A Show Floor Tour
Xerox unveiled the Impika eVolution inkjet press at Graph Expo.
Canon showed the Océ Arizona 6170 flatbed wide-format printer.
Eager printers crowded the gates on Graph Expo’s opening day.
The EFI H1625 LED is an entry-level, 65˝ hybrid roll/flatbed printer.
The new DC-616 PRO slitter/cutter/creaser from Duplo USA.
Standard Finishing debuted its CRA-36 creaser at the show.
David Spiel showed off the new Sterling Looper, a tabletop, semi-automatic wire binder from Spiel Associates.
With equipment specs, pictures and video all available online, why should an in-plant manager bother going to Graph Expo any more? Those who made the trip to Chicago last month have lots of good reasons.
“There’s no substitute for a hands-on demonstration of equipment,” declares Michael Kalstein, director of Reprographics and Mail Services at California State University, Sacramento. “Being able to speak with and ask questions of vendor representatives while the equipment is running and having them show you how the device addresses your concerns—or not—is invaluable.”
This is why Kalstein returned to Chicago this year to check out inserting and slitting/creasing/scoring equipment. But he saw a lot more than that.
“The new color boxes being offered by both Canon and Ricoh were very intriguing,” he says. “We see one of these as a possible backup and for overflow for our Indigo.”
That’s another good reason for attending a show like Graph Expo: you’ll discover things you hadn’t come there to see.
“The 3D printer we saw was very interesting—much better quality than the Makerbot we have,” remarks Steve Weigel, director of Printing & Copy Services at Iowa State University, who came to the show to look at laminating equipment, monochrome printers and flatbed wide-format printers. Seeing the equipment in person, he says, let him compare construction quality.
“One laminator that we were considering was very lightly built,” he reveals. “We could not determine that without actually seeing it.”
“It is nice to have equipment from all the vendors side by side for direct comparison,” agrees Gordon Ryan, director of Design, Printing and Fulfillment Services for the New York State Bar Association. “It is very important to me to have an opportunity to interact directly with the many vendors that we do business with.”
Ryan came to Graph Expo to research Web-to-print software and to purchase a continuous feeder for his in-plant’s Standard Horizon folder. But he saw many other interesting things as well.
“I was impressed with the short-run digital label printer from Konica Minolta and the on-demand diecutting, as well as the short-run diecutter from Standard Horizon,” he says.
Tammy Golden, director of Printing and Media Services for the State of Tennessee, traveled from Nashville to look at new digital printing equipment, but while there she discovered an interesting upgrade for one of her current printers.
“We have a Xerox Color 1000 press with clear dry ink. They have developed a metallic ink that can be exchanged with the clear toner cartridge. I thought it looked great,” she says.
David Pearson, director of Station Casinos’ Direct Mail Center, came to his first Graph Expo to look at folders, tabbers, stitchers, laminators and coaters, but it was something else that grabbed his attention.
“The most interesting thing that caught my eye was Ricoh’s new toner devices, the C7100 and C9100,” he says. The lease on one of his Las Vegas shop’s Xerox iGens is up soon, so he has been visiting various vendor facilities, looking at options. The new Ricoh devices, he says, are worthy competitors.
One of the best reasons to attend Graph Expo, though, if you’re ready to buy equipment, is because of the deals you can get.
“We received a proposal for the slitter/creaser/scorer and have placed an order,” reveals Kalstein, adding that the vendor offered a 10 percent show discount. “We expect delivery in a few weeks.”
On With The Show
Though it had a smaller exhibit area than in years past, Graph Expo 2014 featured more than a few product debuts. Canon U.S.A. introduced its new imagePRESS C800 Digital Color Press Series, designed for small-to-medium in-plants. Comprising the imagePRESS C800 (80 pages per minute) and imagePRESS C700 (70 ppm), the series is designed to handle a variety of media options, including heavyweight coated stock, textured stock and envelopes. Gloss Optimization tailors the gloss level of the toner image to that of the media used.
Though Canon’s Niagara full-color inkjet press was not at the show, it was promoted in a special theater. It produces up to 3,800 duplexed B3 sheets and up to 8,500 duplexed letter sheets/hour.
Canon Solutions America showed the Océ ImageStream 3500 continuous-feed inkjet press, which can print on standard offset-coated stock without the use of inkjet treatments. With print speeds up to 525 feet per minute (fpm) and 1,200x1,200-dpi resolution, the ImageStream 3500 features DigiDot technology—a flexible droplet modulation with four contrast levels. It provides smoother gradations, crisper details and a greater dynamic range.
Also on display was the Océ Arizona 6100 series of flatbed printers for high-volume sign and display production. Comprising the six-color Océ Arizona 6160 XTS and the seven-color Océ Arizona 6170 XTS UV printers, the series features Océ VariaDot technology, pneumatic registration pins and automated print head maintenance.
Nearby, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. showcased the new bizhub PRESS C1100 and bizhub PRESS C1085 color digital presses, boasting speeds of 100 ppm and 85 ppm, respectively, regardless of substrate type or weight. They feature enhanced Simitri HDE toner, S.E.A.D. IV screen processing to maintain image stability, air suction (vacuum) paper feeding and hybrid decurling for consistently flat output.
