Making money from print is not the easiest activity, especially in what is becoming known as commodity print, the type of work that buyers can specify from any number of printers and see a similar result, which means that the printer with the best, read lowest, price will more often than not get the job.
To grow a sustainable business printers need to look outside commodity print and into niches and new applications which will excite designers, marketeers and ultimately the recipient, generating a response for the client, and a sustainable margin for the print business operator thanks to providing the ability to create that response.
It was with this need at the forefront of its mind that Fuji Xerox decided to build a brand new production platform, a print engine that would enable print service providers to develop new applications, enter new markets and provide winning marketing solutions for their clients.
The company went to the drawing board, and came up with the Iridesse, a new six-colour production printer that can produce a show stopping range of print in one pass, thanks to its interchangeable line-up of six imaging toners, and its inline finishing suite.
Those six-colours can offer a tremendous colour gamut, and what is apparent spot varnishing. The first and sixth cartridges are interchangeable, the other four are CMYK. In the first cartridge can be gold, silver or white, and the sixth cartridge can be either gold, silver, white or clear.
This means for instance you can print a silver underlay, then the four process colours, then the clear, creating a startling image, all finished inline.
Iridesse is able to print specialty and spot colours including metallic with a single pass, thanks to this ability to have additional specialty dry inks of gold, silver, clear and white in every run. Changeover is quick, with around five minutes to physically replace a catridge and another ten minutes for the rip to set up.
The newly launched print engine enables CMYK dry ink layers to be processed on top of the special dry ink layer. An overlay of another specialty dry ink can be processed on top of CMYK dry ink layers, a feature first made available with another Fuji Xerox digital printer, the Color 1000i Press.
While conventional offset printing requires mixing silver ink to make metallic ink, the Iridesse allows for simultaneous printing of several metallic colours during a single printing process.
Steve Green, sales director at Fuji Xerox says, “Printers who have come into the showroom to see the Iridesse stop in their tracks. They look at the product coming off the end of the printer and can’t quite believe it. You can see them thinking about the possibilities.”
Roger Labrum, graphic communications and marketing manager for Iridesse says, “The number and variety of applications from the Iridesse is what makes it stand out, and is what is causing such a strong reaction from the print service providers. One minute you can be printing a 1.2 metre banner, the next a 400gsm package for cosmetics, the next an individualised new car owner’s manual. The sheer number of products a print business can produce with Iridesse will enable them to operate at a different level, where they are not doing what everyone else does, but are offering great added solutions that are simply not possible for most of their competitors. And once you are out of the price war you are working on a value proposition, where pricing has a completely different set of parameters, not so much what does it cost but more what is it worth.”
Iridesse is not the heavy duty three million impressions a month iGen5 printer, it is developed for print service providers that want to expand their market base by providing innovative print solutions. Steve Green says, “Print business owners will take themselves into a different league with Iridesse, thanks to its unrivalled capabilities in producing such a large range of products with so much flexibility and to do it all inline including finishing of folding, trimming, stitching, square fold, scoring, and all of it modular so printers can pick and choose or build up as their business demands.
“For printers looking to differentiate, enter niches and move forward the Iridesse is the print solution they have been waiting for.”
The six-colour Iridesse Production Press, offering speeds of 120ppm with substrates up to 400gsm, print resolution of 2,400dpi, metallic inks, and high-levels of automation.
CMYK dry inks are made of High Definition EA Dry Ink (HD EA Dry Ink)—one of the world’s smallest particle size toners. The HD EA Dry Ink fuses quickly at low temperature and is evenly fused onto the paper. This is achieved through marking technology that achieves even transferring of six layers of dry inks.
Green says, “We are operating in an environment where we need to empower our customers by providing them with solutions that will ensure they are able to push the boundaries in their field and reach their customers in a way they have not been able to before.
“In today’s competitive environment, customers want more than an outcome. They want solutions for their challenges. Achieving this requires working with experts who understand these needs and provide end-to-end solutions with quality services. It is here we see the role of the print provider evolve. Fuji Xerox Australia foresees the print professional becoming a consultant – an expert that delivers insight and solutions instead of a printed product. This transition requires a new way of working and premium tools that enable a true beginning to end, simplified solution.
“It is called the Iridesse Production Press.”
“Fuji Xerox has changed the technology that underpins the solution to ensure output is bolder, crisper and more premium than what has been achieved previously.
“The Iridesse is taking us into a new field of relevance for print. It is a press that can meet today’s needs and provide relevance into the future in terms of versatility, flexibility and industry leading quality.”
“Things you can do in four or five different processes, now get done in one.
“While offset printing involves significant time and cost for making plates, adjusting colours and proofreading, digital printing can process jobs with less time and cost and add value to printed materials. Enhancing the value of print products with the use of their capital equipment, such as digital printers, is critical for printing companies to grow their businesses.
“We are now looking at an industry that sees beyond the printed piece itself and instead is now dealing with how people feel about what is printed. People are responding to customised collateral as it provides a sense of value.”
Rightfully so, as studies since 2013 have indicated that consumers care for print, with millennials seeking authenticity from products and services.
The standard colour library for Iridesse contains Pantone+Metallic and Pantone+Premium Metallic. With these, the operator can reproduce colours similar to Pantone metallic colours on printing materials by designating the colour codes.
Finishing options include Fuji Xerox’s Finisher D6 with Booklet Maker, Crease/Two-sided Trimmer D2, and SquareFold Trimmer D1, which can be connected to the Iridesse press, allowing for automatic production of professional booklets and folded leaflets.
The hardware has improved automation including registration and alignment, enabling one-person operation. Value-added elements include XMPie cross media marketing software, which enables a multichannel approach, while the Finisher D6, allows for a fore-edge, top and bottom trim, five creases; all included for automated finishing.
The company says the finishing options expand the possible printing applications by enabling the production of complex folded leaflets including accordion-fold and gatefold.
Green says, “Against the backdrop of rapidly diversifying consumers’ needs, the printing industry is adjusting its use of printing techniques.
“Instead of just relying on conventional offset printing, which performs well for high-volume jobs, more businesses are choosing on-demand printing, which is shorter in turnaround time and prints the necessary number of copies for catalogues, manuals, and advertising materials.
“The focus is now on the individual, with customers seeking bespoke products that give the impression that they were made specifically for them. The Iridesse Production Press will enable brands to represent themselves effectively to market through graphic communication.
Fuji Xerox says that Iridesse – manufactured in Japan – is built to deliver productivity, iimage quality and flexible media capabilities.
The Iridesse Production Presses workflow includes integrated tools that assist with preproduction: FreeFlow and the function rich Fuji Xerox developed print controller, GX Print Server, which allows for job flow to run seamlessly.
For example, the Fuji Xerox system bundles jobs of the same properties such the media type, size, and paper weight as well as the type of finish, minimising the labour of setting stocks and changing the finisher.
The system maximises the productivity of digital printing that supports varied short-run jobs, shortening the delivery period.
Labrum says, “Production teams can now print colours that would previously take hours to achieve, and they do not need to worry about finishes or sheet sizes.
“This machine will do it all. It has the potential to change the core of the print provider’s operations and how they look at their business.
“With current market pressures to be in a constant state of innovation, we have released a solution that will ensure print providers are able to either accelerate their operations or advance their service offering.”
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