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14 ProPrint October 2014
Baden Kirgan’s odyssey into a lease free life didn’t last long
So la st month I gloated ab out how I
wa s ab out to enter printer’s nirv ana –
no lea ses, rentals or fina ncing debts.
With all my stuff having come off lease in
the last t welve months, I had decided that
I was going to kick back and relax for a
It didn’t last long.
For the la st few months I’ve been
looking at a replacement for my Xerox
700. Not that I’m getting rid of it – it is
still a good machine and Xerox are still
supporting it. With the right paper and
right jobs it is goldandhas made us a
decent amount of money.
No what I am really trying to replace is
my Horizon binding line. I have an old one
that I picked up for a song and it’s been
great but it is getting old and it takes up a
lot of floor space. Ninety nine per cent of
the jobs it does are short run booklets
printed on our 700, which came with a
basic saddlestitcher but ca nnot ha ndle
anything with bleed. A new Horizon is
getting close to a hu ndred thousand
dolla rs a nd good second ha nd ones still
attract a decent price – justifiably so as all
the Horizon gear is great. Problem is I
don’t have the volume of the right kind of
work to justify the big money a nd I rea lly
need the f loorspace for something else.
And then I saw the new Plockmatic
saddle stitched being bundled in-line with
a few of the digital machines. Xerox have
them on the Versa nt, 800 and 1000. Ricoh
a re bundling them with the C7501 a nd
C9001. It’s not the drea my Stitchliners but
it is very workmanline – scoring and three
edge trimming books up to 200 pages
thick. It will do everything I am doing on
my Horizon and more – sure it will be
slower but it stitches a s fa st as the press
can print, takes up a fraction of the space
the Horizon does, a nd it is a third the
Loved it and wanted it. Only problem
was Xerox would not retrofit them onto
my 700. So I went to market and had a
look at the Canon, Ricoh and the other
I picked a couple of jobs to test on a ll the
presses, one of which wa s a b ook with a
solid grey cover that I told a designer to go
away a nd re-design
before I even tried to
print the 100 copies
they wanted on my
700.I testedit on an
800, 1000, iGen,
Versa nt and Ca non’s
machines – they
were all similar in
result to the 700,
with what I would
ca ll only margina l improvements on the
iGen. But su rprisingly the Ricoh machines
made that solid grey look almost offset –
best result I had ever seen on a digital for a
I say su rprisingly because I had never
thought much of Ricoh – I wa s sceptical of
their move into production digital, given
their long time focus on the small office
market. It was only their association with
Heidelberg that made me consider them
seriou sly. But I have to say that they have
got some great stuff happening with their
machines, a nd they are cheap – pou nd for
pound the Ricoh deal was extremely
competitive, especially considering the
So did I buy the Ricoh? No – I re-signed
w ith Xerox a nd took a Versa nt (which did
get the grey cover right with some
tweaking). Why? Their w illing ness to do
anything for the deal was quite appealing,
a nd the whole- of-bu siness package they
offered suits us better than what the
others put on the table.
So I am back to working for the man
with a monthly lease I have got to pay, and
nirvana is once again a band I listened to
at school. At least I have all you buggers
for compa ny.
Baden Kirgan is the MD of Jeff ries Printing
Ser vi ces and Black House Comics
Inkjet-delivered water-based liquid toner.
Say that fast a few times. The most
immediate impression of toner is that it is
a dry particle imaged using
electrophotography and melted on to a
substrate. The HP Indigo uses particles in oil
imaged using electrophotography, heated to
convert the particles to a plastic form and
transferred to a substrate.
Thus, there is dry toner and liquid toner.
Liquid toner can use oil or water. And, until
now, they were imaged using laser-based
electrophotographic systems. The oil can be
aggressive which may generate VOCs or less
aggressive, which does not.
Along comes Landa Nanographic Printing.
Instead of oil, there is water. Instead of
electrophotography there is inkjet.
Liquid toner with oil was actually invented
by an Australian research organisation.
I asked Benny Landa if he invented liquid
toner. He said ‘No, but I made it work.’
The success of the HP Indigo digital printer s
is a testament to that claim. In 2008, HP
demonstrated a wide format printer with a
technolog y they called latex. I saw at their
research facility in Barcelona. It delivered the
ink via inkjet heads.
In 2012 Xeikon of Belgium acquired the
patents from the Australian research
organisation. There had been a license to
Myakoshi prior to that acquisition. Xeikon
announced a printer using the liquid toner
technolog y called Trillium. Océ also
announced a printer using liquid toner
technolog y called InfiniStream. All of these
printers apply electrophotography.
A 2008 patent that was awarded in 2012 to
HP covers ‘Liquid toner including latex
par ticles’, (US 8765348 B2). The liquid toner
includes a toner composition with latex
par ticles incorporated therein. The toner
composition includes charged
toner par ticles incorporated
into a non-polar liquid carrier.
The latex particles are polymer particles of
acr ylic monomers, vinylic monomers, or
mixtures thereof, and each latex particle has
a size ranging from 20nm to about 5μm.
Like all patents, there are references to
related patents. We see Agfa, Fuji, Xerox, and
many other companies listed. There is a
significant amount of research and
development involving new digital printing
technolog y. The word toner is used because
of the need for heat.
Inkjet-delivered water-based liquid toner.
Or better: Inkjet-delivered water-based
polymer ink. That may be the future of digital
Frank Romano is professor emeritus
at the Rochester Institute of Technology
Digital printing directions
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