Star product: Konica Minolta PKG-675i

Simon Eccles
Monday, June 28, 2021

A speedy option for board printing with a good bang-to-buck ratio.

What is it?

It’s a compact manually fed 1,066mm wide single-pass inkjet, primarily intended to print flat or die-cut corrugated board, cartonboard and other media (including paper) up to 16mm thick. The manual feed keeps the price below £100,000 while the single-pass technology means it’s substantially quicker than conventional flatbed inkjets used for corrugated, as well as a fraction of the price of autofeed corrugated inkjets. It’s actually Konica Minolta’s rebadging of the existing MTex NS Multi+. This uses Memjet VersaPass print heads and aqueous dye inks. 

When was it announced and what are the target markets?

The original Multi was announced in 2017 by NS (New Solution), a division of the Portugese inkjet textile printer and ancillaries manufacturer MTex. In 2019 Konica Minolta USA announced a partnership with Memjet and signed an exclusive sales and support deal for the Multi+ in North America, renaming it the PKG-675i. In February 2021 the exclusive agreement was extended to include Europe.

Grahame Megilly, business development manager for industrial print at Konica Minolta UK, says “the PKG-675i is targeted at corrugated manufacturers, convertors, commercial printers, and brand owners looking for a short-run digital print solution.” It can handle runs as short as single copies, with variable data, customisation and personalisation if required. MTex makes the PKG-675i in its factory at Vila Nova de Famalicão in Portugal. The only substantial difference between the two machines is in the supply and support chains. 

How does it work?

The PKG-675i is a single-pass flatbed inkjet based on Memjet VersaPass heads with aqueous dye inks. There are five heads arranged to give a maximum print width of 1,066mm, on board up to 1.2m wide, with no length limit other than what the catch tray imposes. Each five-channel head prints CMY plus two blacks rather than a fifth special colour. Konica Minolta sources the food-pack-safe aqueous dye inks from Memjet. 

The printer and inks are “designed to print onto standard white and brown Kraft uncoated corrugated flat and pre-cut boards 0.1-15.8mm thick,” says Megilly. For higher quality, water-based inkjet-friendly papers can be laminated onto corrugated materials.

Feeding is manual with the boards offered individually onto the feed tray, which has adjustable guide rails, after which alignment and transport are motorised. There’s a choice of two resolutions, 1,600x1,600dpi and 1,600x800dpi, which give different print speeds of 9m or 18m/min. Delivery is to a rear mounted catch tray. 

Megilly says: “The PKG-675i incorporates the very latest developments by MTex NS, which include a new encoder wheel system. This ensures that prints are accurately positioned on pre-cut and folded boards, and a powerful ionisation bar and debris extraction system designed to maintain print quality on standard corrugated materials.”

The PKG-675i ships with a Caldera RIP which includes pre-job ink coverage analysis for estimating.

What’s the USP?

The combination of speed, resolution, relative simplicity and lowish price are only matched by the similarly configured Xanté Excelagraphix 4800, which uses the same Memjet heads and inks. Konica Minolta has a more extensive sales and support network than Xanté, however. “The PKG-675i offers an unbeatable bang for your buck!” says Megilly. 

What does it cost?

PKG-675i is currently only available via KM’s direct sales channel. “Exact price will depend on configuration but is around £100,000,” says Megilly. “Ink cost is entirely dependent on coverage. Zero makeready ensures that costs on short-run, customised or personalised boxes are extremely competitive.”

What training and support are offered?

Operator training and service support is provided by KM’s service team. 

What is the sales target and have any KM Europe models been sold yet 

“Since launch in February, Konica Minolta UK has hosted over 20 online demonstrations from its dedicated PKG-675i showroom in Portugal. Several orders have been taken, with the first press due to be installed late June or early July,” says Megilly. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Process Single-pass inkjet, aqueous dye inks

Colours Five channels (CMYKK)

Resolution 1,600x1,600dpi or 1,600x800dpi

Print speed 150mm or 300mm per second

Media thickness 0.1 to 15.8mm

Max media width 1,193mm

Max imaging width 1,066.8mm

Max media length Unlimited

RIP Caldera

Price £100,000

Contact Konica Minolta Europe www.konicaminolta.eu 07793 758571


ALTERNATIVES

Xanté Excelagraphix 4800

The essential statistics are the same as the PKG-675i because both use the same Memjet VersaPass head arrays and inks. There is an autofeed option as well as a stacker.

RIP Xanté iQueue Workflow

Price From about £100,000

Contact Xanté xante.com

Kolbus Autobox Boxer

A dedicated corrugated box maker made in the UK, that cuts and glues and can optionally be fitted with a print unit. It’s not for high print quality, but it offers full box production for about the same price as the KM. A higher quality inkjet module called XD300 is due to be launched, but it will at least double the price.

Max board size 2x6m

Max board thickness 8mm

Features Fully automatic, 60 second, toolless setup; automated cutting to width and length; automated glue flap removal

Die-cut station Max size 100x100mm (2 off) when not being employed for glue-flap removal or 0400 style boxes

Price From about £80,000

Contact Kolbus Autobox www.autoboxmachinery.com 01525 379359

HP Latex R1000/R1000 Plus

This flatbed multipass inkjet costs more than the KM and is much slower, but it is a little wider (1.6m) and more versatile. It includes roll feeding for flexible media. Its water based Latex inks are food safe and include a white option for brown board or transparencies. 

Process Multi-pass thermal inkjet

Inks HP Latex R aqueous thermopolymer

Colours CMYK, LC, LM, Optimizer, Overcoat, white

Resolution Up to 1,200x1,200dpi

Throughput 30sqm/hr (CMYK indoor quality)

Max sheet size Up to 1,625x3,050mm (with extension tables), 50.8mm thick

Max roll width 1.63m

Price About £159,000 

Contact HP www.hp.com 0800 408 4348 

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