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34 ProPrint February 2016
Konica Minolta's much anticipated B2 inkjet UV
sheetfed press will launch at drupa 2016
by Simon Eccles
What does it do?
The Konica Minolta KM-1 is a sheetfed
duplex B2-format digital inkjet press,
using UV-cured inks. The company calls
this the 'first machine in the industrial
inkjet heavy printing segment' and
predicts it will match offset quality
more closely than any other digital
press to date.
The company has made toner-based
digital colour presses since 2006. The
KM-1 is its first sheetfed inkjet press
and has been developed as a joint
venture with Komori, which will sell it
under its own name as the Impremia
UV-cured inks and cool LED lamps
enable the KM-1 to handle a wide range
of substrates including standard offset
stocks or synthetics, with no need for
special pre-coatings. It can also handle
thicker cartonboard stocks up to 0.6mm
as well as heavily textured or embossed
When was it launched and what are
the target markets?
Konica Minolta and Komori announced
the press just prior to drupa 2012 and a
KM-1 prototype was demonstrated
running at the show in Düsseldorf, then
again at Ipex 2014 and Graph Expo
2015. It is now in beta sites in Japan and
the US with the first European beta
going live at an unnamed site around
now. The official launch is planned for
drupa 2016 at the end of May. The main
target markets are packaging, books and
How does it work?
The configuration is broadly similar to
other B2 format sheetfed inkjet presses,
with offset type feeder, gripper-to-
If you don't know the price of the KM-1, and you can't order one, shouldn't the Landa S7 B2 press
be listed in alternatives as it is in the same situation?
We have a fair idea of what the KM-1 will
cost, but the company has stressed that no
final price will be announced until closer
to drupa, so that is what I wrote.
Komori has actually been more definite
and announced a list price for its Impremia
S29 equivalent - £1.08m (around A$2m
although there may be a different pricing
structure for Australia). The KM price range
given here is what has used in the past (as
predicted by 'sources close to Konica
Minolta'). It seems to include the Pro
version of its front end, which will have
the oomph to do full variable data in full
colour at full speed across B2 duplex
sheets. Komori may be pricing its
Impremia with a lesser DFE, we will have to
wait until drupa kicks off to find out.
Spec-for-spec the KM-1 and S29 print
engines are the same, but Komori will use
a colour management system designed to
match its Lithrone offset press results,
where as far as I can tell Komori will go for
the best the gamut can achieve (doubtless
it will be asked to wind it down to match
offset ISO 12647-2 results in real life).
All the alternatives I have used have
reached real printing shops, even if the
numbers are small, except for the HP
Indigo 10000. I have no reason not to
believe that Komori is in beta in real
printers, even if it will not say who they
are. Landa may have its S7 B2 presses
running in a secret print works in the
Negev, but if so they are not telling us.
The Landa S10 B1 simplex carton press is
supposed to be the first one we'll see, but
that has been going into beta 'next year'
for the past three years. That though is not
a direct alternative to the KM-1, despite
the latter's ambitions in carton work.
The duplex commercial models are
obviously more complex to build, and
given that the Landa S10 was substantially
redesigned after drupa, presumably the
duplex models will be too.
The S7 section of the Landa website still
shows the internal and external
appearance as it was at drupa 2012, while
the revised S10 has dropped the touch-
screen sides that made it look like a giant
iPad, and adopted a more conventional
control station at the delivery end.
I have decided to wait until I see the
current form of an S7 or other duplex Landa
before listing it as an alternative in the
limited space of a Star Product.
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