‘Africa Print is an opportunity for the business community to view the latest advances in digital print technology and for entrepreneurs to investigate potential ventures,’ comments Practical Publishing’s Dyelan Copeland, event organiser.
Last year, this expo attracted almost 6 000 visitors and numbers are likely to swell this year, with greater numbers expected from elsewhere on the African continent and beyond.
Revolutionising eco-friendly printing
With over 15 000 HP Latex printers tried and tested worldwide and more than 100-million square metres printed using Latex inks, HP has now launched its third-generation Latex machines.
Available locally from Midcomp, the technology has been well received by printers keen on reducing carbon footprint.
‘HP’s Latex technology has revolutionised the digital printing industry with print providers gaining access to a true eco-friendly print system,’ asserts Navin Jeewanlall, Midcomp’s sales, applications and colour management specialist. ‘We’ll be showcasing a wide gamut of HP Latex products, from the entry level HP Latex 260 (formerly HP Designjet L26500) to the HP Latex 850 (formerly HP Scitex LX850). Latex inks will feature on each system. Delivering odourless prints, these specialised AgBB and A+ rated inks are ideal for sensitive indoor display environments and perfect for creating a safe and comfortable printing environment,’ he states.
‘A notable highlight on our stand is the new-generation HP Latex 3000 that produces first-class prints with high productivity, quality and application versatility,’ adds Navin. Creating a competitive advantage for high-volume businesses, it offers broad media versatility, including heat-sensitive substrates, with HP Latex Optimizer. According to Navin, this new ink ensures consistent image quality at high speeds, as well as efficient curing at lower temperatures, using less energy than previous HP Latex solutions.
Intelligent printing and finishing
The HP Scitex FB500 flat-bed printer being demonstrated by Midcomp is capable of high-quality, economical prints on virtually any rigid and flexible media using durable, UV-curable inks.
It loads, prints and collects media simultaneously in high-volume production environments, providing quick turnaround with fast printing speeds and ink drying times, plus an image quality up to 1 200 x 600dpi.
The use of HP’s Scitex FB251 white ink expands application possibilities further by facilitating printing on coloured substrates. ‘The FB500 is ideal for any print specialist wishing to expand its media print range and grow its service offering with one machine only,’ remarks Navin.
Making light work of trimming and cutting at the show is a Zünd G3 – a heavy-duty multifunctional machine. Developed for 24/7 operation, it boasts user-friendly operation and ergonomics, and low energy consumption. ‘From simple trimming, kiss-cutting to routing, creasing or complex contour cutting, the Zünd G3 performs the tasks with precision and speed,’ Navin explains. ‘It’s easily accessible from all four sides, while the integrated workstation provides secure storage space for cutting modules and tools,’ he adds.
Duplo’s finishing expertise
Kemtek Print Solutions is flexing some serious finishing muscle with up-to-the-minute technology from Duplo.
The company manufactures a complete line of equipment from all-in-one slitter/cutter/creasers, folders and perfect binders to sheet-feeding, booklet making and saddle stitching systems for offset and digital printers in both high-production and small office environments.
Processing up to 200 cycles/hour, the compact FKS PrintBind KB-4000 PUR (pictured below) is ideal for producing high-quality books in short runs. PUR melt is applied to the book spine for strong adhesive binding and EVA hotmelt side glue for fast finishing. The entire system is programmed through a user-friendly touchscreen. A heavy-duty milling and notching tool ensures an accurate and flat spine prior to gluing.
Duplo’s DC-645 slitter/cutter/creaser eliminates white borders and prevents unattractive fold lines in digital print documents. Ideal for short to medium runs, it can reach speeds up to 26 sheets/min, has double-feed detection and handles large sheet sizes and heavy substrates up to 350g/m2.
Performing up to six slits, 15 cuts and 10 creases in a single pass, the DC-645 finishes a variety of full-bleed applications without difficult adjustments and time-consuming changeovers. Jobs can be swiftly set-up through the user-friendly control panel or via the standard Job Creator software. The DC-645 also comes with a built-in CCD scanner to recall any job stored in its 80-job memory. The scanner can also read the registration mark for image shift compensation.
The Duplo Ultracut 130 is a compact high-performance desktop business card cutter, taking SRA4 size card. It boasts some of the highest productivity statistics in its class, with a running speed up to 130 business cards/min (A4 short edge).
The deep pile stacker takes up to 100 sheets, allowing production of 1 000 business cards in less than eight minutes.
The auto set-up feature provides simple tray loading and business card size selection and a 2mm cut mark detection tool informs the machine where the top margin is, delivering professional results on every run.
The Ultracut 130 can store up to six personal programmes and has six common business card sizes pre-programmed ready for recall at any moment. Four optional modules are available, including scoring, perforating, photocard and postcard.
The DF-1200 (pictured above) is Duplo’s latest table-top air suction folder, replacing the DF-1000. It’s primarily designed around the folding needs of digital print users and is distinguished from other models by its suction feeding system that helps to avoid sheet marking and allows heavier grade papers to be fed.
According to Duplo, the DF-1200 is the only table-top suction folder with an optical double feed detection system. Its intelligent paper size detection and automatic buckle plate setting work together to ensure the quickest possible set-up and folding accuracy.
Precision engineering enables the suction feed system to be completely encased within the machine, so there’s no need for a separate external pump unit.
The Duplo Ultra 145A is a simple UV-coating machine that provides a protective gloss in a matt or satin finish on a wide range of digital and offset papers. Besides protecting against abrasion and scratching, the process adds vibrancy and depth to applications such as photos, postcards, book covers, POS and advertising material. Automatic set-up makes it perfect for both short and long runs.
