Xerox Nuvera 157EA Production System and Nuvera 314EA Perfecting Production System are available immediately worldwide. The list price for the Nuvera 157EA is US$257,000; the list price for the Nuvera 314EA is US$420,000, for each base configuration.

Xeikon in early 2012 acquired the Flexolaser business from RSD Technik GmbH and Flexolaser GmbH, which manufactured computer-to-plate (CTP) devices for both flexo and letterpress applications. At the same time, Xeikon also acquired the rights to Eastman Kodak’s Thermoflex technology. 

In March 2012, just prior to drupa, Xeikon then unveiled ThermoFlexX as its new product line of digital imagers, which produce flexographic and letterpress plates at resolutions of 2,540 or 5,080 dpi. A key benefit of ThermoFlexX, according to Xeikon, is its clamping design, which allows plates to be mounted directly on the drum, while vacuum sliders offer the flexibility of using plates of any width. This means there is no need to cut the plates to fit a dedicated vacuum zone, which also allows for the use of cut-off scraps. ThermoFlexX employs a hybrid drum to hold plates in place either by vacuum or magnetic fields.

During Labelexpo, held earlier this month in Chicago, Xeikon also highlighted its new Durable Clear Toner, which eliminates the need for third-party coating systems, and Vectorizor, described as an automatic die-cut generator.

Durable Clear Toner technology, according to Xeikon, can act as a spot varnish for folding cartons because it allows areas on the package to be left open for glue strips and code markings to be applied later. Durable Clear Toner is printed and fused like any other colour in the Xeikon 3000 Series of label presses, which use an extra curing step outside of the press to transform a clear layer of toner into a protective layer of varnish.

The patent-pending Vectorizor is a Web-based application, communicating with laser die-cutting devices, to produce finished labels without human intervention.

Konica Minolta today announced the availability of the bizhub PRESS 1250/1052 series of monochrome presses which are based on the existing bizhub PRO 1200 line.
The new systems have maximum output speeds of up to 125 pages per minute and are rated for a production cycle of up to 3,000,000 impressions per month. As well, all models feature tandem printing functionality to double output speeds as well as the ability to print on a substrate range from 40 GSM up to 350 GSM.

Using Konica Minolta’s Simitri HD polymerized toner, the systems handle media sizes up to 12 x 19 inches, while producing a 1,200 x 1,200-dpi resolution. The new systems are described by the company as featuring improved photoconductor design and transfer belt image technology.

The bizhub PRESS 1250/1052 series includes a 15-inch touch-screen control panel with thumbnail print-job previews. The user interface employs icons to highlight paper tray and output tray for setup, and separate command sequences for print, copy and scan functions. Job List, Job Ticket Editing, and Job Scheduling functions are available on-screen to help manage last-minute changes.

A new imaging technology has achieved full-colour printing that produces pictures at a nano scale at the very limits of optical diffraction of visible light.

Developed at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, this technology creates pixels by using metal nanoscale pillars just tens of nanometers tall. Each is capped with silver and gold disks. Colour is established by adjusting the spacing and diameters of these structures, in essence manipulating what colour of light they reflect.

This level of imaging produces and equivalent 100,000 dots per inch where as traditional inkjet or toner technologies struggle to hit even 10,000 dpi. The resolution produced using the new process would be indiscernible to the human eye.

According to its authors, in addition to ultra-high resolution printing (and its related use for security printing), this research also has potential impact in optical data storage and the creation of colour filters in lighting and imaging technologies.

The study is documented in scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology
At the drupa trade show, Xerox highlighted two new machines: the iGen 150 press, which produces pages at up to 150 pages per minute, and a new inkjet production system known as the CiPress 325, which compliments the existing CiPress 500.

Gilmore Doculink, a commercial/digital print shop in Ottawa, was the testing site of the new iGen 150: “The quality is indistinguishable, so our clients can have a short-run custom digital job produced on the iGen 150 and have it look the same as a longer offset run of 20,000,” said Brian Wright, Executive Vice President of Operations, Gilmore Doculink. “The iGen 150 provides the colour, quality and consistency we demand.”

With a base price of US$722,000, the iGen 150 has a new 2,400x2,400 dpi system capable of delivering 3,000 oversized 26" sheets per hour. EFI has also pledged support to the new machine with the announcement of the Xerox EX Print Server, based on EFI Fiery System 10. Orders will be taken starting in June, with installations commencing in July.

