By DPS Staff
The September/October issue of DPS studies inkjet technology, just in time for Print ’09, which will surely be the place to experience the technology first hand. In this preview of the piece, we offer an overview of current inkjet technologies.
Digital production inkjet presses are not a new concept. Emerging technologies starting picking up speed at drupa 2008, which drew the spotlight on major digital players such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Kodak, and Océ. A year after drupa, we see developments in action. Digital print equipment manufacturers, Océ, Kodak, InfoPrint, and Screen USA, who have been playing in the inkjet field for quite some time, will they need to move over for a new generation of mainstream inkjet offerings? HP enters the high-speed inkjet market full force. Kodak steps up its game with the newly branded PROSPER—previously referred to as the Stream Printhead, while Océ widens its Jetstream brand to handle nearly 30 inches.
Many leading digital production presses offer inkjet options. Some technologies are mature in the market, while others are emerging with a disruptive force.
Agfa :Dotrix Transcolor
Agfa Graphics offers its :Dotrix Transcolor, a full color transactional, data printer web press, specifically designed for complex variable data printing in the transactional, TransPromotional, and direct mail market. The printer produces 30,000 A4 pages per hour—500 pages per minute (ppm). It also features a powerful IPDS controller that transforms complex workflows into fast moving data streams, which allows users to print full-color variable data in real time—even with complex document design. The :Dotrix Transcolor is currently available, contact the manufacturer for pricing details.
HP Inkjet Web Press
The HP Inkjet Web Press produces up to 400 feet per minute (fpm) with up to a 30-inch web width. The press promises to deliver high productivity at a competitive cost on a variety of media options. It delivers on a wide range of standard, uncoated offset media. HP Bonding Agent, a unique colorless liquid technology, is applied at precise locations where ink is to be printed—improving the optical density, reducing strike-through, and improving pigment adhesion to paper. The press is currently installed in several beta sites and is scheduled for availability this fall.
The InfoPrint 5000 is specifically designed for transactional print providers, service bureaus, direct mailers, and book printers. Its built-in AFP color management architecture provides accurate, consistent, and device independent color rendering. A range of models feature print speeds ranging from 209.9 fpm to 419.8 fpm. The InfoPrint 5000 supports a maximum print width of 19.96 inches and features innovative piezo-electric inkjet technology. The press supports AFP, PostScript, or PDF for application flexibility. The InfoPrint 5000 is currently available, contact the manufacturer for pricing details.
Kodak Versamark D-, V-Series
Kodak offeres its Versamark line of inkjet web fed devices, categorized by the company’s D- and V-Series. The D-Series reaches speeds of up to 1,000 fpm and resolution of 300x600 dpi. Kodak claims the systems are ideal for a full range of monochrome or color imprinting applications, such as barcoding, packaging, hybrid printing, and personalization. Their modularity allows integration into existing production environments to add value with flexibility.
The V series offers speeds of up to 750 fpm at 300x600 dpi. Based on a flexible and solid printing platform, the V-Series Printing Systems offer model configurations to handle variable data printing applications including transactional documents, direct mail, and other commercial applications.
Kodak PROSPER S10 Imprinting System
The Kodak PROSPER S10 Imprinting System features print resolutions of 600x600 dpi and speeds of up to 1,000 fpm. The solution features a 4.16-inch print width and can stitch up to four printheads for a total print width of 16.64 inches. The S10 offers a fully integrated system controlled from a single point of operation and can handle pigment black inks and future spot color inks. The system utilizes the Kodak Versamark CS410 Controller with Windows XP-based operator interface, including integrated data preparation software.
Océ JetStream Series
The Océ JetStream is a full-color inkjet digital printing system designed to maximize productivity in corporate and commercial print environments. Powered by Océ DigiDot drop on demand color inkjet technology, the JetStream systems offer CMYK full-process color output speeds close to 656 fpm with 600 dpi resolution. The Océ JetStream family consists of the 750, single engine system printing 328 fpm; 1100, single engine printing 492 fpm; 1500, twin system printing 328 fpm; 2200, twin system printing 492 fpm; and 3000, twin system printing 656 fpm. In addition, Océ recently introduced its newest inkjet production printing system, the JetStream 2800, capable of printing in widths of up to 29.5 inches. The company positions this device to accelerate the offset to digital transition and it is expected to be available by early 2010. Océ’s current JetStream models range in base price from $1,900,000. Contact the manufacturer for details.
RISO ComColor Series
In time for Print ’09, RISO introduced the anticipated ComColor series of full-color inkjet printers/multifunction devices. The cut sheet series produces speeds from 90 to 150 ppm. Five new models comprise the ComColor printer line, which employ RISO’s FORCEJET imaging system and piezo drop on demand inkjet technology, designed for production environments. The ComColor 9050, 7050, 7010, 3050, and 3010 models are designed to appeal to a broad range of print volumes, applications, and budgets.
Well known for its line of digital duplicators, RISO entered the digital production print space with its sheet-fed inkjet printer that delivers up to 120 full color ppm. Using its FORCEJET technology, the HC5500 offers prints as low as three cents per page and monthly volumes of up to 500,000.
Screen USA Truepress Jet520
The Screen Truepress Jet 520 is a continuous-feed, single pass inkjet printer using piezo drop on demand technology. The multifaceted print engine prints on inkjet paper, standard paper, and uncoated paper up to 20.4 inches wide. The press incorporates a roll-fed paper transport system for faster turnarounds on high-volume projects. It prints up to 420 fpm with an image resolution of 720x720 dpi.
More on Inkjet
The September/October issue of DPS is slated to offer a full-featured article on inkjet production press systems, including customer success stories, typical applications, and the technology’s advantages and disadvantages over offset and electrophotographic print engines.