Also drawing a lot of attention at Konica Minolta’s booth were the IntoPrint EDGE 850 on-demand label printer (producing 2,000 labels in less than 20 minutes) and IntoPrint Eclipse LF3 finishing system. Nearby, the JETvarnish 3DS digital spot UV 3D coater was being previewed, the result of a strategic alliance with MGI. Demonstrations of 3D printing on the ProJet 4500 were a big crowd pleaser as well.
New at Graph Expo from Xerox was the entry-level Color C60/C70 printer, boasting 2,400x2,400-dpi resolution, flexible finishing options and a range of compatible substrates. It is suited for polyester labels, menus, magnets, signs, vinyl window clings and even printing on linen.
Xerox officially cut the ribbon on the Versant 2100 press at Graph Expo, a 100-ppm color device that comes standard with a Full Width Array and Automated Color Quality Suite to provide color control and create image-to-media alignment profiles in less time.
On the inkjet side, Xerox unveiled the Impika eVolution 20˝-wide inkjet press. Able to handle plain papers and high-quality, inkjet-treated stocks, the device runs at speeds of 832 fpm/3,628 ppm. Patented variable speed technology—due to a frame architecture suited for two to four print heads—maintains maximum image quality when increasing or decreasing press speeds.
Ricoh Americas launched the Ricoh Pro C7100X series, which offers a fifth color station for either white or clear ink. The Pro C7100X prints at 80 ppm and the Pro C7110x at up to 90 ppm, both based upon A4. The maximum sheet size is 13x19.2˝.
Ricoh also showcased the Pro VC60000 continuous-feed inkjet press, capable of producing more than 100,000 letter images/hour. New drop-on-demand print heads enable physical resolutions up to 1,200x1,200 dpi.
Ricoh presented its seven-color Pro L4130/L4160 wide-format color printers, which offer an increased color gamut for creating signs, banners, wraps and point-of-sale displays across a range of substrates, including clear and backlit.
Kodak showed an enhanced version of its NexPress featuring a new long sheet feeder to support sheets up to 1 meter (39.37˝) in length. Also new is the addition of Dura Coat Mode which uses Clear Dry Ink to deliver a clear thin matte layer over only the locations on the sheet that have CMYK ink. Other advances include new Light Black HD Dry Ink in the Fifth Imaging Unit and an automated imaging cylinder cleaning system.
Fujifilm promoted its second-generation J Press platform, including the 720S for the general commercial market. Improved sheet handling and chain delivery systems enable better sheet control. It achieves 1,200x1,200-dpi resolution from a single print head design using Silicon MEMS technology. The 720S handles 70-lb. text up to 14-pt. board at speeds to 2,700 sheets/hour. Its modular print head configuration enables easy print head maintenance.
The North American debut of the EFI VUTEk GS2000LX Pro two-meter, hybrid flatbed/rollfed printer featured UltraDrop technology, which combines seven-picoliter drop sizes with grayscale imaging and more precise control. True multi-drop addressability in each dot position enables high apparent resolution and high-definition quality with four-level grayscale and two ink density levels.
Also shown was the EFI H1625 LED printer, an entry-level, 65˝ hybrid roll/flatbed printer. Its eight-level variable drop grayscale print heads include white ink as a standard feature.
HP had its Indigo 7800 digital press on display, featuring an in-line spectrophotometer and the ability to print directly on synthetic substrates with One Shot Color technology.
Sharp was at Graph Expo in the Formax booth, showing its MX-7500N, a 75-ppm color printer designed for on-demand environments. Edge-to-edge printing allows the creation of full-bleed booklets in-line. A 150-sheet dual head document feeder scans both sides of a document in one pass at 150 images per minute. The triple air-feed paper handling option brings more reliability and enhanced media support.
Xanté launched its Impressia Digital Multi-Media Press, featuring the patent-pending Enterprise high-speed feed system. It delivers up to 78 color envelopes/minute), higher resolution (up to 2,400 dpi) and a low cost per print (less than $0.01 for a typical full-color envelope). The system is driven by the new iQueue 9 Ultimate Prepress Workflow.
The C711DW digital label printer debuted from OKI Data Americas. Together with the HS711DLF finisher, it creates full-color labels on-demand, incorporating digital diecutting and film lamination. The C711DW prints at up to 25 fpm in continuous-feed mode, and handles paper, polyester, vinyl and adhesive-backed substrates at widths between 6.5˝ and 8.5˝.
Xeikon demonstrated the Xeikon 8500 digital color press, which is suited for direct marketing/direct mail, brochures, posters, leaflets, packaging and POP/POS materials. It has a monthly duty cycle of up to 5 million pages, a web width of 20.2˝ and 1,200x3,600-dpi resolution.
Roland DGA debuted a benchtop flatbed printer, the VersaUV LEF-20, capable of printing directly on virtually any type of item, including three-dimensional objects, to create an array of personalized products.
