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By Erwin Busselot, Director Business Innovation & Solutions, Ricoh Graphic Communications, Ricoh Europe

In the face of a very challenging environment, impacted by higher costs, demand for the faster turnaround of increasingly complex jobs, and a shortage of skills, digital print remains buoyant for a number of reasons.

Smithers reported that the digital printing market is expected to witness a growth rate of 5.7% between 2022 and 2027. This compares to just 0.8% for the analogue printing market.

I expanded on the drivers behind this here with significant improvement in digital print quality cited as a major influencer.

Enhancements that deliver offset like quality results make the switch from analogue to digital print production highly attractive, expanding application versatility, and gaining more run length agility.

Another important factor is the skills shortage exacerbated by the sector’s aging, largely immobile, workforce as I discussed here. With younger, digital native, workers joining the ranks there is the potential to engage them better with evolving digital systems and processes.

The good news is the reasons for digital print’s optimistic outlook are set only to gain strength.

Its ability to deliver high quality results has been made simpler by enhanced useability. Simple setup enables team members of all skill levels to confidently operate presses while highly automated processes maximise production capacity.

Today’s production printers are increasingly evolving to deliver:

Improved productivity with ease of use.
Expanded application capabilities with enhanced media handling.
The ability to confidently switch from analogue to digital print with superlative image quality.
Increased automation with numerous operational developments focused on efficiency.

Among them is the newest addition to Ricoh’s portfolio. The new Ricoh Pro™ C9500 digital colour sheetfed press features developments that help simplify operations, automate tasks, and maximise productivity.

They include a new base controller known as the RGC OS (Ricoh Graphic Communication Operating System). It continuously enhances connectivity with various systems and tools and aids functionality. Incorporating an intuitive and easy to use user interface, it gives operators the opportunity to easily access the home screen from anywhere via a remote browser utility. It also offers users greater capabilities for customisation and improved media management operability. Operators will also be able to visualise upcoming maintenance tasks and schedule this in advance, taking into account printing schedules, visible in a diary format which each operator will be able to view. A number of wizards facilitate simple operations to set up jobs and achieve the best possible print output.

Ease of use is further supported by a new 21.5 inch touchscreen panel that is larger than the predecessor ProTM C9200’s panel, and consolidates all necessary tasks on one screen, improving operation. There is a new “group” function for frequently used media that improves efficiency, by allowing operators to group several media together, while Screen Customisation allows users to create different profiles such as “operator” or “administrator”. The most frequently used functions can be displayed in prominent positions for easy identification.

Application versatility is also enabled by improved media handling of paper between 40gsm and 470gsm with extended input and output options for media up to 1260mm. There are additional finishing capabilities for production flexibility as well with the GBC StreamPunch Plus and the Plockmatic Crease Trimmer Unit.

The useability and versatility of next generation digital printing systems have been developed to enhance user experience and to contribute to the urgent imperative to attract and retain staff, as well as to, of course, boost revenue and profitability for agile Print Service Providers.
www.ricoh-europe.com

 


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