Ricoh has announced a new web-fed inkjet press, the Pro VC80000, which it says ‘rewrites inkjet economics’, thanks to a number of automation and productivity features, combined with what Ricoh says is the smallest footprint in its class, at less than 10m in length.

Based on the experience of the existing VC70000 and VC70000e models, the new machine is designed to produce ‘exceptional’ quality direct mail, colour books, catalogues, magazines and commercial print applications on coated media up to 300gsm. The new press offers throughput of up to 150m/min at 1200 x 600dpi, but also offers full 1200 x 1200dpi for more demanding applications, albeit at reduced speed.

This is supported by a number of automation and productivity-enhancing aspects that Ricoh says drive down the total cost of ownership. These include a completely new drying system that brings the press up operating temperature up to twice as fast as ‘typical’ competing systems. There is also a built-in scanner/spectrophotometer – available as an option on the VC70000 – that measures and corrects on-the-fly for colour consistency and back-to-front registration accuracy, eliminating manual adjustment.

A quick paper setup function allows media types not already stored in the media library to be profiled automatically and SmartStart allows automated machine setup prior to the start of a shift without an operator on site.

Operational information from the Pro Scanner is collected and interpreted by Ricoh Supervisor software, which creates web-based dashboard views using analytics from its business intelligence tool to optimise device utilisation and throughput, for the both the VC8000 and any other connected print device. Enhanced communication with inline finishing equipment helps complex end-to-end production setups work more effectively; this includes auto-splicing units for non-stop production and/or on-the-f;y paper changes.

The Pro VC80000 has been in beta test at Sattler Media Group in Germany, where Christian Haneke, innovation and solutions manager, commented, ‘The level of automation achieved by Ricoh’s Pro VC80000, combined with up to 50% higher output of high quality products compared to our current technology, as well as its operator-friendly approach, is transforming the role that inkjet plays in Sattler Media Group’s production portfolio.’

Eef de Ridder, vice president, Graphic Communications Group, Ricoh Europe, said, ‘Our high-speed inkjet clients share similar production challenges: they need high speed capacity to fulfil large orders and tighter turnaround times, and tools to make operating their presses easier and more efficient. The Ricoh Pro VC80000 is built on what made the previous generation a client favourite and is a testament to our commitment to helping clients solve their challenges. It sets a new standard in automation and data-first intelligence to increase productivity and usable output with consistency across operators and shifts.’