Ink-jet Printing -- Coming Up Heads and Tales
While continuing to emphasize industrial applications for its ink-jet technology, last year Agfa Graphics further extended its Dotrix Transcolor line by introducing the Dotrix DGNews model, designed for variable data printing on newsprint. Transcolor is targeted for complex variable data printing in the transactional, transpromo and direct mail markets. These piezo DOD systems use UV-curable inks to print 484 ppm at a maximum 300 dpi resolution.
HP says it is still on track with its plans to commercialize the HP Inkjet Web Press toward the end of this year. The first beta unit was delivered last December to O’Neil Data Systems in Los Angeles as scheduled. Taylor Corp. is still slated to be another U.S. beta site.
The company has positioned the thermal DOD technology as a platform for ongoing product development, with the first model being a 30? press capable of printing 400 fpm (2,600 ppm) at 600 dpi. It was originally shown printing uncoated paper with a bonding agent applied but, at Graph Expo 08, the company announced it will offer a coated paper for use with the press.
The other new sheetfed ink-jet press shown at Drupa was the Fujifilm Jet Press 720. However, Fujifilm Graphic Systems U.S.A. says the press will have a different name when it makes its U.S. debut at PRINT 09. The machine uses piezo DOD heads and water-based inks to print a maximum 28.3x20.5? sheet at 1,200 dpi and a 180 ppm (A4) rated speed.
While it’s not exactly in the same product class, RISO Inc. is already on the second generation of its sheetfed ink-jet printer line. The HC5500 ComColor printer outputs 120 ppm and produces what the company characterizes as “communication color” quality.
Xerox Corp.’s position in the production ink-jet printing segment is still to be determined. The company has said it intends to compete in the market “when the time is right” and that it will not duplicate existing technology, but offer a solution with “superior image quality on a wide array of substrates.” What it has shown so far is a technology demonstration of “cured gel ink” that converts into a liquid in the print head. It is the consistency of peanut butter when it hits the substrate, where it is hardened by a pulse of UV light.