By DPS Staff
Last month, print industry professionals gathered in Lucerne, Switzerland at the Messe Lucerne exhibition facility. From February 23 to 26, 2015, Hunkeler Innovationdays highlighted integrated solutions and practical applications, showcasing the latest developments in all areas of production and finishing for digitally manufactured print.
According to Hunkeler, the event hosted approximately 80 exhibitors, some of which took the opportunity to showcase worldwide product premiers.
This year’s show theme, “Reaching the Summit Together,” signifies the convergence of important customers, cutting-edge technology, and worldwide experts, who together influence and set the pace for the next stage of industry innovation.
Primary event sponsors include Canon, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Kodak, Pitney Bowes, Ricoh, Screen, Xeikon, and Xerox. Additional partners included Bowe Systec, Domino, Fujifilm, Horizon, Muller Martini, and Neopost.
Major equipment announcements and demonstrations came from industry leading press and finishing manufacturers across a range of sectors.
Canon U.S.A. introduced the Océ VarioPrint i300, formerly known as Project Niagara. It is the first high-speed, sheet-fed inkjet press in the company’s portfolio of production print solutions.
The Océ VarioPrint i300 is designed to fill the speed and capacity gap that exists between conventional high-end toner-based, sheet-fed and entry-level continuous-feed inkjet presses.
Featuring a patented, four-color ink system, the Océ VarioPrint i300 prints on a range of media, including uncoated, coated, and inkjet treated paper. It leverages proven technologies from Canon, including Océ ColorStream inkjet printhead technology and Océ VarioPrint media handling. It offers integrated end-to-end digital workflows with its Océ PRISMAsync digital front end and Océ PRISMA software platform.
Printing up to 300 A4 images-per-minute, the Océ VarioPrint i300 produces monthly volumes of up ten million letter or A4 images. Sheet-fed flexibility and price point make the press accessible to a broader audience in the transaction, direct mail, book, and manual markets. By utilizing a B3 sheet size, the press is better optimized to leverage existing finishing solutions for true end-to-end, automated workflows.
The company says the first units have shipped and are being installed at four customer sites in the U.S.
At the event, Hunkeler featured many exciting premieres that demonstrated greater automation and substrate flexibility, including a new generation of unwinding and rewinding modules with faster roll changes and production speeds up to 1,000 feet/minute.
The company also showcased a book production line with automated format length changeover, as well as a dynamic finishing solution for perforating, punching, gathering, chip-out, cutting, and stacking.
Kodak introduced its latest B&W inkjet press, the Prosper 1000 Plus Press. Using the base Prosper 1000 Press platform and Stream Inkjet Technology with new transport and software enhancements, the company says the new press is well suited to serve publishers facing demanding supply chains, shorter print runs, more frequent orders, faster cycle-times, additional demand for drop shipments, and an increased need for customization.
Additionally, the company announced a new offline coating solution, Prosper IOS, which is designed to decouple the inkjet paper treatment process from the print itself, enabling operations to run at full capacity and not be slowed by paper treatment.
Pitney Bowes Inc. announced and demonstrated its Mailstream Engage Direct Marketing Solution, which is available to marketers and mail service providers across Europe.
Mailstream Engage is a compact, but powerful direct mail solution characterized by the unique and proprietary fold of its output. It combines digital print and variable data software to produce high impact, personalized, full color packets from standard A4-size paper in a single pass.
The company also unveiled the new Epic Inserting System. The new high-speed multi-format solution cost effectively processes complex transactional mail applications with demonstrated integrity and high yield to simplify capacity planning, increase operational productivity, lower total cost of ownership, and improve return on investment.
To create Epic, Pitney Bowes built upon its Mailstream Productivity Series inserting platform. The new solution helps high-volume transactional print and mail service providers—particularly those processing mail in the financial services, insurance, healthcare, and telecommunications industries—to move swiftly and easily from job to job and from letters to flats in a single workcell.
Xeikon launched the new Xeikon 9800 digital color press at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015. The new dry toner-based digital color press was demonstrated for the first time at the event.
The Xeikon 9800 replaces the Xeikon 8800 press in its family of digital color production presses, complementing the 8500 and 8600 presses. The Xeikon 9800 digital color press uses the company’s new QA-CD toner, delivering Xeikon print quality at speeds up to 70.5 feet per minute at reduced consumables cost.
Xeikon is currently taking orders for the new Xeikon 9800 digital press.
Xerox introduced its fully integrated roll-to-cut sheet press, the Xerox Rialto 900. The press is designed for print providers who produce 1.5 to 5 million impressions per month. It has one of the smallest footprints of any inkjet press on the market—11.9×5.1 feet, including the press tower.
According to the company, the Rialto 900 prints duplex jobs, one-up on one of the smallest, narrow web—9.84 inches—on the market.
The device offers the speed and image quality required to take on full-color, personalized direct mail, statements, and book production. Its all-in-one design means the front-end controller, paper roll and finishing components are housed within the machine—a space saver and service convenience.
The Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet Press is available for immediate order.
Automation and Digital Print
This year’s Hunkeler Innovationdays delivered noteworthy announcements from leading vendors in the digital print and finishing space. Along with new product announcements, demonstrations and examples of the latest industry advancements spanned the show floor.
We look forward to seeing many of these solutions showcased for the U.S. market this Fall at Graph Expo. dps