The new Océ iQuarius MX inks, explains Canon, enable the application of higher ink coverage on a range of offset coated stocks, which in turn extends the platform’s range to more demanding applications like higher quality books, manuals and direct mail. Océ iQuarius MX inks are used in combination with the company’s ColorGrip inline paper conditioning technology to optimize ink adhesion and absorption.
“Since the original launch of the Océ VarioPrint i-series in 2015, we have been actively driving the performance of the technology and inks to enable more customers to take advantage of this ground-breaking press concept,” said Peter Wolff, Senior Director, Customer Groups Commercial Printer & CRDs at Canon Europe. “Having initially focused on the transactional and direct-mail segments, with the launch of ColorGrip at drupa 2016 we extended the scope of the press to standard coated offset media and, therefore, to higher quality direct mail and books.”
The original iQuarius ink for the Océ VarioPrint i-series will now be branded as Océ iQuarius MP ink (Multi Purpose), to distinguish it from the new iQuarius MX (Media Extended) version, allowing customers to choose the appropriate level of ink performance for their applications. For current Océ VarioPrint i-series customers, MX-upgrades will be made available on request.
The Océ VarioPrint i300 press with iQuarius MX inks has achieved Fogra 51 certification.
The company explains the new High Fusion Ink is designed to remove one of the cost hurdles of commercial printers adopting inkjet technology, which often includes the expense of pre-or-post coating the paper, adding hardware, or having to purchase specialty inkjet coated paper.
The Trivor 2400 High Fusion Inkjet Press will be available for installation starting in October worldwide. It will be available for order taking at PRINT 17 in Chicago.
High Fusion Ink is specially formulated to optimize printing and drying on offset coated media including matte, silk and glass stock from 60 to 250 gsm, up to 250 feet per minute. While High Fusion Ink is optimized for commodity offset coated papers, it also runs on a range of uncoated media, providing cost-effective redundancy for print work.
“The speed, great colour range and ability to print on regular offset coated stock with no pre- or post-treatment makes the Trivor 2400 High Fusion Inkjet Press a breakthrough innovation in production inkjet,” said David Zwang, principal consultant, Zwang & Co.
The company explains this latest ink addition, UV80CL, is designed for security printing and brand protection to help firms battle counterfeiting and forgery.
Domino’s UV80CL ink prints clear, but fluoresces green, under an ultraviolet UV-A 365nm blacklight. It can be used to print 2D codes, barcodes, alpha numeric codes, images, graphics and personalised data printing, all of which may be used in security, authentication and anti-counterfeit applications.
Domino explains the combination of printing variable data with green fluorescence provides a high complexity rating which would be extremely difficult to replicate.
This makes it well suited to use to add security marks and features to currency, stamps, tax stamps, passports and certificates to prevent forgery, tampering or counterfeiting of such items. It can also be used to incorporate security features onto labels and packaging for traceability to safeguard against counterfeiting and parallel trade.
The Domino K600i printer can be integrated into an existing web-fed press, or used as a standalone roll-to-roll solution or finishing line, and the UV80CL ink is compatible with standard medias including polyethylene, polypropylene and coated and uncoated papers.
“In today’s price competitive and technology savvy marketplace, it is imperative that brand owners establish a strong and effective anti-counterfeiting and brand protection programme to safeguard their brands,” said Mark Herrtage, Aftercare Product Manager at Domino Printing Solutions. “With that in mind, the Domino UV80CL fluorescent ink provides security, label and packaging converters with an added value offering to assist brand owners on this quest.”
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.
“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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
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