Star product: IGS digital production line
Friday, January 17, 2020
This bundle offers a cost-effective way of producing short runs.
What does the machine do?
The short-run digital production line from International Graphic Supplies (IGS) is a combination of the OKI Pro9541, an SRA3 LED printer with an additional white or clear spot colour and an optional envelope feeder, and the Titanium 0604 digital cutter-creaser. Peter Flynn, managing director of IGS, says that he put this bundle together after noticing that many of his customers had ageing digital production printers. Flynn says: “The click charge seemed to be a real negative, and they were looking for the next level up with a five-colour device with white or varnish.” IGS was already the UK distributor for the Titanium series, and Flynn was aware of the OKI Pro9541, and that OKI was looking to expand into commercial print so the two companies agreed to work together.
When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
It was launched in September 2019 at The Print Show and is aimed at a wide range of applications from marketing to business cards including things such as stickers and magnetic sheets. Flynn says that he’s mainly targeting small to medium-sized printers but that this same setup would also allow companies with high-volume printers to take on short-run jobs with special effects like white and varnish that would otherwise be difficult to cope with.
How does it work?
The two main components, the OKI printer and Titanium cutter-creaser, operate independently but together allow users to print and finish a wide range of products. This process starts with the OKI Pro 9541, a desktop LED dry toner printer that prints CMYK with a fifth channel that can be loaded with white or clear, and easily changed from one to the other. It offers print resolution up to 1,200x1,200dpi and takes sheets up to 330x457mm.
Flynn adds: “Because we wanted to do something a little different with the OKI, we have worked with Xitron to develop a Harlequin interface so that people can have a Harlequin RIP driving the printer.”
This is complemented by the Titanium 0604, a digital cutting and creasing machine developed by the Chinese manufacturer JWEI. This can work directly from the design files so that there’s no time or money wasted in mak/ing physical dies. It’s operated via a touchscreen and can take files from Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw. These files can be downloaded over a network using a QR code.
It includes a cutting tool, creasing wheel, plotting pen and CCD registration camera, and can be used with both a cut-through and kiss-cut knife. The feeding mechanism uses vacuum clamps with air separation jets to pick up the sheets. It can handle various materials including folding carton and thin plastics and takes sheets up to 400x600mm.
How fast/productive is it?
The Pro 9541 can print 28 A3 ppm or 50 A4 ppm, with the first print ready in eight seconds.
The Titanium has a maximum cutting speed of 800mm/s and takes from 15 to 45 seconds to process an SRA3 sheet, depending on the complexity of the cutting required.
What is the USP of the product?
Flynn says that the main selling point is the return on investment that it offers since there’s no need for a click charge with the printer and the Titanium is a digital finishing unit with no need to make physical cutting dies. IGS has agreed a finance package with Close Brothers so that it should be easy to work out the cost /per month. Flynn has also put together a tool to calculate how long it will take each customer before the bundle pays for itself.
How easy is it to use?
It should be possible to train operators to use each device in around half a day. The printer generates a QR code that’s printed on the side of each job. Flynn says that the Titanium has a camera to read this code and automatically picks the cutting pattern, adding: “So really there’s no skill in operating the Titanium.”
What training and support is on offer?
Flynn says that IGS sets aside two days to install the kit and make sure that the operators are fully trained and able to produce live jobs. IGS has its own team of service engineers and will take care of the service support for both the printer and cutter creaser, having been factory trained by both OKI and JWEI. IGS also has a further service agreement with the Dennison service organisation to back this up.
How much does it cost?
£35,000, which includes the Pro9541, plus the envelope feeder option, the Titanium and a Harlequin-based RIP, which represents a saving of around £4,000 if you bought the units separately. If you don’t need the envelope feeder then the price drops to £29,000. There’s no click charge on the printer, with customers buying the consumables when they need them. The price includes the delivery and two days’ training as well as a 12 month warranty.
Sales targets and installations
IGS has installed seven units since launching, with Flynn saying he will be happy if he can install 30 in the first year.
Printer OKI Pro 9541
Productivity 50 A4 ppm
Colours CMYK plus white or clear
Max sheet size 330x457mm
Media range 52–360gsm
Cutter-creaser Titanium 0604
Min/max paper size 210x297mm/600x400mm
Feed capacity 30mm
Cutting tools Cut-through, kiss-cut
Footprint 2,250x800 mm
Contact International Graphic Supplies 01291 570580 www.igs-digital.com
There’s no direct comparison bundle, mainly because most small production printers just print CMYK, and offer a different range of finishing options. That said, the Xerox C60 is a reasonable alternative given that it uses Xerox’s Adaptive toner approach where users can replace the standard CMYK toners with a Gold, white, silver and clear kit and then run the job twice to add those effects.
Printer Xerox C60
Productivity 60 A4 ppm
Colours CMYK, gold, silver, white, clear
Max sheet size SRA3
Media range 60–300gsm
Contact Xerox 0330 1233245 www.xerox.co.uk
Cutter-creaser Duplo DC646i
Min/max paper size 210x210mm/370x670mm
Feed capacity 100mm
Cutting tools Cross knife. Optional perforation and rotary modules
Contact Duplo International 01923 263900 www.duplointernational.com