Production Inkjet
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.

Xerox today introduced its new roll-to-cut-sheet, narrow-web inkjet press called the Rialto 900, which the company describes as a machine that will carve out a new space within the production inkjet segment. The Rialto 900 is the first product jointly developed and launched by Xerox and Impika, two years after the former purchased the latter.

The full-colour Rialto 900 is designed for producing 1.5- to 5-million impressions per month. Xerox also states the Rialto 900 has the smallest footprint of any inkjet press on the market, measuring 11.9 x 5.1 feet (3.58 x 1.55 metres), including the press tower. Rialto 900 features what Xerox describes as an all-in-one design, meaning the front-end controller, paper roll and finishing components are housed within the machine.

In addition to duplex printing, the company also explains Rialto has the smallest, narrow web on the market, measuring 9.84 inches (250 millimeters). These smaller-scale production factors for an inkjet web press provide for a lower cost of entry into inkjet web printing.

“We are creating a new, disruptive inkjet market segment with the Rialto 900 and there’s room for everyone,” said Paul Morgavi, COO, Inkjet Division, Xerox, and general manager, Impika. “The Rialto 900 changes the playing field by merging the cut sheet, inkjet and offset worlds...”  

Running Xerox’ water-based pigment HD ink, the Rialto 900 is rated to produce a 1,000 x 1,000-dpi apparent resolution. The Xerox Rialto 900 press is now available.

 

Domino Printing Sciences states it has entered into the transactional, direct mail and book printing markets with the launch of the K630i monochrome printing press. The machine is being introduced at Hunkeler Innovation Days, running from February 23 to 26 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

“The K630i is a natural progression in digital printing for Domino after launching the K600i digital module in 2010, and the four colour N600i digital label press in 2012, now available as the N610i in up to seven colours,” said Philip Easton, Director of Domino’s Digital Printing Solutions Division. “The K630i is based on the same proven technology that has seen both these products take leadership positions in their respective markets.”

A continuous-feed production printer, the K630i is configured to run at 75 metres per minute (246 feet) or 150 metres per minute (492 feet) with three print widths of 333, 445 or 558 mm and with simplex or duplex options in the same frame.

The K630i is evolution of the Graph Tech AG MonoCube product that was first released in 2012, just before Domino, already a shareholder, acquired the remaining shares of the company. There are currently four installations in Europe and North America, each running between 2- to 12-million A4 impressions per month. Domino states a further five K630i presses are now on order.



HP is launching its new High Definition Nozzle Architecture for print heads to be held within its T Series of inkjet web presses. The new technology doubles the native print resolution of current HP inkjet print heads from 10,560 to 21,120 nozzles, delivering 2,400 nozzles per inch.

The HD Nozzle Architecture, with built-in redundancy, also supports dual drop weight per colour for what HP describes as sharp text, fine lines, accurate skin tones, smooth gray and colour transitions, and enhanced highlight and shadow detail. It also allows HP to offer a new quality mode on the T Series machines. The high-end HP T400 press, with a web width of up to 42 inches, can run with a printing speed of up to 800 feet (244 metres) per minute in monochrome or at up to 400 feet (122 metres) per minute in colour.
 
High Definition Nozzle Architecture technology will be incorporated into all HP Inkjet Web Press platforms, including the HP T200, T300 and T400 systems. Current customers can upgrade to the new technology. HP reports that its T200, T300 and T400 series customers have printed more than 90 billion A4 equivalent pages since 2009.
 
“High Definition Nozzle Architecture technology enables our HP Inkjet Web Press customers to address a broader range of applications from general commercial printing to production mail to publishing by resetting the bar for inkjet quality and performance,” said Aurelio Maruggi, VP and GM, Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions, HP.

HP also introduced a cloud-based inventory management system designed to help HP Inkjet Web Press customers to improve uptime and productivity. The HP Smart Uptime Kit for HP Inkjet Web Presses enables customers to manage parts, track usage and extract reports.



