Looks like a case of B2 or be square at this year's Drupa


In case you missed the flurry of announcements, it seems Drupa will be the B2 digital show.

Of course, it’s not really – it just seems that anyone who is anyone will be launching a B2 digital press at the show.

It started when Fujifilm and Screen said they’d give their inkjet machines long-awaited commercial launches. Then, when we all started to think ‘team toner’ had no intentions of seriously straying outside its SRA3 heartland, HP unveiled a family of B2 products that will be commercially available early next year, and Xeikon alluded to its own most-likely web-fed offering, the evocatively named Quantum.

Not wanting to be left out, French manufacturer MGI then revealed it would be demo-ing a working prototype of its take on inkjet B2 in Dusseldorf next month.

Now the already crowded fray is set to be joined by another toner-based machine, which looks deceptively like an offset unit-style press, jointly developed by Ryobi and Miyakoshi. Within hours of those two firms going public,  Benny Landa broke silence, admittedly still in hushed tones, on what he will be showing: B1, B3 and – yes, you guessed it – a B2 digital press utilising his ‘Nanography’ process.

While B2 digital looked like an interesting niche up a few weeks ago, it’s now been catapulted into the mainstream and has become a case of B2 or be square.

The question is, just how big can the market for B2 digital presses really be? Because the one subject on which everyone is currently light on detail about is cost per page. And if that question isn’t nailed, then there could be more manufacturers than customers.

PrintWeek editor Darryl Danielli

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