Industry majors present innovations in digital printing and finishing solutions

Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 - Part-II

Conceived and organized by the web finishing solution provider Hunkeler AG, Hunkeler innovationdays again brought around 5,000 professionals at Lucerne in Switzerland to witness the latest development, and possible newer application in and around graphic arts industry. The major one being the book production solutions, most of the digital print providers introduced much faster, increased web width, offset near quality with equally competent finishing solutions by Hunkeler made the audience confident enough to look into the future differently. Providers of substrates like Mondi or Sappi were also not left behind, as they too offered different varieties of paper surface to bring in the astonishing quality of print. Overall applications demonstrated at various stands attracted the visitors significantly.

After five days of showcasing innovations in digital printing and finishing solutions, Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 is now history. Guests made their way from throughout Europe and overseas to Lucerne. Their goals were to visit the most compact trade fair in the industry, one with an unmatched variety of solutions on display, and to learn more about the latest developments in digital printing solutions. And they all got what they came for. At booths set up by Hunkeler and some 70 exhibition partners, they could experience first-hand versatile solutions in a production environment with real-world applications, and in some cases workflow applications spanning multiple booths. Publishing on demand, mailpiece production and transpromo applications were the focus of the activities. Besides manufacturers of large production equipment being in attendance, suppliers of consumables and software developers ensured there was a complete range of products. As always, this edition of innovationdays in Lucerne also witnessed the new launches from major players. Some of these included: CiPress and Colour 8250 from Xerox, iPrint Reference from Impika, Prosper S5 printing system from Kodak, MonoCube from Graph-Tech, etc. Here are highlights from some of such industry majors:

BÖWE Systec: BÖWE SYSTEC's presence at the Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 was much characterized by their new high-performance inserting system Fusion Cross. The leading mailroom specialist's innovative high-performance inserting system was presented in a special configuration for processing continuous forms in combination with a Hunkeler unwinder for the first time. Live demonstrations gave industry visitors the chance to see for themselves how intuitively and simply the Fusion Cross is operated, due to the accompanying BÖWE Cockpit software. In India, BÖWE SYSTEC's products are represented by manroland India.

Canon: Canon showcased its commitment to the commercial printing market. One of the world leaders in imaging solutions and, since the acquisition of Océ, in digital continuous feed printing, Canon showed visitors innovative printing applications and new ways of how to improve their business operations, increase productivity and sales and develop new markets.

Due to the ability to maintain key trends in the transition from offset to digital printing, where the on-demand production to tackle automation and high-quality colour applications, digital printing is growing rapidly. Inkjet prints in high-speed offer completely new opportunities in areas that were previously only reserved for offset printing. This technology supports Canon on the way to becoming the world's leading provider of solutions to the graphic arts market. With the presentation of continuous feed and cut sheet solutions Canon showed why the company as a leading provider of integrated and workflow-border solutions is an ideal partner to enhance its customers' growth.

Combined technologies offer unique opportunities. The heart of the matter, the Océ ColorStream 3900 be: the top product from the range of Canon in continuous inkjet printing systems, offering high quality prints of up to 127 meters per minute. The system is configured so that two different application areas are covered: roll-to-roll with inline document processing by a dynamic perforating and punching module from Hunkeler to represent different transactions-/direct-mail-documents; and roll-to-fold to book blocks for characteristic cut-/stack-inline-production offline softcover bindings and high quality brochures. Canon also presented the Océ PRISMA software for transaction and graphic arts applications. Inspiration from applications. In response to the growing need for cross-media campaign, Canon also introduced its corresponding portfolio in the form of DirectSmile to show how print and digital media can be combined. Demonstrated also is the leading web-to-print application, Digital StoreFront, EFI, alliance partner of Canon.

Graph-Tech: Swiss-based Graph-Tech AG, a Domino Group Company, demonstrated its newly launched MonoCube inkjet press with added functionality. Following the printing press's successful European debut at Drupa 2012 and its North American launch at Graph Expo in September, Graph-Tech has been continually innovating and developing the MonoCube. The machine demonstrated at the innovationdays, in a roll-to-roll configuration with Hunkeler Unwind and Rewind units, featured a live display screen, which gave real-time information on printer output – including the pages printed, the speed in pages per minute, ink usage and cost per page. "This was a great chance to see the MonoCube doing what it does best, running a real job at real time, incredibly cost-effectively," informed Ranesh Bajaj from Creed Engineers who offers this solution for India.

