In Part 1 of our HID coverage, we talked about the future of digital printing of books and the various levels of post-print process automation in folding, collating and binding books. Automation in postpress is enabled by the unique capabilities of digital presses to print a variety of short-run titles serially and their ability to include machine-readable metadata or information on every printed page about each book’s folding, format, pagination, cover and binding.
In Part 2 we review the digital presses and some of the value-add ideas that were shown at HID – decoration and packaging. Apart from the new web-fed inkjet presses at the 2019 event, there were several that were shown for the first time anywhere. These included the new Canon iPress 300, which was a cut sheet inkjet press; the Nipson web magnetographic press; and the Konica Minolta drum and toner press that was demonstrated together with its MGI cousin as a label and packaging press. In addition to the MGI there were several other machines and technologies shown for adding decoration and security such as the Scodix digital enhancement press.
Canon showed several enhancements on its web-fed Océ ProStream inkjet press, such as a new optional Inline Quality Control high-speed camera system. The ProStream with its enhanced transport and curing station similar to a long oven on a heatset press can now print on paper up to 300 gsm.
For volume book printers, Canon introduced the latest edition of the Océ JetStream Graphira continuous feed monochrome inkjet production press capable of high quality at speeds up to 254 meters a minute. The press now works with new Graphira inks, which deliver deep blacks and smooth shadings. Optimized for improved droplet generation for stable long-term print quality, the Graphira inks offer reduced ink consumption for less demanding jobs and improved cleaning performance for minimal operator intervention.
Canon also showed its VarioPrint i300, a cut sheet digital press that was printing a variety of commercial brochures and flyers including perforated coupons that were then processed and finished in-line on the newly launched Hunkeler DocuTrim cutsheet finishing system. The multifunctional workflow demonstrated automated cutting and perforating of high-quality color direct mailers.
“Hunkeler is entering the fast growing inkjet sheet market with new Universal Sheet Processing solutions,” said Hunkeler CEO Michel Hunkeler. “The first product in that portfolio is the DocuTrim. This unique system, shown with our longstanding partner Canon, reduces the processing and finishing time by cutting, dynamically perforating, collating and stacking of documents inline in one process step with the digital printer.”
HP introduced new options for its PageWide web presses including the Smart Mode Suite, Service Edge, PrintOS Insight, the D2200 duplex primer and additional support for heavier media weights of up to 250 gsm for the T240 HD press shown running at this year’s event. The Hunkeler book-of-one configuration that demonstrated the processing and binding of books of various formats serially printed on the same web were printed on T240 HP press at the show.
The first public showing of the Ricoh Pro VC70000 web-fed inkjet took place at HID 2019. The new Pro VC70000 can produce 12,000 sheets an hour with its pending dryer technology, designed for high ink saturation print without cockling. With its recent troubles in India, Ricoh continues to frustrate potential customers in the country.
Screen showed its new Truepress Jet520HD+ high definitiion inkjet for the first time. Printing at a resolution of 1,200 dpi with precise variable droplet sizes at speeds of up to 150 meters a minute, it uses Screen’s SC inks and integrates new Screen NIR dryer technology.
On the slower side but printing high quality color on a variety of substrates, Xeikon showed its XM500 twin engine toner-based press. Running at 30 meters a minute, XM500 can run on just about any paper producing high quality even on packaging paperboard. It is positioned as a robust and dependable press with high overall productivity.
Xerox unveiled its Rialto 900 MP inkjet roll to A4 cut sheet press at HID 2019, a faster version of its HID 2017-launched Rialto 900. The Rialto 900 MP increases output by 33% with a maximum production speed of 64 meters a minute and a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi using either of the Impika IPDS or PDF controllers. Meant for direct mailers, it is fairly versatile in regard to substrates.
Non-inkjet digital presses at Hunkeler
Nipson, which uses a unique magnetography process which is both sturdy and fast printing for monochrome products, came back to Hunkeler this year. Its 300 meters a minute Magyspeed is a mono-only toner press.
Digital print plus enhancement equal sparkling products
Hunkeler Innovationdays was notable for two trends beyond the increasing flexibility and comprehensive possibilities in processing automation. The first is the slight waning of transactional print and increased emphasis on book production. The second important trend is the increased attention on short-run embellishment and decoration for both personalized commercial products like greeting cards and for labels and packaging.
It seems that there is quite a bit of demand for outstanding wow products that can be produced with digital foiling and other amazing effects on short-run digitally printed products. Digital print plus digital enhancement seems to have created the possibility of a new category of sparkling luxury print products.
Konica Minolta showed its toner-based Accurio Label 190 web-fed digital press printing reel-to-reel labels. Shown in conjunction with the MGI digital foiling and embossing, the AccurioLabel 190 digital toner-based label press is the one that was developed and manufactured in cooperation with Danish company Grafisk Maskinfabrik.
Live demos of KM’s fourth generation AccurioPress C83hc cut-sheet print engine using Konica Minolta’s high chroma toner were also shown with the integrated IQ-501 color control unit. The IQ-501, which was recently shown at the Photo show in Greater Noida and as we have written earlier, enables automatic front-to-back registration and automatic creation of printer profiles.
At HID, Konica Minolta also showed latest label and carton samples printed on the AccurioJet KM-1 B2+ UV inkjet digital cut-sheet press. The KM-1 using its unique Dot Freeze Technology (DFT) overcomes uncontrolled ink dot movement that reduces print quality and workable materials on inkjet presses. Print samples shown included the tactile and glossy effects achieved on the JetVarnish 3DS.
Scodix was also present with its Ultra 101 digital enhancement machine at HID that was being demonstrated in tandem with a cast and cure device. Together the two devices can create interesting holographic-like effects and patterns on part of printed surfaces that have been spot gloss varnished on the Scodix.
The newest Scodix Ultra 102 has nine enhancement applications. These include Scodix Foil, Scodix VDE, Scodix Cast&Cure and Scodix Crystal, which replace the need for separate systems on the production floor.