Destination - Duplication
Digital duplicators and production printers are leading the industry down a new path. Find out what solutions are out there.
BY CHRIS BAUER
Touted by some vendors as the most cost-effective printing method available today, digital duplicating machines have come a long way since their predecessors: mimeograph machines and spirit duplicators. Digital duplicators and high-speed production printers give users a combination of the convenience and simplicity of a copier with the economics and versatility of an offset press. This versatility makes duplicators and production printers ideal products for both short-, medium- and high-volume printing applications, vendors say.
Looking back, digital duplicating equipment was not even available in the United States just 10 short years ago. About five years ago, you might recall the use of digital duplicators was spreading rapidly, but mainly in various niche markets. Today, it's grown beyond those limited market uses and into acceptance in many industries and organizations.
Yearning to sustain this trend for the year 2000 and beyond, Duplo USA launched its DP-21L digital printing system aimed at supporting the rapidly expanding, on-demand needs of the printing industry. The DP-21L offers high resolution scanning/printing at 300x600 dpi and has a 1,300-sheet feeding/receiving capacity. It produces 120 copies per minute.
The Risograph line, offered through Riso Inc., is a high-speed, multi-functional digital printing system. It combines three basic technologies: scanning, precision imaging, and high-speed printing. The Risograph boasts the convenience of a copier, the economy of a duplicator and the durability of an offset press. Risography, defined as combining digital scanning with simple ink-on-paper printing, is economical, reliable, fast and extremely flexible. The Risograph meets a wide variety of printing needs and is typically used when distribution requirements are between 20 and 5,000 pieces. The Riso GR3770 is a 600 dpi digital duplicator that can print PostScript or PCL files direct from a Macintosh or PC at speeds of up to 130 ppm.
From Ricoh Corp., the Priport VT6000 combines 600 dpi resolution duplicating with features such as direct printing from a PC or Macintosh, as well as printing on a wide range of envelopes, sheets and card stock up to 11x17˝. Print up to 11 colors with optional drum replacement at adjustable copy speeds of 60, 75, 90, 105, or 120 ppm. The unit can zoom from 50 percent to 200 percent.
Standard Duplicating Machines' 600 dpi model, the SD600, prints straight from a PC or Macintosh in 16 standard colors or unlimited custom colors. It can print on a variety of stocks, including envelopes, 11x17˝ sheets, cover stocks and more. First copy time is 37 to 46 seconds and the SD600 prints up to 120 sheets per minute. It has a paper capacity of 1,000 sheets and features digital editing, image (letter/photo) mode, security mode, tint mode, quadruple copy mode, directional magnification, margin erase, skip feed, as well as SP, CS and economy modes.
Xerox's DocuLink 5690 builds upon the Xerox 5090 family of duplicators. It can produce multi-section reports with Mylar tabs, and can handle embossed stock, heavy-weight cover stocks, multicolor and multi-weight paper stocks. The 5690 also prints on clear or colored transparencies for overhead presentations and overlays, or for protective covers. A 13˝ color touchscreen is used to program instructions for jobs. Shadowed icons represent the required feature making it easy for operators to program the DocuLink 5690.
Another product from Xerox, the DocuTech 2000 Series 6115 Production Publisher, delivers laser raster output at 600 dpi. It provides users with black-and-white printing at speeds of 115 ppm. The Xerox DocuTech 6115 is designed to give print-on-demand and one-to-one marketing abilities. The 6115 is configured much like the rest of the DocuTech 2000 family, and supports Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Mac OS applications, Adobe PostScript, HP-PCL, TIFF and ASCII applications and formats. The modular design of the DocuTech 2000 family, including the DocuTech 6115, makes it possible to perform on-site speed upgrades and add DigiPath 2.0 software, Sun hardware with DocuSP, and a 65 ppm scanner.
For those shops looking for high-production printing units, there are a plethora of production printers on the market—and not always from vendors that might traditionally pop into mind when thinking digital printing technology.
Last month at a press conference held in New York City, Heidelberg Digital introduced a new software platform and new product accessories designed to enhance digital printing productivity and workflow. The new portfolio of Heidelberg products adds new capabilities and functionality to high-volume printing solutions using the Digimaster print engine. This includes the Canon imageRUNNER 9110, IBM Infoprint 2000 and the Digimaster 9110, offered by Heidelberg Digital and Danka.