The CiPress 325 is a web-fed colour inkjet device capable of printing at 100 metres per minute (325 feet per minute). According to Xerox, it is fully upgradable to its CiPress 500 sibiling through a software license. Xerox claims the CiPress 500 and CiPress 325 as the only waterless inkjet devices, which eliminate bleed-through problems which plague other inkjet systems.

The CiPress 325 will become available in the second half of 2012.
Developments continue in the emerging arena of B2-size, cut-sheet inkjet presses with news that MGI plans to present a prototype of its ALPHAJET system this may at the drupa tradeshow. Following its world premiere in Germany, the ALPHAJET is scheduled for a commercial release sometime in 2013.

Paris-based MGI, now in its 30th year of operation, has historically developed unique toner presses within its Meteor line, including the recently introduced Meteor DP8700 XL with a 13 x 40-inch format size (via manual bypass) and a top speed of 4,260 A4/letter pages per hour.

The ALPHAJET is a 6-colour inkjet press with UV coating capabilities (spot and flood UV) seen previously on MGI’s JETvarnish (B2 format) and JETcard systems. According to MGI, the B2-size ALPHAJET, featuring a format size of 20 x 29 inches ( 52 x 74 cm), is to reach production speeds of 3,000 sheets per hour and a top resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi. The prototype machine is also set to handle substrate weights of up to 500 gsm.

Alon Bar-Shany, VP of Indigo, today drew a rare spontaneous applause from over 120 business journalists gathered in Tel Aviv, as he introduced a 29-inch-format digital press in the HP Indigo 10000.

The B2-size Indigo 10000 press unveiling took place on the first day of HP’s pre-drupa briefing in Israel. For the first time in several years, a development in toner presses seemed to steal the spotlight from inkjet. While HP abhors the classification of its Indigo presses as toner machines, because they print with liquid inks as opposed to solid toners, the new Indigo 10000 represents a sea change in the toner (electrophotography) press space.

Since arriving in the industry in the 1990s, electrophotographic presses have been stuck in a sub-20-inch format size largely because of the challenges – potential R&D and manufacturing costs – of expanding the all-important electro-photostatic drum, which forms the imaging heart of toner machines. The new Indigo 10000 marks the first salvo at one of commercial printing’s standard litho formats, while also presenting itself as a sudden competitor to the emerging cut-sheet inkjet presses of 29-inch format size.

“We believe this is going to take us into the heart of the offset market,” Bar-Shany told the crowd of journalists, speaking about the Indigo 10000 arrival, adding, “It is everything you expect from an Indigo but in a larger format.”

While the Indigo 10000 has been running with a printer in the UK and another in Japan, the new press will find its way into worldwide beta sites by the time Germany’s drupa tradeshow arrives in May, with an anticipated commercial release of the machine in early 2013.

Bar-Shany also introduced what he refers to as derivatives of the Indigo 10000 foundation, with the Indigo 20000 aimed at the flexographic sector of packaging and the Indigo 30000 aimed at the folding-carton sector. These machines are expected to be commercialized sometime after the Indigo 10000 hits the market next year.

The HP Indigo 10000 (750 x 530 millimeters/ 29.5 x 20.9 inches) prints 3,450 sheets per hour in its standard production mode, and can provide a 33 percent faster throughput of 4,600 colour sheets per hour using HP Indigo’s Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM) – knocking out the black ink channel.

Scheduled for commercial availability in late 2013, the HP Indigo 20000 is a roll-to-roll press with a 30-inch media width and a 44-inch repeat length. With up to seven-colour printing, including white ink, the Indigo 20000 runs at 88.6 linear feet (27 linear metres) per minute in five-colour mode (full process colour plus white) and at 147.6 linear feet (45 linear metres) per minute when running in Enhanced Productivity Mode. An inline priming unit on the press is used for compatibility with most standard flexible packaging substrates from 10 to 250 microns thick.

The sheetfed HP Indigo 30000 press features a 29.5 x 20.9-inch (750 x 530-mm) format size with up to seven colour channels. Designed for the folding carton space, the press can handle substrates of up to 24 point or carton stocks of up to 600-microns thick. The press reaches a top speed of up to 3,450 sheets per hour in regular four-colour process printing, or 4,600 sheets per hour in Enhanced Productivity Mode.

In addition to its new HP Indigo 10000 press, described as a fourth-generation engine, HP today announced a series of productivity enhancements to its existing machines, which amounts to 10 new systems in total.

Indigo press enhancements
The company introduced three updated models of its current HP Indigo portfolio, all of which feature higher speeds with the Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), which is an emulation feature to eliminate the use of the black channel – resulting in a 33 percent increase in speed.