On display from Neopost, the MACH 8 digital color printer is equipped with Memjet technology and is ideal for printing large quantities of full-bleed, letter-size documents in full process color. It can reach speeds up to 60 ppm and has a feeder capacity of 5,000 sheets for maximum productivity.
Kirk-Rudy showed the new KolorJet C500 print module for adding color images, graphics and variable data to envelopes. It prints 600-dpi images at 500 fpm using four 4.25˝ print heads, each with 10,560 nozzles. Also new was the KR419 duplex printing base, which prints variable data on both sides of a product using a single print head. After the top side is printed, an air blast diverts the product to the lower conveyor where it is turned, and that side is printed.
Presstek launched several new eco-friendly plates including GemPlate, an open-platform, thermal plate that features a pH-neutral biodegradable cleaning solution and an extended bath life with low replenishment rates. After imaging on standard 830nm CTP systems, GemPlate passes through a compact, easy-maintenance cleaning unit. Also new, the JT Direct Inkjet chemistry-free, process-free plates are designed for Epson inkjet printers that use pigment-based inks. Once plates are imaged, they can go directly onto the press, if printing less than 5,000 impressions.
Magnum Magnetics introduced DigiMaxx, a printable, flexible magnetic material designed for super-wide signage and graphics applications (40˝ or 48˝ wide). Available with matte and gloss finishes, DigiMaxx is designed to feed smoothly and create superb images on wide-format printers.
Duplo USA highlighted the new DC-616 PRO slitter/cutter/creaser, designed to eliminate white borders and prevent toner cracking on digital color documents. It can finish a variety of full-bleed applications including greeting cards, invitations, photos, perforated tickets and 24-up business cards.
Also new at Graph Expo was the Duplo pfiBIND 2000 PUR perfect binder, touted as “the world’s smallest PUR perfect binder designed for short-run production.” With speeds up to 290 cycles per hour, the single-clamp binder uses a closed-tank Orbital PUR system. It can produce books from 0.04˝ up to 1.57˝ thick.
The new Standard Horizon RD-4055 rotary diecutter from Standard Finishing Systems (a 2014 Must See ’Ems award winner) feeds, diecuts and separates waste in one pass at up to 6,000 cycles/hour. The system can diecut and kiss-cut at the same time, making it ideal for sticker and label production. Also new was the RD-3346 diecutter, able to crease, perforate, slit, hole punch and round corner in one process. Both machines offer vacuum belt feed with powerful air separation, easy changeover and simple operation via intuitive touchscreen controls.
Standard also debuted its CRA-36 creaser at the show. It can handle up or down creasing in one pass as well as spine, hinge and flap creasing for perfect bound book covers. Up to 10 crease lines can be created in one pass.
Another show premiere was the Horizon TBC-200L top and bottom trimmer, demonstrated as part of an in-line solution with the Horizon SPF-200L Landscape bookletmaker, CR-400 creaser/bleed trimmer, and HOF-400 high-speed sheet feeder for digitally collated output. The in-line solution was producing three-knife-trimmed financial booklets, brochures and calendars at the show at speeds up to 4,000 booklets/hour.
MBM Corp. showed three new paper creasers, the PRO, EXCEL and AIR models, all part of the MBM icrease series. Each creaser features touch screen programming for fast setup and operation along with a rotary actuated die crease system that produces sharp creases with no cracking. Creasing speeds range from 2,000 (icrease PRO) to 5,500 (icrease AIR) sheets/hour, and each will accept paper weights between 16 and 120 lbs. Perforating, micro-perforating and scoring features are available.
Rollem International introduced a flexo-magnetic rotary diecutter. This machine features short-run capacity, ease of operation and quick changeovers, making it ideal for customized digital output. Run sizes range from one-off to hundreds of thousands. It is available in two sizes: 20x15˝ and 30x24˝.
The Challenge Machinery Co. displayed cutters for its new TC operating system, along with paper drills, padders, joggers, book trimmers and cornering equipment. The TC operating system is available with programmable Titan and Champion paper cutters and utilizes a 10.5˝ color touch screen.
The Sterling Looper, a tabletop, semi-automatic wire binder, was introduced by Spiel Associates. Place a card of cut lengths of double-loop wire in the feed tray. The machine will feed each length of wire for the hanging. Then move the book to the closing station. It can bind books from 1⁄4˝ to 11⁄4˝ in diameter at speeds of up to 500 books/hour.
MBO America showcased its Roll-to-Book solution for 20˝ webs. This solution provides the ability to produce different books from the same roll, utilizing the variable cutting SVC 525 C sheeter, the DFT 560 folder with selective folding technology and the Smartbinder SB3-HS with variable batching capabilities.
- Canon U.S.A.
- Duplo USA
- Eastman Kodak Co.
- EFI, Jetrion Industrial Inkjet Systems
- Epson America
- Fujifilm Graphic Systems U.S.A.
- Konica Minolta Business Solutions
- Magnum Magnetics
- MBM Corp.
- MBO America
- Presstek Inc.
- Punch Graphix Americas
- Ricoh Corp.
- Sharp Electronics
- Spiel Associates
- Standard Finishing Systems
- The Challenge Machinery Co.
- XANTÉ Corp.
- Xerox Corp.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.