Tech guide: Digital print

CANON IMAGEPRESS C800

Since its launch in mid-2014, the imagePress C800 series has established itself as a popular digital colour press in Australia. Canon says that what has drawn print businesses to the new model is its combination of image quality, productivity, flexibility and reliability.

The imagePress C700/C800 incorporates a range of technologies for colour print quality, including ultra high resolution imaging, new toner technology and enhanced colour management tools. Unique to Canon, Gloss Optimisation technology allows a gloss finish on coated stocks and a flat, matt finish on textured or uncoated stocks.

Features that address the needs of the print-for-pay market include full engine speed on paper up to 220gsm, with stepped slowdown as materials get heavier. SRA3 print speed is virtually on parity with A3 — up to 40ppm on paper up to 220gsm. The imagePress C800 Series has three models in the family, with throughput of 80, 70 and 60 A4 pages per minute.

The imagePress C800 series is a small footprint digital colour press, so printers can save on rent and rates. The press can also help printers minimise environmental impacts and decrease energy costs with a design that meets Energy Star standards and is rated EPEAT Gold.

Although compact the press is scalable, with an array of paper feeding and inline finishing options that can meet the needs of most print operations. It lets printers tailor a solution that best meets their business needs — whether it’s to produce flat sheets in a tight space for proofing or finishing offline, or to produce an array of automated, fully finished jobs ready for distribution, such as full-bleed, saddle-stitched booklets or perfect-bound books.

Canon also offers a range of print controller options for the imagePress C800 series, including two EFI controllers, featuring the latest Fiery FS150 system, and the Canon PrismaSync controller with its award winning ease-of-use concepts designed to cope with a print operation’s growing volume of smaller print jobs. Canon offers a controller with the features and functionality to integrate seamlessly into existing print workflows.

Printers can use one of Canon Finance’s solutions to help maximise cash flow and calculate production cost budgeting, enabling printers to know the profit of every job.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Imaging technology: Electrophotography

Toner: Consistently Vivid Toner

Resolution: 2,400 x 2,400dpi

Image gradation: 256 levels

Paper registration front to back: 1.0mm or less

Auto duplex: All supported stock weights up to 300gsm

Print speed: A4 – up to 80ppm; A3 – up to 40ppm; SRA3 – up to 40ppm;

330 x 488mm – up to 38ppm

Recommended monthly print volume: 20,000-100,000 A4 images

Max monthly volume: 500,000 A4 images

 

FUJI XEROX VERSANT 2100

According to Fuji Xerox, the Versant 2100 Press has been engineered from the ground up with new technology to offer customers productivity, image quality and workflow efficiency.

The Versant 2100 Press’s list of automation technology includes full-width array featuring ACQS (Automated Colour Quality Suite) as standard to manage colour control consistency and image to media alignment.

The Versant 2100 Press features a new compact belt fuser which will handle substrates from 52gsm to 350gsm automatically perfecting all weights. This new fuser will allow the Versant 2100 Press to manage tricky substrates such as envelopes and print at a full rated speed of 100ppm up to 300gsm.

Other time saving features on the Versant 2100 Press include production accurate registration for precise image registration, automatic sheet clearing to help identify and clear paper in a jam, and up to eight pick points with 10,000+ sheet capacity.

The Versant 2100 Press features Fuji Xerox’s Ultra HD resolution. This renders jobs at 1,200 x 1,200 x 10 bit (four times the pixels of the former 600 x 600 x 8 bit) — this enables jobs to include ultra-smooth gradients. On top of Ultra HD resolution, the Versant 2100 Press also images at 2,400 x 2,400dpi, features new low gloss, low melt EA dry ink, object oriented half-toning and new line screens.

The Versant 2100 Press supports two EFI print servers as well as a Fuji Xerox FreeFlow print server and full production finishing compatibility.

To extend the capability of the Versant 2100 Press Fuji Xerox has a comprehensive range of file automation products as well as campaign management, cross media, variable data and web to print solutions with FreeFlow Core and XMPie workflow offerings.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Colour capability: Full colour

Inks: Low gloss, low melt EA dry ink

Print resolution: 2,400 x 2,400dpi

Continuous print speed: A4 – 100pm; A3 – 52ppm

Paper size: Max A3; min A5; non-standard 139 x 812mm up to 330 x 488mm

 

KODAK NEXPRESS SX

Kodak’s NexPress SX digital production colour platform offers production features such as special colours via a fifth imaging unit, Adobe print engine, Kodak’s HD Dry ink and developer, all included in a unit that can be upgraded.

It features Kodak’s System 15.0 with three new print mode options:

< Ink Optimisation can control and match output from press to press or over time on the same press with the ability to reduce CMYK ink consumption;

< Economy Mode offers the ability to print pleasing four-colour with 10 per cent less ink;

< Smart RGB smoothes skin tones while keeping detail in RGB photos.

