Drupa 2012 provided the platform for a joint announcement from Ryobi and Kodak regarding the release of a unique hybrid printing solution, marrying the strengths of Ryobi’s B2 sheet-fed offset-litho printing equipment and Kodak’s Prosper S5 Imprinting Systems.
The worldwide agreement sees Ryobi’s popular 750 Series B2-format offset press integrated with Kodak’s Prosper S5 Imprinting Systems, providing for the inclusion of variable information in a litho printing environment. The creation of this hybrid solution eliminates the costs and time associated with using laser printers to add variable information as an additional production stage for previously printed offset jobs.
Kodak’s Vice President and General Manager of Inkjet Printing Solutions, Michael L. Marsh, said: “Ryobi engineers have created a unique solution, a one-step, dynamic hybrid sheet-fed press that integrates Kodak Prosper press inkjet technology with the precision sheet control of a Ryobi press.”
The hybrid press can print at up to 10,000 sheets per hour, offering direct mail printers a true print and ship capability – especially when combined with an optional inline UV coating unit, which allows for faster job turnaround.
Ryobi’s Graphic Systems Division General Manager, Hideki Domoto, added: “Kodak provides unique capabilities in the sheet-fed hybrid market, offering our customers new and expanded capabilities. This hybrid press marks another important milestone in the history of two innovative companies.”
First Installation Already in Japan
The announcement also revealed details of the first installation of this unique hybrid solution, with three Kodak Prosper S5 imaging heads incorporated into a nine-unit Ryobi 750 B2-format litho press. The machine, at Komatsu General Print Co. Ltd, Nagano, Tokyo, Japan, consists of four standard litho units laying down process colours, unit five containing two of the Kodak imaging units, unit six containing the third Prosper head, unit seven an NIR dryer, unit eight for spot colour, and unit nine comprising a UV coating unit.
Each Prosper S5 printing station houses the electronics and software that manage the pumps, valves, and filters to control the flow of ink, replenisher, and cleaning fluids for the continuous inkjet heads. Imaging resolution is 600 x 600 dpi, and data from one single controller can be split electronically between up to four print heads.
Komatsu specialises in the production of direct mail work. The two Prosper print heads in unit five cover an A4 area of the full sheet, and can therefore image a substantial amount of bespoke data, whilst the head in unit six is used to add postal address details onto the sheet. A full B2 format marketing piece can then be folded and glued to create the final mailer.
The complete system provides Komatsu with a production solution that is able to create significantly higher throughput than standard digital print products, and with an extremely high print quality.
Commenting on the announcement, Neil Handforth, Sales and Marketing Director of Apex Digital Graphics, the UK distributor of Ryobi products, said: “This is a very exciting development for Ryobi press users. The ability to create work with variable data at offset speeds and offset quality provides printers with a unique product. Print entrepreneurs with vision will be able to see the huge potential of such a marriage.”
About Apex Digital Graphics
Apex Digital Graphics Limited is a specialist in the supply and service of pre-press and press equipment. Apex is the official UK distributor for the Ryobi range of printing presses and ECRM polyester platesetters. Apex also distributes the Screen range of thermal and violet platesetters. The company offers national service coverage, and a one-stop shop for print consumables featuring next day delivery. Apex Digital Graphics can be contacted on 01442 235 236 or via the www.apexdigital.co.uk web site.