Production Inkjet
Electronics For Imaging, presenting its largest drupa tradeshow exhibit to date, is showcasing its new Nozomi one-pass inkjet platform aimed at the corrugated, paper packaging and display printing sectors.

On the drupa floor, EFI is displaying the 1.8-metre-wide, single-pass Nozomi C18000 press, targeting short-run, on-demand work. EFI describes the direct-to-corrugated board press as its biggest inkjet product development to date, with expected availability set for 2017.

The Nozomi C18000 can reach speeds of up to 75 linear metres (246 linear feet) per minute, producing up to 9,000 80 x 60-cm boards per hour using what EFI describes as a double-lane printing feature. EFI explains it prints up to seven colours, including white, at a 360 x 720-dpi resolution, and can handle materials of up to 1.8 x 3 metres – and thicknesses up to triple-wall board – at full rated speeds.

Its LED, continues EFI, can image on just about any board substrate, including traditional Kemi, model, bleach and kraft materials. Packaging produced with the press, according to the company, is certified for repulpability and recyclability.
 
“The focus EFI has placed in R&D to improve every part of the digital production chain results in a unique, breakthrough and innovative offering that we are very excited to present at the world’s largest printing tradeshow,” said Guy Gecht, EFI’s CEO. “The breakthrough new platforms we are showing for the first time could be game changers for customers as the world moves from long runs to customized, on-demand manufacturing.”

At drupa, EFI is also showcasing its new AquaEndure inkjet technology that the company explains will be used across many of its platforms and segments in the future. The water-based inkjet platform runs and cures inks which EFI describes as requiring much less heat, enabling a wider range of media. AquaEndure inks also have no odour, explains EFI, and are aimed at markets like wall coverings, wraps and flexible signage. The system is expected to launch in 2017 with expanded media types and capabilities suitable for food-contact packaging following after that.

EFI is also exhibiting its new Fiery XB digital front end (DFE) platform, a scalable, high-volume blade server technology for high-speed inkjet presses, as well as Fiery Navigator, a cloud-based print management platform for Fiery-driven production presses. The company also introduced new software in the EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite and the EFI Publication Suite.
At drupa 2016, HP today unveiled the new PageWide C500 Press and an Indigo Combination Press, both of which are still under development.

The HP PageWide C500 Press, designed for corrugated direct-to-board printing, leverages 30 years of HP thermal inkjet technology and the company’s newer PageWide Printing Technology. HP explains the press will integrate into a standard production environment, from large integrated packaging converters with centralized or distributed printing, to small, independent sheet plants. HP plans to start testing the HP PageWide C500 Press at customer sites in 2017, and the press is expected to be commercially available in 2018.

At drupa, HP also previewed a new Indigo Digital Combination Press, for combination label production. The press concept will incorporate HP Indigo print and digital embellishments in one press, creating a single-pass solution for high-value labels and packaging production.

As part of a dedicated line with an HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press, this new digital combination concept, developed in alliance with JetFX, will enable the production of digital spot and tactile varnishes, digital foils, as well as embellishments of virtually unlimited designs made possible using HP SmartStream Mosaic.
Xaar has launched its 1003 family of print heads aimed at industrial inkjet printing, which builds on the company’s preceeding Xaar 1002 and 1001 products.

Xaar explains the 1003 print head family introduces an important new feature called the XaarGuard, which provides nozzle plate protection and, coupled with other design innovations, achieves what the company states to be the longest maintenance-free production runs in the industry.  

The Xaar 1003 was produces with the company’s new X-ACT Micro Electric Mechanical Systems (MEMS) manufacturing process, which was recently awarded Manufacturing Site of the Year by the National Microelectronics Institute.

The Xaar 1003 family of print heads combines Xaar’s TF Technology and Hybrid Side Shooter architecture so that ink is recirculated directly past the back of the nozzle during drop ejection at high flow rates.  This helps the print head operates reliably even in the harsh industrial environments. Ink is in constant circulation, preventing sedimentation and subsequent blocking of the nozzles when jetting.

The Xaar 1003 will be available in three variants. The Xaar 1003 GS12 (rich colours or higher speeds) for ceramics applications is first to be launched, closely followed by the Xaar 1003 GS6 (for fine detail) and the Xaar 1003 GS40 (for special effects). The other variants for UV applications will also be available later in the first half of this year.
At drupa 2016, running from May 31 to June 10 in Düsseldorf, Germany, Xerox plans to launch two new inkjet presses, including the Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press and the Xerox Trivor 2400 Inkjet Press.

