Celebrate a premiere: Konica Minolta enters the industrial printing market

| 28 September 2015

Konica Minolta presents at Labelexpo 2015 its first full-digital label press system, which will fill the gap between entry-level and high-end digital label printing presses. The bizhub PRESS C71cf is ideal for profitable short to mid runs for an affordable investment. Converters approaching digital engines benefit from its ease of operation, production flexibility, quicker turnaround and variable data printing functions. This is the first step of Konica Minolta in offering an innovative industrial printing portfolio. In spring of 2016, Konica Minolta will present KM-1, a revolutionary four colour digital printing machine.

Premiere at Labelexpo 2015: With the introduction of its first digital label printing press system bizhub PRESS C71cf, Konica Minolta provides label converters with an efficient answer to the rapidly changing nature of print requests. In the past few years, producers of consumer and industrial goods have modified their approach towards labelling, avoiding the stocking of labels. Today, about 60 percent of converters’ print jobs are less than a run length of 10,0001. The bizhub PRESS C71cf is a smart answer to this transformation process, as it produces short to mid runs on-demand at a competitive price, provides a quick turnaround time and is easy to use.

"During the development of this press, we talked to potential customers and listened closely to their needs", says Toshitaka Uemura, General Manager, CP Business Division/Sales Headquarters, Konica Minolta, Inc. "We are really proud of the outcomes of the extensive development phase and are positive that our new label press serves requirements that are yet unmet within the converter market by filling the gap between entry-level and high-end digital label printing presses currently available."

Growth market: digital continues to conquer the label printing market
According to recent surveys, more than 25 per cent of new narrow web label presses installed worldwide are digital.2 At the same time, growth in all digital packaging and label markets is booming. The latest figures of the marketing research institute Smithers Pira show that the volume of printed square metres in this sector will go up from 4 billion (2014) to 7 billion (2017). "The label industry is shifting towards digital printing. Individualised labelling is also gaining in relevance, and digital printing is the only opportunity for label printers to offer variable data printing", emphasises Uemura.

Successful beta test: outstanding performance at printing house Litho Formas
Before presenting its new roll-to-roll digital press at Labelexpo, Konica Minolta tested a prototype machine at the leading Portuguese printing house Litho Formas SA. Miguel Pinto, Managing Director at Litho Formas, summarises the testing phase: “The Konica Minolta digital press fits in with our other presses perfectly. It is ideal for small to medium-sized label companies – although I could also see some bigger label converters being interested in it as a complement to their bigger digital presses.” Litho Formas also confirmed the high quality output of the C71cf press: "The solids are better than we can achieve with flexo, particularly on difficult colours like blue. The text is very sharp, and the vignettes fade well to zero. The halftones are offset, not flexo quality."

To achieve its highest performance, the device uses a dry toner electro-photographic imaging engine and will print roll-to-roll CMYK at 13.5m/min at a native solution of 1200 x 1200 DPI / 8 bit. Maximum unwind/rewind diameter is 500mm (20in). The continuous feed printing system is capable of printing a wide range of self-adhesive and non-adhesive material, including coated and uncoated paper, polypropylene and synthetic paper. The main application areas are labels for beverages, liquors, industrial goods, household products and food.

Outlook: More print innovation from Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta is No. 1 in terms of market share for Production Printing in Europe.3 With its innovative label printing press design, it now opens the doors to the industrial printing market to create new value and innovations for its customers’ future business success. The next innovation coming soon: At drupa 2016, Konica Minolta will present its KM-1, a four colour printing machine with UV inkjet sheet system, capable of printing onto larger format B2+ sheets, which carries forward the company’s growth in the industrial printing market.
The digital label press system bizhub PRESS C71cf will be available in Europe from February 2016.

More information on bizhub PRESS C71cf

Product images are available at: www.konicaminolta-images.eu

1 Source: What do converters want? InfoTrends 2012
2 Labels and Labeling, James Quirk, 2013
3 Infosource (2014), http://www.konicaminolta.eu/en/business-solutions/company/newsroom/press-releases/press-single/article/konica-minolta-defends-its-market-leadership-position-in-europe.html