IPI Editor Bob Neubauer was all over the PRINTING United Expo show floor last week in Atlanta, visiting vendors and learning about new equipment they launched at the Expo. Here are just a few of the impressive new printing, binding, and mailing technologies he checked out:
The Canon imagePRESS V1350 made its North American debut at the Expo. This press operates at production speeds of up to 135 ipm at a resolution of 2,400 dpi. The fact that it supports media weights up to 450 gsm, provides a great opportunity for printers looking at packaging applications. Canons’ unique POD-SURF (Surface Rapid Fusing) technology provides consistent high image quality and productivity regardless of the paper weight or surface condition at rated speed. They use a flexible transfer belt to provide optimal toner transfer for lightweight media and heavyweight media for both tints and solids.
The Duplo 700i Pro Digital Booklet System integrates the new DBM-700/T Bookletmaker and Trimmer with the high-speed DSF-600 Sheet Feeder for high production bookletmaking. Duplo’s latest solution brings print providers the power to produce 4-stitch booklets using just 2 stitch heads, square spine and three-knife trimming options along with the capability to produce 50-sheet booklets.
Fujifilm’s new Revoria Press PC1120 recently entered the U.S. market and the world of digital printing, delivering high print speeds with a single-pass, six-color press. In addition to CMYK toner, the press can load a maximum of two specialty toner stations from choices of Clear, Gold, Silver, White, and Pink. It produces 120 ppm at a resolution of 2,400x2,400 dpi by drawing images simultaneously with multiple laser beams. It uses an extremely small particle size, which allows smooth reproduction of gradations in photographs, uniform density, and sharper fine lines and text. For control, there is an in-line sensor built into the printer body, allowing easy and quick calibration. It also has an automatic batch adjustment function that adjusts alignment, bias transfer roll, auto tone, and density uniformity all at once.
The new Kyocera TaskAlfa Pro 55000c is targeted squarely at the commercial print applications including books, brochures and direct mail. It can print onto standard coated paper stocks, and uses Kyocera’s 1,200-dpi printheads and edge smoothing technology. It was developed to directly target an affordable entry point into production inkjet and boasts the productivity and output quality to go toe-to-toe with its digital rivals.
The new Mimaki JFX600-2513 UV flatbed press features 16 printheads, with a maximum media size of 98.4x51.2”. It uses the company’s MAPS system for variable dot output, to help improve the print quality and reduce banding, and it uses six inks, plus slots for white, clear, and primer. It can run a maximum of 2152.7 sq.ft./hr. in 600x600 dpi, 2-pass draft mode, and 376.7 sq.ft./hr. in its highest quality, 1,200x1,200 dpi eight-pass mode. The JFX600-2513 also uses the company’s MPC control center, which allows operators to control the entire print operation easily from a single on-device screen.
Printware introduced its most affordable HP powered iJetColor Envelope Press, the iJetColor 1175 benchtop system. It incorporates HP’s Page-Wide Thermal inkjet technology that is faster, longer-running, and a more economical inkjet print solution with water safe inks. It features unique envelope autoloading that improves feed accuracy and output handling in higher volumes that allows one operator to easily manage and print thousands of envelopes for unparalleled productivity.
PRINTING United Expo marked the North American debut of the RICOH Auto Color Adjuster, which combines Ricoh’s advanced optical and digital technologies to adjust colors automatically. As highlighted during the IPMA luncheon at the Expo, it can calibrate ICC profiles across an entire fleet — no matter the manufacturer. Winner of a 2023 PRINTING United Alliance Pinnacle Product Award, it transforms how print service providers operate by delivering precise color matching without the time, expense and expertise that goes with it. Profiling a printer using traditional methods is a time-consuming process that requires a color expert. The RICOH Auto Color Adjuster can do this in minutes. Impressively, the RICOH Auto Color Adjuster can be used to match an offset sample on a digital system.
Riso launched the VALEZUS T1200 full-color cut-sheet inkjet press at the Expo. Printing 165 ppm, it supports AFP/IPDS, PS and PDF formats, is designed for easy integration into your current workflow. Its flexibility offers fast and easy print job changeover, with the benefits of cutsheet output. The press uses a new high-concentration ink that enables even higher printing density. RISO's proprietary oil-based ink eliminates the need for heaters to dry the ink, which means the paper won't curl or ripple, and post-print processes run far more smoothly.
Offset was alive and well at PRINTING United Expo. RMGT hosted the North American debut of the RGMT 970PF 8-Up+ Color Perfecting Press in its booth. The 4/4 perfecting press supports a 25x38" format sheet and prints up to 15,000 sph. The press was configured with RGMT LED UV curing technology as well as the RGMT ASAP system (Automatic Smart Assist Printing). In essence, this means that the press can autonomously from job-to-job without any press operator intervention. To ensure consistent color and defect-free printing, the press is configured with full-sheet scanners that are not only scanning for registration and color, but also for imperfections. If they are on the blanket or plate and creates a hickey, water drop, or anything like that, the scanner monitors this throughout the whole run. If the system encounters any of those imperfections, the press will either shoot a tape of paper into the stack and then shoot it out again when that problem is gone. Or, if you're printing on a high value substrate, like plastics, styrene and PET, you can set it so that if there's three hickeys in a row it stops, does a blanket wash, and starts printing, preventing expensive waste.
Sharp debuted the BP-1200S Color Press Series, which boasts speeds of up to 120 pages-per-minute (ppm), launching Sharp into the production printing world. The BP-1200S can print up to six colors in one pass, including CMYK, gold, silver, bright pink, textured and clear toners. Additionally, real-time color stabilization and precise paper handling as well as timesaving inline finishing options, such as square fold, crease, two-edge trimming and a variety of folding options are included. Additionally, users can easily match company colors that fall outside of the typical color gamut of a CMYK only device by accurately being able to match most Pantone colors in the PMS library. With the addition of the Bright Pink color station as the fifth color, the color gamut is expanded to help match the Pantone library more easily.
Standard Finishing had a very full booth at the Expo. One highlight was the Horizon iCE StitchLiner Mark IV Saddle-stitcher, which combines signature scoring and folding, saddle-stitching, and three-knife trimming into a single system. On the Mark IV, stitch length, balance adjustment, and thickness settings can all be changed automatically from booklet to booklet during operation for true variable booklet production with consistent quality. Compared to previous StitchLiner generations, the StitchLiner Mark IV also features a more modern design, customizable machine status indicator lights, safer and easier system access points for operators and technicians, and more flexible configuration options for both offset and digital output. The Mark IV can run at speeds of up to 6,000 booklets per hour for A4 portrait applications and 5,300 booklets per hour for A4 landscape applications.
The W+D BBA820+ is a servo-driven inserting system that can insert 20K pieces per hour, making it one of the most productive inserters available. It is also one of the most flexible inserting systems, supporting a range of outer envelope sizes and thicknesses. It comes with the patented Auto Mismatch Recovery for “hands-free” synchronized inserting of personalized inserts, now further enhanced to match personalized outer envelopes by deploying the new divert bin on the track. Different feeder types can be rolled in and rolled out as your product changes. You pick a six-, eight-, or 10-station base that you can mix and match.
Xante entered the garment printing business at the Expo with the launch of the F-24 direct-to-film printer. With the F-24, color and white print at the same time. The ink is wear-resistant, which means it won’t fade or crack. Plus, it’s washer and dryer safe. The F-24 uses EPSON i-3200 printheads and can print onto media up to 24x18” at resolutions up to 2,400 dpi.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.