Ricoh has announced a new series of dry toner light production printers, the Pro C5300, which is an update to the existing C5200 series though it’s not really clear why Ricoh bothered since most of the specifications remain the same.
The C5000-series models are mostly used in the corporate and in-plant market. It would be difficult for Ricoh to make drastic improvements to the headline specifications of these presses without undermining the more expensive models. This in turn suggests that Ricoh does not plan to make major improvements to those machines when it’s time to refresh its other production printers. Instead, most of the improvements to the C5300 appear to be aimed at broadening the market to appeal also to commercial printers.
As before there are two models, with the maximum production speed being the only difference between them. The maximum speed remains the same for both as the outgoing C5200 series but although the new machines take heavier stocks this has affected the overall productivity. Thus the basic C5300 runs at 65 A4 ppm for media up to 256gsm, dropping to 50ppm for sheets from 256 to 360gsm. The slightly faster C5310 can produce 80 A4 ppm though this also drops to 56ppm for the heavier substrates. The speeds remain the same for both colour and monochrome though they are slightly faster to output the first copy in monochrome. Both machines can cope with a maximum monthly volume of 150,000 pages, which is also the same as the older machines though Ricoh says that it has increased the duty cycle for peak periods.
Ricoh has also added a vacuum feed Large Capacity Tray that can support a wide range of substrates for increased volume capabilities, and so now supports coated and heavy stocks and auto duplexing up to 360 gsm, in sizes up to 330mm × 487mm.
Ricoh does appear to have improved on the VCSEL imaging system, which can now produce 2400 x 4800 dpi images, up from 1200 x 4800dpi previously, though it appears that the print engine remains the same so that it still only prints at 1200 x 4800 dpi. That said, there is a new gloss control to address different image output demands.
Ricoh has also managed to improve the front to back registration due to a number of modifications such as changes to image sensor timings, and new reverse function registration rollers, enhanced duplex registration assembly, and the introduction of a bridge unit housing a pre-mechanical registration assembly for media fed from the Vacuum LCT. Ricoh has also expanded the range of ORU kits to enable operators to carry out more maintenance, which in turn should help to avoid problems between engineer visits.
These presses now also support a wider variety of post press peripherals, including an enhanced booklet finisher capable of 30-sheet booklet production at 80gsm, as well as a high capacity stacker and fore-edge trimmer.
Inevitably the current lock down that’s in place to deal with the Corona Virus will affect the availability of these presses. Ricoh UK says that it is planning to prepare orders from the beginning of May with local installations as soon as restrictions are lifted. Pricing and running costs appear to remain the same, or possibly higher than the older models – the people at Ricoh were a bit vague when I asked about this, which is usually a sign that costs are going up.