Digital Color Press
Looking back on 2015 there were a number of high profile advances in inkjet technology, but a number of new toner-based products offered expanded capabilities that were well received by print service providers.
Inkjet Products for Transactional/Books/Direct Mail (letters)
The adoption of high speed continuous feed inkjet for transactional and book printing was well underway prior to 2015 and continued. Along with letter-based direct mail, these are the major applications for inkjet presses, because these applications run high volumes of uncoated stocks and the image quality requirements are less demanding than many commercial printing applications.
The ColorStream and JetStream products from Canon (Océ) and the InfoPrint 5000 from Ricoh are the leaders in North America in the transactional market. And HP leads in the book printing markets.
Several new products were introduced that aim for a piece of these markets:
Xerox Rialto 900™
- At Hunkeler Innovation Days Xerox introduced the Rialto 900™ Inkjet Press, a new 4 color, piezoelectric drop on demand color inkjet press. What makes this press unique is that is a narrow web press (9.84 inches/ print width of 8.66”) and the press has an integrated sheeter so that it operates as a roll to cutsheet press. With a list price of $600K to $700K this press is targeting users with volumes of 1.5 million to 5 million pages per month.
- The Rialto 900 is a single pass duplex, tight web press which runs at up to 157 feet per minute (48 m/m), which translates into 171 one up letter size sheets (160 A4) duplex per minute. It supports paper weights from 60 to 160 gsm, on a web roll of up to 3.28 ft. (100cm) in diameter
- Xerox indicated the targeted applications are transactional, direct mail, and books. One application scenario that comes right to mind is for companies who print short runs of transactional documents or direct mail letters. These companies tend to use DocuTech printers to laser over preprinted shells. The Rialto could easily replace two DocuTechs (and maybe three) and eliminate the need for preprinted shells. Printers could gang jobs and run them non-stop on the Rialto.
Pitney Bowes Accelejet
- Pitney Bowes has been selling high-end HP web inkjet presses under the IntelliJet brand to their transactional and direct mail customers for several years now. Sensing an opportunity with companies that have volumes of 2 to 10 million pages per month PB has partnered with Domino Printing Sciences and EMT (finishing) to create the AcceleJet web-fed color inkjet press. These companies typically have several monochrome toner cutsheet printers and are printing on preprinted shells. By offering a cost affordable white paper solution PB believes that they can get these companies to migrate from mono toner cutsheet operations to continuous form color inkjet.
- Like the Rialto the product is a narrow web, roll to sheet product. The press runs at 536 letter size pages per minute. In addition the Accelejet offers inline perfing. The list price for the Accelejet is $850, 000