New Heidelberg Image-Smart document mastering software employs a PDF-based workflow to enhance preflighting for document assembly, viewing, editing and proofing. Meanwhile, ImageSmart production software expands the Digimaster's functionality to offer full PDF support.
On the hardware side, a Digimaster 9110 accessory, the Heidelberg Inserter, gives users the ability to insert both pre-printed color and image-rich documents into black-and-white documents without slowing down the workflow. Also, available in the first quarter of 2001, will be the Heidelberg Imagedirect 665 production scanner, which delivers 600x600 dpi at 65 ppm.
The Heidelberg Digimaster engine enables 110 ppm black-and-white printing and employs an open architecture that is easily integrated into networks. It prints stored document or image files, scanned hard copy and date print streams. Heidelberg Digital reports it has shipped more than 1,000 Digimaster engines in its first year in the market.
With the IBM Printing Systems Infoprint 2000 multifunctional production system, users obtain up to 110 ppm printing speeds at 600 dpi resolution. The unit functions as a printer, a duplicator, or both, and has a 4,000-sheet standard feed capacity with a continuous run-while-reloading paper supply module. Grayscale Resolution Enhancement Technology (GRET) produces 64 shades of gray, resulting in crisp, clear halftones, as well as accurate reproduction of fine lines and small fonts. There are three base models available, each of which can be configured to meet the specific functional requirements of your environment.
From Canon USA, the before-mentioned imageRUNNER110 is a network connectable, digital printer/duplicator capable of producing 600 dpi documents at 110 ppm. The imageRUNNER is equipped with a standard finisher for stapling and stacking sets. Add the optional bookletmaker for production of folded, saddle-stitched and trimmed booklets. On the input side, network users can send files to be printed using PCL, PostScript, PDF or TIFF formats or scan originals on the Scan Station.
Another digital printing equipment option is the Konica 7075. With its heavy-duty paper drawers and a streamlined paper path, it is engineered to keep up with high production workflows. Designed to produce 500,000 pages per month and 75 ppm, the 7075 is also built with tandem capabilities. With a touch of a button two Konica 7075s can deliver 150 ppm and 1 million impressions per month, as either a copier or a printer. Its paper tray capacity can increase from 2,150 sheets (including a 150-sheet bypass) to 6,150 sheets. At the output end, the optional bookletmaker allows for in-line saddle stitching, post-engine sheet insertion and offset collating of up to 3,000 sheets.
Minolta's DiALTA Di750 is a 75 ppm digital copier that can be upgraded to support network printing and scanning. In addition, two Di750s can be clustered for 150-ppm productivity. The Di750 holds up to 6,750 sheets of paper and can feed paper weights of 16lb. bond through 110lb. index paper from all five paper sources. The optional bookletmaker finisher offers eight-position stapling, center folding and saddle stitching.
The network-compatible Océ 3165, from Océ USA, scans letter-size originals at 60 images per minute and offers full-speed duplexing up to 11x17˝. It prints 62 images per minute at 600x600 dpi, providing full-speed, collated printing for multiple copies. The 3165 has a 3,750-sheet capacity and handles stocks ranging from transparencies to card stock, in sizes from 51⁄2x81⁄2˝ to 11x17˝.
Ricoh's Aficio 1050 runs at top speeds of 105 ppm and produces output at 600 dpi. The large, user-friendly, dual language touch panel gives simple access to all functions. Full finishing capabilities including cover stock, chapters, tab extension printing, stapling and hole punching. Six paper trays hold a total paper capacity of 7,550 sheets. Connect Copy capability allows the linking of two Aficio 1050s to double its output to 210 ppm.
The DP8070 copier/printer from Toshiba America Business Solutions is an 80 ppm, networkable digital machine offering 600x2,400 dpi and comes equipped with Toshiba's four-beam laser technology. The unit's optional embedded controller assigns an IP address to the DP8070, which allows any authorized user to access the printer from anywhere on the network using a standard Web browser.
For shops interested in cluster printing, the T/R Systems MicroPress Cluster Printing System allows users to connect two to 12 print devices to operate together as a virtual printer. Running under Microsoft NT, the host computer provides shared memory resources, PostScript processing, OPI services, communications and print management capabilities. It can produce up to 1,020 black-and-white pages per minute at 600 dpi.