MGI and KM officially launch B1 AlphaJet

Jo Francis
Friday, October 14, 2022

A French firm has bought the first MGI AlphaJet B1 inkjet press thanks to support from a €100bn government-backed innovation initiative.

AlphaJet: “a significant journey from concept to finalisation”
AlphaJet: “a significant journey from concept to finalisation”

MGI Digital Technology and Konica Minolta have just announced the official worldwide launch of the B1 AlphaJet, which was first unveiled in 2018. 

Konica Minolta has a 42.3% stake in French manufacturer MGI. 

The AlphaJet is a single-pass press that’s been described as a print factory in one device. 

It prints up to 1,800sph, uses water-based inks and has a top resolution of 1,600dpi. The paper transport is flat, and the press can handle a variety of substrates from 135gsm to 2mm in thickness.

The press features inline embellishment including Eco-Spot UV coating, ‘Green-Foil’ stamping, and overprint varnishing. 

MGI and Konica Minolta said they were bringing “the factory 4.0 revolution” to markets including packaging, folding carton, web-to-print, web-to-pack, commercial printing, books and magazines.

MGI group CEO Edmond Abergel said the AlphaJet offered “unlimited opportunities”.

“The single-pass factory 4.0 from printing to finishing using water-based and UV inks is a breakthrough innovation for printing and packaging industries,” he stated. 

“One equipment operator, one press and one single factory.”

Abergel admitted the device had involved “a significant journey from concept to finalisation”.

“But I know I speak on behalf of all the team in saying we are immensely proud of our achievements as we head towards full commercial production.”

The first customer is ISRA, a co-operative that specialises in the type of cards used for applications such as access and ID that would typically be plastic. Instead, it has developed a “zero plastic” paper that is fully recyclable. 

ISRA CEO Jean-Pierre Chauvin said that its current production process required five main steps, while the AlphaJet would simplify the production flow and free the firm from certain printing constraints “without load breakages, without waste and in a time-efficient manner, with unparalleled productivity that is impossible to achieve using conventional equipment”.

The investment involved support from the France Relance initiative, a five-year €100bn (£86.5bn) drive to support businesses, rethink production models, transform infrastructure and invest in training. 

At the time of writing pricing information for the AlphaJet was unavailable. 

MGI previously said the device would be more cost-efficient than B1 inkjet print-only presses from Landa and, at the time, Heidelberg. 

An AlphaJet demonstration centre has also been set up at Konica Minolta’s Center of Excellence in Paris. 

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