Digital Digest: Gilson Serves as Backdrop For Fujifilm's Inkjet Event
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—What better place for Fujifilm's Graphic Systems Div. to host a media event on June 20 showcasing its production inkjet strategy and commitment than at Gilson Graphics, a commercial printer/marketing services provider based here that's been an early adopter of cutsheet and continuous-feed Fujifilm inkjet presses?
"I try to invest back into our companies, in both good times and bad," noted Gilson President and CEO Dave Gilson during his introductory comments. The head of the $23 million, 165-employee company has certainly walked the talk over the years—serving as the first Scitex Dolev 800 imagesetter U.S. installation in the late 1980s, acquiring the second Scitex DoPlate 800 CTP system in the mid-'90s and purchasing the first Fujifilm J Press 720 B2-format (29.5x20.8˝ sheet size) cutsheet inkjet press installed in the United States in 2011.
Gilson Graphics is also serving as one of the first Fujifilm J Press 540W continuous-feed press customers.
Event co-host Stephen Sanker, Global Marketing Group Director, Strategic Marketing and Product Planning, Production Inkjet Systems, at Fujifilm Graphic Systems Div., described the recent launch of the second-generation J Press 720 platform: the 720S for the general commercial market and the 720F for the folding carton/packaging market.
"Each machine will share all of the enhancements and deliver equal levels of print quality, color accuracy, repeatability and expanded gamut performance from the same Fujifilm Dimatix imaging system," he explained. "This common platform better enables improvements in efficiency, machine performance and overall system capabilities, and we will now support our two-machine strategy from one common platform."
Advantages of this common platform design and J Press technology in general include:
- Improvements in sheet handling and chain delivery systems enable better control of the sheet over a longer distance during the printing process, as well as drying and curing. The 720S performs across a range of substrates, printing true 1,200x1,200 dpi resolution from a single print head design using Silicon MEMS technology. The machine for general commercial applications prints on 70-lb. text up to 14-pt. board, and the 720F accommodates 8-pt. to 24-pt. board.
- The common platform design provides several improvements, including paper handling and the adoption of a modular print head configuration for easy print head maintenance by the customer or service technician on an individual print head.
- Fujifilm's enhanced Vavidia ink formula provides expanded color gamut capabilities, improves drying and curing, and enables exceptionally high image quality and color accuracy when printing on standard offset papers or printing on paperboard for folding carton applications without any pre-treatment or special paper types.
- Variable data operational improvements allow the system to deploy a "read and pull" verification system from Fujifilm's XMF front end, supporting variable data printing at full rated speeds of 2,700 sheets/hr. During variable data applications, the machine scans a barcode placed by the system during printing of the first side, then automatically "pulls" the correct corresponding surface image from the server for applying the correct surface to the second side.
This ensures that correct information is applied to each surface during two-sided, variable printing applications on the sheet. This process takes place automatically, in real-time, when producing VDP work.
"These are important elements for printers favoring the design and configuration of our machine due to the sheet characteristics and durability provided by our Dimatix printing system and Vavidia inks," Sanker added. "J Press sheets also hold up and perform just like an offset sheet during bindery operations, enabling the sheets to be treated in the same manner when running them through postpress applications like coating, diecutting, film lamination, foil stamping, embossing, etc."
A customer panel representing Wonderland Graphics (giftware, fine art prints), Wolverine Worldwide (footwear) and American Seating (stadium-related products) discussed their relationship with Gilson Graphics, and their satisfaction with the output quality, expanded color gamut and personalization capabiltiies of jobs coming off of Gilson's two inkjet presses in comparision to offset printing alternatives.
Founded by Dave Gilson's father, Lars Gilson, in 1948 as a small letterpress shop, Gilson Graphics now comprises three locations: an offset printing (including three 40˝ manroland 700 sheetfed models) and full-service bindery operation and a separate digital printing facility, both in Grand Rapids; as well as a composition services division in Atlantic, IA, which provides specialized testing and price lists.
Gilson noted that the J Press 720, which will be replaced with a J Press 720S, is successfully outputting a wide range of commercial work. And the 600 dpi J Press 540W has enabled him to take on more four-color booklet and coupon jobs, as well as meet demand for monochrome book work.
Aside from showcasing Gilson Graphics and some of its customers who buy digital printing output, the media event also reinforced Fujifilm's holistic commitment to the production inkjet market through its fully integrated manufacturing capabilities of J Press inkjet presses, Dimatix inkjet heads, Vavidia inks and compatible XMF workflow software. PI