Star product: Fujifilm Jet Press 750S

By Simon Eccles, Tuesday 28 May 2019

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A viable digital rival to B2 litho offset presses.

star-jet-press-750s

What does the press do?

This is claimed to be the fastest B2 format sheetfed digital press on the market. It’s a single-pass inkjet, printing wide-gamut CMYK onto standard offset papers and carton board. It succeeds the Jet Press 720S introduced in 2014, with 33% faster speed, more uptime, greater stock range and a new food-safe ink option. It also has a new black colour scheme. 

When was it announced and what’s the target market?

First announcement was at IGAS in Japan last September, followed by Europe in November. According to Mark Stephenson, product manager for Fujifilm Graphic Products Europe, Jet Press 750S is aimed at the same short-run, high-value markets as the 720S, but its higher speeds and greater uptime mean it’s a viable competitor to B2 litho presses with LED curing. 

How does it work?

As with the previous models, the Jet Press 750S is based on an RMGT (Ryobi) offset chassis. This has a standard offset feeder, side lays, grippers and delivery to avoid the common digital press problem of print drifting from sheet to sheet. 

The print bars have new high speed versions of the Fujifilm Dimatix Samba piezo heads. They run at 33kHz, up from 25kHz on the 720S. A built-in scanner monitors quality and detects blocked jets, with on-the-fly compensation. Cleaning routines take three minutes every two hours and can be easily completed between jobs. 

The faster speed required an all-new drying system with a heated vacuum belt to stabilise the sheets. The previous hot air and IR system is replaced by IR only, saving 23% of electricity use. The vacuum belt also extends the paper range. “We can get down to 80 or 90gsm now depending on ink coverage,” says Stephenson. “It’s always the same speed and quality on any stock.”

As before, this is a simplex press, with a barcode reader to ensure the correct image and position on the reverse side. Stephenson reckons that potential customers will often have non-perfecting B2 offset presses already. 

The sheet size is increased a little, though this allows six US Letter sized pages to fit, but not six A4s. “It does mean you’ll get more small items such as business cards on a sheet,” Stephenson points out. 

Fujifilm Vividia aqueous inks are carried over from the 720S. Fuji claims that these can match 90% of standard Pantone PMS colours. Complementing this is a new Cloud service called XMF ColorPath Brand Color Optimizer, which can profile all 1,872 Pantone colours for any stock.

There’s an option to run a new food-safe ink for packaging, at a slightly higher cost. This has a slightly reduced gamut too. 

What’s the USP?

“It’s the best of both worlds between offset and digital,” says Stephenson. “It has offset feeders, side lays and grippers, so there’s registration accuracy, as well as uptime. But it also has fast turnaround, with no plates, no makeready and a wide gamut.”

Ease of use?

It’s a highly computerised press, but Stephenson says there’s more to using it than a £30,000 office printer. “You don’t just throw paper in a drawer and press the green button,” he says. “You need to learn about the paper handling, which is the same as an offset press. But we get offset operators coming to the showroom and opening the gate every few minutes until they realise that the quality is the same across the run. It’s also boringly reliable!”

What support and training is on offer?

Fujifilm provides a standard maintenance contract. Initial operator training is in Fuji’s showroom near Brussels Airport, but application training is usually done on site. 

What does it cost?

When the press was unveiled last year, the company said pricing would start from €1.4m (£1.2m). The outgoing 720S cost just under £1m. As before, the 750S won’t have a click charge, so there’s a yearly support and maintenance contract, with consumables charged as needed. 

How many have shipped?

So far three 750S presses have been shipped in Europe, with two made public: Mediadruckwerk, a commercial printer in Hamburg; and FloriColor, a photobook specialist in Portugal. Stephenson says that two more installations are pending while their factory sites are being prepared. One is in the UK, he says. 


SPECIFICATIONS

Process Single-pass inkjet

Max running speed 3,600sph simplex

Ink Fujifilm Vividia aqueous inkjet

Max sheet size 750x585mm

Paper thickness 0.09-0.34mm (with carton configuration, 0.2-0.6mm)

Print units CMYK plus primer

Front-end Fujifilm XMF workflowV6

Resolution 1,200x1,200dpi

Dimensions 7.35x2.65x2.05m (LxWxH*) Height with open cover is 2,293mm

Price From around £1.2m

Contact Fujifilm UK 0345 0060065 www.fujifilm.eu


ALTERNATIVES

RMGT 9-920

Fujifilm pitches the Jet Press against B2 offset litho presses, but Mark Stribley at RMGT’s MPartners reckons an SRA1 RMGT 9-920 is a better choice as it has the same footprint but double the throughput. 

Process Offset lithography

Max running speed 16,200sph (straight press), 13,000sph (perfector)

Max sheet size 640x920mm (635x920mm perfecting)

Paper thickness 0.04-0.6mm (straight) 0.04-0.4mm (perfecting)

Price From about £700,000 (four-unit) to £1.3m (eight-unit) including LED curing

Contact MPartners 020 8835 2221 www.mpartners.co.uk

HP Indigo 12000 HD

Together with the original 10000 model this is the best-selling B2 sheetfed digital press to date. It costs a lot more than the 750S, but offers duplex printing and up to seven colours including spots. 

Process Liquid toner electrophotography

Speeds 3,450sph (4/0), 4,600sph (EPM 3/0), 1,725sph (4/4)

Max sheet size 750x530mm

Stock weights 70-400gsm (90-400 for coated)

Price About £1.5m with click charging

Contact HP 01344 363368 www.hp.com

Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1

This is a B2 digital inkjet press based on a Komori chassis. Using UV-cured inks means consistency on virtually any substrate including paper, board and plastic, though it hampers food packaging. Also sold by Komori as the Impremia IS29.

Process Single-pass inkjet

Speed 3,000sph (single sided), 1,500sph (duplex)

Ink UV-cured inkjet

Max sheet size 585x750mm

Stock thickness 0.06-0.6mm (single-sided); 0.06-0.45mm (double-sided)

Resolution 1,200x1,200dpi

Price From around £1.2m

Contact Konica Minolta Europe 07793 758571 www.konicaminolta.eu


USER REVIEW

“With the Jet Press 750S quality has improved again, while the increased speed opens up the real possibility for us to move a significant amount of short- to mid-run work from our offset presses” 5/5

Sven Kohlmeier CEO, Mediadruckwerk, Hamburg, Germany

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