Never before has the industry seen such a major Fujifilm presence at a drupa trade fair. There must be good reasons why Hall 8b will feature over 2,000 square metres of floorspace from the Japanese imaging giant; mirrored by a virtually identical area opposite from partner company Xerox, known as Fuji Xerox in Asia Pacific. It’s all about new products, initiatives, thinking and, as the company theme says: “Value from Innovation.”
Fujifilm Corporation’s remarkable turn-around from a predominantly photographic film and development company, into a broad-spectrum digital imaging and consumables conglomerate continues apace as it prepares for its largest ever drupa presence. In addition to the main Fujifilm areas in Hall 8b, there is another stand in Heidelberg’s Hall 1 in support of the two company’s partnership which covers prepress, plates and consumables as well as Fujifilm’s Dimatix inkjet printhead technologies to be released in the Heidelberg Primefire range of digital presses.
Australian and New Zealand visitors to Fujifilm’s booths will see friendly local faces from the Graphic Systems Division including General Manager Lindsay Barnes, National Sales Manager Paul Budgen and Business Development Managers Mark Bladon for Packaging & Labels and Trent Eagle for WFIJ will all be making the long-haul over to Messe Düsseldorf to work at the show.
“It’s a major commitment to the industry,” says Barnes, “both digital and conventional offset – flexo too. Visitors to our stands will have the benefit of seeing the best that litho prepress innovation has to offer, along with new digital inkjet initiatives, workflow and cost-saving programs such as Superia, which takes a holistic approach to prepress and the relationship with presses to help deliver reduced costs, improved efficiencies and considerable savings in chemical, energy and water usage to benefit the environment too.”
The zoned approach
With five distinct ‘zones’ dealing with industry sectors, Fujifilm at drupa will address commercial print, wide-format, packaging, inkjet and an applications zone showcasing real-world examples of end products produced by using Fujifilm technologies.
Fujifilm Inkjet Technology will feature prominently in a bringing together of the company’s diverse divisions that encompass UV and aqueous inks, industrial grade piezo drop-on-demand printheads, roll and flatbed wide-format UV printers, coated media and both sheet and web-feed digital inkjet presses for the packaging market. The company not only offers complete inkjet printer solutions but is also the world’s leading manufacturer of both UV and aqueous inks used but several OEM partners to be found scattered all over drupa. Similarily, Fujifilm Dimatix piezo-electric printhead technology (formerly known as Spectra) is to be seen on many other OEM partner stands, incorporated into a broad array of printers.
The excitement surrounding digital print in no way detracts from innovation in Fujifilm’s conventional technologies, products and services. The new Superia initiative, in the commercial print zone, optimises traditional print processes, help provide resource savings and cost reductions, and in the process helps printers minimise their environmental impact.
Superia by nature
For many years, Fujifilm has been a leading supplier in the field of offset printing. However, it is widely recognised in the commercial print market that offset presses serve, significant changes have dramatically altered pre-press processes by creating an increased demand for short print runs and ultra-quick job turnarounds. Print businesses need to respond to these changes by improving the efficiency of their manufacturing processes, with environmental issues on a global scale also forcing printers to reform their production in order to achieve lean manufacturing processes that are capable of addressing both cost and environmental requirements.
Fujifilm’s umbrella Superia initiative seeks to achieve the highest print quality while minimising environmental impact by analyzing the print processes themselves to minimize the various associated costs and maximize performance.
The commercial print zone will also feature Fujifilm’s latest version of its powerful XMF workflow, which also crosses over into digital production in order to drive CtP, wide format and digital presses. XMF is really the neural network that makes all of Fujifilm’s innovations function smoothly and with maximum efficiency.
Importance of packaging
As one of the graphic arts strongest growth areas, packaging has its own zone on the Fujifilm stands. Fujifilm Australia recently introduced a range of water washable plates for flexo printing under the Flenex name. The water-washable Flenex system ensures a solvent-free prepress environment and very fast plate processing/drying time of, on average, 40 minutes. Other advantages include very good ink transfer, superior compatibility with UV, water-based, and solvent flexo inks, wear resistance and the ability to consistently maintain good product quality even when printing long-run jobs. FW LAM plates are compatible will all CtFP setters from Esko, Screen, Xeikon and Kodak.
