The Pro VC70000 has an extended drying path that avoids cockling while allowing greater ink density to be laid down


By printing at high quality on a wide range of offset stocks, Ricoh’s new flagship roll-fed inkjet press, the Pro VC70000, is aiming directly at taking work such as catalogues, magazines and high-end direct mail from litho presses.

Based on the same engine and printheads as the existing Pro VC60000, the new model adds an extended drying path and uses new Ricoh inks to increase permissible ink density and therefore colour gamut on a range of papers that includes uncoated and offset coated varieties as well as inkjet treated or coated papers, saving “up to 40%” on paper costs, according to Ricoh, though Tim Taylor, head of Continuous Feed Market at Ricoh told Digital Printer that users might still want to use the built-in undercoating facility for “absolute best” quality as it can compensate for variations on the paper surface.

Like the Pro VC60000, which will continue to be offered, the VC70000 print engine runs at up to 150m/min and offers resolutions of up to 1200 x 1200dpi; it’s driven by the same DFE and Ricoh’s Production Director workflow software.

While stopping well short of claiming that the quality achievable from the new press could take on Vogue, Mr Taylor did say that ‘this is the first time you could genuinely put [litho and inkjet] samples out and you’d have to study them under a glass to see the difference.’ He also explained that there is ‘still a huge number of offset shells printed for direct mail, particularly where heavier coverage is needed’ and that the VC70000’s combination of speed and substrate flexibility would be compelling in applications like this.

Ricoh plans to make the new inks available for the VC60000 but because that lacks the improved drying system of the new model, it’s likely to run at lower speed, though Mr Taylor said that there are plenty of markets where even 75m/min is quite fast enough. He declined to name a price for the VC70000 but said that it would command a “premium” of more than 10% over the VC60000.

The Pro VC70000 will be available in the winter of 2018.