MonoCube is a monochrome high-speed inkjet printing press aimed at the transactional, mailing, book-on-demand and security print sector. It has been specially designed to drastically lower cost per page to typically just €0.002. The disruptive business model offers MonoCube to the market with a one-off-purchase price with no further click charges or maintenance contracts. The MonoCube printing press can print at widths of up to 783 mm (30.8 inches), at speeds of up to 150 m/minute (492 feet) and can print simplex or duplex within the same Cube.

Heidelberg: Heidelberg showcased high-quality postpress solutions for digital and conventional print jobs at the Hunkeler innovationdays. This is a response to the trend toward shorter runs and maximum flexibility in postpress for digital and conventional print jobs, under the HEI Flexibility banner. Together with its partners Hunkeler, ATS, Kama, and POLAR, Heidelberg exhibited a flexible configuration for producing a complete brochure live. The solution on display enables production of a large number of different products in short runs without having to carry out time-consuming changeovers. Digital and conventional print jobs can also be processed to suit individual requirements.

Heidelberg and Hunkeler have been working for several years as partners for integrated postpress solutions in digital printing. Stahl folding units from Heidelberg are used in numerous Hunkeler installations throughout the world for digital web and sheetfed printing. With inline connection of its Eurobind Pro adhesive binders to Hunkeler book lines, Heidelberg is able to offer high-quality solutions for industrial digital print production.

HP: HP presented end-to-end solutions for publishing applications ranging from personalised direct mail and transpromotional documents to book and newspaper production at Hunkeler innovationdays. Besides, the company also announced an expanded range of coated and uncoated papers using ColorPRO Technology.

The HP stand featured an HP Indigo W7250 digital press running inline with a Hunkeler POPP6 cutter/stacker. An interactive demonstration of HP T-series color inkjet web presses and pre-printed rolls from a T-series press were cut and stacked on a second Hunkeler POPP6. The combination of digitally printed publications with fast, efficient finishing enables publishers to react to market demands quickly and give printed products an immediacy and value cost-effectively.

There are now five presses in the HP T-series color inkjet web press family to address publishing, direct mail and transactional applications requiring web-widths from 203 up to 1076 mm and substrate weights from 40 up to 350 gsm. These four-colour thermal inkjet presses run at speeds up to 183 m/min full colour, or 244m/min mono. The ability of inkjet web presses to print a full range of publications with variable data on a variety of substrates is transforming publishing models.

For high-quality short-run publications on virtually any standard coated or uncoated offset stock, the HP Indigo W7250 digital press offers a web-fed solution that can deliver to inline or near-line finishing equipment for effective production speeds. The HP Indigo W7250 digital press is not restricted to publications work: transactional and transpromotional documents and direct mail can be printed with high levels of personalisation that stimulate improved response rates. Its substrate capabilities make it an ideal production device for high quality photography-rich books and art books, as well as commercial and other publications applications, making it a highly versatile press for PSPs.

IMPIKA: With flexible approach for diversified markets and applications, IMPIKA, now a Xerox company, presented their ingenious iEngine 1000 L (220 mm) at the innovationdays. Visitors had the opportunity to see the system, integrated with a feeder and vacuum table, personalising large format envelopes and direct marketing mail.

Recognised as the most accomplished market solution for hybrid printing of variable data and pictures in A4 or US Letter format, this new IMPIKA engine integrates easily on all mechanical equipment: envelope inserting machine, printing press or even first-generation digital printer. The only engine on the market which prints in colour on 220 mm print width without 'stitching', the product also stands out with a suite of unique capabilities. First, it prints in extremely high quality with a rendering greater than 1000 dpi, in multilevel, at exceptional speeds. Second, it works with an automatic cleaning station integrated in its head, making it easy to use in an industrial environment.

KBA: Boasting a raft of technical advancements and in the meantime fully operational, the RotaJET 76 inkjet web press unveiled by Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) at drupa 2012 was also able to convince the audience on its first appearance at the Hunkeler innovationdays in Lucerne. At this event, the KBA RotaJET 76 gave proof not only of its minimal footprint (10.5 x 6 m), but also of its high quality and performance potential in book and newspaper production. KBA is the first manufacturer to use the new polymer-based ink in a high-volume inkjet system. According to the KBA experts, the new ink extends the printable range of untreated papers.

Kodak: Kodak unveiled the next step in the evolution of its KODAK PROSPER press platform at Hunkeler innovationdays 2013. Under the theme 'Digital Your Way', Kodak also showcased the latest enhancements to its portfolio for the commercial printing market. These include the KODAK NEXPRESS digital production colour press, KODAK PROSPER 1000 press and KODAK PROSPER S5 imprinting system.

