Fujifilm has taken the first European orders for its B2 inkjet Jet Press 720 from two companies in Austria and France.
The orders take the total number of Jet Press sales worldwide to 19, with all but the last two coming from printers in Japan and North America.
While there have been no UK orders as yet, Fujifilm UK managing director Keith Dalton told PrintWeek that talks were taking place with "a number of people" and that the first UK order to be "not too far away".
Fujifilm has not disclosed the names of the European printers that have placed orders or what the markets they operate in; however, Dalton said that the press had a range of potential applications and that existing customers came from a number of different sectors.
"Everyone seems to be very hung up about perfecting and variable data printing," he added, in reference to the fact that the Jet Press 720 offers neither of these. "But variable is less than 5% of the market and the majority of B2 presses are not perfecting.
"Stop thinking about it as a digital press and start thinking about it as a press for high quality, short-run jobs that allows you to work in different ways, such as breaking a 1,000 run job into three runs of 400, then 200, then 400 if that's what suits your workload.
"With the Jet Press, that's exactly the kind of thing you can do that you cannot do with litho, because all you need to do is press a button to call up the job and print it."
Dalton added that while the Jet Press 720 at €1.5m (£1.2m) is more than twice the price of a typical four-colour B2 litho press and uses more expensive inkjet ink, it was important to look beyond just the machine and ink costs.
"People shouldn't get fixated on single costs, you need to look at the total cost of ownership, including the pre-press costs and the fact that with a B2 litho press the waste costs on paper are very high," he said.
Fujifilm has pitched the "sweet spot" for the Jet Press 720 as runs of 1,000 and under and potentially up to 2,000, depending on the job. The press has a running speed of 2,700 B2 sheets and hour and uses Fujifilm's Samba printhead technology to achieve 1,200dpi resolution with four variable dot sizes.
The press applies a primer to the substrate prior to printing, meaning it can use standard offset coated and specified uncoated papers and does not have to use expensive inkjet papers to achieve a high quality result.
"The sale of two Jet Press 720 presses in Europe validates the high level of interest that we saw at drupa earlier this year," said Yasufumi Morimoto, senior vice president of Fujifilm Europe in a statement.
"Both of these printers were impressed by the outstanding quality and productivity of the Jet Press 720 and we are confident that the introduction of the press to their businesses will help them reap the benefit of new printing applications and realise greater profit potential."Tweet