COLOR COPIERS & DIGITAL PRESSES -- Coloring Between The Lines
Océ Digital Document Systems division was targeting this month's On Demand show for the unveiling of a new hardware and software systems platform for production-class printing. The platform reportedly has been engineered to support monochrome and highlight color printing with the capacity to migrate to full-color production—on a single machine. It is said to offer "offset-class" quality.
According to Océ, the cornerstone of the platform is a multi-stage imaging technology that can be customized with as few as two or as many as 10 toner stations to support monochrome, highlight color and, in the future, process color and beyond. The continuous forms print engine is intended to print short runs, long runs, and transactional and production publishing jobs.
New Name, Offering
At its first major exhibit since being acquired by Eastman Kodak, Kodak Versamark (formerly Scitex Digital Printing) is targeting Drupa 2004 in May for the official launch of a page-wide (8.97˝) color system offering 300x1,200 dpi resolution and a maximum print speed of 1,500 fpm (monochrome at 300x300 dpi). With this "Next Generation" continuous ink-jet technology, the company is moving from a 44 pl (picoleter) drop size to 15 pl. It also reportedly is considering a six-color configuration.
Partly as an offshoot of this move by Kodak, the future of NexPress Solutions became the subject of much speculation. When Heidelberg—a partner in the joint venture—announced plans to restructure its business, all bets were on a buyout by Kodak. Heidelberg promised to make a further announcement sometime in March.
Kodak has already hinted at an aggressive move to expand application of the color printing technology. Some first steps in that direction were taken at last fall's Graph Expo exposition, with the introduction of three versions of the current NexPress 2100 digital press.
The Xtreme Edition is positioned as suitable for the fullest range of digital printing services, including complex variable data printing. It is equipped with the NexStation II XE front end and one license of the new Acrobat-based NexTreme DL-100 variable data software.