Heidelberg confirms B1 inkjet plans

Jo Francis
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Heidelberg will go head-to-head with Landa at Drupa – the manufacturer is readying a B1 sheetfed inkjet press targeted at folding carton printers.

Vice-president of digital printing Jason Oliver confirmed the much-speculated-about launch at Labelexpo Europe today.

The simplex press will be based on Heidelberg's Speedmaster platform, fitted with Fujifilm's water-based Samba inkjet heads. It will print onto standard paper stocks.

Oliver told PrintWeek that it was imperative that the new inkjet press matched customers' quality expectations. "Top quality is what people are used to in commercial print. We are industrialising inkjet printing and digital printing to the point where it's competitive with offset.

"It's not about inkjet quality that's 'good enough' it has to be good," he stated.

The new press will ship "soon after" Drupa. "This has to work out of the gate," Oliver added.

Speed is dependent on the number of heads and the print resolution. "There is some scaleability there. It's 1,200x1,200dpi native but we can tweak it down to increase the speed," said Oliver. "And inkjet speed is ever-increasing."

There is no B1 sheetfed inkjet press currently on the market. Landa has focused its efforts on its S10 B1 Nanography device since the firm launched at Drupa 2012, but after a major design revamp, shipping of the first beta models was put back until the second half of this year.

Heidelberg is also working on a colour version of its Jetmaster Dimension system for printing onto three-dimensional objects. This will be shown at the Inprint show in November.

At Labelexpo Heidelberg subsidiary Gallus announced that it has installed two of its DCS 340 hybrid conventional/inkjet label printing presses. The show marked the official sales launch for the system, which also uses Fujifilm heads.

Gallus chief executive Klaus Bachstein said the firm had more than 10 orders in the pipeline from customers in Europe and the US.

The firm is also looking at the potential for printing lightweight carton stock on the DCS 340.

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