DIGITAL digest

New J Press 720 Appears to Be Worth the Wait

CHICAGO—To paraphrase Charles Dickens, is this the press whose coming was foretold?

Yes, the Fujifilm J Press 720 sheetfed inkjet is no ghost, but it has been conspicuously invisible since its initial unveiling at Drupa 08. It also poked its head out during the last two Graph Expos, but save these cameos, the J Press 720 has been the printing press’ answer to Sasquatch: rumored, but seen by just a few.

Ah, but that is all about to change. Fujifilm recently invited about a dozen editors and analysts to its Hanover Park, IL, headquarters for a briefing and a please-touch 
experience with the very press 
that has been dubbed both “disruptive” and a “game changer” by 
company executives, the first sheetfed inkjet press in the history of ink on paper.

This time around, Fujifilm invited along some witnesses to the 720’s greatness—Dave Gilson, president of Gilson Graphics in Grand Rapids, MI, and Dave Lambertsen, owner of Windy City firm BHI Design. Lambertsen has bought into the concept and technology, while Gilson has bought the press itself, confident in his $1.8 million investment and the possibilities it offers.

“A lot of applications fit well with the J Press,” said Gilson, who is envisioning getting into short-run packaging at some point after the machine touches down in his shop later this year, augmenting its commercial offerings. “It solved (our needs for) speed, size and the thickness of the substrates, all of which are very important for us.”

With printing spends dropping as much as 95 percent with some of his clients in recent years, Lambertsen feels it is important to partner with printers who can offer technologies that can keep them competitive. And, for those clients who still utilize the printing aspect in a campaign, quantities have seen a similar downturn.

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