Fujifilm Launches J Press B2-Format Sheetfed Inkjet Press
As part of the official product launch of the J Press 750S cut-sheet production inkjet press into the North American market, Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Div., hosted 30+ printers at two-day VIP event, during which they watched a Chicago White Sox-Boston Red Sox game from inside a club box at Guaranteed Rate Field. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Nicky Delmonico ended the game in thrilling fashion by hitting a three-run, walk-off home run for the White Sox.
Call it karma or a twist of fate, but Fujifilm has similar high hopes that the launch of its third-generation J Press 750S will also score a home run within the B2-format (23x29.5˝ max. sheet size) production inkjet printing market. Capable of printing 3,600 sheets/hr. — either static or variable — Fujifilm is heralding it as the fastest full-color, B2-format inkjet press currently on the market.
Taking the core technologies of the four-up J Press 720S, several improvements have been incorporated into the larger, six-up J Press 750S. Among them::
- Incorporating the newest generation FUJIFILM Dimatix Samba single-pass printheads using MEMS technology, along with Fujifilm’s VIVIDIA aqueous-based pigment ink, the J Press 750S prints 1,200x1,200 dpi output that meets — and can even surpass — offset print quality. VersaDrop jetting technology modulates the size and shape of individual ink droplets, and 10x nozzle redundancy eliminates head outs and streaking.
- Real-time, closed-loop quality control is provided by an in-line sensor system that can detect and correct ink deposition inconsistencies. A full-sheet scanning system is also available as an option to reduce unseen defects.
- A rapid coagulation primer is applied via an anilox roller prior to inkjetting. This helps prevent dot gain and eliminates the need for any specialized coated or treated digital papers, enabling the use of standard commodity coated and uncoated offset papers. The press comes standard as a commercial model to print up to 110-lb. cover, but can be field configured to print up to 24-pt. board stock for folding carton applications.
- The J Press 750S can achieve up to 95% uptime thanks, in part, to the incorporation of an improved self-cleaning printhead system. The redesigned printhead assembly also features a new Active Head Retraction system to protect the 68 total printheads and minimize any mechanical downtime.
- The J Press 750S color gamut can reach upwards of 90% of the Pantone library with a delta E of 3 or less for accurate spot colors and more vibrant CMYK images.
- The press accommodates duplex variable data applications by the printing of a barcode in the non-image area of the front side of the sheet, which contains the data to be printed on the reverse side, ensuring a proper match.
- A re-engineered "contact drying" system exposes the sheets to airflow and direct heat for improved drying efficiency.
- Compared to the J Press 720S, the overall footprint has been reduced by 15% and energy consumption by 23%.
Various Fujifilm executives provided presentations, ranging from a corporate overview of the company, to a technical overview and financial ROI considerations for the J Press 750S. Marco Boer, VP at I.T. Strategies and conference chair of the Inkjet Summit, also gave a presentation about how the industry's need for automation — largely driven by labor shortages and rising wages, combined with lower overall page volumes — will be a key driver for higher rates of production inkjet press adoption among commercial printers of all types.
The VIP event also included a tour of Fujifilm's 24,000-sq-ft. Tech Center in Hanover Park, Ill., which showed the industry supplier's wide breadth of offerings for offset, screen, flexo, hybrid and wide- and smaller-format digital inkjet printing, including the J Press 720S and 750S models in the demo center.
But perhaps the biggest highlight of the day was a panel and Q&A discussion that featured three printers who each shared unfiltered, real-life experiences as current J Press owners. Panel members included Mark Wright, of Wright Printing in Omaha, Neb., who installed the first J Press 750S in the U.S. to join his two existing J Press 720S models, largely for pocket folder production; Jeff Hernandez, of Classic Color in Broadview, Ill., who operates a J Press 720S (and plans to install a 750S) for high-end commercial work, including color-critical auction books; and Keith Murphy, of Integrated Graphics in Batavia, Ill., who operates a 720S for direct mail printing applications.
They all expressed strong satisfaction with the very high quality coming off of their presses, describing their current devices as serving primarily as replacements for offset printing, more so than for digital toner output. They also described J Press uptime rates that enable almost continuous production with minimal operator intervention and service requirements. The panel also cautioned the audience to not get overly wrapped up in the higher ink costs with inkjet printing, since the productivity benefits, reduced skilled labor requirements and overall total cost of ownership far outweigh ink prices.
For them, the Fujifilm J Press has proven to be a home run and they urged fellow printers to seriously consider inkjet adoption within their respective operations to gain efficiencies and enable them to develop new product applications. And, by the end of the day — especially after hearing the advice from industry peers — several of the printer attendees in the room showed strong interest in doing just that.