Robin Greenhalgh, chairman of Duplo International, is hoping to convince the Japanese company to expand production of the new DDC810 with DuSense digital spot varnishing machine following reaction from Graphitec and DScoop.
Currently supply to Europe is limited while Greenhalgh reckons that initial reaction shows that that at €160,000 the company has a product that could follow on from the success of its DC range of cutter/slitter/creasers. It was shown at the Duplo Festival last week and will receive an official UK launch at Ipex. Flexpress has taken delivery of the first machine in the UK.
Much of the technology is proven as it is based on a two-colour inkjet printer that Duplo markets in Japan and throughout Asia for short run transactional printing. This has the same array of three Kyocera 600dpi inkjet heads. “It has been sold in Asia for six years,” says Greenhalgh. “There are register marks that cameras will pick up on both edges of the sheet so that precise registration is guaranteed with compensation for those known attributes of stretch shrink and skew.”
The 600dpi imaging delivers a sharper lay down of the clear fluid than the Scodix or MGI alternatives using 300dpi heads. The closest completion however is likely to come from the recently launched Argos unit seen at Hunkeler Innovation Days where a production agreement was completed with Renz. The price and specification of the two units is close.
The high gloss varnish is cured under a Baldwin UV lamp system. Currently this is the only fluid available (other than coloured inks marketed in Asia), though satin and matt fluids will also be available.
The accuracy of registration will also allow multiple passes under the inkjet array to created high built effects to 80 microns. This is unlikely to satisfy Braille standards, but will enable creative effects. The DuSense will deliver 1,100sph in single pass using the same feeder as the DC746 multi finishers to allow unattended operation.
One problem that users of the larger format digital enhancement machines have come across is in cutting where the build of a sheet renders a stack difficult to cut with accuracy. Carton companies can use existing platens to overcome this issue, while Duplo customers are likely to have a DC machine designed for single sheet finishing.
Another advantage, says Greenhalgh, is that daily maintenance is straightforward. “There is no clean down, no waste of UV consumable at the end of each day. The machine turns off in two minutes and warms up in two minutes. It makes it really easy to maintain in-house,” he says.
A further feature is a cost calculator which works out the cost of the consumable for each sheet. It will come to pennies, Greenhalgh explains. “And we asked a printer during Graphitec how much he might sell one of these sheets for. He said €5. The ROI is such a printer may only need run it for a couple of hours each week to cover the cost of ownership. There’s a lot of money to be made from a machine like this.”
By Gareth Ward
Duplo's DuSense is a proven machine thanks to demand for two colour printing in Asia where the machine is used to print short run invoices. With clear fluids replacing ink, the machine becomes a UV spot varnisher, paving the way for multiple value enhancing effects.
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