A fifth imaging unit solution is now available, in which Kodak’s Gold Dry ink can be used to add sparkle to a printed page. It can also be used for gloss and spot gloss varnishing, red fluorescing, protective coatings and MICR to expand product offerings and improve profitability. Light Black has also been introduced for the fifth unit to produce smoother skin tones and better detail for black-and-white images, and improve highlight and shadow details.

The NexPress SX runs at rated speed on more than 800 substrates for both four and five colours. A long sheet option enables six-page brochures or three-up A4/letters to be produced.

Kodak says the recently reformulated Kodak NexPress HD dry inks and developers provide accurate colours and consistent spot colour matching, smooth flat fields and gradients, and the ability to match the ink laydown gloss level to the substrate being printed. The matt finish option lets printers expand their range of finishes from matte to satin to high gloss in a simple, 15-minute component change. Kodak claims the result rivals offset.

The NexPress SX features Print Genius, a suite of quality control tools and options to manage and maintain peak quality throughout production runs. The suite encompasses hardware, software and materials to optimise quality and consistency through whole runs.

Closed loop calibration analyses output and feeds data back to the Kodak Intelligent Calibration System (ICS), to automate the process of checking and maintaining print uniformity.

Modular upgradeable solutions include fifth unit solutions, inline finishing and feeding accessories, and additional front end node for the upgrade path to the Kodak NexPress SE digital production colour presses.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Print speed: 120ppm

Max sheet size: 356 x 520mm; 356 x 914mm (optional feeder)

Imaging technology: Dry electrophotography

Image resolution: 600dpi, multi-bit up to 8-bit

Number of colours: up to 5

Screens: Classic HD, Classic, Line, Optimum, Supra, Kodak Staccato DX Screening

Substrate weight: 60-350gsm uncoated; 80-350gsm coated

 

KONICA MINOLTA BIZHUB PRESS C1100

The bizhub Press C1100 has been designed by Konica Minolta as the company’s fastest cutsheet system, achieving speeds up to 100ipm.

The Press C1100 is suited to the production of high volume digital colour prints for commercial printers, mail houses and print on demand requirements, where high quality, high volumes and quick turnaround of prints are required. With a monthly duty cycle of one million prints, and an engine life of 20 million impressions, the C1100 is built to support and expand print capabilities.

The C1100’s print speed doesn’t need to be reduced based on media weight and type. Speed is only reduced by the sheet size — at Super fast it will print 5,192 A4 impressions per hour and 3,180 A3 impressions per hour.

Its resolution reaches 1,200 X 1,200dpi 8-bit. A large range of media types is supported, in weights from 55gsm to 350gsm, both for simplex and duplex printing.

The C1100 system can be expanded to a maximum of nine large capacity paper trays, or 13,890 sheets, with tray switching and media reloading on the fly.

For paper feeding, the C1100 uses variable air suction and air separation feeding from all paper trays. The fusing unit has been designed with large rollers to produce print at full rated speed with air knife sheet separation so the chance of fuser wrap is virtually eliminated.

The C1100 has a large range of in-line finishing units that can be added to suit a specific requirement. These include a 5,000-sheet stacker that can be added as a pair to produce 10,000 sheets without any operator intervention. Other finishing options include Konica Minolta’s 50-sheet (200 pages) saddle-stitch booklet unit that has for-edge trimming, an in-line folding unit that can produce up to six different folds, 100 sheet staple finisher and a 300 page perfect binder.

The bizhub Press C1100 accommodates paper sizes up to a maximum of 330 x 487mm, and handles a maximum printing area of 321 x 480mm, and when including crop marks will print A3 (one-up) or A4 (two-up).

Another ability of the bizhub Press C1100 System is meeting the latest global print standards, supporting various industry standards as well as high-level colour management. Having obtained Fogra certification, it is able to meet the highest requirements in colour print management.

Three different print controllers are available from EFI, Creo and Konica Minolta, with JDF support, APPE and Pantone colour library functionality. Each controller represents a different style of workflow functionality as well as being able to connect to front end systems for web submission and PDF workflows.

Konica Minolta’s service extends across the entire range of print systems, with two-hour service response across its direct operations. Its Production Print designated help desk is normally the first point of contact for customers, with fully trained technicians on the phone to resolve any issues.

Production print operator training is supplied by dedicated PPG trainers at its showroom facilities for a full day. Once the client’s new print system is installed on site, a trainer will attend the site for a further half day’s training, to help operators in their own environment and solve any initial issues that may require more specific instructions and training.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Print speed: A4 – up to 100ipm; A3 – up to 53ipm

Max print resolution: 1,200 x 1,200dpi x 8-bit

Gradations: 256

Paper weights: 55 to 350gsm

Duplex unit: non-stack type, 55-350gsm

Paper sizes: A5–SRA3 (custom size 330 x 487mm)

Max image area: 321 x 480mm

Max paper input capacity: 13,890 sheets.

