Production Inkjet

At the Labelexpo Europe tradeshow in Belgium, ended October 1, EFI launched its new UV inkjet-based Jetrion 4900 press, which includes inline laser finishing for label converters. 


The Jetrion 4900 is described by EFI VP Sean Skelly, as “a robust industrial press that is ideal for label converters looking to transfer high-cost, short- and medium-run jobs to digital systems, from print file straight through to finished roll."

A four-colour system, the Jetrion 4900 has capabilities to print opaque white UV inks in a single pass, delivering flexo-quality labels, according to the company, that are heat, cold and chemical resistant, and UL-certified on select substrates.
 
The finishing system features high-powered dual lasers from SEI Laser Converting, offering capabilities like die cutting, slitting, and back-scoring on a range of substrates from paper, foil and film to specialty stock. The press runs standard flexo rolls and offers inline and offline modes for special jobs.




HP yesterday introduced its new 42-inch-wide T400 web press, based on inkjet technology, with the ability to print at 600 feet per minute (183 meters per minute). 

This speed translates as producing up to 5,200 full-colour, letter-size pages per minute, which the company claims to be 44 percent faster than its closest competing system.

HP plans to make the T400 available by the end of 2011. Also this year, HP plans to introduce a new magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) system for its web press, as well as an option to use third-party coated media.


The T400 employs what HP refers to as new A50 process-colour inks and new A10 printheads (1,200-nozzles-per-inch), based on the company’s Scalable Printing Technology. HP has now introduced four versions of its inkjet-based web press, including the T200, T300, T350 and T400.

“With more than 25 installations worldwide, our inkjet web press systems are changing the business dynamics of applications such as publishing, transpromo and direct mail,” said Christopher Morgan, HP’s Senior VP, Graphics Solutions Business. Introduced in 2008, the company states that in 2010 its inkjet-based web press installations produced 1.46 billion pages.



Xerox, known for its electrophotographic (toner) production equipment, has announced it has adapted its business-class solid ink technology for the production space. The new inkjet production will be released in early 2012.

“Xerox’s Production Inkjet System cuts through the barriers – cost, quality and reliability – that stood in the way of producing massive numbers of custom print jobs,” said Eric Armour, president, Xerox Graphic Communications Business Group. “Print providers can now confidently shift their focus from the production process to selling applications that drive business.”

Xerox claims its Production Inkjet System can produce nearly 2,200 pages or 500 feet per minute on a 20.5-inch web width and comes in either simplex or duplex configurations. The imaging technology is based off of Xerox's solid ink technology, which is a granulated, resin-based ink. Xerox says the key benefit of its system is the elimination of water leads the images to be more vibrant images, with no ink soaking through. This means the machine can print on lightweight untreated stock. The printed pages also feature high de-inkability for better recycling.

The machine was demonstrated at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2011, being held in Lucerne, Switzerland. The event sees almost 5,000 industry professionals gathering to see and demonstrate the latest in print-on-demand technologies, from prepress to finishing. Pricing of the Production Inkjet System was not released, but the company said more information will be made available in the Fall.


At Graph Expo, Fujifilm launched its J Press 720 in the United States, while the innovative cut-sheet, inkjet press will be made available in Canada sometime during the first or second quarter of 2011.

First introduced as a concept press at drupa 2008, the J Press 720 is rated to produce up to 2,700 4-up size sheets per hour (10,800 8.5 x110-inch pages per hour), with the ability to run coated offset stock. It hits a top resolution of 1,200 dpi, using Fujifilm Dimatix SAMBA head technology with four levels of greyscale. Geared toward the commercial printing sector, the machine works with a maximum sheet size of 29.5 x 20.8 inches.

“No two print shops are the same, so at GRAPH EXPO 2010 we are really looking forward to helping our customers identify the right revenue-generating solution for their business,” said Todd Zimmerman, VP of Sales and Marketing, Graphic Systems Division, Fujifilm North America.
 
At Graph Expo in Chicago, the company demonstrated the press running live jobs for the first time in North America, while it was shown in production mode during the IPEX tradeshow in May of this year.




HP at Graph Expo this year revealed the next step in its inkjet web press platform. Dubbed the T350, the machine will be similar to the dual-engined T300 currently being installed around the world, but will feature speed enhancements to enable the machine to produce nearly 4,000 letter-size pages per minute.

"The fact that our customers' digital color print business continues to grow – while the overall volumes are flat or down – reflects that print service providers are realizing the benefits of HP's digital printing solutions," said Christopher Morgan, senior vice president, Graphics Solutions Business, HP. "People are printing smarter, with targeted, high-quality output printed on demand with less waste, more streamlined supply chain processes and a reduced environmental impact."

The four-color, 30-inch-wide HP T350 also extends an up to 1,200 x 600 dots per inch (dpi) native resolution HP Inkjet Web Press product line that also includes the 30-inch-wide HP T300 and the 20.5-inch-wide, single-engine, duplex HP T200.

HP says it expects to ship the T350 in the latter half of 2011. The machine will be beta tested at O'Neil Data Systems, which also was the beta site for the T300 and currently serves as the beta site for the T200.

Océ has announced the sale of its 100th JetStream inkjet press to company named Salmat in Australia. The press system made its debut in the summer of 2008.

Salmat has ordered two Océ 2200 MICR machines, the first two in Australia. The company has been a business colour provider since 2006. The company has also purchased two toner-based Océ ColorStream 10000 systems to supplement the JetStreams. They will go into two of Salmat's facilities in Australia.

