After years of teasing and trailing, Ricoh has formally announced the launch of its B2 sheet-fed inkjet press, the Pro Z75,  and will be taking orders in the EMEA region from November 2023.

Described as ‘the world’s first B2 perfecting sheetfed aqueous-based inkjet press’, Ricoh says the Pro Z75 will ‘accelerate the shift from offset to digital with higher print quality, faster turnaround times and fewer demands on staff following successful in-market testing’, delivering ‘the advantages of a sheet-fed platform with the low running costs and high productivity of inkjet’. The description carefully fits around competitive B2 inkjet machines in that Konica Minolta’s KM-1e does perfect but uses UV ink, while Fujifilm’s JetPress 750S and variants has aqueous ink but doesn’t perfect.

The specification is as previously announced, with print speeds of up to 4500 sheets per hour (sph) in straight printing or 2250sph duplex/perfecting mode. Stainless steel piezo print heads give 1200dpi native resolution at all speeds with four colour (CMYK) pigment-based inks, while the proprietary drying system ‘ensures high quality results ready for immediate finishing’. The press handles uncoated, inkjet treated and offset coated media up to 400gsm with a maximum sheet size of 585mm x 750mm.

In addition, the press incorporates ‘significant’ automation solutions and an intuitive control panel to reduce the need for operator intervention and improve shift efficiency. A heavy duty ‘offset-like’ build quality of Ricoh’s own design and advanced, durable printheads are designed to maximise press uptime and availability.

US beta test site Heeter Printing has been using the Z75 since summer 2022. President Kirk Schlecker commented, ‘The Ricoh Pro Z75 is like a multitool for our operation. It combines the image quality, efficiency, print size, substrate flexibility and economics that allow us to say ‘yes’ to more jobs, and deliver a better experience for our clients.’

‘As shorter runs and increasing demand for data-driven communications push print service providers to adapt their production strategies, we are helping them lever the latest hardware, software and data to become indispensable to their clients with the Ricoh Pro Z75 as a powerful example of that commitment in action,’ said Eef de Ridder, vice president, graphic communications, Ricoh Europe. ‘The result is a new level of performance that enables easier, faster and more profitable production of applications like direct mail, postcards, marketing materials and other commercial print work.’