Relaunching Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000c at virtual.drupa

Kyocera shows the SRA3 digital press released in 2019

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The Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000c inkjet printer relaunched at virtua.drupa 2021
The Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000c inkjet printer relaunched at virtua.drupa 2021

Japan’s Kyocera exhibited its inkjet production printing device, the TASKalfa Pro 15000c, at the recently concluded virtual.drupa 2021. The press installed in the company’s European experience was demonstrated to the virtual visitors. Kyocera entered the inkjet commercial print production market with the TASKalfa Pro 15000c in November 2019.

During the company’s virtual sessions on 20 April and 22 April, Kyocera’s print manager, Marcel Ebbenhorst, spoke about the ease of use, productivity, and quality that can be achieved with the press and explained how it could improve the revenues of print businesses of all shapes and sizes.

“Kyocera’s decision to move into production print is a strategic decision, and we plan to expand this business in the near future,” Ebbenhorst said. Kyocera is a renowned supplier of inkjet heads and manufactures digital presses for label and flexible packaging applications. Its technology is used in several vendor’s high-speed inkjet systems.

He explained that the company’s inkjet printhead legacy and partnerships with EFI Fiery and Solimar Systems reflect its domain and operational knowledge in making the technology work productively. He described potential market segments such as direct mail for their strong potential for positive one-to-one customer communication. Quality print and attractive materials help brands stand out, and higher quality inkjet print is now available in larger quantities. With the TASKalfa Pro 15000c, organizations can truly benefit from Kyocera’s innovation, he said.

What the Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000c offers

According to Kyocera, the Pro 15000c press offers two high-capacity feeders which can handle 2,400 sheets per tray using vacuum and air separation technology for reliable throughput at maximum press speeds. There is an option to add another multipurpose tray for banner printing.

The press offers a drying unit which dries sheets in tandem at 58 degrees Celsius. The high-capacity stacking unit can handle 5,000 sheets with the capacity to add more if required. There are three in-line finishing options – one for small run work, one for stacking, and one for booklet making with stapling and punching.

The digital press runs at a maximum speed of 150 A4 pages a minute at 600×600 dpi resolution on paper sizes ranging from A6 to SRA3. The paper substance weights it accepts range from 56 to 360 gsm. The Pro 15000c comes with a standard Kyocera onboard controller. However, a digital front end (DFE) from EFI Fiery is available as an option.

Ebbenhorst did not provide the number of installations of the TASKalfa Pro 15000c but said that the numbers were ‘nice.’ Nevertheless, he did acknowledge that the installations worldwide are below the company’s target – mainly due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The machines that are already in the field are performing well and living up to their promise,” he added.

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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