Ricoh will deliver a new version of a continuous feed inkjet press at the end of the year, expanding its portfolio with a new press able to print on standard litho stocks.
The Ricoh Pro VC70000 is based on the same paper transport and ink technology as the Pro VC60000, but uses a new ink that will adhere to standard offset papers without the application of a priming coat.
The new inks are more viscous and comprise less water than those used previously. This enables a higher concentration of pigment, reduced bleeding into the paper or other colours. Using standard offset papers will deliver a 40% cost saving over inkjet optimised papers, says Ricoh.
There is a change to the drying system with an extended drying path and air knife system before the web passes around ten heated rollers, more paper machine than web offset press. This also ensures that any tendency to cockle is eliminated. A further set of chill rollers brings the web temperature down again.
While the new press continues to use the same piezo printhead technology, the heads can generate a range of droplets sizes from 2pl to 23pl at four gray levels. Addressable resolution is 1200dx1200dpi through staggered arrays of 600dpi printheads. This gives a maximum speed of 150m/min, though slower according to the paper used. Printing on offset coated papers will mean a reduction of up to 20%, says Ricoh. The range will be from 40gsm to 260gsm.
The press will be ready to ship at the end of the year, with more information about which papers will be suitable for the flagship press by then. For those that are out of scope, Ricoh will continue to offer a pre-coat and post-coat unit.
The Pro VC70000 aims to capture a greater share of offset printing than previously models have been able to address. The Screen Truepress 520HD, which shares much of the same engineering as the Ricoh press, is showing that this is possible with its specialist ink set. Canon ProStream is targeting the same user base as is Kodak’s Prosper 6000.
Eef de Ridder, VP commercial printing in Ricoh Europe's commercial & industrial printing business group, says: “This is a major breakthrough. We’re constantly hearing from clients that they are looking for lower costs, higher quality and increased productivity. What we’re announcing today delivers these requirements, emphatically.
“We are confident that this new platform and these new inks are exactly what the industry has been waiting for and will help Print Service Providers more quickly transfer to digital.”
The Ricoh Pro VC70000 will stand above the Pro VC60000 in Ricoh's pantheon of inkjet presses. The new machine is designed specifically to take on offset jobs thanks to an ability to print with higher density ink directly to conventional litho paper.