JAPAN/GERMANY - Fujifilm and Heidelberg will be introducing a new B1 format inkjet printing machine that the partners say meets future customer demand for higher flexibility, productivity and versioning options.
This market launch is the fruit of a strategic partnership formed between Heidelberg and Fujifilm in late 2013 for the development of a new industrial digital inkjet-printing machine. The new collaborative approach using respective R&D resources has resulted in a brand new product in less than 24 months’ time.
The combination of Fujifilm’s inkjet technology and Heidelberg’s developments in press manufacturing and system integration capabilities will help achieve quality output comparable to offset with superior consistency and reliability. The new machine will be driven by the Heidelberg Prinect Digital Front End (DFE) to optimize workflow and quality.
The new print engine design will incorporate Samba state-of-the-art MEMS printhead technology from Fujifilm Dimatix Inc. In addition, the water-based pigment ink from Fujifilm with Rapic technology for high-definition imaging meets food packaging safety regulations.
The system design will enable printers to develop new applications from a fully digital-based system for customization, variable data printing, and targeted marketing applications. Fujifilm’s newly developed 7-color inks (CMYK, orange, green, and violet) and Heidelberg’s varnish will improve the range of digital applications through a wide color space and accessibility to various commercial substrates.
“Thanks to our strategic partnership with Heidelberg, the major provider and partner for the global printing industry, we are now confident that we can meet the expanding needs of the industrial packaging market,” said Shigetaka Komori, Chairman and CEO of Fujifilm Corporation. “The new B1 machine enhances the range and application of Fujifilm inkjet technology from our proven Jet Press 720 series in the B2 space. Fujifilm will continue to innovate and deliver value to the growing digital printing industry by expanding our core inkjet technologies which is the cornerstone of this new B1 machine.”
“In record time, Fujifilm and Heidelberg have jointly developed the world’s first B1 truly industrial inkjet digital printing press,” said Gerold Linzbach, CEO of Heidelberg. “Our original partnership was based on a joint evaluation of Fujifilm’s core inkjet technology, and after two years of co-development, we remain convinced Fujifilm is the best partner.”
The first public demonstration of the new B1 format inkjet printing machine will be at drupa 2016, branded as Heidelberg Primefire 106.
Both Fujifilm and Heidelberg are planning to market and sell the new solution to their key customers. Commercialization for the new platform is planned in the latter part of 2017, and the first machine installation for field testing is planned after the drupa exhibition.