Made in India - Monotech Jetsci WP600

By 12 Aug 2016

Building on the success of its Jetsci range of inkjet systems, Monotech unveiled WP600 digital inkjet web press at PrintPack 2015. The manufacturer has high hopes for this Made in India kit. Rushikesh Aravkar takes a closer look.

More than 60 JetSci machines in India

Chennai-based Monotech Systems has been manufacturing and integrating inkjet solutions since the last quarter of 2012, when the company introduced its first Jetsci industrial inkjet system for monochrome variable data printing applications.

With 250+ inkjet printheads deployed in more than 60 Jetsci printing machines installed in India, Middle East and Africa, Monotech is having a successful run on the inkjet front. Picking up its cue, during PrintPack 2015, it introduced a full-fledged Jetsci-based inkjet web press WP600.

Jimit Mittal, vice president – inkjet, labels and packaging at Monotech, says, “Targeted at book printing, transactional, mailing, newspaper and security printing applications, the WP600 is a ‘Made in India’ product designed for Indian-ised way of working. This means that we have simplified the operations in such a way that any operator who has worked on simple toner machine can use it with ease.”

Monotech manufactures the presses and parts at its plant in New Delhi and boasts an installed base of over 60 Jetsci units. The company has a reputation for building equipment that is reliable and built on-demand as per customer requirements.

Flexible transport
The WP600 deploys a tight web design, not only within each print station, but throughout the system, from the unwinder through to the delivery of a roll, cut printed sheets, or sections.

The architecture of the machine consists of three parts: the infeed unit, the print engine and the post-printing section. The WP600 is designed as a duplex machine, and as such has no advantage or penalty for running simplex or duplex print. This is a differentiator from some of the earlier inkjet presses which slowed down on duplex printing.

Mittal explains, “Since, the print engine consists of two arrays of heads for duplex printing separated by a turner bar. When the web passes under the first array of heads, a cue mark is printed along with the image. This que mark is sensed when the web reaches the second array of heads after passing through the turner bar. The sensor then enables precise placement of images on the web with accurate front and back registration.”

Inline finishing is possible, although near-line work is probably going to be more practical due to speed mismatches and so a failure won’t take your whole system down.

Mittal says, “There are plethora of options available in the market for book, commercial or newspaper finishing. We usually provide three finishing modules: roll-to-roll, roll-to-sheet and roll-to-section. These suffice for the Indian market needs.”

This is DoD (Drop on Demand) Piezoelectric technology using the Kyocera KJ4B 600 dpi aqueous inkjet print head. The print resolution is 600x600 dpi, and four different drop sizes, 5, 7, 12 and optional 18 picoliters. This provides smoother gradients and tints, and sharper text and fine lines.

The WP600 can perfect (print on both sides) on media of up to 25.5 inches (up to 650 mm) in width at 150 m/min in mono-colour. Since it uses aqueous inks, the system can handle standard uncoated media from 45 to 135gsm, which are commonly used in the Indian market. If one needs a coated substrate, it is recommended to use inkjet compatible media or pre-coat. “We can offer special pigment water-based inks with IR Dryers for few coated stocks as well,” says Mittal.
Any inkjet system needs a good drying system to evaporate the water deposited on the sheet from the aqueous ink. “The WP600 was designed with a fairly comprehensive infrared drying system. The system has the capability to provide 100% drying on paperstocks at top speeds without leaving any marks of set-off or repeat images,” adds Mittal.

The basic consumables are the ink and the printheads. Currently, Monotech supplies inks, which are aqueous dye inks that are specifically designed to work with Jetsci printheads. The manufacturer has a team of more than 20 service engineers to provide technical support, informs Mittal.

Front end
The DFEs for the WP600 is developed in-house by Monotech. It is supported by high-speed PDF print engine. It includes a PDF RIP with a customisable workflow solution to create individual workflows, and supports a range of file formats and workflow tools including page imposition, job queuing management, file viewing, and other pre-press functions through a touch screen.

The WP600 is being tested at Monotech Systems’ R&D and demo centre and will soon be installed at one of the customer sites for final tests, informs Mittal. “The configuration of the machine is A3 duplex. It will be commercially available from January 2017.”

Monotech has introduced the Jetsci WP600 at a price point that is designed to lower the barrier of entry for those print firms that have been sitting the fence about inkjet –moving from offset or digital ink/toner to production inkjet.

It's a "totally customisable" solution with a starting price of Rs 1.8-crore and will be varying as per the configurations built.

The USP with the WP600 will be lower per page cost as compared to the cut sheet digital toner presses or to compliment the solution for short-run jobs from offset, with actual costs dependent on the ink coverage.


Configurations: A4 Duplex A3 Simplex/Duplex,
26-inch wide simplex/duplex

Speed/Resolution: 600X600dpi – 75m/min
600X300dpi – 150m/min

Inks: Water-based dye/pigment/hybrid

Print Mode: Binary or up to 4 drop grey scale

File Format: PDF, IMAGE, CSV and other database files

Finishing: Roll-to-roll, roll-to-sheet, roll-to-fold

Substrate: 40-130gsm uncoated paper



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