Inkjet digital commercial printing takes center stage.
IGAS2022 (International Graphic Arts Show 2022), an exhibition held every four years in Tokyo for the printing equipment industry, was held November 24–28 in the East Building of Tokyo Big Sight. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of exhibitors this time was 218, about 100 fewer than at IGAS2018. The number of visitors was 33,078, about 22,800 less than in 2018. Many companies still maintained a large exhibition space, showcasing their latest products or products under development.
Looking at the exhibition trends of major exhibitors, there were many previously introduced products and new products employing inkjet technology for B2-size sheet-fed production printers and label printers. Because of this, the event was more like a digital inkjet printing technology exhibition than a printing equipment exhibition.
At the Konica Minolta Japan booth, two corners were set up to highlight solutions to increase orders and streamline printing operations. The digital decorating machine, AccurioShine 3600, combines a UV inkjet varnishing machine and MGI’s iFoilOne foil stamping machine. These two devices were exhibited as a solution to increase the value of printed materials by supporting high-value-added decorative printing, from 3D varnishing with an embossed effect to foil stamping that achieves a metallic expression.
Konica Minolta also introduced solutions that automate all the processes from order receipt to shipping, optimize costs, and realize maximized profits and sustainable business for printing companies. As a cutting-edge machine, the AccurioLabel 400, a high-speed digital label printer scheduled to be released in the spring of 2023, was exhibited for the first time in Japan. In addition, the already proven 29-inch sheet-fed UV inkjet printer AccurioJet KM 1e with HD compatible with B2-plus size was popular with visitors.
Ricoh Japan exhibited the RICOH Pro Z75, a B2-plus-size sheet-fed inkjet printer that combines the inkjet technology that Ricoh introduced 40 years ago with newly developed technology. This machine uses water-based pigment ink and offers high-speed single-sided output of up to 4,500 sheets per hour and high resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi. It is also equipped with an automatic double-sided printing function. The Pro Z75 is expected to be released in 2023.
The company also showcased various digital commercial printers, focusing on three perspectives: creating, transforming, and visualizing work. In the creating work area, the RICOH Pro C7200S, a five-color printer, was equipped with an antibacterial clear toner as the fifth color for printing restaurant menus and protecting against COVID-19.
Canon Marketing Japan exhibited the new imagePRESS V1350, a color production printer with high-speed printing of 135 sheets per minute (A4 landscape) that supports A3-plus-size and achieves short delivery times, high productivity, and robustness. It also showed the imagePRESS V900 high-speed color production printer. Both products were released in mid-December.
Epson Sales exhibited the SurePress L-6534VW, a new UV ink digital label printer equipped with a PrecisionCore line head. The company also demonstrated a simple printer that prints saddle-stitched booklets on demand by connecting a high-speed inkjet multifunction printer LX-10050MF and Duplo’s saddle stitcher. The Duplo saddle stitcher can stitch up to 25 sheets of plain paper, and is designed for offline use when linked with the LX MFP.
Brother Industries, which was exhibiting for the first time, exhibited the K600i black-and-white inkjet digital printer manufactured by Domino Printing Science, a British industrial printing equipment manufacturer that became a Brother subsidiary in 2015. The company also displayed a real-size panel for the latest full-color digital label printer N730i along with print samples. The N730i combines a high resolution of 1,200 dpi with the industry’s smallest ink droplet size, resulting in high print quality and a printing speed of 70 m/min, including white color printing. It was unveiled and released for the first time at an exhibition in Chicago in September 2022.
Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems showed for the first time the JetPress 750HS, a sheet-fed digital inkjet press that supports B2-plus paper. Equipped with newly developed VIVIDIA HS ink, this machine can produce up to 5,400 sheets per hour (sph), the world’s fastest for a B2 inkjet. For ultra-high-quality output, the speed is 3,600 sph.
Kyocera Document Solutions Japan unveiled the TASKalfa Pro15000c/B, an A3 sheet-fed monochrome inkjet production printer which was announced in Japan at the same time as the exhibition. This machine is for users who need to produce more than 500,000 copies of printed materials at a time, such as reference books, essay collections, and newsletters. It will be released in Japan in February 2023.