The new HP Indigo 7600 press, for example, has a top speed of 160 pages per minute (ppm) in EPM, which is described by the company as the fastest two-page electrophotographic press on the market. The Indigo 7600 also features an automated detection system to find print defects while running at speed, as well as new features to produce raised print (simulating embossing) and textured effects. This system also features a new light black ink for producing improved monochrome photo images.

The new HP Indigo 5600, an enhanced version of the HP Indigo 5500, has a top speed of 90 ppm in EPM, as well as a new one-shot mode for printing on synthetic substrates.

The new HP Indigo W7250 reaches a top speed of up to 320 ppm in EPM and 960 ppm in monochrome.

The HP Indigo 7600 press, in beta testing at six sites worldwide, will be commercially available at drupa. The HP Indigo 5600 is available immediately, and the HP Indigo W7250 will be available at drupa. HP says most new features will be offered as upgrades for existing HP Indigo models.

Inkjet Web Press enhancements
HP introduced three higher-speed Inkjet Web Press models based on new ink and printhead technology. HP Inkjet Web Presses have produced a total of more than 9-billion pages since the first system was installed in 2009.

The new HP T410 and T360 Inkjet Web Press systems offer increased print speeds of up to 800 feet per minute (fpm) in monochrome – up to 25 percent faster than previous models – while continuing to provide top colour print speeds of up to 600 fpm.

The new HP T230 Inkjet Press incorporates new printheads and inks to increase print speed up to 400 feet per minute for both colour and monochrome.

The HP T360 and HP T410 are expected to be available this fall as new systems or as upgrades from the HP T350 and HP T400, respectively. The HP T230, expected to be available by the end of 2012, will also be offered as an upgrade from the HP T200 press.  
Workfow and substrates
New workflow solutions include HP SmartStream Production Center for managing large job volumes, as well as updated versions of HP SmartStream Production Pro Digital Front End and HP SmartStream Director. HP also now offers HP Hiflex cloud-based software applications, including MIS and web-to-print solutions, as a result of its recent acquisition of Hiflex.

HP has added four HP Indigo preferred media partner agreements with Sappi, Avery Dennison, Mitsubishi and ArjoWiggins Graphics. The company already has over 3,000 certified media types for HP Indigo presses.

HP also introduced new media for its Inkjet Web Press models, such as Utopia Inkjet gloss media from Appleton Coated for direct-mail and publishing applications. ColorPRO papers will now include inkjet-coated papers from Sappi and Appleton Coated, designed to deliver superior print quality with the HP Inkjet Web Press.

HP Scitex white ink kit
HP introduced new options to improve the versatility and productivity of its HP Scitex wide-format systems, including a white ink kit and an automatic loader for the HP Scitex FB7500 and FB7600 machines.

The company also introduced a new version of HP SmartStream Production Analyzer for automatic monitoring of HP Scitex industrial wide-format presses.

Print module solutions

HP has introduced what it called Print Module Solutions for adding colour images, graphics and variable data to preprinted documents. Available in colour and monochrome, HP Print Module Solutions print up to 800 fpm and include full workflow software for integration with existing equipment. 

HP Print Module Solutions are expected to be available to order starting May 1.

Following the August announcement that the IDEAlliance has certified its first toner press, Canon has just achieved the same feat with its imagePRESS C7010VP series of toner machines. The Digital Press Certification signifies that digital print systems comprised of a digital press, a digital front end, and a specified paper stock conform to GRACoL and its underlying G7 appearance matches within specific colorimetric tolerances.

"Canon is pleased to have the imagePRESS C7010VP digital press series recognized as an IDEAlliance Digital Press Certified printing system," said Sam Yoshida, Vice President and General Manager, Imaging Systems Group, Canon U.S.A "This certification recognizes the investment that Canon has made in developing a platform capable of meeting the high image-quality standards of today's production print customer."

The Digital Press Certification verifies the stability of the press in terms of variation within a page, and from page to page for a run length of 1000 sheets, over a 24 hour period. By following the IDEAlliance protocols and achieving the standard, the Canon imagePRESS 7010VP/C6010VP/C6010 with Fiery-based imagePRESS Servers -A3200/A2200/A1200 with EFI Laser Proof Paper XF130 (Semimatt), were placed in this elite certification category.

"The digital print market is poised for significant growth," said David Steinhardt, President and CEO of IDEAlliance. "This market expansion has brought with it a critical need for a program to help prospective buyers assess the capabilities of digital press systems. We congratulate EFI and Canon for their leadership role in being among the first to achieve IDEAlliance Digital Press Certification."

