30 November 2023

Enhance operational efficiency with next-gen print solutions.

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By Shilpa Jasani

In today’s fast-paced world and with varied requirements of clients, printing houses need machines that tick many boxes – cost of production, speed, quality, variable data, multiple options, embellishments – you name it; and unless the machines can rise to the challenge, printshops cannot hope to increase their market share. 
Sensing this constant demand from their customers, manufacturers spend thousands of dollars on research to come up with magic formulas to make their printers faster, more adaptable and multidimensional. 
Atlas Printing Press
Working across a variety of print markets, industry veterans Atlas Printing Press have reinvented their business model post-covid.
“Covid came as a blessing in disguise.  Our commercial web printing business was getting eroded, but since we had a lot of equipment, the decision to exit the business kept getting deferred.  But Covid brought web printing to a halt, and we took a decision to sell the web equipment and have remodelled our business to become a hybrid print production house and are taking the digital route,” explained Amit Radia, CEO, Atlas Printing Press.
Some years ago, Atlas would print 75 international titles a day.“Today, we have three wide-format HP latex digital printers (with 7 colours) – one doing our flexible and the other, rigid print jobs.  Additionally, we have launched a new vertical, e-commerce - for which we have invested in digital printers from Mimaki, Xerox and UV digital machines.  This was our entry into the B-to-C markets and has resulted in additional revenue from personalization and branding.  We can print on virtually anything – from golf balls, yoga mats, you name it. The wide format Zund digital die-cutting machine has brought us fabrication jobs like complete fitouts, exhibition stands and retail.  Our focus was retail merchandizing – so everything from shopping bags, pull up banners, corrugated boxes, signage.”
Unveiling the latest technology upgrades in their digital printers, manufacturers of commercial and industrial printers, Ricoh will be launching the Ricoh Pro C9500 series digital sheetfed press, the ProC7500 series and the Auto Color Adjuster into the Middle East markets at the next edition of Gulf Print and Pack 2024.
In an interview, Marie-Luce Delaune, marketing manager- Cut sheet Marketing Specialist explained: “The next-generation press will unlock new creative and versatile print production capabilities and will empower our clients to optimise their business efficiency and enhance their return on investment”. 
The Pro C9500 to be launched at the show can handle media ranging from 40 gsm upto 470 gsm with extended input and output options for media up to 1260mm. It has a newly developed fusing system that allows media to pass through the fusing process whilst applying heat and pressure evenly to achieve better image quality on a wider range of substrates. ‘The other new feature is the finishing options with the GBC StreamPunch Plus for inline creasing and perforating and the Plockmatic Crease Trimmer unit for top and bottom trimming and creasing and a new paper transfer unit to enable improved front to back registration,’ announced Ricoh in a press release. 
Marie-Luce added: “The toner-based press has also been developed to enable commercial specialists to accelerate their analogue to digital transition or upgrade their print on demand digital capabilities.”
Announcing the Middle East launch of the new mid-volume production printer, Pro C7500, (which is an evolution of the outgoing C7200 models), with additional upgrades like the 5th colour station (white, neon pink, neon yellow, gold, and silver options).  The C7500 is designed to enable print service providers (PSPs) to elevate their print production capabilities by achieving ‘more accurate colours’. 
New to the RICOH Pro C7500 is an elastic intermediate transfer belt that enhances support for rough or uneven textured media. It can handle a wide range of grammages from 40gsm to 470gsm (compared to the maximum recommended grammage of 360gsm for the Pro C7200 Series) and has been strengthened to support duplex printed long lengths up to 1030mm. These developments will enable progressive PSPs to broaden their range of applications like light packaging, greeting cards and wedding stationery.
The latest addition in Ricoh’s next generation lineup of digital colour sheetfed presses, the RICOH Pro C7500 will be on display alongside the recently introduced RICOH Pro C9500. The third product that Ricoh plans to launch at the expo is the Auto Color Adjuster, a software that removes the ‘risk of colour variation, costly reprints and missed deadlines. Simply place the verification chart in the tray and Ricoh spectral colour imagery technology scans the entire page’. An ICC profile is automatically generated and colours are adjusted for multiple printers.
Marie Luce adds: “Auto colour adjuster is a major improvement for colour management systems. It is completely new to the market and will be launched in Dubai at GPP 2024.  For example, a commercial printer who has received an order to reproduce same quality and colour consistency as a document printed on an offset machine or sheet fed or on wide format printers, the auto colour adjuster can match and produce the exact same output. ICC profiles can be created in a matter of minutes, running jobs across multiple devices with precise reproduction results.”
Heidelberg Middle East
Setting a perfect example of using opposite technologies to complement one another, Heidelberg will be showcasing "two printing processes – one workflow technology" principle at the exhibition, allowing the integration of offset and digital printing into a single workflow. 
At Gulf Print & Pack 2024, Heidelberg Middle East will unveil the new Versafire digital printing systems, including the Versafire LV and Versafire LP, each powered by the Prinect Digital Front End.
The Versafire LV offers a fifth inking unit and a choice of seven spot colours, making it suitable for a range of applications in short-run printing. While the Versafire LP is designed for cost-effective production of larger volumes and short runs. With a capacity of up to one million clicks per month, it is most suitable toner-based digital press in the A3 format.  Features like automatic register, calibration, inline colour measurement, and content monitoring ensure maximum reliability in production.
The Prinect Digital Front End, developed in-house is the centerpiece of their new Versafire systems. This second-generation software supports the standardization of print shop production, enabling automation and pre-costing of all steps from job creation and preflight checking to colour management and impositioning. 
“Heidelberg Middle East is committed to providing cutting edge technology and complete printing solutions to our valued customers. We believe that the Versafire digital presses and Prinect DFE will revolutionize the industry by taking digital and offset printing to the next level," said Roger Nicodeme, general manager.

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