Targeting a production gap between high-end toner and low-end inkjet presses, the Xerox Brenva is a cut-sheet inkjet press that Xerox initially expects to disrupt light direct mail, transactional and book markets. 

The Brenva is to incorporate many of the paper-path components of the Xerox iGen press line, as well as an inline spectrophotometer to assist with calibration and profiling; object-oriented colour management to distinguish text, graphics and images; and a K-only mode to run as a cost-effective monochrome press.

The Xerox Trivor 2400 is a scalable continuous inkjet press initially targeting speeds of up to 551 feet (168 metres) per minute in colour and 656 feet (200 metres) per minute in monochrome. The small-footprint press will initially be targeted at catalogues, magazines and colour books. A new print server developed in partnership with EFI, the Xerox IJ Print Server powered by Fiery, will handle multiple data streams for various application types.

“We are focused on expanding our inkjet portfolio with more choices and greater capabilities for print providers to grow their businesses,” said Robert Stabler, Senior VP and GM, Global Graphic Communications Business Group, Xerox. “With the addition of Brenva and Trivor, we’re making inkjet more accessible and affordable to a larger number of print providers.”

Availability and list price for the Xerox Trivor 2400 with the Xerox IJ Print Server will be revealed at drupa. The Xerox Brenva HD will be available in Europe in May 2016 and in North America in September 2016. Shipments will begin in June 2016. The list price starts at US$649,000.
In late-February, Fujifilm introduced its next generation 54-cm-wide LED-UV inkjet press, built around the company’s new EUCON technology, for flexible packaging.

Fujifilm explains EUCON (Enhanced Under Coating and Nitrogen purging technology) is ideally suited for printing on the underside of flexible packaging. The proprietary EUCON technology in the new press is composed of three core components: a newly developed, high performance UV ink; a unique undercoating technology used to prevent ink bleed; and a Nitrogen purge technology, which is used to significantly reduce the characteristic odour of UV ink.  

Fujifilm’s new LED-UV inkjet press is currently working with a productivity level of up to 50 metres per minute using CMYK + White ink channels. LED-UV curing reduces the heat applied to flexible substrates.

The ink used in the new LED-UV press takes advantage of technologies developed for Fujifilm’s wide format applications, with enhanced adhesive strength for film that prevents peeling or cracking of the ink even when the print surface is heated. EUCON applies a new primer as an undercoat before depositing the CMYKW ink, which reduces ink bleed and better enables colour reproduction.
At drupa 2016, Canon plans to highlight its new continuous feed inkjet press Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma, aimed at commercial printing, which features the company’s new Chromera ink set for stronger colour fidelity, wider gamut and higher optical densities.

The high pigment load of the Chromera inks, explains Canon, extends the application range of the press to lighter weight media with reduced ink show-through, and allows for printing higher quality documents on uncoated or inkjet treated papers.

“The new Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma establishes a new level of colour vibrancy and underlines Canon’s leading position in continuous feed inkjet technologies for production print, with a line-up of high performance presses for business communications, publishing and commercial print applications,” said Christian Unterberger, Executive Vice President, Océ Printing Systems GmbH.

The new press builds on Canon’s ColorStream 3000 and ColorStream 3000 Z printing systems, which the company describes as holding paper waste-free print start and pause and a smart post-processing interface for the printing of short-run books with variable page lengths without rebooting. Océ HeadSafe technology allows for switching between mono and full-colour printing.

A new ‘pre-fire’ function on the ColorStream 6000 Chroma press is designed to provide consistent droplet size and positioning, ultimately leading to smooth ink coverage for large areas of dense colour. Canon explains this technology makes the press suitable for demanding commercial print applications.

The ColorStream 6000 Chroma model offers running speeds from 48 metres per minutes to 127 metres per minute in full colour mode. For monochrome work, there is an optional maximum speed of 150 metres per minute.

Shipments of the new ColorStream 6000 Chroma series are scheduled to begin in autumn 2016.
Kodak at drupa 2016, running from May 29 to June 10 in Germany, plans to debut a range of new technologies, including its next generation inkjet platform called Ultrastream, a new NexPress ZX3900 press, cloud-based software packages, and new Sonora offset printing plates, among other technologies.

Ultrastream, built on Kodak’s continuous inkjet Stream technology, is aimed at moving production inkjet into the mainstream of commercial and packaging printing. It will be showcased for the first time at drupa 2016, in an 8-inch configuration for label production, and feature what Kodak describes as a smaller drop size and precise placement accuracy for higher resolution, clean lines and additional detailed definition.

