Product of the month: Xerox Iridesse
The much-talked-about Xerox Iridesse was globally launched at Warsaw, Poland on 23 May 2018 and later on 8 June, it was introduced in the Indian print market during the PrintExpo show at Chennai. Sriraam Selvam takes a look at this single-pass CMYK+ digital press
09 Aug 2018 | By Sriraam Selvam
Within a few weeks since Xerox made a global launch of the first toner-based digital printer that can print four-colour process plus two speciality dry colours in a single pass, the Iridesse production press, the company has achieved India’s first installation at Royal Offset in New Delhi.
The new printer enables users to print metallic gold or silver, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass, alongside newly developed technology for colour management and a range of automation.
Balaji Rajagopalan, executive director, technology, channels and international distributor operations, Xerox India, says, “Though there have been a few products which offered extra colour like our very own 1000i, the Iridesse platform is unique because it can print on all types of media over a wide range of grammage.”
Taking a maximum sheet size of 330x488mm, the Iridesse can print at speeds up to 120ppm for A4 and 60ppm for sizes A3-SRA3. It can take stock weighing anywhere between 52 and 400gsm and print at “ultra HD resolution” of 2,400dpi with 10-bit RIP rendering.
Rajagopalan explains, “It makes use of Xerox’s High Definition Emulsion Aggregate (HD EA) toner designed to have the “optimal particle size” for smooth tints and fine details. It runs using Xerox’s EX-P 6 Print server developed by EFI Fiery enabling the creation of customised workflows for metallic applications.”
Keep in mind that the speed of operations of most digital presses is affected when the grammage of the paper goes up, in this press, the speed remains unaffected at 120ppm irrespective of the factors like grammage or tray switching even when CMYK+ is used. The technology of flat paper pass used in the engine is the crucial factor for this feature.
(l-r) Vikas Arora of Royal Offset and Martyn Train, general manager and vice-president, graphic communications, developing markets operations at Xerox
The Iridesse comes with unique set of automation features in terms of makeready, says Rajagopalan, adding, “Several makeready steps like calibration, registration and colour management, which take more than thirty minutes in other CMYK presses, are taken care by a click of a button or two and that too in matters of five to ten minutes. At the end of the day, the press can consistently print within a page, between pages as well as between jobs to provide standardisation.”
Xerox has positioned the new product “between the Versant 3100 and the iGen press” in its portfolio. While the manufacturer has stopped selling the 1000i for a while now, the Iridesse fits into the platform of a 1000i but is seen as a massive upgrade to what 1000i was capable of.
Rajagopalan elaborates, “First, this is a single-pass press with six colours which can do both underpass, overpass and print gold, silver and dry inks. Second, technically, the toner is completely different in this press, with arguably the smallest particle size, so this ensures the output quality is far more superior.”
Customers can purchase only CMYK and then add on the two special colours for embellishment. Xerox plans to tap into the high-end commercial digital print segment wherein customers want to do any possible value addition to the regular CMYK print copy like foil, varnish, etc. The shine, the metallic effect and the other embellishments that one can create with the clear overlay and underlay ensure this press gives the user a plethora of options to go creative.
According to Rajagopalan, this machine does both printing and embellishments like varnish, foiling, etc and is available at half the price of a regular CMYK press and a digital enhancement press together. In terms of cost per copy, it is cheaper than the 1000 when it comes to CMYK output.
The ink is developed with Ultraflex technology which is another differentiating factor. The crucial technology for Xerox is the research for the new toner built into Iridesse.
“I think we truly cracked the code with the toner and the particle size used. This ensures that it can produce the required CMYK output and the embellishments using gold, silver and/or clear dry ink. This is apart from the standard expectation in this class of presses like a full-width array, and BTR,” says Rajagopalan.
The press uses the brand-new EX-P 6 Print Server from EFI which processes over seven terabytes of data per hour. The server plays a big role in colour management apart from standard Fiery tools like Impose, Compose, and ImageViewer.
Additional options for customers include a high capacity feeder, a multi-sheet inserter tray, an offset catch tray with 500-sheet capacity and a high capacity stack. Finishing options include an interface module to connect the press to inline finishing units including crease and two-sided trimmer, bookletmakers and a Xerox SquareFold fold-trim module.
Talking about the first Indian installation of Iridesse at Royal Offset, Rajagopalan said, “We have seen Mr Arora and his facility grow by leaps and bounds and are extremely proud to say that Xerox has been a part of this incredible journey. We hope with the Xerox Versant 2100, Duplo DC 646 and the new Iridesse production press, they achieve even greater heights. We believe that their new investment is an extremely smart business decision since the Iridesse with its robust production capabilities, will allow them to take on complex jobs and deliver absolutely stunning results,” he concluded.