Konica Minolta enters display print with first AccurioWide

AccurioWide 200
AccurioWide 200

Konica Minolta is using its own printheads on a first large format printer to carry the company name being introduced in North America.

Konica Minolta is to show the first large format inkjet printer for display graphics with its own name at the Print 18 show in Chicago this month.

Previously, the company has had a deal to sell EFI Vutek machines, but while there are Konica Minolta inkjet printers for textiles, there have been none in the commercial and display print space. That is changing with the introduction of the AccurioWide 160 and AccurioWide 200, 1.6 meter wide and 2.0 meter wide hybrid machines, respectively.

Both operate with Konica Minolta 1024i printheads giving a resolution of 1440 x 720 dpi. The printhead is in widespread use in other sectors and uses a high pigment ink which is claimed to give a thinner ink layer and reduce overall ink volumes required.

Speed is dependent on resolution. The AccurioWide 160 comes in a 4-color plus white or 6-color versions, while the AccurioWide 200 offers 6-color plus white printing. Both combine LED UV and conventional UV curing for speed across the range of substrates.

The AccurioWide 160 prints at 63 m2/hr in draft mode, falling to 7 m2/hr in finest quality. It can print on most media including rigid sheets to 45 mm thick.

Konica Minolta will link the machines to its FD-9 scanning spectrometer and both FD-5 and FD-7 hand-held spectrophotometric color measurement. These link to the AccurioPro WideDirector workflow application. This automates step and repeat image placement, nesting color profiling and offers suggestions about optimal settings having analyzed and run a preflight check on the incoming digital file. It will balance production across multiple printers.

The move comes hard on the heels of Ricoh’s first flatbed/hybrid printer, the Pro T7210, which is now available in the UK. This is in a different class with a 50 m2/hr standard mode and twice that in draft mode. It also offers primer and clear ink channel and is configured as a flatbed rather than hybrid printer.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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