Ultrastream technology will co-exist in the market along with Stream Technology to offer different platform options. Ultrastream’s writing system includes a modular print head that can be implemented in varying widths ranging from eight inches up to 97 inches suit different applications. Kodak explains it produces 600 x 1,800-dpi resolution at speeds of up to 150 meters per minute (500 feet per minute) on a variety of paper and plastic substrates.

Ultrastream technology, with a planned launch for early 2017, will co-exist in the market along with Stream Technology to offer different platform options.

At drupa 2015, Kodak, for the first time, will also showcase a new cloud-based software approach under the banner of Unified Workflow Solutions, which includes Kodak Prinergy, Insite Prepress Portal, Colorflow, Pandora Step-and-Repeat Software, and Preps imposition software.

“Kodak created the workflow automation software market with the launch of Prinergy Workflow in 1999,” said Allan Brown, Vice President and General Manager of Kodak’s Unified Workflow Solutions. “Today we continue to push the boundaries of our current offering and take it to the next level with our cloud-based features.”
 
The new NexPress ZX3900 toner-based press will also be running at drupa, with a delivery date aimed for early 2017. It supports thicker paper and the use of synthetic substrates, which can be leveraged for short-run packaging applications like labels, tags and small folding cartons, as well as differentiated commercial and publishing products.

In conjunction with the NexPress ZX3900, Kodak also plans to preview a new NexPress platform that has not yet been unveiled. There will also be a new Opaque White Dry Ink for NexPress presses for its Fifth Imaging Unit.

At drupa 2016, Kodak will also announce a new Sonora process-free plate that can be used for UV printing. “By growing the Sonora Plate family to encompass UV, we are helping a broader population of our print customers to be more profitable, productive and sustainable into the future,” said Richard Rindo, GM Worldwide Offset Print and VP Print Systems Division, Kodak.

Kodak will also showcase its new Aqua-Image Pressroom Chemicals at drupa 2016, which is to include over 20 press washes, plate cleaners, ink roller maintenance chemicals and storage gums.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG announced it is extending its digital printing portfolio for drupa 2016 with a world premiere of B1-format, inkjet-based system called Primefire 106.

The inkjet technology was built leveraging Heidelberg’s offset technology and the inkjet developments of Fujifilm. Heidelberg explains its core competencies of technologies like non-contacting paper sheet guide, feeder and delivery are incorporated into the system. Primefire 106 is aimed at short to medium production runs.

“With the world premiere of the Heidelberg Primefire 106 we have reached another milestone in our digital strategy: achieving success in working with partners to bring systems to the market within the shortest time,” Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board and responsible for Heidelberg Equipment. “This will help our customers to address the increased market challenges in a digitized world in the future also.

“Now we are the first provider to enable the industrial and integrated production of digital printed products in the Smart Print Shop,” continued Plenz. “At the same time, in doing so we are also opening up opportunities for the future growth of Heidelberg.”

World premiere of the “Fire” product line: Heidelberg introduces a standardized portfolio name for its entire digital printing offering

As of drupa 2016, Heidelberg will introduce its entire digital printing portfolio under a standardized product line name, called Fire. “The name Fire for our digital printing portfolio stands for performance, dynamism and growth – and also for digitally transmitting data and ink onto different surfaces,” said Jason Oliver, Head of the Digital Division at Heidelberg. “We want to send a clear message to our customers that we have one of the highest performance digital printing offerings in our industry.”

As a result, the Heidelberg digital printing portfolio will have the following structure as of drupa 2016: Primefire 106; Versafire CP/CV is the new name for the existing Linoprint CP/CV digital printing systems (launched in cooperation Ricoh in 2011); Gallus Labelfire 340 is the new product name for the former Gallus DCS 340 for digital label printing; and Omnifire 250/1000 is the new name for Heidelberg’s 4D printing systems, replacing the former name Heidelberg Jetmaster Dimension 250/1000.
Industrial inkjet technology developer Xaar has launched the Xaar 1002 GS40 print head for UV applications. Already used in the ceramics tile decoration industry, the launch of this new Xaar print head into the UV market can be used to produce a range of high build varnish and textured effects for labels, packaging, graphics and wood laminate.

This latest addition to the Xaar 1002 family of print heads jets drop volumes from 40 to 160pL and has greyscale capability (5 levels). It is well suited, according to Xaar, for printing UV spot varnish and for applications requiring a high laydown at higher print speeds. Depending on the drop size, the print head can lay down extra opaque whites with a larger drop size or a finer base of whites with a smaller drop size; which can be useful in creating fine detailed effects.

