We had a lively Q&A session during the Production Inkjet webinar, and ran out of time to address everyone’s questions. Below are answers to the questions we could not get to during the session itself.

What happened to the EFI inkjet printer?

 EFI is covered under labels and packaging. This presentation focused on production inkjet for the document market. Check out David Zwang’s session later this week

What about MICR for inkjet? As it’s just not going away fast enough.

Because the percentage of volume that requires MICR in transaction shops is dropping, some companies are processing their MICR volumes separately or continuing to use pre-printed check stock for that work. Some OEMs, like Ricoh, are still committed to their core business segments. Here is a link to a list of roll fed inkjet devices providing MICR at speeds of  1,000 images per minute or more

There are also listings for devices that print faster or slower than that—lots of options.

Was there a typo in one of your slides?

 Thanks for noticing the typo. The HP PageWide T250HD produces 1,000 images per MINUTE not per month. Elsewhere on that slide we indicated a duty cycle of 62 million images per month.

Any observation of Heidelberg exiting this market that seems very exciting and growing….

Heidelberg indicated that the market was not growing quickly enough for them. However, the packaging market as a whole is experiencing strong growth. There may be issues with the development partnership behind the PrimeFire. Nessan Cleary wrote an interesting article on this topic found here.

Do you see improvements coming up concerning control methods for missing nozzles and deviated jets? Those are killing the potential for the graphic art markets whereas the quality is very important. Secondly, lifetime of inkjet heads seems to be an issue looking to the cost of it.

In answer to the first question—yes, control and correction for jet-outs is an area of concentration for a number of the new market entries. We will be drilling down on this more during Inkjet Innovation Week because it is a complex topic and we have more time in that venue. You will see new devices shipping with inline quality control systems, spectrophotometers and various jet-out compensation solutions. I discuss the control features in the Canon iX series in this article and you can also expect to see announcements on this topic from major RIP software providers.

With regard to head life, in many cases inkjet printheads have been lasting longer than OEMs or customer anticipated, and longer than the cost models used to justify purchase. They key is making sure that regular maintenance is conducted and that the printer is running as much as possible.

Why is cut sheet going to outperform web over the next several years?

There are several reasons. First, because sheetfed is more of an emerging market than cut sheet, getting back to 2019 numbers is a much smaller leap for sheet fed than web. Second, there is  pent-up demand for high-quality sheet fed inkjet. There just weren’t many aqueous solutions available that could print on offset papers. Third, B2 and B3 sheet fed devices are generally quite a bit less expensive than web fed so easier to justify. The new B1 presses should almost be their own category and the cost of these devices can skew the results for the rest of the market.

Is the sheet size for the Canon iX series 14” x 20”?

It’s a B3 press with minimum sheet size of 8x8 inches and maximum of 13.7x20 inches. Here are the details we have so far.

Is a possible upgrade path refurbishment? i.e. new ink inks, new print heads, new electronics, new software, all being put into the chassis of older machines?

 OEMs and third parties are selling refurbished machines. There is a pretty strong market for Ricoh, Canon, and HP web-fed devices. In many cases these can be certified by the OEM. I don’t have a good answer for you on third parties building new devices on old chassis—but we are working on some research with integrators along those lines.

Will most vendors that had a planned drupa 2020 release do so still in 2020 or are some waiting until drupa 2021 now to go public?

We know of several vendors who are waiting for drupa, or at least until later this year.

CMYK + OGV is already working in the label market with inkjet!

Yes, it is working well in the label market. We actually expected to see it in the document market much sooner. Canon had announced their Voyager model back in 2018 with 7 colors but it does not look like that product will make it to market—but there are others we are watching.

What about "desktop" presses for in store, airports - any takes, developments, needs?

Sorry, not really my market but if it’s a thing, someone is likely covering it on WhatTheyThink.com.

How does HP T250 print K at 2400 500 fpm when color is 1/2 that?

Here is the scoop on the different speeds of the device. Short answer: they vary resolution and drop weights in each mode.

Quality Mode: 2400 dpi with dual drop weights at speeds up to 250 ft (76 m) per minute. This mode delivers the highest quality for the press using dual—low and high—drop weights.

Performance HDK Mode: CMY 1200 dpi (single drop) with K at 2400 dpi (dual drop) at speeds up to 500 ft (152 m) per minute.

Performance Mode: 1200 dpi, single drop weight at speeds up to 500 ft (152 m) per minute.