Drupa 2024: Konica Minolta, MGI showcase print room of the future

With the most advanced end-to-end smart factory digital production lines ever shown in public, Konica Minolta’s and MGI’s joint Drupa presence (Stand A65/Hall 8B) represents pioneering digital transformation across its 2,400-sqmt booth. Across six inter-linked areas and two floors, Konica Minolta and MGI will have over 30 live running machines, virtually the same number of software displays and will be demonstrating how its toner and inkjet technologies complement each other seamlessly in the print room of the future.

28 May 2024 | By Rahul Kumar

Konica Minolta has at least 20 European premieres at Drupa

The booth – the seventh largest at Drupa - is being operated from the viewpoint of a large, modern smart factory where visitors see at close quarters how the technology leader is holistically combining expertise as Konica Minolta continues to help customers with their digital transformation. It features true end-to-end solutions, starting with brand planning and running through to printing, post-production and logistics processes – all on one stand. 

Konica Minolta has at least 20 European premieres at Drupa where it has a strong focus on sustainability, the value of print and how customers can ‘see the potential in the future of print’, its main messaging for Drupa. It will be demonstrating ways of sustainable production in line with the philosophy of Industry 5.0. This is being achieved by assistance technology, labour-saving and easy-to-use operations improving the total throughput of all processes, not only printing. 

At the heart of Konica Minolta’s demonstrations will be unprecedented set-up configurations and new applications for Konica Minolta’s technology that have far-reaching implications for commercial printers and converters, as well as brand owners, designers and design and advertising agencies in the way they do business. 

Innovations and machine sales 

Among the 30 systems running live at Drupa is Konica Minolta’s next-generation HS-UV inkjet press, AccurioJet 60000, which is being shown for the first time at Drupa. This high-end model follows the quality and technology of the AccurioJet KM-1e series and has been further developed for maximising customer value and improving usability. The AccurioJet 60000 features an HS-UV inkjet press with a capacity of 6,000-sph and offers both-side printing capabilities, ensuring versatility and efficiency in printing operations. This press is a highlight of the show and combines impressive speeds with excellent image quality. The use of Konica Minolta inline sensors and a spectrophotometer allows continuous monitoring and control of the printing process to ensure consistently high quality. 

Another world debut at Drupa is Konica Minolta’s AccurioPress C84hc press, which uses high chroma toner that prints bright vivid colours consistently. It is the world’s only platform using the new toner free of the restrictions imposed by the colour gamut of ordinary toners. Target customers include commercial printers, dedicated design houses, advertising agencies, corporates, and brands. 

Another example of Konica Minolta’s technology evolution involves partnering with MGI (MGI Digital Printing Systems). Together they are demonstrating how separate processes such as foiling, varnishing, printing, folding, and drying can be combined into just one full integrated production run where MGI’s AlphaJet will be centre stage and showing the benefits of a complete single-pass factory.  

For customers, this will mean major savings in space requirements, power consumption and staff costs. Manual set-ups from different production engines will be combined into one completely automated system, including the use of software up to B1+ format size. 

Multi-award-winning toner systems such as Konica Minolta’s AccurioPress C14000e toner press for high-volume production with more than 2,200 global sales already and the AccurioLabel 400 – part of a single-pass portfolio that has already secured more than 1,500 sales worldwide – are among the star performers at Drupa. These and other systems have helped underpin Konica Minolta’s reputation as a major player in digital printing as it continues to make further inroads into commercial and industrial printing markets using inkjet and toner technologies.  

Programmatic Printing with AI 

Latest advances in areas such as programmatic printing – taking variable data to the next level - with AI-generated content added to applications for totally targeted content will also be demonstrated at Drupa. 

