Fujifilm drives ahead with ‘offset-level’ B2 inkjet press for Ipex 2010

The B2 machine can reach speeds of 2,700 sheets per hour, printing 1,200×1,200dpi with quality that has “the potential to surpass offset”, said Keith Dalton, director of Fujifilm Graphic Systems UK.

It relies on Fujifilm’s scalable inkjet printhead array, Samba, and new rapid coagulation ink technology that prevents dot gain.

Dalton explained that the technology offered all the short-run and variable-data benefits of digital, while slotting easily into existing offset printing environments.

Dalton said that central to Fujifilm’s strategy was the use of a printing cylinder set-up that mirrored traditional offset printing equipment and offered offset-level registration.

“The customer is very comfortable with this technology,” he said. “It fits into the footprint of the press hall.”

“This is not meant to be a killer of any technology. Time will tell how it fits,” said Dalton.

The Jet Press runs standard B2 stocks, which it pre-coats inline in a unit following the feeder. Output can be finished on traditional post-press equipment, which Dalton said would help keep total cost of ownership low.

“Pre-press is eliminated,” he added. “And with the Jet Press, you just about eliminate make-readies.”

Dalton also said the Jet Press would help boost a printer’s eco-credentials, as it reduces hazardous chemicals and eliminates make-ready waste.

The Jet Press 720 will be commercially available at Ipex 2010, with the first machines set to ship to Japan in the third quarter. The worldwide roll-out schedule will be announced at the show.

Fujifilm made the announcement at the Ipex Media Summit in London this week. It also used the event to reveal a new version of its XMF workflow and the latest addition to its Acuity family of wide-format machines.

XMF version 3.0 includes advances in its 3D proofing engine to create ‘virtual’ 3D proofs, and improved automation.

Meanwhile, the Acuity Advance HS UV inkjet printer utilises a modified printhead array to “virtually double the speed” of its predecessors. It will begin shipping to Australia in March 2010.

Steven Kiernan is in London for the Ipex Media Summit.

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