“Publishers wanted to print on GPrint, but printers had to persuade them to print on inkjet optimised papers like CVG because priming standard paper was expensive,” says Bui Burke, SVP of sales at Screen Europe. “Now we have a machine that can print on GPrint with no priming. Now printers have to convince publishers they should go back.”
The saving of up to 30% over the inkjet optimised paper will be a convincing argument.
The effort was well underway at Hunkeler Innovation Days where the TruepressJet 520 HD+ was receiving its official launch. The HD+ builds on the success of the 520HD, arguably the most successful piezo inkjet press to date for printing on standard offset papers. Screen has installed 36 engines, 18 presses, to this configuration since the technology was introduced at Hunkeler Innovation Days in 2017.
But while the SC ink that Screen uses requires no priming to print on these papers, productivity has been limited. The introduction of new drying technology with the HD+ solves that.
“We can print at 150m/min and the output is flat,” Burke says. The new drying technology is a near infra red drying unit from Adphos. This produces a narrow spectrum of energy that is tuned to excite water molecules and encourage evaporation, reducing the need for hot air and heated drum drying. There is no need for extended drying systems nor for reconditioning units, says Burke.
Operators can tune and adjust the settings for each to suit each paper. At one French customer this has meant the press can run thermal papers for specialist applications.
The real target however is commercial print and colour book printing. The standard machine has been running for a year at Printondemand Worldwide printing exactly these colour books. And it runs alongside a much earlier TruepressJet model printing mono only and which remains viable ten years later.
Two years ago the press had been shipped directly to the Lucerne exhibition site without testing at the Screen Europe showroom. Information was limited. No longer. The introduction of the ability to print at 1200x1200dpi on standard papers meant that printers planing to invest were beating a path to Amstelveen and the supplier is on the short list of every project involving inkjet.
“The message is out there,” says Burke. “People want a technology that works and with inkjet printing we are all pushing the envelope trying to go faster on papers that are not always ideal.”
The HD+ machine was partnered on the stand by a more conventional TPJ520 NX. This was configured with a fifth row of inkjet heads. For HID this was filled with an invisible ink to run a security ticket application where an image is seen under UV light. “It is attracting a lot of interest,” he adds.
Another option has a fifth station used for a second black ink allowing it to run in black only mode at up to 180m/min. “If you don’t need to print coated papers, and want a machine that is very robust and low maintenance this is an appealing machine,” Burke continues. “It is important to do the maintenance properly.”
Talk of maintenance brings up the Internet of Things, remote diagnostics and performance feedback loops to generate monthly reports or real time data to show production status of the press. Screen’s Trust Network Service covers remote monitoring, fault detection and assessment, support and optimisation.
Printers can download a very detailed report from the cloud server about how the machine has performed during the period of the report Burke explains. “It gives analysis of uptime, how much ink was used, which operators were in control, when maintenance was carried out and so on. There is also the dynamic link to show production status,” he adds.
This information can be collated to a Solimar Systems print room management system, used to operating in the AFP/IPDS environment and to Screen’s EquiosNet workflow for those used to the commercial print world. This is clearly going to become increasingly important for the commercial print market.
By Gareth Ward
Screen launched the 520HD+ version of its TruepressJet, using an Adphos NIR dryer to deliver productivity on standard offset papers.