Konica Minolta Preparing for Launch of KM-1 Inkjet Press for Commercial Printing
Following a series of successful tests in the United States, Konica Minolta has announced the anticipated beta installation of its KM-1 digital inkjet press in Europe. The KM-1 is the B2+ UV inkjet four-color sheet-fed press that the company says will help commercial printers produce high-quality print jobs, particularly with short-run applications.
The first KM-1 Beta was installed in the United States three months ago at an undisclosed customer location with global operations. The firm says initial performance observations include consistency of color and registration, ability to produce quality output on a variety of substrates and textured stocks, as well as the overall efficiency and reliability.
“We’re quite pleased with the results from the first phase of our end-user testing,” says Kevin Kern, senior vice president of marketing for Konica Minolta. “The quality of the output, consistent quality and productivity achieved in a challenging environment mark a major milestone as we prepare to bring the product to market next spring.”
Using Konica Minolta’s proprietary state-of-the-art ink and head technology, the KM-1 is said to be especially suitable for variable-data print runs, tight deadlines, and easy integration in offset and digital printing environments. The press can handle up to 3,000 sheets per hour, making it the first UV cut sheet inkjet press of its kind to operate at these speeds and with graphic-art quality.
“This Beta test is an invaluable opportunity and the achievements are an important milestone for us as we enter the final stages of development,” says Olaf Lorenz, general manager of International Marketing Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe. “ As the market continues to adapt to the impact of digital communications, inkjet will support the commercial printer to move work from traditional lithographic to KM-1 due to its superb offset quality. This will not only allow them to become more profitable on short run jobs, but will be a perfect solution for countless new applications that inkjet will create, such as on demand folding cartons. KM-1 will meet the challenges of short-run production, personalization and faster turnaround to the market.”
Konica Minolta says it’s not only committed to investing in R&D for equipment, but also in R&D for services and education. Applications for the KM-1 include packaging, books, and commercial print. Also available will be from Konica Minolta to support the launch will be a new business-building program for its production printing clients. The program helps to identify new business opportunities and assess the customer’s business, allowing them to identify new opportunities and to build a successful business with B2+ UV inkjet.
The firm says the KM-1’s printing process is under “closed loop” quality control, starting from the inkjet manager digital front end, through Konica Minolta Piezo Shear mode print heads delivering 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution and Konica Minolta UV CMYK inks specifically developed for obtaining offset print quality on a wide range of offset substrates at high speeds. Other specifications include 585 x 750mm (23×29.5”) media size, print speed of up to 3,000 sph, and media thickness from .06 to 0.6mm (24 Pt.).
Konica Minolta is gearing up for a full launch of the KM-1 next year at the drupa production- and commercial-printing trade show.
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