Konica Minolta has brought its toner-based roll-to-roll label printer to market under a new name, the bizhub Press C71cf.
The system uses Miyakoshi unwind and rewinding technology. It was shown as a prototype at the previous Labelexpo and then at Ipex 2014 as the C70RLC.
Olaf Lorenz, general manager of Konica Minolta’s international marketing division, said the Japanese manufacturer had opted to simplify the press by not including a laser die-cutting system.
The C71cf has a maximum 330mm web width and 320mm image width, with a maximum image size of 1,200x320mm. Print speed is up to 18.9m/min.
It uses low-temperature fusing technology and Simitri HDE toner, and can print on a wide range of materials including polypropylene and synthetic paper.
It currently prints in CMYK. Lorenz said white was a possible option for the future.
“We truly believe there is a shift from conventional flexo to digital that’s happening very rapidly,” he stated.
Konica Minolta is positioning the C71cf as a mid-range option that fills the gap between entry-level and high-end systems.
Miguel Abranches Pinto, managing director of alpha test customer Litho Formas in Portugal said: “The quality is very nice and it is very easy to operate. We can run the same stocks as we do on our other presses, which is a big advantage. We don’t have to prime them and there are no issues with compatibility with other inks, varnishes or hot stamping foils.
“We have also tested the output on a customer’s bottling line.”
He said the firm had produced 60,000 linear metres of labels in its first 12 weeks of operation, with an average job length of 500 metres.
Konica Minolta has both electrophotographic and inkjet technology in its portfolio. Its inkjet heads have already been integrated in a number of label applications, via partner company Industrial Inkjet.
The Bizhub Press C71cf costs €240,000 (£175,000) and will be fully available from the beginning of next year.