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Following a series of successful tests in the United States, Konica Minolta has announced the anticipated Beta installation of the KM-1 digital inkjet press in Europe. KM-1 is the B2+ UV inkjet four-colour sheet-fed press, which will help commercial printers produce high-quality print jobs, capturing new market opportunities for brand owners looking to develop highly personalized short-run applications.
The first KM-1 Beta was installed in the U.S. three months ago at an undisclosed customer location with global operations. Initial success highlights include consistency of colour and registration, ability to produce quality output on a variety of substrates and textured stocks, as well as the overall efficiency and reliability of the press.
“We’re quite pleased with the results from the first phase of our end-user testing,” says Kevin Kern, senior vice president, Marketing. “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 was designed to help printers expand their services to include the benefits of inkjet productivity and efficiency. Especially suitable for variable data print runs, extremely tight deadlines and easy integration to offset and digital 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 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, 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 is not only committed to investing in R&D for equipment but also R&D for services and education. KM-1 will open up a world of new opportunities in a number of different sectors. Packaging, books and commercial print are all key target markets that will be covered in-depth in Konica Minolta’s new business building program for its production printing clients. The program helps to identify new business opportunities and to easily assess the customer’s business, allowing them to identify where new opportunities exist and to build a successful business with B2+ UV inkjet.
“Our focus will be to help all our customers to maximize their investments with this program which we will continue to strengthen,” says Lorenz. “This is based on the extensive experience Konica Minolta has in consulting customers in the development of new business fields by using the advantages of digital workflows. We are never just selling a machine to our customers, we are selling them new business opportunities and will guide them along the way. This is what makes the relationship between us and our customers unique.”
Konica Minolta is gearing up for a full launch of KM-1 next year at drupa. The whole 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 1200x1200dpi resolution and Konica Minolta UV CMYK inks specifically developed for obtaining offset print quality on a wide latitude of offset substrates at high speeds. Other specifications include 585x750mm (23x29.5”) media size, print speed of up to 3,000sph and media thickness from .06 to 0.6mm (24 Pt.).
Product images are available at www.konicaminolta-images.eu
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