Digital Printing

Ricoh Americas, at PRINT 13, introduced several production systems, including a new monochrome press line, new entry-level colour engines, the company’s first full-color wide-format inkjet machine, InfoPrint 5000 enhancements, and a range of software upgrades.

New Ricoh hardware
The Ricoh Pro C5100S and Pro 5110S systems are entry-level production systems, first announced in May 2013, print and copy up to 65 pages per minute (ppm) and 80 ppm, respectively. The new systems are designed with a small footprint, while allowing for work to be collated and finished in line. Both models feature a new toner formulation that increases the printable colour gamut by 10 percent when compared to Ricoh's other colour production printers, as well a lower fusing temperature, which allows for faster warm-up times and lower energy consumption.

The Pro C5100S and Pro 5110S include what Ricoh describes as a unique ac-transfer system and elastic fusing belt to work with a range of stocks, including textured media. The technology leverages Ricoh’s recently expanded media library and allow for saving more than 60 attributes.

For monochrome production, Ricoh’s new line of Pro C8100s/8110s/8120s multi-functional systems feature up to 220 IPM duplex colour scanning, 1,200 x 4,800-dpi resolution, and 40 gsm to 300 gsm media support. The line, first introduced in August 2013, features output speeds of up to 95, 110 and 135 ppm, and comes standard with scanning, printing, and copying functionality. All three models have a duty cycle specification of up to 3 million-per-month.

The InfoPrint 5000 colour inkjet system, which recently surpassing the milestone of printing 40-billion impressions worldwide, features new on-the-fly auto-splicing capability designed to increase throughput and reduce paper waste. The high-speed press also has new components, as part of a suite, to improve print quality and provide for higher density blacks.

The InfoPrint 5000 is also available with new configuration, including InfoPrint 5000 MP “H” Configuration, shown for the first time at PRINT 13, which becomes Ricoh’s InfoPrint 5000 GP platform in an H configuration. The InfoPrint 5000 MP line has now been upgraded to allow for printing in I, L, U, & H configurations. This also includes dual simplex printing capability so that customers can drive the two print engines printing separate applications, on two kinds of paper, at two different speeds. The InfoPrint 5000 GP platforms can now include an Extended Media Handling Option to work with heavier weight paper up to 250 gsm. InfoPrint 5000 systems are also now available with new page length capabilities to handle page lengths up to 54 inches, for multiple n-up signatures and longer form lengths.

For CAD-centric environments, the new Ricoh MP CW2200SP is described as the company’s first full-colour, multifunction, wide-format imaging system. The system – with an embedded SDK architecture – uses what Ricoh’s calls a simplified display and an animated step-by-step guide, including the ability to choose from multiple paper sizes, weights and paper feeds.

New Ricoh software
For cut-sheet printing, Ricoh also introduced TotalFlow 2.0 encompassing TotalFlow Prep, Print Manager, and Production Manager for workflow management, including functions for Web-to-print, personalization, document and job management, and multi-channel marketing.

Ricoh also introduced its new 1to1Create Marketing Services, which is a Cloud-based subscription service to help print providers offer multichannel, multi-touch marketing campaigns. This portal provides turnkey templates to create customizable PURL driven direct mail cards, e-mail blasts, tri-fold brochures, flyers, counter cards and specialty pieces. The 1to1 Create Portal is designed and delivered in partnership with PTI Marketing Technologies.

The new Critical Communications Solutions (CCS) Suite, first announced in early 2013, is described by Ricoh as an industry-first software portfolio for the production, tracking, reporting, compliance or customization of jobs. At PRINT 13, visitors were shown how to track jobs with barcodes when using a third-party table top inserter and camera with Ricoh’s TotalFlow DocEnhancer Verification Feature, which relies on Ricoh’s existing ProcessDirector and ProcessDirector Express software.

HP introduced new enhancement packages for its Indigo 5600, 7600 and WS6600 press series, as well as new workflow software versions and new partner solutions.

The HP Indigo 7600 Enhancement Package, with features the company states can increase press up-time by around 10 percent, is expected to ship in October 2013. All of the new features are backwards compatible with existing HP Indigo 7000, 7500 and 7600 model presses.

It includes HP Indigo Print Care 2.0, a tool set for on-press diagnostic and remote support. A scan-and-send capability enables the sharing of images with remote support. The new Automatic Alert Agent helps press operators resolve print quality issues. The 7600 package also includes access to a new set of consumables, such as a new charge roller, which HP claims to carry five times the lifespan of the current version, new photo imaging plate (PIP) and PIP under-layer for improved installation.

