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Drupa  2012

The 4 yearly Drupa show is the world’s biggest production print show. Drupa covers the entire range of equipment, consumables and services for production printing ; this section focuses on digital press systems and on the paper issues related to them.

Drupa 2012 has been called the “B2 Drupa” because so many digital press manufacturers have introduced B2 sheet-fed presses. Indeed digital is definitely moving into the mainstream of printing with the bigger folio sheet size, ever higher speeds and improved quality.

Here is a list of the main digital printing systems followed by a description of some of the significant new developments presented at Drupa.

 

Dry toner sheet-fed digital presses


Ricoh C751 – A/C transfer system

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Ricoh has introduced a new toner transfer system using alternating current which allows it to print well on heavily textured papers. The results with the A/C transfer system are excellent on the Arjowiggins Creative Papers.




Xerox iGen150

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The iGen system has been in the market for a long time and has established itself as one of the most productive of the dry toner digital presses. The new version of the press, has higher speed, as the name implies up to 150 A4 pages per minute with added productivity via improvements in the automatic calibration systems. The new machine is also able to run a longer sheet up to 660mm.



Kodak NexPress – new inks

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Kodak has continued to exploit the 5th unit on the press with several new options. Previously the 5th unit has been used for special colours, security ink and spot or flood varnish (enhanced further with the very high gloss offline glossing unit – very popular for photobook applications) or « dimension printing ».

The new features for Drupa were  gold dry ink, pearlescent ink and neon dry ink.



Konica Minolta bizhub C1100

A faster version of the existing 8000. This will be available in 2013.


 

Liquid toner sheet-fed digital presses


HP Indigo 5600

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The new HP Indigo 5600 Digital Press is a versatile press with leading digital offset quality for the growing commercial business. Built on the proven platform of the HP Indigo press 5500, it features a host of new innovations:

 

Speed and productivity
• Capable of printing well over two million color pages or five million monochrome pages per month.
• Using the Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), the press can print color jobs at a speed of 90 pages per minute.

Print on synthetics (PVC, PET, Teslin®, and PC)
• One Shot Color mode supports the high-value specialty applications printed on synthetics. In this process, all color separations are accumulated on the blanket and transferred to the substrate in a single pass.
• The potential applications are ID cards, credit cards, membership cards, and gift cards and more.

UV ElectroInk Red
With the new HP Indigo ElectroInk UV Red ink, available exclusively on the Indigo 5600, jobs with text or barcodes that are visible only under UV light can be created.


HP Indigo 7600

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The new HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press features higher speed and innovative application capabilities.

 

On-press, on-demand special effects :
• Textured effects— embossed-style textures can be created on substrates to give ordinary applications a boost of creativity and uniqueness.
• Raised print— raised effects can be made using layers of transparent ink applied directly to the substrate.
• Digital watermarks— a new application can be offered to customers by using one to three layers of transparent ink.

Breakthrough speed and productivity :
The press is faster and more productive, printing  up to four million color pages per month with high profitability. Using the Enhanced Productivity Mode, throughput increases by 33% to 160 color ppm, increasing volume significantly.


HP Indigo 10000

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The HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press, a B2 format Indigo press delivering breakthrough productivity and application range.

 

Breakthrough productivity and Enhanced Profitability
3450 B2 color sheets per hour; 4600 B2 sheets per hour in Enhanced Productivity Mode with imposition efficiency that enables more “ups” per sheet means better profitability

All with renowned Indigo quality and flexibility
Designed to provide a large color gamut and the widest range of substrates


Miyakoshi 30NX 8000

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The Miyakoshi system is not ready for commercial sale yet and when it does ship it is likely to be in Asia rather than Europe. The technology is similar to HP Indigo in that it uses ultra-fine toner particles in a liquid but unlike HP Indigo it uses a 1 unit per colour configuration similar to an offset press and a hot fusing step similar to dry toner digital systems.



Inkjet B2 sheet-fed digital presses


Fuji Jet Press 720

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This B2 sheet-fed aqueous inkjet system uses a flood coating primer system to allow it to work with standard papers in high quality. This system clearly works well with coated papers but samples printed on uncoated papers were not handed out. One limitation of this press is that it is simplex only requiring working and turning to achieve two sided printing.

In addition to the standard 720 system Fuji have just launched a version of the press for packaging applications using UV curable inks.



Screen Truepress Jet SX

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Screen’s B2 inkjet press jets a sealant over the printed area of the print to fix the ink and allow it to work in high quality on standard papers.

At Drupa the press was shown running coated papers but it is not clear how well uncoated papers will work on this press.



Konica Minolta/Komori – KM1

The KM1 is a collaboration between Konica Minolta and Komori. This high speed, high quality B2 press uses UV curable inks. UV curable inks tend to work very well on substrates with low absorption such as standard coated papers but work less well with uncoated papers where there is a risk that the ink monomers soak into the sheet and cannot be polymerised by the UV system.

Currently this press is a prototype and prints from the press were displayed behind glass at the stand.



Delphax Elan

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The Elan, based on Memjet inkjet technology, is a departure for Delphax who are better known for their dry toner electron beam devices.

This B2 sheet-fed system is being aimed at publishing and transaction printing rather than general commercial/ marking collateral markets. Delphax are apparently working on a flood coating primer system for this press to allow a wider range of standard substrates to work on this machine

At Drupa only ink jet optimized papers were being run and the quality looked acceptable for publishing and transaction print.



Ink Jet web-fed digital presses


HP WebPress

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The latest HP WebPress was shown; the T400 is now 40 inches wide. The T400 is one of the fastest and most productive of the page width web-fed ink jet presses, aimed at transpromo, book publishing, direct mail and newspaper print applications.

It uses drop on demand thermal inkjet technology and jets a special pre-coat onto the paper before printing in the image area to help fix the ink pigment at the surface of the paper. This bonding agent does help make the WebPress quite substrate versatile, enabling good results on any uncoated offset paper. For optimal results, ink jet optimized papers can also be used.



Kodak Prosper 6000

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Kodak’s latest inkjet press is a faster version of the Prosper system. It uses continuous ink jet technology called “Stream”. Unlike earlier continuous inkjet Versamark products, where electrostatic charging of drops is required, the “Stream” technology controls the drop generation with heat and air. Thermal pulses break the ink stream into small and large drops, the bigger drops go to the paper and small drops can be diverted and re-used.
As well as being faster than the previous Prosper the new machine also has an in-line substrate coater to allow a wider range of standard papers to be run on the press.




Xerox CiPress 500

The ink used in the CiPress system is a resin based solid ink similar to that used in the Tektronix system (Xerox bought Tektronix in 2000) and now used in Xerox Cube printers.

The ink is jetted onto the substrate hot but then solidifies rapidly on the substrate surface. According to Xerox, the advantage of this type of ink is that unlike aqueous ink there are no issues with ink penetration.

The CiPress works with standard uncoated papers, including light weights, but it may not work well with coated papers because the flatter surfaces of coated papers do not provide a key for the ink to stick to the paper.



Others

Impika, the French manufacturer added the iPrint eXtreme to its range. This 711mm wide web-fed press can run at speeds up 375m/min. At the same Impika launched “HD” (high density) inks to improve ink density, and now have a systems that can be built into an offset system for high speed personalisation.

Océ, launched the ColorStream 3700. Based on the ColorStream 3500 these presses are based on Océ own technology rather than the Miyakoshi MJP600 which the previous models were based on. Its main features are its small footprint and ability to print up to 6 colours.

Written by Richard Saunders (Intertek)