Digital Output Devices: A Digital Printing Redux

With offset presses becoming scarce on the show floor and digital vendors pushing for higher volume and larger B2-format machines, digital presses are becoming the "big iron" components of the GRAPH EXPO show. Almost without exception, digital press vendors highlighted their workflow and digital front end (DFE) capabilities.

Sharing the booth was XMPie, a Xerox Co., which introduced the uStore 7.0 upgrade to its Web-to-print solution. Enhancements include Job Definiton Format (JDF) compliance, a pricing plug-in for integrating custom pricing mechanisms and the ability to work with the Xerox FreeFlow Connect workflow component.

With offset presses becoming scarce on the show floor and digital vendors pushing for higher volume and larger B2-format machines, digital presses are becoming the “big iron” components of the show. One example was the HP Indigo 10000 digital color press which, advancing from its introduction at drupa, is now officially in beta testing with units of the B2-format sheetfed press installed at Sandy Alexander in the United States, as well as Precision Printing in the UK, and Old City Press in Israel.

Two smaller format HP Indigos—the 7600 and the 5600—also made their U.S. debut. A major advance offered by these systems is Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), which is the company’s three-color printing option that boosts productivity by 33 percent.

Although Fujifilm’s J Press 720 sheetfed inkjet press was launched at GRAPH EXPO 2010, it still drew considerable interest at this year’s show. Using 1,200 dpi Samba print heads developed by Fujifilm Dimatix, it can print up to 2,700 four-up sheets/hr. on coated and uncoated stocks. To date, the company has installed 11 units worldwide. A web version—the J Press W—is expected to be available by the end of this year.

The InfoPrint line of digital presses, now part of Ricoh, has grown into a multi-platform offering topped by the continuous-feed 5000 family of inkjet devices. Enhancements introduced at the show include a new 315 fpm print speed option to match finishing components and new TotalFlow workflow modules to drive the device, including DocEnhancer for last-minute editing of PDF documents and Cadence for ultra-short-run book production.

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