MGI Digital will be making tie North American debut of its new Meteor DP8700 XL press at Graph Expo this September

MGI claims the following benefits for the Meteor DP8700 XL:

    Largest sheet size among production sheetfed digital presses (up to 13 x 40" in production, up to 13 x 47" via manual bypass)
    Increased production speed for up to 4,260 A4/letter pages per hour and up to 2,280 A3 pages per hour
    Output quality at 3600 dpi (8 bit printing) and more than 20 line screen variations ranging from 95 to 270 lpi, plus stochastic. Users also have the option to choose up to 2 different line screens within the same print job.
    New auto-adjusting offset feeder table, which eliminates skew and keeps registration consistent at an industry-leading ±0.2mm (L-R)
    The new EnvelopExpress Pro, featuring an updated design for the Meteor DP8700 XL, increases production capabilities and improves job efficiency
    Fiery RIP for maximum processing power and graphics management. Support for VPS & PPML 2.2, plus Adobe PostScript Level 3, TIFF and PDF, JDF compliance, as well as APPE (Adobe PDF Print Engine).

MGI will also show off its JETcard inkjet press, which produces up to 8,000 cards per hour in full colour. The machine prints at 720 x2160 DPI with 4+2 UV colours, allowing for spot or flood UV coating or use of security inks. MGI claims the JETcard can replace up to five different pieces of equipment traditionally used in plastic card production. The company also claims it is not only cheaper than offset on a cost-per-card basis, but also faster than offset.

MGI will be showing the above technologies, as well as its other solutions at booth 3619.

Konica Minolta's bizhub PRESS C8000 has become the first toner-based press to receive the IDEAlliance Digital Press Certification. The certification ensures that a toner press can consistently meet the production requirements of IDEAlliance's GRACoL colour reproduction specifications.

"By being the first in the industry to earn Digital Press Certification from IDEAlliance, the bizhub PRESS C8000 is setting the standard for excellence that will come to be expected by customers looking for the highest quality and superior performance from their digital presses," said Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "Having G7 Experts in house and certifying our industry-leading digital presses is just another reason print professionals can count on Konica Minolta to ensure that our technology is not only innovative, but also leading the industry in superior performance certification."

A program that verifies a toner-based production press' ability to meet print specifications based on internationally recognized ISO standards, the IDEAlliance Digital Press Certification testing was produced by a team G7 Experts from two separate divisions of the Konica Minolta Group including Russell Doucette from Konica Minolta Sensing Americas and Jeff Collins from Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Dawn Nye, Product Marketing Manager for Production Print at Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., provided leadership and support on the Konica Minolta Team.

"Our industry benefits greatly from independent system verification and certification. Digital press technologies that meet industry specifications and standards have crossed a new milestone and we thank Konica Minolta for their leadership in supporting this exciting program," said David Steinhardt, President and CEO, IDEAlliance. "Konica Minolta's participation in obtaining a Digital Press System Certification will go a long way in helping the industry enhance its understanding and application of digital printing."

Ricoh Company has launched what it classifies as two new colour production systems in the Pro C751EX and Pro C651EX. Ricoh released its higher-end machine in this production line, the Pro C901 Series, back in October 2010.

Employing Ricoh's new generation of toner technology, called PxP, the Pro C751EX hits a maximum resolution of 1,200 dpi x 4,800 dpi.

This machine reaches a top printing speed of 75 pages per minute (both colour and black-and-white), while the Pro C651EX produces up to 65 pages per minute. The previously released Pro C901 produces up to 90 pages per minute.

The new machines can handle substrate weights of between 52.3 and 300 g/m2, while working with a format range from postcard-size up to 13 x 19.2 inches. The machines are available with various finishing options, including an inline booklet maker and trimmer.

Xerox has unveiled a new addition to its DocuColor lineup. Called the DocuColor 8080, the machine features up to 80-pages-per-minute printing and is available with three different print servers.

"Our focus is to help customers produce more jobs, reduce costs and grow their business. The DocuColor 8080 was built with this in mind," said Eric Armour, president, Graphic Communications Business Group, Xerox Corporation.

Xerox highlights three features of the 8080:
  • Productivity Apps, which simplify the most-common print jobs with read-to-use templates,
  • Low glass dry ink, which creates a smooth matte finish,
  • Colour accuracy via its Automated Colour Quality Suite, a system featuring an inline spectrophotometer.
The DocuColor 8080 is available for orders immediately with installations starting in August. The U.S. list price is $260,000.

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