Screen has expanded its range of Truepress Jet 520HD inkjet presses with a new mono version, the 520HD Mono, which should be available in the second half of this year.
As with the existing 520HD models, it uses Ricoh Gen5 printheads. It can run at 50mpm at its maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi which drops to 600 x 600 dpi at its maximum speed of 150mpm. For many users, the best compromise will be 1200 x 600dpi at speeds up to 100mpm.
The ink comes from the existing and well-proven SC inkset, which can print directly onto offset coated papers though the maximum speed on these stocks for this press is 100mpm.
It uses a near infrared drying unit. Seiichi Nakao Seiichi, global business director for Screen’s commercial printing and high speed inkjet, explains: “NIR works fine for the black colour, but doesn’t work well enough for other colours. That is why we use the combination of drum heater, hot air for the TP-J520HD colour system plus also NIR for the TP-J520HD+. I don’t think a colour printer with only NIR dryer works well.” NIR also has the advantage that it targets the ink directly, effectively drying it from the inside out, with minimal impact on the paper.
So NIR alone for black ink makes perfect since, and since the NIR unit is relatively small, this makes for a very compact print engine, though you’ll still need two engines for double-sided printing. It’s aimed at a range of markets, including direct mail, invoices and manuals but the main targets are book printing and overprinting of direct mail. To this end, Screen is working with a number of postpress vendors, including Hunkeler and Horizon to create complete solutions fully integrated with Screen’s Equios DFE, which seems like a sensible approach, particularly for producing short run book blocks. In addition, the press can be run directly from a tablet, which shows the running status to an operator and allows the press to be stopped or started.
Press vendors have been telling journalists for over 20 years that the market is moving to colour and monochrome is dying out, yet black and white printing is remarkably persistent and still accounts for a great deal of work. So there’s likely to be a ready market for a fast inkjet press like the 520HD Mono, with its ability to print to a wide range of papers, including offset coated. The 520HD is a proven platform and this mono version ought to be more cost effective than a dry toner press, and to have enough productivity to replace two toner machines with a single inkjet.
Screen isn’t disclosing the price beyond saying that it will be the most affordable in the HD series, which you’d expect of a monochrome press! Screen had planned to launch this mono version at Drupa so it should be available worldwide from this summer. You can find further details on the rest of the 520HD series from screen.co.jp.