Prima PMI Melbourne expands with 10 Ricoh 9500 printers 

Above: Prima PMI managing director Amnon Judah

Australia’s largest print-on-demand fulfiller, Prima PMI has announced that it will deploy 10 Ricoh 9500 production printers at its Melbourne facility. 

The decision to select Ricoh follows the acquisition of PMI Imageworks in late 2022 when an extensive digital press RFP was kicked off for both organisations. The RFP involved a three-part process. The first incorporated a technology review and benchmarking period. This covered narrow web, electrostatic ink, roll and sheet Inkjet, B2 and SRA3 formats and toner.   The District Photo Group, parent company of Prima PMI, has all these deployed.  

After benchmarking all options to fit within space, power, ceiling height, sheet yield, service levels, finishing infrastructure limitations, CO2 and ROE targets, the toner was selected. 

Ricoh 9500

Prima PMI then engaged several toner manufacturers to propose solutions to a fixed output and supply the relevant business case. The final parties had due diligence undertaken in Japan on engineering, productivity, output quality and yield.

The new Ricoh 9500 deployment will complement Prima’s existing eight Ricoh Pro C9210 machines and a large fleet of dye sublimation, DTG, latex, aqueous and eco-solvent printers.

Prima has had a long relationship with Ricoh starting with the Pro C9110s then moving to Pro C9210s and now Pro C9500s. Over the course of this six year relationship, both businesses have optimised offerings and infrastructure to push machines, service levels and technology to the limit to enable technology transitions some thought not possible on the platform and deliver more value to brands and end customers.

The 9500 was recently launched globally and this deployment is one of the largest in the world. The 9500 has improved yield by being able to change fuser temperatures faster when stock sizes change. 

The device also has a fuser that can vary the look of the toner by reducing the gloss level of the toner and providing a matte look.  The Ricoh Pro C9500’s new fusing unit enables printing of 40 gsm thin media, which has been traditionally challenging for digital presses to print. This improved capability further promotes the shift to digital printing, supporting the production of books and booklets, which require thin media.

New peripherals enable non-stop printing, continuous paper feeding and output up to 960 mm in length, making it easier for commercial printers to capture new business such as A4 size four-panel brochures or print on challenging stocks.

The Ricoh Pro C9500 machines have been designed to strengthen and future proof commercial printing businesses with improved automation, high-speed output, quality consistency, reliable and less redundant operations.  

Prima PMI managing director Amnon Judah said, “We’re very impressed with the high-quality production output of the C9500 units which is critical for us at a time when we’re experiencing growing print volumes.

“We selected Ricoh as we wanted to invest in the best technology to meet growing customer demand, and needed to ensure that the technology was reliable and that the support and training provided by the vendor would be second to none. A deep engagement with Ricoh management in both Australia and Japan helps enable us to remain at the leading edge of innovation in the industry and deliver successful customer outcomes through efficient fulfillment and larger capabilities.”

Prima PMI has a diverse group of global clients, many who track their carbon footprints and by extension want their fulfiller to become carbon neutral by 2030. Prima PMI in 2020 invested in solar to power around 70 per cent of its energy needs and in 2023 moved to become 100% carbon neutral by only purchasing renewable energy for the balance. That energy need is more expensive than coal sourced energy so having print devices which don’t require huge energy levels to run chillers or dryers goes into its device consideration. 

 “We are delighted to support Prima PMI in their next phase of growth and look forward to continuing to be a valuable partner by supplying scalable, industry-leading solutions for great customer outcomes for many years to come,” Ricoh Australia’s national graphic communications sales manager Mark Moro said.

Judah added, “I am confident we now have in place a digital printing infrastructure that can grow with the company and support operations well into the future. Ricoh continues to be a strategic partner for us and will help to ensure that their infrastructure will provide the performance and features that we require.”

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