Graph Expo Review: Digital Printing & Workflow – Inkjet Is the New Heavy Iron

Heidelberg’s booth was once again located at the entrance to the South Hall, next to Xerox, but the EFI VUTEk printer in it was the first piece of equipment attendees saw.

Agfa Graphics was just one of the many exhibitors showing wide-format printers.

Revved Up Their Engines

The InfoPrint 5000 version of the Screen inkjet engine was featured in the Ricoh booth, along with the InfoPrint ProcessDirector bringing native PDF support to the automated document factory (ADF) environment. The company also showed the recently introduced Pro C651EX (65 ppm) and C751EX/C751 (75 ppm) printing system line, which features a maximum resolution of 4,800×1,200 dpi, TCRU (Trained Customer Replaceable Units) kits and a new liquid-cooled developer system for heavy usage.

Océ, a Canon Group Co., showed its ColorStream 3500 inkjet system for the first time in North America. The 201⁄2˝-wide machine prints at 246 fpm to produce 536 ppm with a single unit, and 1,073 ppm in a twin-engine configuration. The machine on the show floor was due to ship to Itasca, IL-based SourceLink as part of a twin configuration. The new Océ JetStream 1400 (328 fpm/1,428 ppm) and 3000 (656 fpm/2,865 ppm) models were only virtually displayed in the booth.

Canon, meanwhile, was running its seven-color DreamLabo 5000 roll-fed inkjet printer with a 12˝ width and 2,400×1,200 dpi resolution designed for high-end applications. With U.S. shipments set for early next year, it uses proprietary FINE inkjet technology to apply CMYK plus photo cyan, photo magenta and gray dye-based inks.

Xerox did make a splash in this product class by previewing a single-engine duplex configuration of its newly named CiPress 500 waterless production inkjet system. The twin-engine duplex configuration actually will be the first to market, with installs slated for later this year. It is capable of printing a 201⁄2˝ web width at a rated speed of 500 fpm (or 2,180 pages) at a 600×400 dpi resolution. (To read more about this press and the U.S. beta site, turn to Digital Digest on page 36.)

Also creating a buzz at the show were implementations of the Memjet inkjet print head technology. The printing speeds/productivity said to be achievable with the technology have made it the “next big thing” for a number of years.

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