Star product: Domino K630i

By Simon Eccles, Monday 20 February 2017

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A compact press for high-volume mono book production.

star-k630i

What does the printer do?

This is a web-fed mono single-engine duplex inkjet press, intended for volume paperback book printing with “near photo” quality. It has a particularly small footprint for its spec. It is available in three web widths and can be configured for inline or offline running with third-party book production and binding systems. 

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?

In its current configuration the K630i was introduced in mid-2016 for the book market. Domino is primarily aiming for the volume paperback book market, replacing slower toner-based web printers. “This is for the production market, not for one-off books,” says Bryan Palphreyman, Domino’s product manager for digital print solutions. It can be supplied as the ‘book block printing solution’ with Hunkeler inline unwinder, web buffer, folder, cutter and stacker, to produce sections or book blocks, or it can re-reel for nearline systems. It can also produce multi-page booklets with an Ibis Smartbinder saddle stitching/gluing line or similar. 

How does it work?

The press uses a Domino full-width print bar containing an array of Kyocera greyscale piezo heads on each side of the web, with drying units positioned after each bar. 

The ‘i’ part of K630i stands for Domino’s built-in intelligence, intended to make it easier to use. The i-Tech ActiFlow circulation system keeps ink moving around the printhead even when the press is stopped, while ActiFlow de-gases the ink to prevent bubbles. i-Tech CleanCap automated print head cleaning and capping means that daily, manual head wiping isn’t necessary.

For book printing it can run a high-density black aqueous pigment ink suited for coated or uncoated papers, but there’s also a UV-cured ink option for high gloss or other ‘difficult’ substrates. You can’t swap between inks on the same press. 

Three maximum print widths are offered, though Palphreyman expects the largest 540mm version to be the only choice for book work to match finishing lines from Hunkeler and others. 

The front-end is the Domino Editor RIP, which accepts PDFs and variable data IPDS/AFP, as well as imposition data. 

How does it differ from previous models?

The K630i is a revised version of the Swiss Graph-Tech MonoCube printer. That was originally intended for transactional printing, but after Domino bought Graph-Tech in 2013 it continued development, renaming it K630i and refining its integration with downstream production processes. 

How fast/productive is it? 

Top web speed is 150m/min, with a duty cycle of 16 to 52 million A4 pages per month (assuming duplexing). Probably more important, says Palphreyman, is that the press can be run at any speed with the same quality. This lets it match with finishers that need to run at different speeds depending on the number of pages. 

Palphreyman says the small footprint also means there is little paper threaded in the press, which makes paper changes more economical.

What is the USP?

According to Palphreyman, the USPs are the K630i’s compact footprint, high image quality due to dense black ink and greyscales, plus the effort Domino puts into integration with book production lines. 

How easy is it to use?

Very easy, says Palphreyman. “You switch on, the data comes in and it starts printing. The quality module looks after consistency. It’s operator friendly, with all cleaning and head capping being automatic. Ideally we’ll get to the point that all the operator has to do is reload the ink and paper. 

What training and support is on offer?

“Domino has a service and support network worldwide,” says Palphreyman. “Training is part of the sales and installation plan. The training also includes letting customers do their own diagnostics and then using a stock of spares held onsite. We also have remote diagnostics and our own engineers if needed”

How much does it cost?

Between £450,000 to £500,000 for a basic 540mm width press with print quality module. There are no click charges. 

What is the sales target, how many are installed currently worldwide and in the UK?

So far one has been sold to a UK book printer, Ashford Colour Press in Gosport, running with Hunkeler inline equipment. A similar configuration will be demonstrated at this week’s Hunkeler Innovation Days event in Switzerland. Palphreyman says that another sale is likely to be announced to coincide with the Hunkeler event. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Max speed 150m/min

Inkjet technology Domino single-pass print bar with Kyocera piezo greyscale heads 

Ink Aqueous pigment or UV-cure pigment, MICR

Print widths 333, 445 or 540mm

Resolution 600dpi with four-level greyscale

Footprint Print unit: 1.9x2.2m; control unit: 2,100x900mm; ink supply unit: 520x1,202mm

Price From £450,000 to £500,000 (for engine plus RIP)

Contact Domino Printing Sciences 01954 782551 www.domino-printing.com 


ALTERNATIVES

Canon Océ Jetstream 5500 Mono

The widest and fastest mono system from the Océ JetStream Wide Series with print speeds up to 254m/min. 

Max speed 254m/min

Inkjet technology Océ DigiDot drop-on-demand piezoelectric 

Ink Pigment 

Paper widths 216 to 762mm

Max print width 750mm

Resolution perceived 1,200dpi up to 200m/min; 600x480dpi at 254m/min

Price From £1.5m

Contact Canon 020 8588 8000 www.canon.co.uk

HP PageWide T260M

HP’s PageWide T-series colour and mono inkjet web presses are market leaders in the digital book printing sector. The thermal heads are high res but not so far the HDNA greyscale type. 

Max speed 244mpm

Inkjet technology single-pass thermal drop-on-demand arrays

Ink Aqueous pigment 

Paper widths 440 to 660mm

Max print width 630mm

Resolution 1,200 dpi

Price From £1m

Contact HP 0330 587 5113 www.hp.com

Kodak Prosper 1000 plus Press

Revamped and significantly faster version of the original monochrome Prosper press, launched in 2015 and claimed to be the fastest on the market. 

Max speed 300m/min

Inkjet technology Stream continuous flow

Ink Aqueous pigment, black

Paper widths 204 to 647mm 

Max print width 622mm

Resolution equivalent to 175lpi litho halftone

Price Around £700,000

Contact Kodak 0845 602 5991 www.kodak.com 


USER REVIEW

“The three main benefits of the machine here at Ashford are the quality, the paper wastage that ties in with our ISO 14001 accreditation and the compact footprint” 5/5 

Jaime Layton Production manager, Ashford Press, Gosport

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