 

MGI JV-3DS SYSTEM

The new JETvarnish 3DS is designed and manufactured by MGI and Konica Minolta to help printers expand their services with spot UV and 3D tactile varnishing capabilities, with inkjet productivity and efficiency benefits.

Designed primarily for the digital print market, the JETvarnish 3DS will make the popular 3D tactile varnish finish available to all digital printers printing on widths up to 360mm. The JETvarnish 3DS can turn regular printed jobs into high-margin spot UV jobs, or even higher margin 3D embossed jobs with up to 100 microns of varnish applied to the sheet, which lifts the image from the page and adds a higher level of sheen to colours.

The new varnish formula, combined with Konica Minolta print heads, can create a 3D effect on laminated surfaces or on toner directly. The variable data option adds full personalisation capabilities for maximum one-to-one marketing impact.

Print speeds are up to 4,800 A3 sheets per hour in flat mode (2D) and up to 1,500 A3 sheets per hour in 3D mode.

With single-pass printing, the JETvarnish 3DS is a UV spot varnish device. The digitisation of spot UV finishing allows printers to take a few sheets from each job and spot UV coat it so customers can see the effect their jobs could have, making the 3DS ideal for lucrative short- and medium-run printing.

The combination of MGI’s inkjet technology with Konica Minolta’s drop-on-demand Piezoelectric print heads enables lines as small as 0.5mm or as wide as the sheet.

JETvarnish 3DS HubManager production software allows printers to follow jobs, manage job queues, create job tickets, recall reprints and adjust ARC camera systems in one tool. A function exports detailed production data for internal costs for analysis and reports. The Spot Varnish Editor is designed for editing job files on the fly, so the operator can adjust and modify print jobs on the fly to save time and money. The Product Cost Analyser calculates production costs to one-tenth of a cent, and gives customers precise information on consumable costs per print job before the job has been printed.

The JETvarnish 3DS is equipped with Automated Registration Camera (ARC) technology designed to calibrate (on the fly) coating registration from sheet to sheet. The first camera reads printed marks and automatically corrects for changes in the X and Y position of each sheet. The second camera detects the paper skew and makes adjustments on the fly. The ARC system ensures accurate spot UV coating, even on jobs with inconsistent print registration.

The JETvarnish 3DS is able to spot varnish on toner and offset prints with and without lamination, making print workflows more flexible and easier.

Sales and service are available through Konica Minolta Australia’s direct and dealer network across Australia.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Coating thicknesses: Depends on file, inks used, type of surface

Laminated and aqueous coating: 15μm – 100μm for 3D raised effects and tactile finish

On toner and coated paper: 30μm – 100μm for 3D raised effects and a tactile finish

Production speed: Up to 4,800 A4 sheets/hr in flat mode (2D); Up to 1,500 A4 sheets per hour in 3D mode

Registration: Automated registration with MGI ARC system

Overall registration: ± 200μm

Min format: 210 x 300mm

Max format: 364 x 1,020mm

Max printable width: 355mm

 

OKI C941

This white toner printer, recently released by OKI Data Australia and sold by Walcar Graphics, has the ability to print CMYK and white or CMYK and gloss. The ability to change the fifth colour opens up the possibility of additional fifth colours in the future such as metallic silver, gold and other colours.

Wal Sadlo of Walcar Graphics said the OKI C941 delivers fast, short-run, on demand printing, with A3 print speeds of 28ppm in colour/mono, and up to 50ppm in colour/mono for A4. An optional EFI Fiery XF V5.0 server enables advanced colour management, including spot and process colours, optimising colour depth and print quality.

Using energy efficient digital LED printing technology, the C941 offers high definition colour printing, alongside the ability to print on an extensive range of media, at speeds of up to 50ppm, an ideal combination for creative businesses and reprographics studios.

Combining flexible media handling, high print speeds and now five colours the C941 can produce banners, point-of-sale, leaflets, promotional merchandise, vinyl graphics, stationery and brochures.

The C941’s ability to utilise five colours for printing colour on dark backgrounds, brochures with highlights in gloss, T-shirt and merchandising transfer printing, short run packaging and concepts, window graphics on vinyl and clear film, point of sale on a range of media, stationery, business cards, invitations, menus, leaflets and much more, gives printers access to new niches in lucrative on-demand revenue streams.

It has reduced operating costs through ultra-high capacity toner cartridges (38K) and imaging drums (40K). It uses separate toners and drums for reduced wastage and is energy efficient through the use of LED technology.

