Just over 18 months since Agfa acquired Inca Digital of Cambridge, UK, the Belgium-headquartered inkjet developer has come up with an exciting new B1 format carton press for the packaging sector. The Speedset 1060 began life as the 'Onset-M' sold by Fujifilm but it was slow and failed to make an impact. Once Agfa had control of Inca, the Speedset project was re-invigourated and the result is a vastly improved B1 carton and corrugated machine.

 Agfa SpeedSet 1060 presentationThe Agfa SpeedSet 1060 line is 25 metres long and can print up to 11.000 B1 sph

At an event for packaging converters and print service providers, held in Cambridge UK, Agfa unveiled its innovative SpeedSet 1060 B1 inkjet printing press for the packaging market. Agfa bought Inca from Screen ownership in April 2022 and set about blending the advanced inkjet company into the Agfa corporate and branding structure.Agfa SpeedSet 1060 controlpanelSpeedSet's workflow software is also by Agfa

The event took place at Agfa’s (former Inca Digital), Cambridge manufacturing facility, where the company’s packaging and inkjet technology specialists highlighted the capability of the SpeedSet 1060 sheet-fed digital press to meet short-run packaging needs while setting new benchmarks in digital printing performance and efficiency. Industry experts discussed trends in packaging and retail-ready solutions, providing valuable insights into staying ahead in the dynamic packaging industry. A live demo provided an up-close look at the technology and showcased the press’s impressive speed and print quality.

Matt Brooks, Head of Packaging at Agfa and long-time Inca staffer who has been with the SpeedSet program since its pre-Agfa inception, said: “The SpeedSet 1060 is set to be a game-changer in the packaging printing market. This fully digital packaging printing press merges the robustness and print excellence of an offset press with the compelling attributes of inkjet printing. It offers offset-like print quality yet boasts shorter setup times, reduced material waste, and efficient variable data printing. On top of that, with its speed of 11,000 B1 sheets per hour, it is simply the fastest digital packaging press around. It will enable packaging converters to make their current operations more efficient. Print runs up to 5,000 will be cheaper on the SpeedSet.”

Main target is folding cartons

The SpeedSet 1060 accommodates a wide range of substrates, from folding carton and micro-flute to various paper types, making it suitable for applications like retail- or shelf-ready food and beverage packaging. Its water-based inks, primer and varnish are environmentally friendly and comply with food-safety regulation.

The event not only served as a platform for industry professionals to explore the transformative potential of the SpeedSet 1060, but also offered insights into the engineering excellence behind the printing press, provided the opportunity to engage with specialists, inspect print samples, and facilitated meaningful discussions with fellow professionals about the possibilities and future of digital packaging printing.

The Speedset 1060 uses a bank of 1200dpi Fujifilm Samba printheads - 25 per colour - and is initally a CMYK machine with two Varnish stations. Three extra printbar channels are accommodated, enabling future upgrades to a 7-colour device. The sheet feeder and stacker is supplied by German specialist Mabeg Systems, while the hot-air drying stsem is made by Nottingham, UK, specialist Natgraph. IR pinning is also used but, as a water-based ink environmentally-friendly press, there is no UV. Sheets up to 2mm microflute can be handled, making the SpeedSet ideal for folding cartons but, when white ink is available, can also print brown corrugated. With an approximate price-tag of €5m, Speedset is definitely in the realm of larger packaging companies, but the specification is highly attractive to such operators and, with TCO cost amortised over 3-5 years, could prove to be a valuable addition to short-medium run folding carton production.

With pre-beta sites, Agfa is currently fine-tuning the SpeedSet in collaboration with several early adopters in both Europe and North America, with installations projected for early 2024.


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