Transitioning the Production of Premium Products to Inkjet Web
Roger Serrette, Ricoh USA
When Heeter—a firm that produces direct mail and other data-rich printing for the retail, education, and gaming industries—was looking for colors that popped and needed to provide quality printing media to these markets, it turned to the RICOH Pro VC70000 inkjet press. The extended color gamut inks available for the platform and its ability to print coated papers without pretreatment allow the firm to harness the vibrant color needed to serve their current clients and win new ones. What’s more, Heeter loves the speed at which it now prints its products.
The RICOH Pro VC70000 uses Ricoh printheads to produce 1,200 by 1,200 dpi resolution with uncoated, offset coated, inkjet treated or inkjet coated papers that range from 40 gsm to 250. This allows for vivid image quality without slowing production. With print speeds up to 492 feet (150 meters) per minute on a maximum 20-inch (508 mm) print web width, producing almost 130,000 A4 letter impressions per hour, businesses can produce high volume, tight turnaround orders, which are a staple of modern print shops. Yet, the high speeds do not come with a sacrifice in quality. The Pro VC70000 uses unique, Ricoh patented dryer technology, which speeds up drying capabilities, allowing for faster print speeds and higher ink limit. By using small-diameter heated rollers to “iron the paper,” the Pro VC7000 almost eliminates the wrinkles that sometimes develop in lighter weight or offset-coated papers. It also employs fluid-chilled cooling rollers, and high precision monitoring tracks temperature to ensure cooling occurs properly for quick turnarounds that don’t sacrifice image quality.
The Pro VC70000’s groundbreaking introduction of traditionally offset-associated media to a continuous feed inkjet platform, without pretreatment, empowers printers to produce high-quality products, such as glossy catalogues and magazines. The new Ricoh inks offer as much as a 40 percent savings on paper costs by allowing for support of offset coated papers and untreated papers, among others. Lower water in the inks reduces color bleed, and the exclusive formulation allows for the ink to remain at the surface of uncoated papers while allowing for better adhesion to offset coated stocks. This also means the ink remains more durable and is scratch and fade resistant.