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DIGITAL digest

June 2006
Expo Shows Demand for Digital Presses

PHILADELPHIA—By all measures, save one, the recent 2006 On Demand Exposition (co-located with AIIM) has been widely judged a success. The exception being that the sponsors apparently found the Pennsylvania Convention Center wanting and have decided a move to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is called for in 2007.

More than 20,000 registrants and 450 exhibitors were reported to have participated in the 2006 expo. There was a noticeable up-tick in the new product introductions (or U.S. debuts, at least) from the digital printer/press vendors at the show, resulting in further segmentation of the market. A surprising number of the systems highlighted, however, will not be available until later in the year.

Canon U.S.A. used the show as a platform to debut a 51 ppm color device, the imageRUNNER C5180, targeted to corporate environments. The company also again previewed its now-named new production color systems—imagePRESS C1 (color: 14 ppm; black-and-white: 60 ppm) and imagePRESS C7000VP (70 ppm for both). These machines, which feature a 13x19.2˝ format and 1,200 dpi resolution, are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Outputting 50 ppm, the Xerox DocuColor 5000 is designed for print providers that average between 30,000 and 150,000 impressions per month. It features a 2,400 dpi resolution, tight registration and can be configured with optional finishing equipment, including a high-capacity stacker and a stacker/stapler. This press can be driven by the Xerox FreeFlow DocuSP color server or front ends from Creo PODS and EFI.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. introduced the bizhub PRO C6500 color system, which outputs 65 ppm utilizing next generation Simitri-HD polymerized toner. The combination of a smaller toner particle size and oil-free fusing at a lower temperature is said to improve image quality while reducing toner and energy consumption.

Designed for printing on plastic (up to 14 mil) and paper (up to 110-lb. cover) with polymerized dry toner, MGI’s Meteor DP40 Pro digital press has an 1,800 dpi resolution and 121⁄4x18˝ maximum sheet format. The machine is rated for outputting 2,100 color sheets (81⁄2x11˝) per hour and supports variable data printing with an integrated EFI Fiery RIP.

The Screen (USA) Truepress Jet 520 color press is a continuous-feed ink-jet printer using Piezo drop-on-demand technology and water-based pigment inks. It prints at 420 ppm with 2-bit imaging for each color to create the appearance of higher resolution printing. Commercial sales are expected to begin in October.

Along with launching new toner-based office equipment, Ricoh Corp. introduced the HQ9000 Priport digital duplicator as a replacement for the JP8500. The new machine prints 135 ppm at 600 dpi using fast-drying “HQ ink” chemistry that is said to reduce roller marks, prevent set-off and eliminate the wait time between passes.

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