For those wishing to print solid white base coats underneath fine halftone images or text, such as companies printing labels or packaging, the Xaar 1002 GS40 can be used in combination with the Xaar 1002 GS6 printhead.

The large drop capability of the Xaar 1002 GS40 also means, according to Xaar, that it is well suited for printing high build spot varnish or tactile, textured effects, such as wood grain, edge banding or other wood laminate products manufactured by the décor industry.

As with all of the Xaar 1002 family of printheads, this new variant includes TF Technology which provides a continuous ink flow at a high rate directly past the back of the nozzle during drop ejection. Xaar explains this design provides unrivalled reliability, trouble-free printing and maximum printing and production uptime.

 “We are delighted to be extending our UV printhead range to include the Xaar 1002 GS40 which enables our customers to create a wide range of effects that were typically the preserve of other techniques such as embossing. This capability is becoming more prevalent in labels and packaging for luxury products within the food and beverage sectors including high end spirits and wine labeling,” said Alan Mutch, Product Manager at Xaar.
After announcing plans to develop a new inkjet-based Web press more than a year ago, HP Inc., in a co-development project with KBA, has unveiled the much-anticipated HP PageWide Web Press T1100S. The system features a 2.8-metre (110-inch) width. HP describes the new press as being ready to reinvent corrugated packaging printing for high-volume, pre-print applications.
 
HP continues to explain that digital printing is the fastest growing segment in packaging with a projected annual growth rate of 17 percent in a market expected to be worth $19 billion by 2019. The company states the HP PageWide Web Press T1100S, with Multi-lane Print Architecture (MLPA), creates a paradigm shift in the production of corrugated board.

“Converters and brands alike need to create more targeted, effective packaging while reducing costs,” said Eric Wiesner, General Manager of HP Inc.’s PageWide Web Press division. “HP Inc. and KBA have combined forces to bring the world’s most productive press to market, offering more value to high-end converters with the efficiencies of pre-print and digital in one press.”

HP explains its MLPA technology splits the web into multiple print lanes, so different jobs, with different box sizes and run lengths, can be printed in the individual lanes. Multiple ultra-short or short runs can be queued and printed together, with no make-ready in between jobs, continues HP, while a long run is printed in another lane. In essence MLPA technology, coupled with all the advantages of inkjet printing, allows cost-effective customization and personalization of corrugated packaging.

Packaging giant DS Smith Packaging, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, has been announced as the first company to install the HP PageWide Web Press T1100S. “We selected the new HP PageWide Web Press T1100S as the next step in our ground-breaking digital PrePrint programme,” said Stefano Rossi, CEO of DS Smith Packaging Division. “Our co-development with HP has resulted in the first digital machine able to print at the speed and width we need for high-volume corrugated production. It will provide our customers with unprecedented short-run flexibility and quality consistency.” DS Smith sold over six billion boxes in its 2014/2015 fiscal year.

The HP PageWide Web Press prints at speeds of up to 183 linear metres (600 linear feet) per minute and 30,600 square metres (330,000 square feet) per hour. The inking system of the press a combination of HP Bonding Agent, HP Priming Agent and four-colour HP A50 aqueous pigmented CMYK inks. HP explains this allows users to print on standard uncoated and coated liners from 80-400 grams per square meter (GSM).

Optional configuration features include an auto-splice/turret rewind, primer and over-print varnish coating solutions, as well as the KBA PATRAS Automated Paper Logistics System.
Xaar plc, a developer of industrial inkjet technology, has introduced a new family of piezoelectric printheads for printer manufacturers (OEMs) developing machines for coding and marking applications.

The new family of printheads, the first of which is to be available in late 2016, will all have a 17-mm print swathe, which the company describes as being an ideal width for high-resolution coding and marking applications like printing barcodes, best before dates and other product identification codes onto a range of packaging. The new family of printheads will be manufactured in Xaar’s factory in Huntingdon, UK.

“We have set out a development roadmap of new 17-mm printheads to support our coding and marking OEM customers over the coming years,” said Richard Barham, Chief Customer Officer at Xaar. “The first of the new products, which we will launch towards the end of next year, will sit alongside the Xaar 128 and will also have 128 nozzles. This is an important market sector for Xaar, so we are delighted to announce a new range of printheads which underline our ongoing commitment to this sector.”

