It might be known first and foremost for its pre-press heritage, but Fujifilm also has a big stake in inkjet. Its Dimatix subsidiary has been making inkjet heads since being founded as Spectra in 1984. It is active in wide-format equipment through its Acuity and Uvistar ranges, as well as its close ties with Inca, while its Sericol division manufactures inkjet inks.
More recently, Fujifilm was one of the first manufacturers, along with Screen, another vendor heavily invested in the declining pre-press market, to announce a B2-format inkjet machine. The Fujifilm Jet Press 720 was revealed to huge fanfare almost four years ago, in time for Ipex 2010. It was treated in some quarters as a sign of things to come, in others as a novelty. But few can argue that production-level inkjet is now one of the most dynamic areas of print technology.
Fujifilm has continued developing its production inkjet technology, and the result is the Jet Press 540W. This sister machine to the sheetfed Jet Press 720 brings Fujifilm’s piezo-electric drop-on-demand inkjet technology into the webfed arena. It should be a good move: according to print think-tank InfoTrends, continuous feed inkjet is one of the highest growth areas of any printing discipline.
Where the Jet Press 720 aims to replace sheetfed offset, the 540W is targeted “at shorter-run print applications traditionally run on web offset presses such as leaflets and magazines, educational journals, books and newspapers. The general advantages of a web-fed application over a sheetfed press apply here,” says Steve Collyer, national product manager, Graphic Systems, Fujifilm Australia.
The Jet Press 540W’s 540mm web width can provide a full B2 sheet, while the variable cut-off means output can accommodate a wide variety of output.
Collyer says: “With conventional web offset presses, printing sizes are limited by the size of the plate cylinder. The Jet Press 540W uses direct data printing so there is much more flexibility in the cut-off size of the paper.”
He adds that the Jet Press 540W supports both inkjet and non-coated papers of 64-157gsm, and doesn’t pre-treat the paper before printing.
Another advantage offered by the web configuration comes in relation to paper wastage. Fujifilm say the 540W’s ‘job merge’ mode enables the customer to print multiple jobs continuously, with no gap between. Even better, it also claims that the 540W doesn’t require colour adjustment, resulting in the best quality sheet from the roll’s start, which also helps to save paper.
The Jet Press 540W is set to be one of the biggest drawcards at the upcoming PacPrint exhibition in Melbourne. The first place to see the Jet Press 540W was last year at Drupa in Düsseldorf.
“Visitors to Drupa 2012 would have been able to see the Jet Press 540W in action on the Fujifilm stand. The press was demonstrated as a technology preview then and has generated interest from buyers around the world. The press will be shipped to Australia specifically for PacPrint and this will be the first time it will be shown in the domestic market,” says Collyer.
Australian printers have already proved themselves ready and willing to invest in bleeding-edge inkjet equipment. This is clear from the bevy of inkjet sales that have taken place over the past two years. With the Jet Press 540W, Fujifilm will no doubt talk up its experience in the sector.
Around four years have passed since it first entered production-level inkjet with the sheetfed Jet Press platform, so Fujifilm can lay claim to a relatively mature technology. This should give would-be buyers comfort.
There are several rival machines on the market. It’s interesting to note that the Jet Press 540W has competition from Fujifilm’s sister company, Fuji Xerox, which has toner-based continuous feed machinery, not to mention its own webfed inkjet range.
One ace up Fujifilm’s sleeve is ink; it makes its own. The Jet Press 540W accommodates two varieties, which come out of Japan, rather than Sericol. “Fujifilm has used its experience and knowledge to develop both pigment and dye-based inks for use with this press which, when combined with the ultra-compact footprint, maximise the application flexibility and versatility of the machine,” says Collyer.
“The Vividia WP-S pigment ink features a wider colour gamut, suffers from less ‘see through’ on the page and can be used in nearly all graphic applications. The Vividia WD-S dye ink also has a wide colour gamut, but provides better water resistance when used with inkjet papers.”
