Going Silver, Gold, Fluorescent and more with BiancoDigitale

Ralf Schlozer
Jun 18, 2018

With all eyes on high volume production solutions we often overlook the small solution that can add value and enhance print at a very affordable level. At Print4All – the Italian print show combing all kinds of print from commercial, to packaging, to industrial – Xerox highlighted its recently launched Iridesse. Simultaneously in the corner of the booth, Xerox’ Italian concessionaire M.C. System showed its BiancoDigitale print and print enhancements system, based on a modest Xerox C60 Light Production device.

M.C. System srl is a family owned Xerox concessionaire since 1984 and is based close to Perugia. The company has 45 employees and provides full sales and service for Xerox equipment. BiancoDigitale is a registered trademark of M.C. System srl which developed the entire project. BiancoDigitale is actually a range of solutions consisting of the Multiverse as a kit for the C60 and C70 or as a modified C60 device and the BiancoDigitale White Printing Series for desktop printers (Phaser 7800, Versalink C400 and C7000 and old models as the Phaser 6600 and 7100) for printing on transfer media or coloured paper. The specialty colour kits were previewed at drupa 2016 and became available in 2017. By now there are more than 100 kits sold. While the kits for the desktop printers are restricted to the very occasional users, the solutions based on Xerox’ Light Production devices have real appeal to the production market.

In its base version the BiancoDigitale Multiverse is a replacement toner kit for the Xerox C60 and C70. Two kits are currently available: silver/gold/white/clear or with 3 fluorescent toners + black. Two more kits are under development using silver/CMY or gold/CMY. To turn a standard C60/70 into a print enhancement system the existing CMYK toner cartridges and developments systems are removed and placed on a special rack (supplied as well) and the special colour kit is loaded. According to M.C. System this should take no longer than 5 minutes. A kit does cost about €9,000 for end users.

Xerox C60 with BiancoDigitale Multiverse kit

The kits can be used on existing C60/70 devices. There is also a version of the BiancoDigitale with a modified C60, called the Multiverse-Plus, featuring an improved fuser and is capable of printing on stocks up to 450gsm (via the bypass), even with textured surfaces. With this substrate range, even some folding carton applications can be addressed. This version is sold by M.C. System directly.

Examples of Gold, Silver, White and Clear

Example of Fluorescent Toner

M.S. System is already planning the next step and showed a prototype kit for the Versant 180. This would allow even more productivity.

Although the Multiverse allows for a great number of special effects, it has one drawback: it cannot print process colour images at the same time. Although over- and underprinting is possible the user either needs to exchange the colour set for a second pass (cumbersome) or has to have two printers at the site. To print only one pass the gold/silver and CMY solution could become an alternative. Similar to HP Indigo’s EPM mode, black needs to be achieved with an CMY overprint which could result in some quality losses, an increase in toner consumption, and might not be suitable for all images.

Another challenge however is how to integrate the specialty colours in the workflow. The system prints from PDF files with spot colours or added colour channels. Freeflow does not support the BiancoDigitale specialty colours currently. As a DFE, the BiancoDigitale Special WPs Management RIP is offered. Alternatively, a specific patch for the Fiery RIP is available to print the specialty colours. M.C. System just became a Fiery platinum partner, and this will mean the software will be available as an extension to Fiery DFEs.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the prospective user is the limited distribution of the BiancoDigitale system. Obviously, M.C. System sells in Italy. Other distributers took up the system and sell in Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and the Baltics. In France, Italy and Portugal BiancoDigitale is also sold via Xerox directly, although Xerox only sells the Multiverse as a C60 already equipped with the kit and not for user replacement.

After recently completing our study into specialty colours in digital print it is was interesting to see two special colour solutions at Xerox print4all booth at the same time. In terms of productivity BiancoDigitale will be nowhere close to an Iridesse. The Iridesse has an edge in sparkle and gloss of the metallics as well. Holding register with over- or underprinting special effects with CMYK is likely to be a challenge with BiancoDigitale too – we did not see any examples. Still there are many users that simply cannot afford a full-blown solution or want to test the waters of value added effects. For them a BiancoDigitale will be the ideal solution and we expect to see more countries picking up the Multiverse and enabling printers to grow their business.

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