Mimaki unveils several breakthrough solutions at virtual.drupa

Mimaki inkjets for wide format, synthetic leather, and packaging prototyping

New Mimaki JFX series LED-UV flatbed printer Image Mimaki

Japanese printing machine manufacturer Mimaki Engineering announced a slew of new printers during virtual.drupa. Among the launches, the most prominent one was the release of the latest models in the JFX series LED-UV large flatbed inkjet printers.

The JFX600-2513 and JFX550-2513 are successor models of the JFX500-2131, a large flatbed UV inkjet printer on sale from 2012. Equipped with a drastically increased number of print heads, the JFX600-2513 and JFX550-2513 enable highly efficient printing and improve productivity. The improvement is approximately 300% on the JFX600-2513 and 150% on the JFX550-2513 compared to the JFX500-2131.

In addition, the number of colors has been increased from 4 colors in the previous JFX500-2131 to 6 colors. The maximum printable size is 2,500 mm x 1,300 mm, with a thickness of up to 60 mm. The new 2513 printers support 4-foot × 8-foot boards (1,220 mm x 2,440 mm), often used for signboard production.

Since direct printing on various media is possible, they can print on resin, glass, and metal, not to mention large signboards, which makes them usable for printers for a wide range of applications such as large decorations, sign displays, and interior materials. Enabled for direct printing on media up to 60 mm thick, the printers are capable of 2.5D (raised) printing, which creates an uneven surface by printing with multiple layers of UV ink, offering the possibility of creating high value-added prints.

With the new printers, we have entered the high-speed engine market. We will now be competing in a segment where we were not present until now,” said Bert Benckhuysen of Mimaki Europe during the virtual.drupa webinar. The JFX600-2513 and JFX550-2513, scheduled to start sales in summer 2021, target sign and graphics applications, including large indoor and outdoor signs and advertisements.

Mimaki entering into the premium luxury leather market

Mimaki also announced the Mimaki SUJV-160 – a new high-quality inkjet printer for natural and artificial leather. Available this summer, the new wide-format solvent UV inkjet printer sports a print width of 1,610 mm, making it ideal for decorating leather fashion accessories, furniture, and even car interiors. The new solution boats Mimaki’s print expertise and Fujifilm’s UVIQUE ink technology.

The 100-Series

Benckhuysen talked about the new 100-Series. The highlights of this series include Mimaki JV100-160, a roll-to-roll eco-solvent printer. And the UJV100-160, a roll-to-roll UV printer that uses a low-cost UV ink LUS-190 which cures immediately after being exposed to UV light, enabling a faster turnaround without the need for a degassing period after printing, according to Mimaki.

Mimaki spoke about TS100-1600, a dye-sublimation textile printer featuring a print width of 1,600 mm and speed of 70 square meters an hour in the fastest mode.

New 3D compact printer with full-color modeling

Benckhuysen revealed the new 3DUJ-2207 compact 3D printer with full-color modeling capabilities, producing more than 10 million colors through the UV curing inkjet method. The compact 3D printer achieves high-definition color expression about twice that of the binder jetting (plaster powder) method. The earlier Mimaki compact 3D is used for packaging prototyping with the 3D feature printing Braille embossing effects on cartons right in the prepress studio.

Mimaki Innovation Days in June

Mimaki will organize the Innovation Days from 2-4 June 2021 with live product demos from its Amsterdam showroom. It will showcase the new JFX machines, conduct webinars, workshops, and panel discussions, Benckhuysen said.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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