The two new devices, the Ricoh Pro C9100 and C9110, will be launched in Q1 2015 and are geared towards migrating additional volumes from offset to digital, while also giving Ricoh a product in the industrial volume space occupied by the likes of HP Indigo, Kodak NexPress and Xerox iGen.
Both devices boast a maximum recommended monthly volume of 1m A4 pages, versus around 500,000 A4 pages for the Pro C901, as well as significant hikes in print speed, from 90ppm A4 on the Pro C901 to 110ppm on the Pro C9100 and 130ppm on the Pro C9110.
A further productivity boost is available when printing A4 pages onto A3 sheets (due to the slightly shorter interval between each A4 impression), enabling 75ppm A3 or 150ppm A4 equivalent.
Other improvements on the Pro C901 include higher print resolution (1,200x4,800dpi) and a wider media range, from 52-400gsm (Ricoh Pro C901: 52-350gsm). In addition, advances in fusing technology mean there is no reduction in maximum running speed for stocks above 350gsm.
Ricoh head of production print Stephen Palmer said that the Pro C9100 and C9110 would sit above the Pro C901, while the Pro C7100 announced last week will fit between the Pro C751 and the Pro C901; he added that there were no plans to stop marketing either the Pro C751 or Pro C901.
While pricing for the new devices is not yet available, Ricoh described them as "a more affordable digital colour production printer that has higher productivity, greater media handling capabilities and print quality than previously available in this class".
Palmer said that he expected the acquisition costs to be "higher than for the C901" and the running costs to be lower, such that the total cost of ownership (TCO) would make the "C9100 more viable than the C901 above a certain volume".
He added: "There is no doubt it will be very well positioned commercially both in terms of acquisition costs and the running costs."
Ricoh is offering the new presses with a choice of EFI front ends, including the EFI E-43 or the faster E-83 print server.
Other new features include air assisted duplex banner printing, up to 700mm in length, from a bypass feed unit. Compatible substrates include uncoated, textured and coated media, plus specialty media such as super-gloss, magnet, metallic, transparent and synthetic.
There has been no announcement as yet from Ricoh's distribution partner Heidelberg regarding the new presses and whether it plans to add them to its Linoprint range.