After a four-year gap, Hunkeler Innovationdays is back, gathering the world’s leading inkjet press vendors around the Swiss finishing specialist. Here’s a guide to what to see in Lucerne

Over the years, Hunkeler’s eponymous Innovationdays event has become an important platform for the continuous feed digital printing industry to coalesce around, attracting all the major press manufacturers as well as a variety of software developers, and providing a highly focused gathering for this part of the digital printing industry.

Almost 100 partners will also present their latest products in all areas of digital printing and processing in Halls 1 and 2 at the Messe Luzern. These partners include all the major manufacturers of printing and finishing systems, software developers and providers of finishing materials and consumables. As in previous years, many of the exhibitors will use the event to offer a European or global premiere of their latest innovations. A selection of these is listed below.


Exhibitor highlights

Mailroom automation for transactional print and direct mail will be the focus of the Bowe Systec stand, with a particular focus on the Fusion Speed inserting system, which will have its first ever live demonstration in Lucerne. The inserter can process up to 30,000 envelopes per hour and will be demonstrated in conjunction with Bowe’s Boxit system for automatic filling of postal trays. The company will also explain how upstream and downstream stages can be streamlined as part of an end-to-end automation concept.

Canon is playing its cards close to its chest but has promised two product news announcements at the event which ‘build on Canon’s expertise in inkjet’. Topics to be discussed also include the company’s strategy and how technology and business innovation can be harnessed together help ‘future-proof’ PSPs’ operations; the focus will be on publishing, promotion and business communications.

Another premiere at Innovationdays will be on HP’s stand, where the recently-launched PageWide Advantage 2200 digital web press will make it first European appearance. During the four days of the event, HP will be printing different applications such as postcards, leaflets, catalogues and books on a variety of substrates on the 150m/min press. In addition, the US company will showcase automation and services solutions.

Hybrid Software Group will feature its technologies for industrial print manufacturing processes which use inkjet and other printing techniques, showcasing all its brands covering the full stack of core technologies needed for inkjet. These include colour management, high-speed Digital Front Ends and Rips, pre-press software for labels and packaging and printhead drive electronics. All the group brands will be represented: ColorLogic; Global Graphics Software; Hybrid Software; iC3D; Meteor Inkjet and Xitron.

Converting and high quality embellishment will be the theme of the Kama stand, which will feature the Servo generation of the ProCut 76 Foil. The machine suits a range of applications from die-cutting, creasing and perforating to embellishment with hot foil, hologram and relief for commercial jobs and folding cartons. It will be shown with the AutoRegister AR3, which uses two cameras to bring each sheet into position at full speed.

Kern will present the new Kern 3200 Flash, a modular multi-format inserting system designed for flexible and complex inserting jobs in the medium- to high-output range. Different configuration options make it suitable for use in transactional and direct mail. A newly-developed inserting module is said to be the only system in this performance class that can be equipped with more than one envelope magazine, allowing the system to process different envelopes job by job, without the operator having to make a physical change. The 3200 Flash can be combined with a choice of modules, including roll and single sheet feeding. It is also possible to integrate up to 16 inserting stations.

Hunkeler Innovationdays 2023 preview

Kodak’s Prosper Ultra 520 will get its first European showing

Another European first will be the Prosper Ultra 520 web press from Kodak. To be shown with a Hunkeler unwinder and rewinder, along with the Hunkeler WI8 web inspection system, the press will print live three versions of a ‘magalog’ (blend of magazine and catalogue) with different editorial and marketing content. The application will demonstrate the Ultra 520’s ability to print heavy ink coverage on standard offset paper at 150m/min. Other finished samples from the Ultra 520 and from the Prosper 7000 Turbo press, which runs at up to 410m/min, will also be presented, along with Kodak’s Prinergy On Demand workflow software.

Kyocera will feature its TaskAlfa Pro 15000C sheet-fed inkjet press, with a focus on its sustainability credentials, productivity, output quality and media flexibility. One-to-one demonstrations are being offered. More information may also be available about the graphic-arts focused version that is understood to be in development.

Another world first in Lucerne is the arrival of the Prinova Digital Saddle stitcher from Müller Martini. The highly automated 9000 cycles per hour unit supports both digital and hybrid print production and brings Müller’s Smart Factory concept to magazines, brochures and catalogues. Developments to the Vareo Pro perfect binding line will also be shown, including a mixed mode that allows softcover books and hardcover book blocks to be produced in the same run, complemented by a new de-stacker and sorting for subsequent InfiniTrim cutting. A variety of live jobs, including all-digital and hybrid printed products, will be featured, along with the supporting Connex workflow.

Workflow developer OneVision will explain how its software allows for ‘a complete integration of company processes’ by being configured to suit existing systems. The modular middleware can automate the production process from file input through printing and embellishment and finishing, while connecting to existing print and finishing hardware and software such as MIS or ERP.

Ricoh will be making the first public showing of its Pro VC70000e inkjet press that includes a number of hardware and software features and updates which collectively increase ease of use through automation, while providing greater media and applications flexibility via pre-coating. This will be complemented by the introduction of TotalFlow Producer, which the company describes as a ‘vendor agnostic automated job onboarding solution’. The new workflow software designed to automate job intake and consolidation from multiple sources, to run automatic pre-flighting and to support personalised job upload and status portals for print clients.

Riso will feature its newest additions to the SRA3 Valezus sheet-fed inkjet line, which are targeted at production print job demands that are difficult to handle efficiently on continuous-feed presses. The twin-engined Valezus T2200 is capable of duplex printing at 330ppm. The single-engine Valezus T1200 is aimed at both short and long-run full-colour transactional printing at 165ppm. Both are equipped with feeder/stacker units for a maximum capacity of 8000 sheets on the T2200, and half that on the T2100. Both models support uncoated papers only, from 46 to 210gsm.

Hunkeler Innovationdays 2023 preview

The Smart High Definition technology from Scodix will appear in the premiere of the Ultra 6000 embellishment press

Also making a first European appearance will be the Ultra 6000 digital embellishment press from Scodix with SHD (smart high definition) capability. It will be used to demonstrate embellishment of B1 and B2 sheets for a variety of book covers, from paperbacks to high-end jackets and Scodix says it embodies the economics and productivity to replace analogue embellishment technology whilst offering publishers greater flexibility. Examples of the SHD technology will also be shown.

Staff from Solimar Systems will demonstrate how its workflow-enhancing post-composition solutions support production printing on both cut-sheet and continuous feed devices, finishing, mailing, e-delivery and document archiving. The company is partnering with HP to show how direct mailers can save significant sums and with Screen to demonstrate dashboard tracking of incoming work and device-level ink and media consumption reporting via Screen’s Equios workflow.

W+D will use the event to launch its new BB820+, a new flagship inserter which the company says allows for the widest range of direct mail sizes, from C6 envelopes up to B4 flat packages up to 15mm thick, and which can insert at up to 20,000 piece per hour, 25% faster than the model it replaces. The new machine comes with a new rotary feeder for consistent feeding at the higher speeds and an additional servo axis for flexible and size-dependent motion control of collating track, envelope gripper transport andinsert finger.

Short-run book printing using the Sirius dry toner technology will form a major part of the Xeikon exhibit, centred on the roll-fed duplex Xeikon SX30000 press, which is also getting its first public European showing. Three high-end applications will be shown – a coffee-table travel book, a full colour tourist guide and a highly illustrated book on architecture. The SX30000 roll-fed press will be running in line with a Hunkeler Gen8 roll-to-stack solution, producing book blocks which to be bound on an offline Muller Martini Vareo Pro with InfiniTrim.