Thursday, Febuary 21—Ryobi tossed its hat into the 40" offset ring by announcing today that it will show a B1 format multicolor press at drupa. The press, a five-color model, will be the first in the 1050 series, a new line taking aim at others in its size class with high-productivity features and a price tag that Ryobi says will be competitive.

The press, which is expected to be commercially available one year after drupa, will be sold in the U.S. by xpedx. The announcement was made as part of a pre-drupa briefing at Ryobi's manufacturing headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan, an event attended by about 140 distributors, customers, and journalists.

The 16,000-sph press will be offered in two types: S, with a maximum printing area of 41.34" x 27.95" (1,050 mm x 710 mm); and XL, at 41.34" x 30.31" (1,050 mm x 770 mm). Among its features are double-diameter cylinders and impression drums; an optional Inline Print Quality Control System that uses a built-in CCD camera to monitor ink densities and check for printing defects; several mechanisms for accurate sheet feeding; inline aqueous or UV coating; and optional automatic plate changing. A perfecting version will be available in 2010, Ryobi said.

The company, best known for smaller-format presses, will target its new B1 flagship platform at commercial and packaging printers. During the briefing, Ryobi and xpedx executives identified Heidelberg and Komori as the press makers with which Ryobi expects contend most directly in the 40" market with the 1050 series.

The briefing, which included tours of the company's recently expanded press assembly and die casting facilities, covered other planned highlights of Ryobi's exhibit at drupa (May 29-June 11), including:

• an inline casting and foiling system that applies holographic coatings and foil to printed surfaces with the aid of UV-curable varnish and glue. At drupa, the unit will be shown on a Ryobi 755 five-color press.

• according to Ryobi, the world's first LED-UV curing system for offset presses. Replacing standard UV lamps with arrays of UV-emitting diodes, the LED-UV irradiation system is said to operate without producing heat or ozone at a much lower level of power consumption than conventional UV. A special ink (manufactured by Toyo) is required. At drupa, the system will be seen on a Ryobi 525GX five-color press.

In Hall 17 of the drupa fairgrounds, Ryobi will exhibit a total of seven presses along with workflow solutions and peripheral devices under the theme, "Smart Printing Solutions/Evolving with You." A detailed report on the pre-drupa briefing will appear next week at