Konica Minolta has launched at Labelexpo Europe 2015 its first full-digital label press, which aims to fill the gap between entry-level and high-end digital label printing presses.

Konica Minolta enters industrial printing market

The bizhub Press C71cf is claimed to be ideal for profitable short to mid runs. Converters benefit from its ease of operation, production flexibility, quicker turnaround and variable data printing functions, says the company.

This is Konica Minolta’s first step towards offering an industrial printing portfolio. In spring of 2016, Konica Minolta will present KM-1, a 4-color digital printing machine.

‘During the development of this press, we talked to potential customers and listened closely to their needs,’ said Toshitaka Uemura, general manager, CP Business Division/Sales Headquarters, Konica Minolta. ‘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.’

Before presenting its new roll-to-roll digital press at Labelexpo, Konica Minolta tested a prototype machine at the Portuguese printing house Litho Formas. Miguel Pinto, managing director at Litho Formas, said of 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 colors like blue. The text is very sharp, and the vignettes fade well to zero. The halftones are offset, not flexo quality.’

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.

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