PRINTING United Expo Will Address a Changing Graphic Arts Industry Landscape
Graphic arts industries are not only evolving, they are changing!
PRINTING United Expo has been designed to highlight and educate the graphic arts industries to these changes and opportunities. Whether you are a provider of commercial printing, sign and display, textile, fast fashion clothing, packaging, etc., each of you may focus on a different end product and industry. However, there are significant changes and synergies across all of them, which can provide many new opportunities.
Since the 1990s, printing has gone through a significant transformation, driven by digital and inkjet printing technologies. The same printing application can be produced by a wide range of printing technologies, including analog, digital, and inkjet. Keeping up with those constant changes can be a challenge for any service provider, as can the consumer market shifts. While many of the historic equipment providers have been keeping up with these changes, there are also many new ones entering the increasingly competitive market. These are just a few of those that will be showcasing solutions at PRINTING United Expo.
Kyocera has created a new business unit to address production of print applications, initially with the launch its sheetfed inkjet press: the TASKalfa Pro 15000c. This press, which will be showcased at PRINTING United Expo, was developed to directly target an affordable entry point into production inkjet with the productivity and output quality to go toe-to-toe with its digital rivals. Considering that printheads and inks are the costliest components in a production inkjet press, Kyocera is in a strong position to leverage its proprietary printhead and water-based ink technologies.
Sharp is stepping into the production printing arena showcasing its new Pro Series. The new MX-M1056 and MX-M1206 high-speed and light production series provide advanced technology and features that have been designed to handle the demands of high-volume environments. With the available Fiery MX-PE16 print server with full integration of Command Workstation at the operation panel, job management has never been easier.
Fujifilm’s new Revoria Press PC1120 recently entered the U.S. market and the world of digital printing, delivering high print speeds with a single-pass, six-color press. In addition to CMYK toner, the press can load a maximum of two specialty toner stations from choices of Clear, Gold, Silver, White, and Pink. It produces 120 ppm at a resolution of 2,400x2,400 dpi by drawing images simultaneously with multiple laser beams. It uses an extremely small particle size, which allows smooth reproduction of gradations in photographs, uniform density, and sharper fine lines and text. For control, there is an in-line sensor built into the printer body, allowing easy and quick calibration. It also has an automatic batch adjustment function that adjusts alignment, bias transfer roll, auto tone, and density uniformity all at once.
As postal costs and material costs go up, there is a need for more targeted mailings to increase the effectiveness and reduce the costs of direct mail. W+D and Bowe Systec will be showcasing their solutions to these new challenges.
W+D will be making its PRINTING United debut with new products that are all about addressing labor challenges and production efficiencies. They will be showcasing the North American premier of the BBA820+. This is a servo-driven inserting system that can insert 20K pieces per hour, making it one of the most productive inserters available. It is also one of the most flexible inserting systems, supporting a wide range of outer envelope sizes and thicknesses. It comes with the patented Auto Mismatch Recovery for “hands-free” synchronized inserting of personalized inserts, now further enhanced to match personalized outer envelopes by deploying the new divert bin on the track. Different feeder types can be rolled in and rolled out as your product changes. You pick a six-, eight-, or 10-station base that you can mix and match. W+D will also introduce the new W+D i-Jet 3 inkjet overprint press in Atlanta. The W+D i-Jet 3 is the third generation of W+D’s successful inkjet overprint press models. The press features the new Memjet Durabolt production-class print engine capable of printing 36,000+ #10 envelopes/hr. at its highest resolution of 1,600x1,280 dpi, which puts it in a class of its own in terms of quality and speed.
Bowe Systec comes to PRINTING United 2023 with the North American debut of their flagship Fusion Speed BOXIT Mail Tray Automation system. This is the fastest of their Fusion series and processes up to 30,000 letters/hr.! This automatic traying system is fully automated from rolled paper in the front of the system, and stacked and loaded #10 or 6x9” envelopes in the hoppers with sorted and filled trays coming out of the back of the line at 30,000 letters/hr. With BOXIT, the pre-sort will be handled automatically and intelligently. Since you know you're not necessarily filling every tray, there could be either a short tray or a tray with two thirds automatically filled, based on a ZIP code break. BOXIT also intelligently buffers the envelopes as necessary as it is filling.
Durst is a leading manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production solutions across many industry applications, including large-format, POP/POS, soft-signage, textile, label, corrugated displays, and packaging. They will be showcasing their Tau RSC label printer series, which provides a great alternative to digital label presses and even medium-run flexo production, without the time and cost of plates and makeready. The Tau RSC is not just for labels; it can easily do flexible packaging print as well. With the increased focus on sustainability, their new RSC LED ink creates a huge color space ensuring important brand colors, and performance with a forward-thinking focus towards more sustainable printing. Their latest innovation is Durst Hawk Eye, which is an innovative technology utilizing camera vision systems that go one step further by identifying and correcting print mistakes, such as missing nozzles, in-line and in real time, without any setup needed and without any operator intervention.
Matik will be showing the SEI LabelMaster, the fastest continuous-feed CO2 laser system in the market, for the first time at PRINTING United. It can perform laser-based processes including cutting, scoring, marking, micro-perforating, versioning, and other types of personalization — all in-line in a single pass. The processes can be combined with other digital or conventional modules for varnishing, laminating, hot foil stamping, slitting, and now even inkjet printing as well! It is available with up to four lasers in 13” or 24” widths. Processable materials include: paper, PP, BOPP, PET, which cover a wide range of label product requirements, with immediate changeover and no die required. All of this with a CCD camera for register cutting with print marker recognition.
Additionally, SCREEN, GALLUS, and many others will be showcasing their new inkjet label systems.
Digital signage is not new. There are many companies including, EFI, Canon, HP, Roland, Durst, Epson, and others that have producing rollfed and flatbed solutions for a while. With the acquisition of Inca, the Agfa Onset X is one of the true high productivity flatbed wide-format printers available in the market. It can print more than 15,000 square feet an hour and is designed to run continuous 24/7 production. It is perfect for applications like POP displays, corrugated materials, and packaging. With its industrial-strength vacuum bed, it is productive with paperboard, plastic, or even metal. The eight-channel Onset X1 can be upgraded with an additional six-channel carriage to become the Onset X2, then transformed again into a top-of-the-line Onset as your production demand increases. At the show, Agfa will be introducing a new White ink with more opacity, new light Cyan and Magenta inks, and showing a dual robot setup where you can see two-sided printing without operator intervention.
The textile and clothing industries are also going through market shifts and a digital transformation. They have also been able to learn from the previous transformations in commercial printing and packaging, helping to provide a roadmap for change.
At the front line of direct-to-garment and direct-to-fabric is Kornit Digital. In a few short years, they have been able to develop digital technology solutions to help change the way brands and designers look at current and future markets. They bring true flexibility to give the customers what they want with their single-step, on-demand printing technology.
They are not the only digital solution for textile and garment printing. Companies like Mimaki, HP, Epson, Mutoh, and Roland offer digital inkjet and dye sublimation solutions as well. All of them provide a new standard in quality and TCO, with a sustainable solutions to meet the needs of today’s consumer-driven marketplace.
Automation and Sustainability
There is no doubt with labor challenges, increased demand, and even regulations for sustainable design and production methods, automation and sustainability will be a focus of many of those companies participating at PRINTING United Expo.
It should be a great event with lots to learn and see!