The KODAK PROSPER 5000XLi Press is the latest family addition and builds on the highly successful KODAK PROSPER press platform that has printed 30 billion pages. It features Kodak's new Intelligent Print System (IPS), with multiple inline cameras to monitor output quality and make adjustments as needed on the fly. IPS enables the PROSPER 5000XLi Press to continuously learn from the input and calculate imaging improvements to deliver measurably higher levels of print quality and productivity. The press offers automatic or user-selectable stitch adjustment, uniform dot size and precise dot placement and accurate front-to-back and color-to-color registration. "As well as being flexible, reliable and scalable, the KODAK PROSPER 5000XLi Press features KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology for a 30 percent wider colour gamut than offset," comments Will Mansfield, Kodak's director of marketing, Inkjet Printing Solutions. "It is also the fastest, most accurate writing engine on the market."

Demonstrating its ability to collaborate with a range of partners, Kodak teamed its KODAK PROSPER 1000 press with a HUNKELER finishing line for the live production of black and white trade and educational book applications throughout the event. The compact, monochrome, 200 mpm PROSPER 1000 press offers one over one perfecting and is one of the most productive inkjet web presses for 8- 12- and 16- page signatures with a duty cycle of 90 million A4 impressions a month. With the automated Image Quality Management System, it is capable of print quality up to 175 lpi on uncoated substrates ranging from 45 gsm to 175 gsm. Complementing the KODAK PROSPER 1000 press on the booth was the latest 5.3 release of the KODAK PRINERGY Workflow Solution.

Mondi: Mondi's focus on the digital printing market continues into 2013. At Hunkeler innovationdays, the international packaging and paper producer presented its expanded high-speed inkjet portfolio, which comprises a comprehensive offering of grammages and shades for this growing market. At stand I18, Mondi featured its smooth, high-white, recycled, off-white and coated high-speed inkjet papers optimised for both dye and pigment inks. These include DNS high-speed inkjet CF (coated feel), DNS high-speed inkjet NF (natural feel), 100 percent recycled NAUTILUS high-speed inkjet, BIO TOP 3 high-speed inkjet and DNS enhanced colour inkjet, which is Mondi's first high-speed inkjet paper with a pigment-coated inkjet surface. Hunkeler innovationdays also marked the debut of DNS enhanced color inkjet to a broader professional printing market.

Muller Martini: With high-performance inkjet digital printing establishing itself in the field of high-quality colour printing too and sizes of print runs for magazines, journals and brochures continuing to fall, Muller Martini presented the Presto II Digital saddle stitcher as a new industrial finishing solution for digitally printed products. Three different products were produced live and without interruption at Muller Martini's stand. If necessary, covers could be fed to match a specific copy.

Muller Martini presented a Presto II Digital line, consisting of a high-performance processing folder, two signature feeders, a cover folder feeder, a stitching machine and a three-knife trimmer, in combination with an unwinding system, a fold/merge module and a cross cutting machine from Hunkeler. Visitors to the trade fair from all over the world were not only interested in the live production at Muller Martini's stand, but also by the Connex data and process management system presented there.

Neopost/GMC: Amongst other applications, Neopost/GMC showcased on their joint stand an integrated solution for mail production on GMC´s inspire Hybrid-Mail software with successive folding and inserting on Neopost´s DS 200 machine including advanced control and validation of the mail production via AIMS software (Automated Insertion Management Software). The DS-200 is Neopost's proven small-mid range folder inserter, capable of processing up to 4800 envelopes per hour. The NEOPOST AS-970C is the world's first printer to improve direct mail and trans-promotional marketing.

Pitney Bowes: The company showcased its end-to-end portfolio of communications management solutions at this year's Hunkeler innovationdays, including the launch of the new in-line envelope converting module for the Pitney Bowes Mailstream Wrapper productivity series. Their stand demonstrated the cost, quality and efficiency advantages of fully integrating print and mail. New solutions include the Mailstream Wrapper Productivity System with Envelope Converting Module demonstrating complex transactional mail applications with changeovers. This innovative solution – shown for the first time in Europe – uses continuous rolls of paper to produce high-quality wrap material in-line during the mail finishing process. This unique technology allows mailers to cost-effectively produce wrap material with a scalloped flap and window patch, resulting in a finished mailpiece with the appearance of a traditional business envelope.

