Print media service providers today face a dynamic and challenging market characterized by shorter run lengths and customer demand for high-quality, flexible, low-cost solutions. Companies intending to succeed in this environment must optimize their business models by using market trends to their advantage. Accordingly, Heidelberg has extended its digital portfolio with emphasis on affordable, high-quality production solutions for the entry-level market. Several new machines from EFI Rastek, EFI VUTEk and Ricoh are included in the current launch.
“The additions to our digital press portfolio represent not only the strength of our partnership with Ricoh and EFI-VUTEk, but also the convergence of sheetfed offset and digital in harmonious balance, enabling commercial printers to meet their customers’ demands for a variety of applications and run lengths—and doing so profitably,” said Dan Maurer, Vice President, Digital Print and Postpress Product Management, Heidelberg USA. “Color management by Heidelberg adds another important dimension by ensuring image accuracy and quality of the highest caliber and helping printers become valued business partners with their print buying customers.”
On-Ramp to Higher Profits
In mid-2011, Heidelberg entered into a partnership with EFI VUTEk to become a distributor of the EFI VUTEk GS Series of hybrid UV superwide inkjet machines for rigid and roll-to-roll printing. The partnership was intended to help commercial print businesses capitalize on the high-margin opportunities of grand-format applications and achieve higher levels of competitiveness, profitability, and growth by offering more flexibility to their clients. Building on the market success of the Heidelberg-supplied, GS series printers, the current launch adds the EFI Rastek H650/652 and Rastek T1000, in addition to the VUTEk QS2000, QS 3220, QS 3250r, GS3250LX LED and the TX 3250r textile machines.
The new, affordably priced, entry-level Rastek H650/652 machines are UV-equipped and designed to deliver photographic image quality (4-color plus white ink, up to 1200x900 dpi) at speeds to 455 ft2 or up to 9.5 4ft x 8ft boards per hour. Printers can deliver faster service while expanding their service portfolios and leaving a smaller footprint on the environment, leading to increased customer satisfaction and higher profits. These multi-purpose printers handle a wide range of flexible and rigid media by means of a versatile vacuum belt media transport system. White Ink is standard with CMYK.? The EFI Rastek T1000 UV flatbed printer will be of interest to printers targeting traditional signage and specialty markets where high-definition image quality is essential. The T1000 offers a resolution of 1200x900 dpi with CMYK plus white ink support on rigid media, with no reduction in print speed (480/ ft²hr) for white ink.? Both the H Series and T series Rasteks employ variable drop piezo electric heads that vary drop size on the fly from pixel to pixel.?This applies high quality where required, saves ink by optimizing coverage, and increases overall speed.