The enhancement package also expands application versatility with a new red-fluorescing invisible ink, called HP Indigo ElectroInk UV Red, which is often used for tracking and anti-counterfeiting applications.

A new version of the HP SmartStream Production Pro Print Server features a faster Raster Image Processor and scalable architecture. A new browser-based user interface is designed to help in the operation of a multi-user system, job streaming and batching capabilities. According to HP, a key benefit of the new server is Direct2Finish, a platform for automated near-line finishing operation. In addition, the HP Indigo 7600 is now integrated with a new version of HP SmartStream Production Center, designed for better production visibility and Management Information System monitoring accuracy.

New inline finishing options are available from HP SmartStream partners, including the Duplo Ultra 300Ai UV coater and C.P. Bourg Booklet Maker ExPress.

The HP Indigo 5600 press can be fitted with a new Ultra Thick Substrate Kit to print up to 600-micron (24-mil) on opaque PVC materials. This enhancement package is also expected to ship in October 2013 and is backward compatible.

The HP Indigo WS6600 press, designed primarily for label production, can include an enhancement package with the new HP SmartStream Labels and Packaging Workflow Suite, version 4.0, powered by Esko. Key features, according to HP, include a new colour engine, imposition tools and variable-data tools like dynamic marks.

Ricoh Americas Corporation introduced new models to its production monochrome printer line. The Ricoh Pro 8100s series will be composed of three models which produces 95, 110, and 135 pages per minute.

The new models each have a duty cycle of up to 3 million pages per month and all come standard with scanning and copying functionality. The Pro 8100s series draws from technologies used in Ricoh’s colour print systems line.

To increase the range of supported substrates, the RICOH Pro 8100s Series features an intermediate-belt transfer system that can handle paper weights between 40 to 300 gsm, and even textured or coated stocks on sizes up to 13 x 19 inches.

“Our challenge was to keep advancing the state of production printing even though previous generations of this product were already strong,” said Tim Vellek, Vice President, Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas Corporation. “With the Pro 8100s Series, Ricoh builds upon its production technology legacy and takes it to the next level in terms of performance and value.”

The new line will be shown at PRINT 13 this September.

Ricoh of Europe has announced two new models to its cut-sheet production system lineup: The Ricoh Pro C5110S and the Ricoh Pro C5100S.

The two machines, according to Ricoh, benefit from the company’s new toner formulations, which help contribute to an increased colour gamut of 10 percent. The toner is also developed to fuse at a lower temperature, providing an environmental benefit as well through reduced energy usage. The two printers are also the first to use Ricoh’s new enhanced toner transfer technology, which is designed to produce better quality print on heavily textured stock. The technology optimizes the fuser temperature and pressure depending on the substrate.

“The ability to process more, smaller, diverse job types, quickly and with maximal uptime, is essential to meet client needs in today’s dynamic printing environment,” said Graham Moore, Ricoh’s Director of Business Development, Production Printing Group, EMEA. “That was a key design goal for the Ricoh Pro C5110S and Ricoh Pro C5100S digital colour production systems.”

Th ePro 5110S and the Pro 5100S both integrate with Ricoh’s TotalFlow software portfolio and also incorporates technologies from the company’s flagship machine, the pro C901 Graphic Arts+, including the FS100 platform from EFI Fiery. The Pro C5110S has an output speed of up to 80 pages per minute (ppm) while the Pro C5100S has an output speed of 65ppm.

Xerox has introduced a new device aimed at the transactional printing market. Called the 8250 Production Printer, the machine will be made available in the Canadian market starting in July.

Xerox rates the 8250 with a recommended average monthly volume of between 800,000 to 3 million impressions per month and a monthly duty cycle 4.5 million pages. The machine prints at a top speed of 8,250 four-colour letter-size pages per minute, or 4,500 tabloid-sized impressions.

The maximum resolution of the 8250 is 2,400 x 2,400 dpi and Xerox explains the new system can print on uncoated stock between 16-lb bond and 130-lb cover. Xerox says the features presented in the 8250 Production Printers removes the need to produce pre-printed offset shells. 

The 8250 Production Printer also features:

- Freeflow Print Server with native support for IPDS, PDF, PostScript and Xerox VIPP data streams,

- Inline Spectrophotometer for Pantone matching and colour control,

- Auto Density Control, which detects streaks before they occur and fixes without operator intervention, and

- Optional roll feeder with finishing options such as booklet making, scoring, perforating, cutting and hole punching.


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.

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