The rise of inkjet beyond wide format continues with 3 companies announcing new cut-sheet devices. Ricoh has started shipping its ProZ75 B2 format inkjet press into Europe, rivaling Konica Minolta's existing Accuriojet K1e B2 press while Kyocera and Screen have partnered on an A3 device that uses special inks to deliver offset quality on standard coated stocks.
Ricoh first announced its B2 inkjet press, the Pro Z75 shortly before Covid hit and delayed everything. Now, following a successful sign-off of a Beta machine in the USA, installations are happening in France and The Netherlands, with a UK printer next in the queue. These will all be running commercial jobs by the time drupa 2024 arrives and fomally blasts the 4,500 (B2) sph press into order-taking orbit. Already established in the continuous-feed/web inkjet sector with its VC70000 Screen-build machine, Ricoh is moving away from toner in cut-sheet with the Pro Z75 and attacking the most widely used sheet size in commercial print - a recognisable tilt at B2 offset which, like HP Indigo with its 7K, 15K and 100K B2 liquid toner models, offers the most lucrative returns in sheetfed digital.
Ricoh develops its own printheads rather than relying on 3rd parties and supplies these respected nozzle jetters to a vartiety of other manufacturers to integrate into devices.
New entrants in A3 inkjet digital
Another company with its own in-house printheads is Kyocera Document Solutions Inc. who have announce the TASKalfa Pro 55000c commercial inkjet production printer that supports a wide range of media including offset coated paper.
The company describes this as the latest chapter in Kyocera’s rich history of innovation in the inkjet area. To contribute to growth in the printing industry and to introduce highly productive inkjet products to the market, Kyocera launched the TASKalfa Pro 15000c cut-sheet digital inkjet color printer in 2019, taking advantage of the Kyocera Group's technological assets and comprehensive capabilities, and entered the commercial printing industry. The TASKalfa Pro 15000c continues to be an essential part of Kyocera’s growing product portfolio for transactional and trans-promotional applications. Two are known to have been installed in Australia.
The new TASKalfa Pro 55000c supports offset coated paper, which is essential for the output of brochures, books, direct mail and other materials that require high-quality image resolution in the commercial printing market. In addition, the reliability, durability, and claimed low acquisition and running costs of the TASKalfa Pro 55000c are set to exceed the expectations of customers in the printing industry.
The TASKalfa Pro 55000c achieves comparable print quality to offset printing and high print durability. In addition, this product provides smooth and rich color reproduction and high-definition printing using Kyocera technologies such as 1,200dpi inkjet heads and edge smoothing technology that precisely reproduces lines and text outlines. Balancing its durable design, class-leading compact design and lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO) in the commercial printing market, the TASKalfa Pro 55000c is expected to be one of the most inspected presses at the upcoming PRINTING United Expo 2023, that will be held in Atlanta, GA, USA, from Wednesday, October 18 -20.
See separate article for Screen's S320 A3 inkjet digital press