“Océ provided the most competitive solution and demonstrated evidence of extensive product knowledge and application globally,” said Nick Debenham, Head of Salmat’s Business Process Outsourcing Division. “They are a leading provider of inkjet color and their size and scalability will ensure we can access service and support locally. This will provide Salmat with a technology edge which will enable us to produce statements without base stationery and add personalization to every document.”

According to Salmat, the company delivers upwards of 60 percent of all business to consumer communications in Australia. The company was founded in 1979 and today employs 7,000 people with operations in eight countries.

Xerox, during the Ipex tradeshow in the United Kingdom, demonstrated its new Production Inkjet Technology in a machine that currently fires 2-billion drops of ink every second. The roll-fed device – “designed to produce high-impact colour on low-cost papers” – runs on 56 piezo-electric print-heads with more than 49,000 nozzles each.

Xerox states the 4-colour, 600-dpi produces more than 2,000 colour images per minute, as well as production speeds of up 500 feet or 152.4 metres per minute. With a 20.5-inch width, the system features technologies based on more than 2,000 patents.

“[It] is a marvel of research and engineering, and an example of how our unique differentiated ink technology can address the needs of production customers,” said Xerox CTO, Sophie Vandebroek. Many of the technology needs for the machine are based on the work of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, based in Mississauga.

Xerox explains the core of its technology is based on a sensor, referred to as Image On Web Array (IOWA), that scans the billions of droplets per second – for registration, among other production needs. A scan bar registers each print-head and automatically adjusts alignment when necessary.

Aimed at transactional and commercial printers manufacturing cheques and other security documents, Kodak is adding Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) capabilities to its Kodak Versamark VL2000/2200 and VL4000/4200 series machines.

According to Kodak, its application of MICR printing is “different from other solutions on the market” because the company uses a MICR accessory rather than replacing the standard black ink. Given the machines, this inline MICR printing can be produced at speeds ranging from 246 feet per minute (fpm) to 492 fpm.

Kodak states its MICR solution will be commercially available in the first half of 2010.



A couple months after introducing the Prosper S10 monochrome machine, based on its Stream continuous inkjet technology, Kodak has now unveiled the lower-end Prosper S5, which still carries a rated speed of 500 feet per minute (152 metres per minute) while printing at a resolution of 600 dpi.

The Prosper S5 Imprinting System can be field upgraded to the Prosper S10. “With the Prosper S5 Imprinting System, we are broadening market accessibility to Stream Inkjet Technology,” said Kevin Joyce, Kodak’s Worldwide Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Digital Printing Solutions.

The system, which has a print width of 10.56 centimeters (4.16 inches), is unique in that it jets pigment-based inks. In addition to these two models, Kodak has also introduced the Prosper 1000 press for books and direct mail, as well as the Prosper 5000XL for books, direct mail, catalogues/inserts and magazines.


At PRINT 09, Screen, which owns Inca Digital (recognized as one of the pioneering companies of flabed inkjet technology), introduced its new Truepress Jet1600UV-F. This UV-LED-based wide-format printer has an imaging bed of 63 x 122 inches. It can reach speeds of up to 140 square feet per hour on substrates up to 1.96-inches thick.

This new flatbed machine is built in part by Mimaki, which also recently released the Mimaki JFX 1631.



Ink deployed by the Truepress Jet1600UV-F is “hard-dried” using ultraviolet rays produced by dedicated light emitting diodes (LED), which is a growing trend in UV-printing applications because of energy savings and a significant reduction of heat generation. Among other factors, this heat reduction also allows for the use of a broader range of substrates, such heat-sensitive materials like foam and channel boards, PVC, acrylic and styrene panels.

Screen claims it is employing a new imaging system within the Truepress Jet1600UV-F, featuring eight individual piezo-based printing heads that can emit up to seven dot sizes. A new head-positioning system incorporates what the company refers to as a “high-resolution linear scale,” which is said to better reproduce text – down to 3-point text. The machine hits a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi.


Fujifilm Inkjet PressUnveiled last May at drupa 2008, Fujifilm’s concept Digital Inkjet Press will be a highlight of the company’s PRINT 09 booth this weekend in Chicago. This sheetfed-based press, formerly referred to as the Jet Press 720, can produce up to 2,700 4-up sheets per hour, while reaching a true resolution of 1,200 dpi. The system is currently engineered for a maximum print size of 720 x 520 millimetres.


At PRINT 09, Fujifilm will also hold the North American debut for the Inca Onset S20 UV, which is owned by Screen but fitted with Fujifilm Dymatix printheads and Sericol ink. Engineered for large-format inkjet production, the Onset S20 UV can produce “POP quality production” at speeds of up to 2,688 square feet per hour. This production rate is equal to 50 full bed sheets per hour, as the press images an area of 123 x 63 inches, while accepting substrates that can reach nearly two inches in thickness.

The company also plans to highlight its recently released XMF workflow software, which integrates Adobe’s latest Adobe PDF Print Engine and is fully JDF compliant. Products in the line include XMF Complete, XMF Producer and XMF Prepare, as well as the newest application called XMF Remote. This Web portal application allows printing clients to preflight and submit jobs online and, once in production, to review, annotate and approve jobs and receive real-time notification of the job status.

Fujifilm is also showcasing Taskero Universe, designed to apply quality control measures across the production chain. Taskero Universe collects and analyzes data, verifying that jobs stay within the specified tolerance set at the press console. Taskero Universe collects raw data like performance across all ink keys, colour conformity and paper performance; and then generates real-time reports to the company or its customers.
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