A broad range of paper stocks and sizes with paper weights from 120g/m2 to 350g/m2 can be accommodated and the automatic suction feeder SF205 accurately and consistently feeds sheets from the top of the paper stack.
Visitors to the Kemtek stand (Hall 1, Stand A15-18) can look forward to various live demonstrations of the Duplo products plus comprehensive advice and information from Kemtek’s product managers and technicians.
Digital printing: proof is in the output
‘There’s no question that the new benchmark in print quality, because of its ability to continuously evolve and raise the bar, is digital printing,’ states Leon Minnie, product manager: production systems at Konica Minolta South Africa.
‘With more machines becoming available, there’s mounting confusion around which device and which business partner to choose,’ he adds. ‘We aim to assist with this conundrum and shed light on the realm of digital printing and the numerous options available. That’s our strategy for Africa Print.’
Leon and his team will be on hand to show visitors a host of products and services, showcasing award-winning digital presses and providing one-on-one machine and software demonstrations.
‘By discussing the design, structure and technology of each machine, our technical specialists will demonstrate what makes our systems reliable and consistent,’ he relates. ‘The sales team will assist with price, configuration and running cost queries, and our software specialists will showcase our production software programmes. I’ll also be available to answer questions on dealer franchises and future products from Konica Minolta Japan,’ he adds. ‘I encourage new and existing customers to visit us so that we can assess their current systems with the view to adding value and reducing printing costs.’
Konica Minolta’s innovative Image Cubes are available for those interested in investing in a digital press. This box contains comprehensive print samples tested in South Africa, from both colour and black and white machines.
Featured at the show are the bizhub PRESS C6000/C7000 digital colour press series that combines high quality and low cost. ‘With the ability to output up to 60 and 71 A4 images/min, the C6000/C7000 series consistently delivers brilliant colour jobs on time and on budget,’ declares Leon. ‘Whether it’s a simple corporate newsletter, full-colour saddle stitched catalogue or thousands of direct mail flyers with variable data, the C6000/C7000 can handle just about anything. Proving its excellence, it was awarded European Digital Press Association (EDP) Best Production Cut-Sheet Colour Printer of 2011 and BERTL Best Colour Light Production System.’
Also on show is the award-winning BERTL 5 Star bizhub PRESS C8000 (pictured below), plus the bizhub PRESS C70hc with an output capability of up to 71 pages/min and High Chroma toner, a Konica Minolta technology that elevates colour, graphics and photographic imagery to transcendent levels.
‘Central reprographic departments, digital print service providers and all high-volume printing bureaus can now enter a new realm of professionalism with the bizhub PRO B951 and our flexible and productive monochrome systems, the bizhub PRESS B1052 and bizhub PRESS B1250,’ remarks Leon. ‘Each is being put through its paces during the show.’
Highlights of the bizhub PRO B951 include affordability, ultra-high print resolution and outstanding media flexibility, as well as a tone curve utility that comes with the printer, maxed out paper capacity and professional finishing options. ‘With a print speed of 95 A4 pages/min, this entry-level system provides an excellent price-performance ratio with the highest quality results,’ adds Leon. ‘It offers a wide range of line per inch options, from 40 to 300, and can print on paper from 40 to 350g/m2. The system’s standard paper format is SRA3 and holds up to 9 000 sheets. A variety of finishing options are available, such as stapling for up to 100 sheets, booklet making and z-folding, as well as post insertion, GBC punching and automatic ring binding.’
The bizhub PRESS B1052 and B1250 systems provide a print resolution of 1 200 x 1 200dpi on 40 to 350g/m2 paper for simplex printing and up to 300g/m2 for duplex prints. Paper sizes up to 324mm x 483mm are supported and available through an intelligent media catalogue. Print speeds range from 105 x A4 pages/min and 60 x A3 pages/min for the bizhub PRESS B1052 and 125 x A4 pages/min and 70 x A3 pages/min for the bizhub PRESS B1250. Both models feature advanced software such as a professional screening utility and tone curve adjustments. Each carry and seamlessly process a maximum load of 18 000 paper sheets through a vacuum feeder. Some 50 configurations are available by combining various finishers such as an automatic ring binder, a perfect binder, saddle stitching, a stacker, and more. Other features include an exclusive envelope printing kit and optional decurling unit with humidifier unit.
Africa Print visitors interested in software solutions and applications can see Konica Minolta’s colour management, variable data printing (VDP), Web2Print and Photo-PRESS (photo book) offerings in action.
‘Konica Minolta Color Care is an application package that defines, achieves and maintains product-specific colour quality standards for any bizhub PRESS colour device installed according to its compulsory procedure,’ comments Leon. ‘Through continuous control and review, printing can be optimised and authentic colour reproduction guaranteed.’
Konica Minolta offers an advanced colour management solution that’s not limited to digital cut sheet machines or brands. Supporting litho as well as wide-format printing it can be integrated to MIS systems such as Prinergy, EEFi and more.
Also featured on the stand is VDP. ‘The use of VDP and Web2Print can provide printers with a competitive edge by producing personalised promotional communications such as advertisements, direct mailers, brochures and flyers, business cards, newsletters, discount coupons, tickets and letters,’ says Leon. ‘Elements such as text, graphics and images can be amended from one printed piece to the next – using information from a database or external file – without stopping or slowing the printing process. The growing popularity of the internet has opened up opportunities for customers to submit print jobs and design items such as calendars, postcards and photo books online providing a rich user interfaces,’ Leon concludes.
To learn more, visit the Konica Minolta South Africa stand (Hall1E17-26).
[Ed’s note: Entrance to the expo is free It’s open from 09h00 to 18h00 on Wednesday and Thursday and from 09h00 to 17h00 on Friday. For online registration go to www.africaprintexpo.com.]