Ricoh and Screen have worked together to develop a new continuous feed inkjet press, though both have failed to mention the other’s contribution in their press releases announcing their machines. However, Ricoh’s VC6000 and Screen’s Truepress Jet520HD are fundamentally the same machine apart from the front end.
Thus Ricoh has provided the inkjet technology while Screen has been responsible for the paper transport and system controls. It’s a logical step given that Ricoh has been rebadging the Screen TPJ520 series, which uses Epson printheads, as its InfoPrint 5000 range.
The new press uses Ricoh greyscale printheads and boasts resolution of up to 1200 x 1200 dpi, which would take it into a higher quality market beyond transactional printing. It can run at up to 120 mpm, which equates to around 100,000 A4 images per hour though Tim Taylor, VP of solutions and technology for Screen, says that a standard speed would be 75mpm at 1200 x 600 dpi. It should be capable of producing up to 40 million impressions per month.
It’s a 520mm wide modular twin-engined colour printer and will initially be supplied with four colours. But there will be an option to slot in an additional module with two further print arrays, which could be used for spot colours or other effects such as clear inks.
It uses high viscosity water-based pigment inks and can print to a broad range of media that includes uncoated and coated offset, digital, treated and recycled from 40gsm to 250gsm. There’s an optional undercoat unit for printing to lower grade papers without loss of quality, though for now Screen has opted not to offer this.
Ricoh has also mentioned an optional protector coat station which can print a durable ‘scratch & scuff resistant’ layer on coated papers though this could simply refer to the additional colour channels.
Ricoh will supply its TotalFlow Print Server R600A, which includes native support for PDF, including PDF/VT, and AFP/IPDS together with JDF and advanced colour management support. Screen will be launching a new version of its Equios front end, with features such as In-RIP Smart Imposition, ICC Profile Editor and Spot Colour Editor optimised for this printer.
The new press will be shown at the Graph Expo show in Chicago. Screen has already announced the first two sales, both to direct mail printers, with one going to to Nic.Oud in Holland and the second to Baumer in Switzerland.