There’s more clever Fujifilm R&D at the front-end. “XMF Workflow incorporates advanced standalone colour capabilities and XMF ColorPath Organizer, a gateway to the XMF ColorPath cloud-based colour management system,” says Collyer.
“The Jet Press 540W uses Fujifilm’s own FM-based screening technology, which enables smooth colour tones and sharp text as well as eliminating moire and rosette patterns,” he adds.
The 540W has a top printing speed of 127 metres per minute when operating at 600x480dpi. This falls to 100 metres per minute at the machine’s highest resolution setting, 600x600dpi.
Fujifilm explains that the Jet Press 540W is easy to use, controlled by a 15-inch touchscreen and software interface. The single-path duplex system means the customer can easily adjust registration of both front and back sides.
The vendor is quick to stress the Jet Press 540W’s versatility. It will be targeting a whole host of markets. The Jet Press 540W is aimed at printers looking to produce short-run books, manuals, leaflets, newspapers and transactional print more efficiently. Fujifilm adds that the machine’s ability to integrate with the XMF workflow and a wide range of different finishing solutions also makes it suitable for customers looking to produce more customised work.
The kind of applications possible will be partly decided by the finishing attached to the delivery of the web press. Collyer says the machine is “available either as a standalone machine or, with the integration of elements from Fujifilm’s post-press line-up, as a complete production system. It can also integrate with Hunkeler post-press equipment, predominantly for newspaper use, and Muller Martini equipment for commercial print.”
Any investors should feel assured of getting the kind of special attention that accompanies early adopting. Collyer says that following the installation, Fujifilm will provide operator training on site for the machinery plus comprehensive training on the XMF application. High-level support is provided throughout all stages of ownership, says Fujifilm Australia. Service is structured so that local engineers act as a first line of support, with a central support with Fujifilm’s Worldwide Support Centre in Japan. These Fujifilm engineers are dedicated specialists on digital inkjet and the Jet Press technology.
Those looking to invest will have to speak with Fujifilm to find out what the machine will cost: the company was unwilling to tell ProPrint about pricing. However, Collyer did say: “We are aiming at selling the Jet Press 540W unit we have on demonstration at PacPrint13 in Melbourne this month off the stand.”
Max speed 100m/min (600x600dpi), 127m/min (600x480dpi)
Max paper width 543mm
Min paper width 157mm
Max print width 541mm
Max resolution 600dpi
Contact Fujifilm Australia, (02) 9466 2600, www.fujifilm.com.au
HP T200 Series
The HP T200 design incorporates a duplex paper path without a turn bar to deliver high-productivity printing for a wide range of formats, in a compact size.
Max speed Mono 122m/min; colour: 61m/min
Max paper width 559mm
Min paper width 203mm
Max print width 521mm
Max resolution 1,200dpi
Media range 60-215gsm
Contact HP Australia, www.hp.com.au/graphicarts
Océ ColorStream 3200
The Océ ColorStream 3200 can be configured as a single simplex unit or as flexible twin configuration and is designed for a wide range of applications. Océ’s 3000 series builds on the manufacturer’s DigiDot piezo-electric drop-on-demand inkjet technology.
Speed 648 A4 ppm (duplex)
Max paper width 540mm
Min paper width 165mm
Max print width 432mm
Max resolution 1,200dpi (perceived)
Media range 60-160gsm
Contact Canon Australia, 1300 663 623, [email protected]
Screen Truepress Jet520
This continuous-feed, single-pass, printer is available in simplex and dual engine duplex. The combination of greyscale inkjet heads and water-based pigment inks is designed to deliver high quality and reliability on various paper stocks.
Max speed 128m/min
Max paper width 520mm
Min paper width 165mm
Max print width 507mm
Max resolution 720x360dpi
Media range 64-157gsm
Contact Screen Australia, 1300 305 118, www.screenaust.com.au
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