It wouldn’t be unfair to say that monochrome digital printing has increasingly been seen as the ugly stepsister, while all-singing, all-dancing colour technology plays the part of Cinderella. While black-and-white workhouses churn out the meat-and-potatoes jobs, their colour siblings have all the fun of bright and cheery high-end, variable data print work. So when a new B&W press is launched, it rarely registers on the radar of most printers.
Konica Minolta hopes to change all of that. The new Bizhub Press series was launched at Drupa last year. At the heart of the new range is the Bizhub Press 1250, which Konica describes as the “next-generation monochrome high-speed digital press system series”.
Targeted at printers that need to produce high volumes of B&W work, such as commercial printers, central reprographic departments and high-volume office print environments, the new presses are aimed at both entry-level users and existing users of Konica Miinolta kit looking to upgrade.
“Existing customers will see the added value that this next generation of Konica Minolta B&W print systems offer, with the solid frame long-life construction producing consistent, reliable, quality prints day after day,” says David Procter, general manager of production printing at Konica Minolta Australia.
Procter says the machine is extremely reliable – crucial in this competitive market space – thanks to the “strong rigid chassis frame and the long-life durable parts that have been in development and refined over the last three generations of this line of print systems”.
As for productivity, the Bizhub Press 1250 has been purpose built for a heavy-duty production cycle of up to 3,000,000 impressions per month, with an impressive top speed to match.
“The high level of productivity starts from the Bizhub Press 1250 being the fastest speed print system that Konica Minolta has developed at 125 pages per minute (ppm). It offers long-life, on-the-fly toner replacement and operator replaceable unit maintenance, which allows operators to replace consumable units when required. This reduces the frustration of any downtime.
“With error-free technology such as air suction and air separation paper feeding, in-built multi-feed and paper skew detection systems and optional hybrid de-curling to reduce paper curl and static on the finished output,” adds Procter.
It is also a highly flexible machine with increased media weight range and media capacity over rival devices, he says. “Media weight range is from 40gsm to 350gsm, supporting uncoated, coated and embossed paper, with an optional exchangeable fixing unit to accommodate envelope printing. Media capacity is a massive maximum of 14,000 sheets, with the addition of the two paper feed units, equating to eight trays to load a media.”
The new Bizhub Press series has been refined to take into consideration customer requirements, says Procter. A major part of this development and refinement process is the new Simitri high-definition polymerised toner. Procter claims that Simitri gives “high-quality reproduction at a reduced low temperature fixing”, which limits the effect of heat stress on the media in the fixing process, and allows the scope for producing faster print speeds.
The small particle size of Konica Minolta’s Simitri toner reduces consumption. The manufacturer says that if a standard size pulverised toner of 88 µm is replaced with a Simitri toner of 6 µm, toner consumption is reduced by more than 30%.
The finer details
The Bizhub Press 1250 works as you might expect from a product in this segment of the market. “These new copier-printer-scanner systems use dependable LED print technology using the electrostatic print process with belt transfer media flexibility,” says Procter.
“Variable fuser nip at fixing allows for the perfect pressure to be applied based on the media profile selected, resulting in even gloss on the printed output. With improved specifications within the in-built print controller, job RIP speeds are processed and sent to the print engine at lightning speed.”
The machine stands out from rival machines thanks to its low energy consumption and compact size. Thanks to the use of the Simitri polymerised toner, the heat requirement of the presses has been reduced by 15% on previous models, claims the manufacturer.
Procter says the Bizhub Press series boasts Konica’s smallest size footprint for this speed of product. The typical footprint dimension for a base model system is 2,500mm wide, 1,450mm high and 910mm deep.
This has been made possible thanks to the development of the ‘all in one finisher’, which offers full functionality for booklet creation, corner staple and two point staple for up to 100 sheet sets. Folding of output sheets is also covered with centre fold and three fold capabilities. Additional hole-punching and post inserting of covers and page inserts are also possible.
Given this combination of factors, it is hardly surprising to hear that the machine registered a lot of interest following its launch, despite the fact it only started shipping at the start of 2013.
“Initial customer feedback has been positive,” says Procter. “These have been based primary on the smaller footprint and extended finishing capabilities, due to its limited release details locally to date.”
He says that the company has already had some “major interest” from the legal fraternity and education sector. Major colleges have shown particular interest in the new integrated features. There has also been a lot of interest from commercial printers, with enquiries from the “whole range of printing businesses including the quick print franchise chains, commercial printers and central reprographic departments”, says Procter.
Procter is coy on details of sales projections or price details. He confirms that two installations took place in January this year.
Konica Minolta took delivery of some of the first Bizhub Press units late last year. This was so its technical training and assessment department could conduct technical and product training across all levels of the business to ensure the company was fully up to speed prior to the machine’s widespread release. Spare parts and consumables are readily available with service packages tailored to meet customer requirements.
“All our service contracts with production print have service coverage from 7am to 7pm, five days a week. Our experienced helpdesk, manned by our field technicians, is the first point of contact to resolve issues when possible, depending of the site issue,” says Procter.
All-in-all, the Bizhub Press packs a lot of punch for a compact model. The interest the new series has generated since its launch suggests that it could have a transformative effect on the way that people view the much-neglected B&W printing market. So in that sense, it could be a Cinderella after all.
Max speed 125 A4 or 70 A3 pages per minute
Max impressions 3m per month
Max resolution 1,200×1,200dpi
Media weights 40-350gsm
Footprint (WxHxD) 2,500×1,450x910mm
Contact www.konicaminolta.com.au, 1800 789 389
Fuji Xerox D125
The D-Series is a new range of mono digital printers available in five different configurations. Targeted at educational establishments and commercial printers, the D125 boasts an integrated controller, multiple feeding and paper handling options to boost productivity and a wide range of inline finishing options.
Max speed 125 A4 ppm
Max impressions 700,000 ppm
Max resolution 2,400×2,400dpi
Media weights 52-253gsm
Contact www.fujixerox.com.au, 1300 667 955
Canon Océ VarioPrint 120
This printer-scanner-copier has a recommended maximum monthly volume of 2 million and is designed for the production of books, manuals, booklets and training collateral. It combines Océ’s engine and controller with Canon’s integrated scanning and finishing technology.
Max speed 123ipm
Max impressions 2,000,000ppm
Max resolution 600×2,400dpi
Media weights 50-300gsm
Contact [email protected], 1300 663 623
Ricoh Pro 1357EX and 1107EXP
With a top speed of 110ppm, the 1107EXP has an entry-level, user-friendly controller that can be mastered in a short space of time and is ideally suited for a high-volume work environment. The 1357EX includes a number of similar features to the 1107EXP, but boasts a speed bumped 135 A4 sheets per minute.
Max speed Pro 1357EX: 135ppm; Pro 1107EXP: 110ppm
Max monthly impressions Pro 1357EX: 2m; Pro 1107EXP: 1.5m
Max resolution Pro 1357EX: 1,299dpi, Pro 1107EXP: 1,200dpi
Media weights Pro 1357EX: 40-300gsm, Pro 1107EXP: 42-300gsm
Contact www.ricoh.com.au, 1800 181 002
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