The two new printers are set for UK release by May 2019 and will serve as a partial replacement for the mid-level L4100 series, while also expanding market reach into the high-end sector among sign and display companies.
The new models were unveiled at the Viscom expo in Milan on 18 October and are aimed at “progressive printers” who are looking to move their technology forward, according to Ricoh UK inkjet sales manager Stewart Cobby.
He said: “Pay-for-print and digital printing companies focused on sign and display applications would be ideal users for the machines, as well as some industrial entities like screen printing companies – 50% of target customers will be Pro L4100 customers, plus 50% new high-end or industrial companies.
“The unique selling points of the Pro L5130 and Pro L5160 latex roll-to-roll printers are that they have a low energy consumption, thanks to operating at low print temperature of 50-60 degrees – half the temperature of the previous model.
“We have also invested heavily in our ink capabilities over the last few years, and this also applies to the L5130 and L5160. These include our white and CMYK capabilities. These capabilities, along with Ricoh’s flexibility and support, really can empower sign and display businesses to take the next step in what they can offer to customers.”
Taking media 1.3m and 1.6m wide respectively, the machines both print at speeds up to 44sqm/hr in outdoor standard mode and 25sqm/hr in indoor standard mode at resolution up to 1,200dpi.
Available in CMYK and CMYK plus white configurations, the printers use Ricoh’s own Greenguard-certified latex inks, printed using industrial Ricoh printheads and variable dot technology intended for higher quality and skin tones. They will compete directly with the HP Latex range, as well as all other eco-solvent and solvent printers.
Their auto-cleaning maintenance and automated colour management capabilities will also help them stand out in the market, according to Cobby.
Future plans for manufacturer Ricoh will feature the continued expansion of its large-format portfolio, including a new flatbed printer and new agreements for flatbed cutters – with the aim of offering customers a full end-to-end workflow.