SUPER DRUPA: PARTNERSHIPS! PACKAGING! NEW POSSIBILITIES!INKJET DOMINATED, BUT INNOVATION WAS EVERYWHERE
Key themes at drupa 2012 included partnerships, packaging and new possibilities. Perhaps no partnerships were more prominent than those inked on the Landa stand. Komori, Heidelberg and manroland sheetfed didn't enact a Yalta pose, but the Big Three embracing Landa's new nanography is emblematic of an industry undergoing a massive metamorphosis. We know offset still has a vital role to play-many of the nascent inkjet technologies face a rocky adolescence-offset is older, wiser and changing with the times.
MEMJET MACHINES PLUS LIQUID TONER
Having settled a year-old IP dispute, Memjet announced partnerships with Canon (Velocity); Toshiba (MFP); Delphax (elan); and Fuji Xerox (a 42-inch wide format machine). Landa and Memjet have a similar model: License the technology and sell the consumables.
Surprises included liquid-toner related announcements from Miyakoshi and Ryobi, Xeikon and Océ. The Miyakoshi and Ryobi B2 collaboration combines Miyakoshi's liquid-toner electrophotographic technology (demonstrated on a web press at drupa 2008) with Ryobi's sheetfed printing technology. The rated speed is 8,000 sph.
Xeikon's Trillium technology is targeting books, high-volume transpromo and direct mail. The web-fed, 20-inch wide press reportedly operates at inkjet speeds, up to 400 to 500 feet per minute, but offers electrophotoraphic quality via a liquid, high viscosity toner. Running costs are expected to be similar to those of inkjet presses.
Andy and Julie Plata, OutputLinks Communications Group's Co-CEOs, were among those invited to Océ's headquarters in Poing, Germany, for a real shocker: Canon/ Océ are taking on the packaging space with the liquid-toner based InfiniStream Platform. "The printer, which will be available in 2013, uses liquid toner with soft roller technology," they report. "At 18 meters long, it produced 14,000 B2-sized sheets per hour with amazing print quality on carton stock."
Most observers say packaging is the largest growth market for print and seemingly all vendors-digital, sheetfed and even web offset--concur. The real question is which graphic arts service providers will benefit. Few traditional commercial printers, for example, are currently producing folding cartons.
FOUR MORE YEARS
The next drupa will be held from June 2-15, 2016-we have a lot to sort out between then and now and, as the following shows, a lot to be excited about. Stay tuned!
Delphax is targeting direct mail, transpromo and billing, book and manual publishing and security printing with the sheet-fed elan. Rated speed is up to 500 impressions per minute in full color and 1600 dpi print quality on a wide range of substrates and sheet sizes.
About 30% of Fujifilm's booth was dedicated to packaging, including the new J Press F, which can handle up to 24-pt. board. Based on the J Press 720, the J Press F features Dimatix SAMBA 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, single-pass inkjet print heads and also prints at a speed of 2,700 sph. The uses water-based Fujifilm UV ink and has a maximum sheet size of 29.5 x 20.8 inches.
HP presented 10 digital printing systems (including the first 29-inch-format HP Indigo press, the Indigo 10000) as well as higher speed HP Inkjet Web Presses. There's also a high-speed imprinting solution for adding monochrome or full-color content to preprinted offset materials-a challenger to Kodak's Prosper imprinting offerings.
InfoTrends' Jim Hamilton cites the Indigo 10000's duplexing capability, ability to draw from multiple paper drawers, and in-line finishing as competitive advantages in the B2 digital arena. Consolidated Graphics (CGX) announced it will buy 10 HP 10000s. The model shown at drupa is destined for CGX's St Louis plant.
Kodak expanded its Prosper line with the 6000X Press, a 1,000 fpm , four-color press with monthly print volumes of up to 160 million A4 pages. Kodak also announced partnerships with Ryobi (Ryobi's 750 offset press can integrate the Prosper S5 for imprinting) and Timsons (a new monochrome T-Press for printing 5 to 14 million books annually that incorporates Kodak's Stream technology).
OFFSET SAYS HELLO TO HYBRID
This was the first drupa for manroland sheetfed and web following the original entity's post-bankruptcy split into two companies under different ownership (Langley and Possehl respectively). On the sheetfed side, manroland said it will continue to sell and develop its entire line. Packaging remains a key market-the company featured foiling and other enhancements to its 700 and 900 presses. Manroland sheetfed's Landa pact apparently is restricted to retrofitting the new technology (vs. incorporating it on new presses). Manroland is moving ahead with hybrid: A special suction cylinder and gripper configuration on the Roland 700 HiPrint supports hybrid inline printing. It was shown with Atlantic Zeiser's heads but others can be used.
Manroland web showcased autoprint components which support pushbutton press operation; a new operating concept for newspaper and commercial presses; pressupdate (upgrades and reconfiguring) and rebuilding strategies as well as innovations from the printnet (workflow) and printservices (maintenance and support) divisions. The first fruits of the manroland/Océ collaboration were seen in book and newspaper applications. For a Chinese customer, an Océ' JetStream 4300 monochrome web-fed press was paired with manroland's book folder. The newspaper installation at Rivet Presse Edition comprises two Océ JetStream 4300 inkjet color printing systems and a variable-format folder from manroland.
Goss' attractions included the Sunday Vpak 3000 and Sunday Vpak 500 presses for folding carton, flexible packaging, pre-print and label printing. The two models feature quick-change blankets and printing cylinder sleeves, which support "infinitely" variable repeat lengths. Sunday Vpak 3000 is available in web widths up to 75 inches; the Vpak 500 model is available in web widths up to 41 inches. Package and label printer Precision Press (Mankato, MN) will install the world's first Vpak 500 in 2012.
KBA's highlights included the RotaJET 76, a high-volume webfed inkjet press; 57-inch Rapida 145 (17,000 sph); 41-inch Rapida 105 in hybrid mode with Atlantic Zeiser DELTA 105i digital printer for imprinting and coding; 41-inch Rapida 106 (20,000 sph); and 29-inch Rapida 76 (18,000 sph). Also new: Varius 80, a modular, variable-format web offset press featuring the same waterless technology as the Genius, as well as short-train inking units and UV drying.
Heidelberg launched the B2 Anicolor. Also new: the Speedmaster SX 102 combines the XL series with the SM 102 platform. Heidelberg is selling Ricoh's digital printing system as the Linoprint C 901. The Heidelberg Linoprint L (formerly iTS6oo) based on CSAT acquisition is a DoD system for producing complex short to medium-sized label and film runs and applications with variable content.
Gallus, a Heidelberg partner, drew crowds with the modular ICS 670, a web-fed machine producing folding cartons.
Komori showcased the Lithrone G40P (8-C, H-UV-equipped 40-inch convertible perfector); the Lithrone S29 (5-C , H-UV-equipped 29-inch sheetfed offset press), postpress systems and the Komori Color Management System. Also new: the Lithrone GX40 Carton (6-C H-UV-equipped 40-inch sheetfed offset press with coater).
Komori teamed with Konica Minolta to unveil two prototypes: a 29-inch sheetfed machine and a 20-inch webfed machine (Impremia IS29 and IW20 respectively). The four-color machines use 1,200 dpi Konica Minolta print heads and offer a choice of three quality/speed settings. The 3,300 sph Impremia IS29 was shown at Konica Minolta's stand as the KM-1. Also seen: Konica's bizhub PRESS C8000 wearing the Komori Impremia C80 badge.