The OKI C941 comes with a three-year, next-day on-site service warranty in metro areas. After sales service is carried out by OKI Data Australia’s accredited service technicians.

The OKI C941 is competitively priced at approximately $20,000 (subject to options), with suitable finance arrangements being available to prospective buyers.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Print speed: A4 – 50ppm colour/mono; A3 – 28ppm colour/mono

Resolution: 1,200 x 1,200dpi, ProQ2400 multi-level technology

Enhancements: Auto colour balance; auto registration; auto media detect

Max paper capacity: 2,950 sheets (80gsm)

Stock handling: A6 to SRA3; up to 1.3 metres length

Stock weights: 52-360gsm

 

RICOH PRO C9110

The new-generation Ricoh Pro C9110 is an affordable digital solution that breaks down the cost barriers for printers looking to enter the high-speed digital market or for those who don’t have the high monthly volumes needed to justify the cost of competing presses.

The Pro C9110 can integrate into a hybrid workflow, and sits alongside existing offset technology to provide variable data and greater media handling capability. This makes high volume jobs cost effective and highly efficient while introducing personalisation and customisation options simply not available with offset technology.

Its main features include a mechanical paper registration unit, a paper cooling system, duplex printing for 400gsm sheets and long sheets of 330 x 700mm (300gsm), image control technology, extensive media versatility and a maximum productivity cycle of one million impressions per month.

Ricoh uses its Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology for high resolution imaging. Combined with new processing technologies and larger colour gamut toner, the company says this enables it to deliver exceptional image quality that consistently rivals offset.

At up to 130ppm, the C9110 offers high volume capabilities for cost effective output. All speeds are maintained regardless of paper weight due to the combination of the fuser and integrated cooling system.

Paper handling and print quality is improved by toner transfer technology, accurate image registration and a new straight paper path for easier media handling. The new straight paper path and belt cooling system cool the media right after fusing to maintain production speed for all media types.

It uses a status light pole so operators can see its operational status from a distance. The operational panel features animations for user ease.

On-the-fly toner replacement enables continuous usage, and operator replaceable units can be replaced by trained operators for maximum uptime.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Technology: 4-drum electrostatic transfer system with internal transfer belt

Fusing: Oilless belt fusing

Toner: New chemical toner

Max print speed: 110ppm

Max print volume: 1.75 million/month

Max resolution: 1,200 x 4,800dpi

Max printable area: 330 x 700mm

Max output capacity: 10,000 sheets

 

SCREEN TRUEPRESS JET SX

Screen GP Australia offers the Truepress Jet SX inkjet digital press, first released at Ipex in the UK in 2010. Screen was the first manufacturer in the world to come up with an inkjet press in the B2 format. Several installations have been made, with the latest being in China to Japanese owned jigsaw and toy box printer Epoch. A second SX recently went to Brogle Drück in Switzerland, where its ability to print on stocks up to 0.6mm thick is “very special”, according to managing director Thomas Obrist.

In the ANZ region there is just one Truepress SX installation, at Benefitz in Auckland, New Zealand. Managing director of Screen GP Australia, Peter Scott, noted, “We have significant interest from the packaging sector in which the SX’s ability to print on thicker stock with excellent fine detail and colour saturation is attractive for short run, test marketing and variable content folding cartons.”

Other applications that the SX has shown can be profitably printed include playing cards, photobooks, custom promotional products, wine boxes, personalised gift boxes, hotel door hangers and variable business cards. UK customer RCS has developed such markets online with great success. With sheets emerging from the press dry and ready for finishing, including die-cutting, production workflows for short runs are smooth flowing and jobs can be out of the plant within hours.

“Packaging and allied heavier stock work is definitely a forté for the Jet SX,” said Scott. “Colours are truly vibrant and the detail, thanks to ink droplets as small as 2 picolitres, is excellent. A single B2 sheet can be printed at the same unit cost as one hundred, which enables creative ideas to be put into production cost effectively.”

He added that for printers, focusing on photobooks, packaging, kitting, gifting and other short-run jobs on heavier stocks will prove more profitable than simply replacing offset brochure work with digital.

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Max sheet size: 740 x 530mm

Print size: 520 x 740mm (less 10mm grip margin)

Resolution: 1,440 x 1,440dpi (high quality mode); 1,440 x 720dpi (standard mode)

Media thickness range: 0.08-0.4mm; 0.1- 0.6mm (cardboard option)

Duplex printing range: 0.08 to 0.4mm

Max print speed: Standard – 1,620ipm B2 simplex, 810ipm B2 duplex; High Quality – 810ipm B2 simplex, 405ipm B2 duplex

Piezo heads: Epson

Ink droplet size: Down to 2 picolitres

Ink type: Water based pigment, CMYK + over coat

Drying system: Heated air and IR drying

Paper feed: Universal feeder with side lay

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