Xaar, celebrating its 25th year of inkjet development this year, initially established itself through a number of printheads designed for coding and marking applications. The company explains the new print head will allow it continue to add value for the foreseeable future to manufacturers who are required to print product identification information onto their products during the production process.

Domino is introducing its first digital cold foil solution based around its K600i inkjet print module. The cold foiling technology uses the K600i to print an adhesive and create the image area prior to UV-curing and delamination.

Unlike some other inkjet systems that print metallic ink to provide a foil-like effect, Domino explains its cold foil technology is based on real conventional metallic foil to provide a higher quality finish. The company’s solution also allows for the application of security and decorative holographic images within the foil.  

Domino’s cold foil technology can operate at speeds up to 75 metres per minute (246 ft/min) and can be supplied as a standalone unit or be retrofitted to an existing foiling station. It is offered in up to seven different foiling widths ranging from 108 mm (4.25 inches) up to 782 mm (30.81 inches).

 “We have been facing an increasing demand for a digital coil foil solution over the last seven years, so have now combined the latest higher resolution K600i print technology with an advanced adhesive formulation and a web handling solution supplied by AB Graphic International,” said Philip Easton, Director of Domino’s Digital Printing Solutions Division.

Since the launch of the K600i monochrome ink jet printer in 2010, Domino has installed over 200 modules in a range of production lines, including label presses for hybrid printing, and finishing and sheet-to-sheet lines. The new K600i cold foiling solution is based on the same technology, but uses a new adhesive.

Inkjet-based foiling represents a unique proposition for security applications, explains Domino, by allowing the use of holographic foil with inkjet produced images. This leads to product complexity and makes counterfeiting increasingly difficult to achieve.

The K600i foiling technology leverages Domino’s i-Tech products, including the i-Tech ActiFlow ink circulating system to ensure ink is always moving around the print head. i-Tech CleanCap automated print head cleaning and capping technology reduces manual operator intervention. i-Tech StitchLink micro-motor controller technology ensures that all heads are automatically and properly calibrated to print as one.

Colordyne Technologies has introduced its 2600 Series Mini Press as part of what the company defines as a new Commercial Class line of products, powered by Memjet inkjet print head technology. The 2600 Series is designed to bridge the gap between Colordyne’s 1600 Series Industrial Class products and the 3600 Series Production Class family of products.

The 2600 Mini Press makes use of a single Memjet printhead capable of printing at 60 feet per minute (18 metres) at 1,600 x 1,600 dpi. It features what Colordyne describes as a robust, dually supported frame, with the capacity to handle 24 inch (600 mm) outside diameter rolls and a servo-driven web handling system to produce longer run lengths.

The 2600 Series Mini Press also makes use of a Harlequin RIP and a 15-inch touch screen. Colordyne explains what differentiates the printing system’s single print head platform from others in the industry is its self-predicative print head maintenance.
DuraFast Label Company of Toronto, a certified Epson partner, is now distributing the Epson TM-C7500G label printer and associated consumables. The “G” at the end of the product model stands for Gloss.
 
“The Epson ColorWorks C7500G produces gorgeous, full colour glossy labels at 1,200 by 600 dots per inch,” explained Basat Khalifa, President of DuraFast. “And it’s fast – nearly 12 inches per second.”


The Epson TM-C7500G printer, a single-pass inkjet system is available with an optional unwinder for larger unattended print runs. “The unwinder is contained within the machine and can hold media rolls up to eight inches outside diameter, or OD,” said Khalifa. “If the user wants to bypass the unwinder and connect an external unwinder with larger rolls up to 12 inches OD, that is also easy to do.”
 
The label printer uses pigment-based inks specifically developed by Epson for prime label applications on materials such as glossy polypropylene, glossy clear polyester, and glossy white polyester labels. DuraFast explains the ink dries immediately, with no smudging or smearing.

DuraFast explains the Epson TM-C7500G is listed for $10,995 in the Canadian market. A matte version of the Epson TM-C7500 is also available for applications like durable GHS BS5609 chemical labels.
KBA and HP released more details about their plans to develop what is to be called the HP T1100 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press. The two companies first announced the technology partnership during last year’s Graph Expo show in Chicago.

When the HP T1100 is released into the market, the companies explain it is to feature a 110-inch (2.8-metre) format width for the pre-printing of corrugated top liner. The press is projected to print at speeds of up to 600 feet (183 metres) per minute and produce up to 300,000 square feet (30,000 square metres) per hour.

At drupa 2008, HP introduced its first Inkjet Web Press, which has now expanded into a portfolio of 10 presses across five web-width platforms.
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