AccuWeb announced a technology partnership for integrating its EVO 150 controller on the new Colordyne Technologies’ 3600 series of printing systems, primarily aimed at tag or label runs.

The Colordyne Technologies’ 3600 series reaches a resolution of 1,600 x 1,375-dpi running at 225 feet per minute, which the company explains as requiring precise web guiding to maintain registration for both its CMYK plus spot colour printing and integrated laser die cutting.

AccuWeb web guides are positioned before the print engine and the laser die cutter for consistent web travel. The AccuWeb EVO 150 controller allows press operators to fine-tune web guide performance using a switch-pad or touch-screen interface. The EVO 150 web guide controller combines 150 watts of power and 24 VDC with the ability to control brushed and brushless actuator motors.

“The modular CDT 3600 press can be configured with multiple processes, many of which may require a web guide,” said Ron Brown, Technical Director at CDT. “The new EVO 150 web guide controller elegantly integrates a single user interface system capable of controlling multiple web guides with consistent accuracy and reliability.”

At SGIA this week in Las Vegas, Screen will make the North American launch of its Truepress Jet W3200UV HS (standing for High Speed), which nearly doubles the throughput of the company’s existing W3200UV flatbed inkjet machine.

The moving-table printer reaches a top speed of 1,614 square feet per hour. Launched in 2013, the Truepress Jet W3200UV reached a top speed of 914 square feet per hour. Users of the older system can upgrade to the HS model in the field. The 14-picoliter print heads on the HS model feature silicon nozzle plates that are liquid cooled.

The new machine, like its predecessor, features pop-up register pins, auto-cleaning heads, and a head-crash detection system. The 62.9 x 125.9-inch-wide flatbed table is driven by magnetically encoded linear motors and, according to Screen, is capable of printing directly to lenticular lenses. The Truepress Jet W3200UV HS features six colours (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan and light magenta) plus two white ink channels. It has 48 colour heads and 16 white heads. Image quality and colour management are controlled via the Wasatch SoftRIP.

In September, Screen announced the arrival of a new generation TruePress Jet 520 HD sheetfed inkjet press for transactional, direct mail and book printing markets. The redesigned Truepress Jet520HD features a new paper transport, new drying techniques, new print heads and new screening technologies that make the most of new wide-gamut inks. Truepress Jet520HD reaches speeds of up to 50 metres per minute with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, while the fastest speed is 120 metres per min at a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi. The system’s new Ricoh print heads provide variable size droplets. It also uses new high-density ink that, according to Screen is very close to the standards used in offset printing.

The new Truepress Jet520HD can print on material from 40 gsm to 250 gsm. Truepress Jet520HD can also include an optional inspection unit based on Screen's JetInspection system that checks the entire page and compares the printed result to the RIP data. The new press is driven by a new version of Equios software with new features like In-RIP Smart Imposition, ICC Profile Editor and Spot Colour Editor.



INX International and Komori, as co-exhibitors at the recent Labelexpo Americas trade show in Chicago, showcased the new Komori NW210-E inkjet UV narrow web press.

Komori is the exclusive national dealer for INX in the United States. K-North Services, a Komori dealer, will be the distributor for NW210-E press in Ontario and Western Canada.

The NW210’s first buyer is Diversified Labeling Solutions of Itasca, Illinois, owned by Bob Hakman, who plans to install the press by the end of the year. Owner Bob Hakman indicated that when the company purchased the NW140 press from INX last year, they were planning to upgrade when the next generation press reached the market.

The NW210-E press was built in collaboration with Spartanics and is powered by the JetINX print head drive and ink recirculation system. It incorporates a low-heat UV-LED pinning and curing system for single pass output at up to 80 feet per minute on a range of label materials.

At Labelexpo, the press was shown with the he HMJ-200 ink dispenser from HMJtech Dispensing. Designed for small-to-medium sized batches with single point dispense, the company explains the dispenser takes 90 seconds to deliver four ingredients in a one-gallon jug. Available for water based or UV curable ink, the HMJ-200 is configurable up to 14 base ingredients from kits, drums, totes or bulk.

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