Graph-Tech MonoCube

What does the product do?

MonoCube is a very compact monochrome inkjet web press with a choice of web widths and speeds, but no click charges. Its single-unit simplex or duplex format is designed to fit into restricted spaces. Graph-Tech is a Swiss developer of inkjet components and controllers, acquired last year by UK-based Domino Printing Sciences. It had previously developed the Domino N600i colour UV inkjet label press, launched in 2010. MonoCube will be sold through Graph-Tech’s new Cube Inkjet Division. In the US, Kern Inc. will sell the MonoCube under its own name, iMpres, to run with its mailing systems. In Australia, the machine is sold by Melbourne-based reseller Trimatt Systems.

When was the machine launched and who is it aimed at?

MonoCube was first shown at Drupa 2012. It is designed for direct mail, transactional, book-on-demand and security work, emphasising high-speed, high-quality and low cost-per-page. Additional print bars for MICR ink can be fitted.

How does it work?

Four web widths are offered (446mm, 558mm, 670mm and 783mm) in both simplex and duplex. Speeds are up to 75 or 150 metres per minute, but can be slowed to match inline feed and finishing systems. Print bars, with Kyocera heads, are the same as the Domino N600i. The 600dpi resolution with four droplet sizes give a “perceived” resolution of 1,200dpi. The water-based black ink is suited to uncoated papers for transactional and book markets. Plans to use a primer for coated papers have been dropped in favour of finding compatible inks. A UV-cured ink configuration can be ordered. Graph-Tech develops its own printer controllers. Initially, these accept PDF workflows, but IPDS/AFP is close to release.

What’s its USP?

Bryan Palphreyman, commercial director of Graph-Tech’s Cube Inkjet Division, believes that the main USP is the very compact duplex format, so it can replace toner presses and offer lower running costs. The machine’s footprint is 1.7×2.5m and it stands just 1.5 metres high, making it handy for data centres with low ceilings. Palphreyman says that in restricted spaces it may be easier to install several lower speed, lower cost MonoCubes rather than just one of the larger rivals.

What support is available?

Operator training will be given by Trimatt Systems. Most components are user-replaceable, with remote diagnosis and support available from Switzerland. “Inkjets are more reliable than toner presses,” states Palphreyman. “Most of the issues are likely to be in the software, and that can usually be fixed remotely.”

How many users are there already?

MonoCubes are still at the beta stage and user sites are operating under non-disclosure agreements overseas. One is in Morocco and used for cheque printing. An earlier machine in the US is used for bingo cards and the like. Kern has one in its demo suite in Ohio. Matt Johnson from local reseller Trimatt tells ProPrint: “We have just sold our second single head mono system, called the GL1200.”

 


 

Specifications

Web widths 446mm, 558mm, 670mm, 783mm

Speeds 75m/min, 150m/min

Resolution 600dpi (1,200dpi equivalent)

Inks water-based with UV option

Format simplex or duplex

Contact Trimatt Systems, (03) 8761 6171, www.trimatt.com

 


 

The alternatives

Canon Océ Jetstream 2300/3300/4300 Mono

Océ adapted its full-colour Jet­Stream inkjet web presses into mono-only models for book work. The 200m/min 4300 is faster than the MonoCube, but also has a larger footprint. Local prices were unavailable, but according to EU prices provided to ProPrint’s partner title, PrintWeek, the Jetstream is three times the price.

Web width 762mm

Speeds 100m/min, 150m/min, 200m/min

Resolution 600dpi greyscale (1,200dpi equivalent)

Inks water-based

Format simplex or twin-unit duplex

 

Canon Océ Variostream 8750

The price and performance of the VarioStream 8750 is comparable to the entry-level MonoCube. There’s a choice of all-in or toner-exclusive click charges.

Web width 495.3mm

Speeds 105m/min

Resolution up to 600dpi

Format single-unit duplex

Contact Canon Australia, 13 13 83, www.canon.com.au

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