Rahul@Drupa: What to look out for in digital print

Digital processes is expected provide the most dynamic and the most thought-provoking segment of Drupa. As we see a shift in offset in the B2 size, printers in India are experiencing something about digital that has been particularly bereft: optimism. There’s a feeling of cautious confidence in the air about digital for packaging and labels. Rahul Kumar who has been zipping around the planet, picks five must visit stalls, Business

12 May 2016 | By Rahul Kumar

Canon's ColorStream 6000
The ColorStream 6000 Chroma model offers running speeds from 48-127m/min in full-colour mode. For monochrome work, printers can now benefit from an optional maximum speed of 150m/min.

The continuous-feed inkjet press, the Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma in two separate configurations and features new Chromera ink set. One line will be set up as a fully automated book production line, while the other will demonstrate a multitude of applications in a roll-to-stack configuration, including variable perforation.

Océ ColorStream 6000

According to a Canon press release, the high pigment load of the Chromera inks extends the application range of the press to lighter weight media with reduced ink showthrough, and enables the delivery of higher quality documents on uncoated or inkjet treated papers.

Heidelberg Primefire 106
The Heidelberg Primefire 106 was shown to my colleague Noel D'cunha at a R&D facility in Wiesloch-Walldorf. During a team briefing, D'cunha said, "The Heidelberg Primefire 106 will be available as a single-sided seven-colour sheetfed press, and will challenge the other contender in the B1 inkjet sheetfed arena, Benny Landa’s nano technology, which was shown at Drupa 2012, little of which has been in the news since."

The Primefire 106 is a product developed jointly by Fujifilm and Heidelberg. The digital kit uses Heidelberg Speedmaster 106 as the base for the machine and incorporates Fujifilm Dimatix’s Samba MEMS printhead technology. The company claimed that Fujifilm’s water-based pigment ink with Rapic technology for high-definition imaging will meet food packaging safety regulations.

Heidelberg Primefire 106

With a Preset Plus a feeder adopted from the Speedmaster XL 106 technology and a conditioning unit prior to printing which coagulates the ink to get a more defined dot at speed, the Primefire 106 is an industrial-level B1 inkjet press is good for the the packaging market as well as the commercial sector for items such as calendars and posters. It can handle short runs and personalisation including barcodes, QR codes and numbering.

The water-based ink applied by the 1,200dpi seven-colour inkjet unit is food safe. After printing, two more units dry and coat (full or spot) before reaching the Preset Plus Delivery. Thanks to its multicolour technology (the four process colours plus green, orange and violet), it can provide high-quality print and a wider colour gamut than is possible with offset. It can print on substrates up to 0.6mm. Heidelberg engineers will service this equipment in the field and the inks will be sold as part of the Saphira consumables range. 

HP Indigo 50000
The 25-metre line, Indigo 50000 is a 746x1120mm wide web press that can print 10 A4 pages per imposition and can produce 42 m/min or 760 A4 ppm in four-colour mode on paper thickness ranging from 40 gms to 350 gsm.

HP Indigo 50000

Alon Bar-Shany, general manager, Indigo division at HP, said, “The highest end of the technology is going to be the 27-tonne Indigo Indigo 50000, which we believe is for the larger customers who have high-volumes around specific applications like the photo, yearbooks, etc.”

A pair of Indigo 20000 reel-fed engines, that have been enhanced to expand their capabilities beyond the unit’s original flexible packaging remit to also be more suited for commercial print applications. The 50000 will go into beta sites early next year, with commercial shipping slated for next summer.

Konica Minolta KM-1
Taking a cue from the Drupa 2016 motto, ‘Touch the future’, Konica Minolta Business Solutions will display its latest innovations in printing and applications, with emphasis on the future. The highlights would be the full commercial launch of the UV sheetfed digital press KM-1 and the Bizhub Press 1250e series.

The KM-1 is a sheetfed duplex inkjet press, using UV-cured inks. The company says it is the “first machine in the industrial inkjet heavy printing segment” and predicts it will match offset quality more closely than any other digital press to date. The KM-1 is Konica’s first sheetfed inkjet press and has been developed as a joint venture with Komori, which will sell it under its own name as the Impremia IS29. Production presses will print 3,000 simplex or 1,500 duplex B2 sheets per hour at up to 1,200dpi, with full variable print.

According to the KM team in their Gurgaon office, a beta machine was installed in Germany in January.

Mimaki UJV55-320
The manufacturer said it sold more than 30 units of the 3.2m-wide, 110m2/hr printer from its Fespa stand and expects Drupa attendees to be equally impressed. The company said it will be exhibiting solutions that serve a wide range of market needs, from indoor and outdoor signage to industrial, packaging and promotional products.

The dark horse: Liquid toner

Only RMGT and Xeikon seem to be persevering with liquid toner. Meanwhile, according to a very excited Vinay Kaushal, RMGT (formerly Ryobi) will show a revamped 8,000sph B2 liquid toner sheetfed press at Drupa in a four-unit configuration called DP790ST-4. Xeikon’s Trillium liquid toner 500mm web press will be running at Drupa in full colour at 100m/min. According to market reports: "Print quality isn’t yet a match for Indigo and there are rumours of problems with long continuous runs."