The Ink-jet Drupa
The unveiling of the iGen4 may have been one of the best-kept secrets of Drupa 2008, but for sheer impressiveness, the numerous high-speed ink-jet printers may have taken the prize.
HP’s massive Inkjet Web Press stretched across its exhibit, pumping out 400 feet per minute of 600x600-dpi color printing. Kodak kept its Stream Concept Press behind a barrier, which it lifted during presentations to show off the continuous ink-jet press, reportedly able to produce more than 500 feet per minute. Océ unveiled its JetStream 2200 ink-jet press, printing 714 feet per minute.
Dainippon Screen was proud of its sheetfed ink-jet press, the Truepress Jet SX, producing 1,600 sheets an hour. Fuji showed another sheetfed ink-jet press, a B2 format model currently called the Jet Press 720, reportedly capable of resolutions of 1,200 dpi and speeds of 2,700 sph.
Though Xerox didn’t have a production-speed ink-jet press on display, the company demonstrated a new waterless cured gel ink.
Of course, a subtext to all this ink-jet euphoria is the fact that many waterbased inks cannot be recycled; their dyes pollute the deinking process. This butts the ink-jet trend right up against the focus on green printing. But that’s a topic for another time.