Autonomous printing: five key technologies that will change the game

09 Sep 2020

Many commercial printers are now considering automation as a way to boost efficiency in their business. Autonomous or semi-autonomous printing will really change the game for printers. A semi-autonomous print solution delivers significant benefits for printers because jobs can be completed with minimal human intervention once the job is set up.

The simplicity and ease of use provided by a semi-autonomous printing solution can also mean that highly skilled operators can focus their attention on other tasks while the presses virtually run themselves. This type of streamlined efficiency is the future of commercial printing, so it’s important for printers to get on board with innovative technology and solutions that are available to them.

Here are five key technologies that should be considered by commercial printers looking to implement automation their print business:

1. IQ-501

The Intelligent Quality Optimiser (IQ-501) can improve labour efficiency by up to as much as 30 per cent by automatically and continuously measuring and managing colour to ensure the first print in the run matches the last*. Turning this previously manual work into an automated process, the IQ-501 enhanced hybrid integrated scanner system delivers expanded inspection performance, verifying print quality and detecting streaks, spots, and blemishes. This means maximum stability even during long-run jobs, while the improved registration and quality means the total usable print volume is higher.

The IQ-501 is available as an option on the AccurioPress range of digital print systems. It helps printers deliver high-quality prints even with less-experienced press operators. The closed-loop system doesn’t just check colour and registration in real time, it also makes on-the-fly adjustments to keep the quality consistent including for re-printed print files.

2. LS-507

The LS-507 is a new, high-capacity line stacker capable of stacking up to 6,000 sheets without intervention, from 52 to 450gsm. This stacker supports higher speed, permits banner bypass, and lets operators offload while the machine is still printing, adding to increasing productivity. **

3. TU-510

The new TU-510 trimmer unit gives you production inline finishing while reducing manual touchpoints and production costs. The first of its kind, this four-side trimmer gives full-bleed, edge-to-edge prints. It’s also capable of creating five fold lines down the page, while slitting and cutting capabilities can cut pages down to a smaller sheet size.

You can use the TU-510 for everything from business cards to oversized long sheets. It even supports extra-long sheets, letting you offer more products without increasing your need for manual labour. The extra-large dust box holds the cuttings from up to 1,000 sheets, making it ideal for extra-long print runs.**

4. Simitri V Toner

Simitri V is a ground-breaking toner that has low temperature fusing, is eco-friendly, and capable of reproducing stunning quality even during the fastest, longest print runs. Konica Minolta researchers discovered the ideal toner particle shape to keep the inside of your AccurioPress clean and the image quality high.

Simitri V has a low melt-point, delivering significant energy savings. The natural matte finish is similar to that delivered by offset printers while having reduced static. Providing smooth trouble free inline and offline finishing, Simitri V toner is a certified toner for food contact and offers a high level of lightfastness.**

5. AccurioJet KM-1

The AccurioJet KM-1 Inkjet Press combines the speed and flexibility of an offset press with the digital benefits of variable data printing and zero make-ready. It offers the largest sheet size in its class, printing on 585mm x 750mm sheets, allowing for 6-up letter-size printing and can print up to 3,000 B2 sheets per hour (simplex) or 1500 B2 sheets per hour (duplex). It offers easy maintenance with operator replaceable parts and print heads for round the clock operation.

Revolution Print: automation in action

Revolution Print, located in Ballarat, Victoria, is a commercial printer realising significant benefits from automation. It built a comprehensive online ordering and processing platform and switched to an automated management information system (MIS). It added multiple shopfronts around Australia and needed to produce economical print jobs to support its expansion.

The business chose the AccurioJet KM-1 to produce jobs digitally that would otherwise have been printed on offset due to sheet size. This results in stock savings and more efficient use of staff time. Revolution Print is on the cusp of keeping the presses running 24/7 due to the volume of new work it can deliver.

Leon Wilson, director, Revolution Print, said, “We are confident that the KM-1 will support our long-term goals and will be able to run all through the day and night. Our plans for the future involve continuing to shape the business around automation and technology for the benefit of the industry and our customers, with equipment such as the AccurioJet KM-1 to back us up.”

To find out how Konica Minolta can help you add automation to your business so you can work more efficiently, increase profits, and take on new types of work, contact us today.

*Standard on AccurioPress C14000 series

** LS-507 and TU-510 optional on AccurioPress C14000 series. Simitri V toner in-built on AccurioPress C14000 series



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