Ricoh: Showing a proven end-to-end portfolio for commercial and transactional needs, Ricoh also marked successful participation at Hunkeler innovationdays. Ricoh noted a rise in interest intechnology and services that are aimed at extending print services and increasing productivity for corporate and commercial print environments. The InfoPrint 5000 GP printer with the Extended Media Dryer option, seen for the first time in Europe, was particularly popular, based on its greater flexibility for books and high quality reports on a wide range of media.

The Ricoh Pro C901 Graphics Arts +, the new flagship of Ricoh's cut sheet production portfolio, was seen for the first time at an international exhibition. The new press attracted visitors to learn more about its capabilities for marketing, direct mail and packaging applications. Its debut on an international stage came as InfoSource released its full year market share figures for its category of production devices, colour press cut sheet for Western Europe.

Visitors to the Ricoh stand also had the opportunity to see the InfoPrint 5000 MP in mono mode. The demonstrations were a popular choice for commercial and transactional printers, running monochrome books, statements, manuals and other documents. As per Graham Moore, director, business development, Ricoh Europe, "The desire to expand beyond print was apparent at Hunkeler innovationdays. Visitors to the Ricoh stand were focused on learning more about new business opportunities and new tools to help them grow their services for their clients"

W+D: The visitors to the W+D stand could see four key products exhibited via detailed video presentations, including the W+D TIMOS totally integrated mail output solution. The W+D Mail Solutions portfolio offers mail production businesses and commercial printers a more effective alternative to personalised electronic mailing.

Xeikon: At the Hunkeler innovationdays 2013, Xeikon highlighted digital security printing features, including the brand new capability of using taggant marked spot colour toner. During the exhibition Xeikon produced tickets that include several security features. They were printed on the latest Xeikon 8600 roll-fed digital press, with inline dynamic perforation from Hunkeler. Taggants are microscopic chemical markers that can be added to the substrate or the toner itself, to allow various forms of verification. They are already used for high security documents such as banknotes, identification documents and value papers. Taggants are invisible to the human eye in print and can only be detected by special readers.

Xerox: The preview of the Xerox Color 8250 production press at Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 attracted a lot of visitors' interest. The 8250 full colour A4 sheets per hour cut sheet toner based press bridges a gap between sustainable volumes for colour continuous feed and volumes that are just too expensive to print on conventional colour toner based devices. The 8250 prints on plain uncoated papers and offers a business colour quality on transactional, direct mail and trans-promo applications.

Besides, Hunkeler innovationdays 2013 also saw the introduction of the Single Engine Duplex (SED) variant of the CiPress 500 production inkjet system – for customers who want to take advantage of printing vibrant colours on commodity offset stocks, a very powerful FreeFlow Print server and strong environmental credentials, but who do not have the volume or space for a Twin Engine Duplex (TED) system.

On the display were some of their workflow and solutions, which demonstrated how Xerox can connect customer's business requirements to ensure optimised presentation of their information for a variety of different output platforms. These solutions include: GMC Integrated PLUS Solution, and XMPie's variable data and cross-media software, etc.

Hunkeler's Highlights

  • Book Production Line: Capable to handle 760 mm (30") paper web with 4- 6- or 8-page signatures
  • Dynamic Perforation: File hole punching, precision enough so as to ensure security elements wherever required
  • Primer coater: Offering innovative and most sought after requirement. Works as a post coating either on the printed or unprinted web with stacking facility of signatures upto 1100×760 mm
  • Innovative laser processes: Updated module enabling security punching and perforation in single/twin mode
  • Publications: All in one for newspapers or brochures – rapid production modules with dynamic gluing
  • Paper processing: New generation module providing first glimpses in to the future of modern print-finishing
  • Hun-control platform: Last but not the least, understanding and utilizing the power of software offering appropriate solutions for better and faster productivity of hardware.

Updating attendees about the prevailing and emerging trends…

On the sidelines of Hunkeler innovationdays 2013, a rare event of digital web printing and finishing solutions, Hunkeler AG also updated the attendees about the prevailing and emerging trends in the graphic arts industry by organizing expert conferences.

In CIP4 Seminar on automation of digital printing, James Harvey, executive director of the CIP4 Organization, explained profitable digital printing with a higher degree of automation, due to the Job Definition Format (JDF) – supported by numerous practical case studies. In EBDA/PODi seminar 'CloudPrint 2013', it was explained how production processes in the printing industry can be sharply improved by cloud computing. INTERQUEST digital book printing forum seminar was designed around recent INTERQUEST research into digital book manufacturing conducted in North America and Europe. While in DOXNET-on-site conference, the latest trends and information in document production were presented.

Group Publications