Spotlight on five digital presses at PrintPack 2017

A look at five production digital presses which are attracting maximum eyeballs at the India Expo Centre.

05 Feb 2017 | By Sriraam Selvam

Canon Imagepress C10000VP
The C10000VP has over 10 installations in India and is the star attraction at the Canon stall.

The heavy production series which was launched at Pamex in 2015 is the company's first 100 page-per-minute colour digital print engine.

The make of the machine is such as to produce 100ppm in colour with a 2400x2400 dpi resolution and can print maximum sheet size of 13x19.2 inches and minimum is 7.2x7.2 inches.

The C10000 can also produce 13x30-inch long prints which has found to be an added attraction for its users.

The C10000VP is targeted at commercial printers and inplant printing departments. It prints in CMYK at full rated speed on uncoated stock from 60-350gsm, and on coated grades from 70-350gsm.

It also features an inline spectrophotometer for colour calibration and uses a second transfer belt thereby eliminating material deformation and improved registration accuracy. The registration control technology delivers front-to-back registration tolerance of 0.5mm.

The device uses Consistently Vivid (CV) toner, a developer unit and reduced fusing temperature for improved colour consistency and accuracy.

The front end controllers of the machine are based on EFI Fiery FS200 Pro platform, supporting the engine with better workflow and media handling capabilities.

The Imagepress C10000VP is said to have a monthly duty cycle of up to 1.5 million letter-size pages and comes with several in-line finishing options, both from Canon and third party manufacturers.

HP Indigo 7800
With six high profile installations in India, the 7800 is the top-of-the-range SRA3 machine. It is aimed at printers who have volumes needing its high throughput but don’t need a bigger sheet. The target markets are general commercial printers, photo printers and publications printers.

It uses HP’s ElectroInk liquid toner technology and features inline spectrophotometer and one-shot printing option. In one-shot mode all the colours are assembled on the blanket and then transferred to the substrate in ‘one shot’.

There are three advantages: for heat-sensitive materials it prevents registration issues, on delicate material it reduces the chance of scratches and for photo applications it ensure extremely tight registration for the highest quality and sharpness.

The press prints colour pages at up to 160ppm for more than five million colour pages every month, using enhanced productivity mode, but HP says the productivity benefits come from the new features that improve uptime and reduce the need for intervention, such as the spectrophotometer and Smart Scheduling.

Smart Scheduling analyses the jobs in the queue and reorganises them by substrate, sheet size, colour, and print mode. HP claims that by minimising changeovers it can increase productivity by 50 per cent.

There’s also the EPM option, which produces a 33 per cent speed increase and lower costs over conventional CMYK by dropping the black ink. It’s the opposite of UCR/GCR.

Konica Minolta bizhub C1085
The C1085 was launched as early as 2014 along with the C1100 which was one of the earliest launched 100 ppm press.

The CMYK Bizhub C1085 can print at a speed of up to 85 A4ppm with a maximum size of 13x19 inches on stock weight range of 55-350gsm auto duplex (which the company claims to be the only machine in the price range to do it) and a monthly duty cycle of 2.80 lakh prints per month.

The machine is suitable for visiting cards, brochures, packaging products and promotional/marketing materials.

The production press, targeted at commercial printers and print service providers, incorporates Simitri HDE Toner, a newly-developed toner which according to KM realises improved image quality and energy-saving performance, and support hybrid workflow with seamless integration with Kodak Prinergy, Agfa Apogee and other third party pre-press and workflow solutions.

In addition the machine's capabilities in flexible substrate handling and inline finishing options provide quality output.

The company which has more than 3000 installations at the end of 2016 rates the C1100/1085 as their most popular series in the mid production segment.

Ricoh Pro C9100
Launched in August 2015, the Pro C9100 series boast a maximum recommended monthly volume of one million A4 pages.

The Ricoh Pro C9100 prints at a speed of up to 110 pages per minute (ppm) for A4 and 75 ppm for A3 with 1200 x 4800 dpi using Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology for superior image quality.

With advanced Fiery controller options and the ability to support paper weights of up to 400gsm in both simplex and duplex while maintaining rated engine speed, the series is said to deliver increased applications and efficiency without degradation of quality.

With a maximum standard sheet size of 13x19.2 inches and maximum monthly volume of one million impressions based on A4, Ricoh says it offers customers greater flexibility.

Other features include air assisted duplex banner printing, up to 700mm in length, from a bypass feed unit. Compatible substrates include uncoated, textured and coated media, plus specialty media such as super-gloss, magnet, metallic, transparent and synthetic.

The company says the ability to print the whole 49 inches is a major selling point in this market as it can reduce the number of pages used and prove to be a cost effective solution and make the difference in terms of price point.

Xerox Versant 80
As Xerox launch an enhanced version of their C60/C70 presses at PrintPack, the spotlight is still firmly on their best and fastest selling model, the Versant 80. The compact digital press has more than hundred installations in India.

The production press which replaced the C75 and J75 models in 2015 prints up to a speed of 80 ppm and delivers image quality of 2400 dpi.

With the Rs 5,000 crore photo printing market as its prime target, the machine can print on all stocks up to 350gsm and is available along with an inline spectrophotometer for increased colour automation. It can handle a variety of media types with a compact belt fuser system and Xerox’s low-melt (EA) dry ink.

The Xerox team believes the Versant 80 is a great device, especially for the photo-printing segment. Its 10-bit image quality and ultra HD capabilities gives great finish and minute colour details, which makes it a must buy for customers doing photo printing.

The machine comes with a choice of two servers: the Xerox EX-i 80 print server or the Xerox EX 80 print server, both of which are powered by Fiery. The addition of XMPie uDirect Classic Pro software will enable printers to produce variable data-driven personalised communications.

A demo that I have had on the Versant 80 proved the production press capabilities with walk-up simplicity. Another thumbs up is its offset-quality performance and automated features that remove the guesswork from optimising image quality, colour and registration.