By DPS Staff
The print industry was busy prepping for the drupa event planned for June 2020 since the last drupa trade fair of 2016. However, unprecedented global circumstances led to the postponement into April of 2021.
While this year’s drupa isn’t happening as planned, many industry players are still introducing new products, technologies, and services. Here are a sampling of major announcements recently introduced for digital production printing.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Canon Solutions America, launched the varioPRINT iX-series. Built on the success of the varioPRINT i-series platform introduced in 2015, this sheetfed inkjet press utilizes iQuariusiX technologies. These technologies are designed to combine the image quality of offset with the productivity and cost efficiency of production inkjet to support customers with production volumes of one to ten million letter images per month.
The varioPRINT iX-series prints up to 4,500 12×18-inch sheets per hour—or up to 312 letter images per minute—on a range of media, including offset coated paper ranging from 90 to 350 gsm with native 1,200 dpi processing. This feature allows customers to produce high volumes of commercial print applications, from marketing collateral and premium direct mail to catalogs, magazines, and books.
The latest iQuariusiX technology combines three key innovations—a new drying system that utilizes heat, humidification, and cooling to protect paper and ensure robust prints on a wide range of media; a new polymer pigment, water-based inks, and ColorGrip; and iQuariusiX quality control technologies for high-end image quality.
Powered by a media-driven workflow, the PRISMAsync print server optimizes productivity by automatically setting the appropriate printing parameters for the media selected and enables advance scheduling of up to eight hours of production. Combined with PRISMA software, a completely automated and highly intuitive solution can be integrated into any existing workflow.
The new varioPRINT iX-series inkjet press expects to be available for customer installation in Q3 2020.
In addition to several offset announcements, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG announces greater automation in postpress solutions. With continued growth in packaging, new demands prompted Heidelberg to round out its die-cutting portfolio both upwards in higher performance ranges as well as downwards, in order to offer a solution for every application.
This includes the launch of the Powermatrix 106 CSB and Promatrix 145 CSB die-cutters. For short runs from digital and commercial printing comes the new Multimatrix 60 FC.
In general in postpress, machines from a range of manufacturers and—at least in the commercial sector—still require a lot of manual a steps that make a post calculation almost impossible. The new Heidelberg standard interface Postpress Data Ready ensures transparency and efficient order processing.
Gains in productivity and user-friendliness are also made in folder gluers. For example, the Diana Smart will be available with a high-speed package, allowing it to run up to 33 percent faster at up to 600 meters per minute.
In March, HP, Inc. announced a new portfolio for HP Indigo digital labels and packaging designed to accelerate the digital print transformation. The HP Indigo V12 Digital Press is built on next-generation HP Indigo LEPX architecture.
The company also introduces the narrow-web HP Indigo 6K and HP Indigo 8K digital presses for labels; the HP Indigo 25K for flexible packaging and labels; and sheetfed HP Indigo 35K and roll-to-B1 sheet HP Indigo 90K for folding cartons. Value packs with various upgrade options allow the existing HP customer base to benefit from new features and capabilities.
The HP Indigo 6K, HP Indigo 8K, HP Indigo 25K, HP Indigo 35K, and HP Indigo 90K digital presses are planned for commercial availability by the end of 2020 while the HP Indigo V12 is scheduled for commercial availability in 2022.
The company also announces a color automation solution, Spot Master. This solution is designed to enable converters to reach brand colors within minutes. It will be available for the HP Indigo 35K, HP Indigo 25K, HP Indigo 6K, and HP Indigo 8K presses.
Brand Beat is a new application offered in HP PrintOSX. It delivers real-time color reports directly to converters and brands.
Additionally, PrintOS Production Pro for Indigo Labels and Packaging features HP Indigo’s fastest HP Indigo Raster Image Processor, which is seamlessly integrated with the new Esko Automation Engine for HP Indigo. HP PrintOSX unites the cloud platform applications with artificial intelligence-driven service and support infrastructure to help customers get the most out of their press investment.
Konica Minolta’s AccurioPress 6136 has a new addition to its product line-up—a MICR version—giving the 6136P product line a MICR toner and developer that will have significant impact on the financial printing market. While personal checks are on the downtrend, commercial bank checks are still in high demand, with usage in financial institutions, government agencies, and educational segments. MICR printing represents a huge market with more than five billion checks printed annually.
Konica Minolta has partnered with the TROY Group to help convert the AccurioPress 6136P to a MICR version, combining TROY’s patented MICR Toner Secure with its own proprietary developer bead. The TROY Group is a worldwide leader in OEM MICR developed printers and has many patents on MICR Technology.
The biggest benefit of the AccurioPress 6136P MICR print solution is its print speed of 136 pages per minute and unique TROY MICR Toner Secure, a proven industry standard in financial check printing. Konica Minolta will inventory units with all the same accessories as the 6136P and the TROY MICR toner and developer.
Konica Minolta’s MICR printer line-up also includes the bizhub 1250P MICR. By adding the new AccurioPress 6136P MICR toner solution, the company now offers both mid- and high-range units, enabling it to accommodate higher print volume accounts.
Xeikon unveils its new generation dry toner technology, SIRUIS, for the graphic arts. It delivers higher speeds, reduced cost of ownership, and improved quality. The first digital press based on this new technology will be launched and commercially available as of June 2020.
One differentiating factor of SIRIUS technology is Xeikon’s new EkoFuse technology, which features a new fuser and patented crossflow cooling system. Additionally, SIRIUS toner features improve charging kinetics, which is possible through the adaptation of the outer shell of the dry toner to cope with higher engine speeds.
Using SIRIUS technology, the new Xeikon SX30000 press is a single-pass, duplex machine that runs at a printing width of 20 inches on a range of substrates at 98 feet per minute (fpm).
Xeikon also launches a new digital label press based on next-generation Cheetah 2.0 technology. The Xeikon CX300 digital label press utilizes a dry toner printing process and operates at speeds of up to 98 fpm.
While the past few months have proven difficult to every industry, the importance of reliable methods of communication remains clear. Print is essential to nearly every business.
While we expect to see further innovation next year in Düsseldorf, the perseverance of the industry shines as the companies that support drupa continue to forge ahead despite the setbacks. Stay up to date with the latest announcements at dpsmagazine.com.
Originally set for June 16 to 26, 2020, the next drupa is scheduled for April 20 to 30, 2021. dps
May2020, DPS Magazine