While researching and writing the analysis piece, Production Color Digital Print Capabilities Beyond Four Color, I had the chance to sit in on a webinar sponsored by Mcardle Solutions about how designers can apply special effects using the capabilities of Mcardle Solution’s HP Indigo 7600. For participating in the webinar, I received a calendar produced by Mcardle Solutions that features some of these special effects, this video blog showcases some of my favorites.
For more information on beyond four color special effects we encourage you to visit these links:
in addition to the four traditional process colors (CMYK). Today, we have seen leaders in the high-end electrophotographic market, such as HP, Kodak, and Xeikon, expanding the capabilities of their devices to provide additional efforts to accommodate five or more print stations also known as, “5+” colors, during production. There has also been some activity in off-line digital devices that provide the ability to add value to a printed page through the application, typically via inkjet heads, of a gloss coating or some other effect. New entrants to the offline market such as, Scodix and MGI, are a few of these offline companies entering this market.
Delphax is a long standing provider of high-end digital monochrome printers in markets focused on check, security, and book printing. Until the announcement of elan, these have all been toner-based cut-sheet and continuous feed solutions. With the trend towards color, Delphax began an initiative several years ago to develop its own color solution and is now launching elan, a 500 ipm digital full colour cut-sheet printer. As its imaging partner it chose Memjet, which provides the inkjet print heads for elan.
2012 will probably go down in history as the year of the “digital B2” drupa. This alone is exciting news for any print service provider looking for a new production tool. As an industry supplier however, it makes it more difficult to stand out with a B2-format offering. Still Delphax’s elan has a couple of exciting features that could really differentiate the product from its competition. Based on the details that Delphax has released so far these are:
– Low expected acquisition price and running costs
– High resolution
– Small footprint
– Innovative paper path
– Ability to run a fifth or sixth color or MICR
What would happen if you worked closely with a customer during the early stages of a product’s development? This is a question that Xerox executives considered as the company began applying its phase-change inkjet technology to a new high-speed continuous feed production color printer design. The customer that Xerox chose for this experiment was dmh Marketing Partners, and it looks like they found an excellent partner to test this concept of iterative design. Over a period of about two years, Xerox and dmh developed a design concept into a product, the Xerox CiPress 500, which was announced at Graph Expo 2011. (For more information, see the InfoTrends blog: Xerox to Show CiPress 500 Production Inkjet System at Graph Expo.)
Shortly after making the announcement of the CiPress 500, Xerox brought a group of analysts to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa to visit Alaniz, one of the eight companies that make up dmh (direct mail holdings). Located amid cornfields not far from a Walmart distribution facility, the Alaniz facility has been the site of the CiPress 500 testing. It is currently the only external CiPress 500 site, though Xerox noted that others would be announced this fall.
dmh Marketing Partners site: Alaniz in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
It finally has a name: CiPress (pronounced like Cyprus, theÂ country, or cypress, the tree). The Ci stands for color inkjet. Last shown as a technology demonstration at the Hunkeler innovationdays, Xerox’s CiPress 500 Production Inkjet System will make its North American debut at Graph Expo where it will be shown in a single-engine duplex (SED) configuration.
Xerox CiPress 500 Production Inkjet System (single engine)
A series of announcements over the past year from RISO and its partners underscore a sales and marketing strategy that RISO is using to focus its ComColor line of color inkjet printers on production environments. (Note: InfoTrends clients can refer to the analysis entitled “RISO Accelerates Color Cut-Sheet Inkjet to 150-ipm with Its New ComColor Line” dated June 17, 2009” for more background details on ComColor.) While ComColor has some opportunities in office multi-function peripheral (MFP) markets, what RISO has discovered is that with the right accessories and partnerships in place it is gaining acceptance for high-volume applications, particularly in print and mail environments.Â Read more »
This is a remarkable point in time to reinvent the cut-sheet production color digital printer. Why? Inkjet technologies provide a compelling opportunity to increase speed and format, offer additional flexibility through differentiation (4+ colors for MICR, gloss or matte coating, spot color, or other special effects), while lowering running cost. We’ve seen an inkling of this in A3 format with the RISO HC5500 and ComColor products, but I believe there is a significant opportunity for a larger format product. Read more »
What is it about magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) that has made it such a hot topic recently? There have been at least five MICR announcements involving high-speed color inkjet in recent memory:
Océ started the trend with its announcement of MICR capability for JetStream in October of 2008. The JetStream implementation was the first in a high-speed color inkjet device to use a fifth color implementation of a MICR inkjet ink.
In September of 2009 HP announced a technology alliance with R.R. Donnelley that includes joint development around inkjet MICR. This will assure that a MICR option will be available for HP’s T300 Inkjet Web Press.
At Print 09 InfoPrint added MICR inkjet ink capability for the black station of the InfoPrint 5000 (InfoPrint also had other MICR activity at the show with cut-sheet toner products through its partner Rosetta Technologies).
At Print 09 RISO (in partnership with Kirk-Rudy) announced an in-line MICR accessory for the HC5500. This new accessory was announced at the same time as a new envelope feeder.
In October Kodak announced a MICR option for the Versamark VL series that will be available in the first half of 2010 (more on this below).
I’ve been giving some thought to devices that offer one or more imaging stations above the typical four (for the four process colors). HP Indigo, Kodak NexPress, and Xeikon have had this capability for many years but recent announcements are expanding this capability, and, in addition, others are entering this space. The possibilities range from simple spot color use to custom colors, coatings, and magnetic image character recognition (MICR). The table below shows a brief summary of the current state of the art. This table includes only currently available products used for document applications. Another table would need to be dedicated to adequately address products in the flexible label and packaging space. Read more »