Screen rulings equivalent to up to 200lpi can be resolved with full control over Flenex’s flat-topped dots from 1% to 99% - all without use of VOCs in a clean water wash-out environment.
But packaging too is going increasingly digital, for short and variable runs at least. Addressing this, Fujifilm will present for the first time its new LED-UV continuous feed inkjet press for flexible packaging production up to 540mm wide at up to 50 metres per minute. The main attraction of this so far unnamed press (apart from LED-UV) is that it can print of a very wide variety of materials used in FMCG, confectionery and other packaging – even non-absorbent plastics.
This is achieved by something called EUCON, which stands for ‘Enhanced Under Coating and Nitogen” purge technology. Put simply, a priming undercoat is laid down before the CMYK and White inks, ensuring ink adhesion to any substrate. The odour associated with UV curing of inks is then removed using a nitrogen purge over the surface of the fast moving web. This feature, along with the ability of the inks to withstand high-temperature sterilization, will attract food and pharmaceutical packagers to digital flexible packaging production.
Sheetfed packaging for folding cartons is also represented in Fujifilm’s upgraded Jetpress 720S, a B2 inkjet printer capable of printing on heavier fibreboard. The 720S complenets Fujifilm’s partner Heidelberg with its B1 sized Primefire 106 sheetfed packaging press, which also uses Fujifilm Dimatix printheads and Uvijet inks.
Expanding wide format
Fujifilm enjoys the broadest spread of any supplier in the wide/superwide format and flatbed sector. At the pinnacle of productivity is the Inca Onset X3, capable of up to 900 sqm/hr of production quality, equating to 180 full-sized 3.22M x 1.6M beds per hour. Fujifilm is the exclusive global sales partner for Inca Digital, made in the UK. The X3 is the fastest model in the scaleable ‘X’ series of Onset printers, achieving its industry-leading output with a triple CMYK ink carriage plus choice of White and Orange, making 14 ink channels. The 25-zone no-masking bed makes job change-overs quick and easy, along with nozzle mapping and auto-cleaning options. If top speed and efficiency is what you need, a demonstration on the Inca Onset X3 is a must while at drupa.
Fujifilm’s Acuity series of flatbed UV printers received a complete make-over at the recent FESPA expo in Amsterdam but drupa will be an opportunity for the broader industry to see the improvements. These include more ink channels – four six or eight-colour configurations; additional Uvijet inks including white, extra production settings and higher overall productivity.
Known as the Acuity Select 20 range, two flatbed sizes are available and roll-to-roll optional attachments make Acuity Select a natural choice for offset printers venturing into wide format, as well as established sign, POP and display producers.
Two new roll media printers will also be shown, the Acuity LED 1600 II – a faster version of the popular LED 1600 that uses low-energy LED curing and can also image onto rigid media up to 10mm thick.
The other, taking centre stage in the wide format zone of the Fujifilm stand at drupa 2016, is the new Uvistar Hybrid 320, a 3.2m, combination flatbed and roll printer capable of producing high quality output at speeds of up to 195 square metres an hour. Featuring Fujifilm’s Dimatix Q-Class printheads and Uvijet UV inks, the Uvistar Hybrid 320 prints full greyscale output at an exceptional quality level and delivers a wide gamut of vibrant colours. The press is available in an eight-channel configuration with CMYK, Lc, Lm, Lk and Orange ink channels which dramatically boosts performance to achieve the high speeds of up to 195 square metres an hour. A nine channel configuration with White ink is also available. The hybrid nature of the feed system enables rigid substrates up to 50mm thick to be printed in addition to a wide variety of roll media.
It should be noted that not all Fujifilm products may be available in various geographic regions, or may differ in specifications.
Lindsay Barnes and his Fujifilm team invite Australian visitors to drupa stand A25, Hall 8b to understand how the company’s technologies and solutions can provide “Value from Innovation” and to experience traditional Japanese hospitality first-hand, with an Aussie twist!