Since Konica Minolta is working with brand owners, designers and creatives to influence the influencers, also unique software is being shown at drupa, amongst them one premiere called Ex Kansei. The predictive software based on eye-tracking insights gathered from years of research can be used to turn invisible information into value by evaluating human elements such as attention, impression and positioning to analyse what the brain is thinking. Ex Kansei can analyse a wide range of brand assets including product packaging, website advertising, direct mail, marketing materials, retail environments and in-store point of sale, as well as direct mail.  Results are revealed within minutes of assets being uploaded to the cloud software quantitively analyses and visualises everything from the attention a product attracts and the impression it gives to the harmony of colours, the level of complexity, and its positioning.   

Putting sustainability into action

Konica Minolta will show how digital printing empowers printing on demand instead of printing for the shelf. An example of Konica Minolta’s sustainability by default will involve using recycled paper for all brochures and other marketing materials produced on-demand at Drupa. Moreover, and for the first time, Konica Minolta will not be taking pre-printed materials to Drupa. Instead, any of the Konica Minolta product sheets or other marketing materials can be ordered on a big display and will be printed within seconds of any request on the automated lines running live.    

New products unveiled at Drupa for the first time include: 

PaperOne 5000 

Belongs to an innovative range of SEI Laser systems which is the most technologically advanced for digital converting and finishing from SRA3 to B1 sheets for die-cutting and creasing in packaging and graphic arts. The B2 PaperOne 5000 modular system using Konica Minolta’s proprietary software Icaro - can be used with one or multiple laser units and can be configurated according to the customer requirements. Cutting, creasing and micro-perforation are some of the processes possible. 

AccurioPro Colour Manager (APCM) Suite 

New upgrades have been launched for this comprehensive colour management solution designed to streamline workflows with an integrated approach. AccurioPro Colour Manager includes seamless functionality with IQ-501, Konica Minolta’s own cutting-edge technology, or other external measurement devices.  

AccurioPro Dashboard 

An updated version of Konica Minolta’s advanced software tool covering the entire production workflow analysing complete processes has been announced. AccurioPro Dashboard captures the shopfloor with great detail enabling its users to reduce downtime as well as costs related to production. At the same time, the software helps maximise overall productivity by analysing the entire production process automatically collecting and evaluating device information – and thus adds intelligence to your print-related business decisions. 

AccurioPro Flux 

A raft of upgrades has been made to Konica Minolta’s AccurioPro Flux software solution – all designed to enhance workflow automation, expand business opportunities and enable greater flexibility for customers. Version 10 benefits all three modules – Essential, Premium and Ultimate – and the highlight is the refreshed and improved WebShop incorporating numerous new features. The latest iteration also offers greater support for Konica Minolta’s AccurioJet KM-1 press. 

The AccurioPro Flux Label Impose option works seamlessly with Konica Minolta’s AccurioLabel presses and offers an all-in-one package for printing that allows print providers to import and impose artworks, manage print jobs, add variable data and print labels in one. Flux Label Impose also facilitates creating the correct data input for the creation of die tools, its VDP support, intuitive user interface and large print area of 320x480-mm.  

Omnia 100 is an auto-feed die-cutting machine with a continuous sheet media loader and processing system with a high-capacity feeder from Valiani to attend to the growing demand for personalized die-cutting processes, and exclusive packaging without adding the cost of dies and make-readies. It features full digital workflow integration, auto-setting and barcode or QR code reading, meaning no high skills are required by operators.  

Additionally, new options for the MGI JetVarnish 3D Web 400 such as a JetSeal and inline die-cutter, and, from Konica Minolta’s Sensing Business Unit, MYIRO colour management tools for graphics arts applications are being shown. These will include spectrophotometers for advanced colour management and for high-speed auto scanning. 

Olaf Lorenz, general manager international marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, said: “After eight long years, we are so proud to be back at Drupa where we are showcasing our vision of the print room of the future. We believe that the mission of Konica Minolta's Professional Print Business is to promote the shift from analogue printing to the use of digital printing, thereby creating a world in which high-value-added printed materials are printed efficiently and the environmental impact is minimised. To realise this mission, we have a wide range of business scopes from commercial printing to label printing, packaging, and industrial printing, and as products and solutions, we have the industry's best solution menu, including pre-printing and post-printing.”