Hunkeler Innovation Days is shaping up to be the most significant industry event in the first quarter of 2017. The biannual event is occupying more space in the Lucerne exhibition hall than in previous years to satisfy requests for greater space to demonstrate applications.
It will also be the location for a number of industry launches, some of which are under wraps until the event opens on 20 February. Screen will, for example, give the first public showing of the TruepressJet 520NX inkjet press. This was announced at Drupa as a continuous feed inkjet press offering litho replacement quality through the use of a new type of ink.
It shares many aspects of the Ricoh VC60000, including paper path and Ricoh piezo print heads giving 600x1200dpi resolution. But Screen believes that the NX ink is a better approach to printing in standard offset papers than using a priming solution.
Inkjet will be ubiquitous for the show which once focused on different toner technologies. This year, only Xeikon with a 9800 will fly the flag for electrophotographic printing. Xerox, which has been the standard bearer for toner, will focus on three inkjet machines: the cut sheet Brenva, the reel to sheet Rialto and the Trivor 2400 litho replacement inkjet press.
First installations of this machine are now underway with First Move Direct Marketing in High Wycombe as the worldwide beta site now joined by a second Trivor in the UK. In Lucerne the press is running inline to a Hunkeler cutting and stacking unit.
Book production will be to the fore with Domino participating for the first time, using a Hunkeler unwind unit feeding in to the mono K630i compact press and then to the Ibis variable format binding line. Canon, Fuji and Screen will also feature book printing.
The finishing part of book production is swiftly being automated. Hunkeler is able on its Bookline with switch from four- to six-page signatures. It will link these to Muller Martini and Horizon binding lines. In the Muller Martin example, a robot will pick up blocks from the Hunkeler line and move these to the Vareo binder which is in turn linked by conveyor to Muller Martini’s Infinitrim three-side trimmer which has its own robot to manipulate the book.
The Horizon solution takes a reel, sheets on the variable cutting module before the sheet is folded and gathered ahead of the perfect binder which also applies the cover. Books then travel to the variable HT1000V three-knife trimmer.
Meccanotecnica provides an alternative taking sheeted pages from the unwind unit, folding and gathering these for sewn section or perfect binding before adding a cover.
Hunkeler will also demonstrate its own innovation in cover-less perfect binding which it argues delivers a low cost book for limited use applications.
Its main focus will however been on the introduction of Popp8 systems. These are designed to run at up to 300m/min, which will be demonstrated with the aid of Kodak Prosper heads printing at this speed.
Mailing is well represented with Böwe, Pitney Bowes and W+D on the floor.
There are more than 80 companies represented in all, Global Graphics, IIJ and Optimus among those from the UK.
The Hunkeler Innovation Days will be the largest yet and is expected to draw a worldwide attendance that includes direct mail and commercial printers as well as book and transactional specialists. For these companies HID stands shoulder to shoulder with Drupa in importance.
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The Ricoh VC60000 has been installed across Europe in transactional, direct mail, newspaper printing and also book printing.
At Drupa 2016 the machine was printing catalogues and books on standard offset papers after applying a conditioning coating to optimise the surface of the paper.
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Kodak’s Prosper presses have held the record for speed, the heads able to keep up with newspaper presses, for example.
The Prosper presses can run at 200m/min for high coverage applications on coated papers where additional drying time is needed, or at 300m/minute for less quality critical applications on uncoated substrates like newsprint.
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