Ricoh launches new eco-friendly AR latex inks at FESPA 2016

Press release from the issuing company

To address the demands of its fast-growing sign and display graphics customer base, Ricoh is launching its own aqueous resin (AR) latex ink for the Ricoh ProTM L4100 series of large format printers at  FESPA Digital, Amsterdam, March 8 to 11. Ricoh will be located in Hall 7, Stand S132 at the show. 

The new eco-friendly durable latex ink will be demonstrated on the Ricoh Pro L4160 to show how it enhances productivity and image quality. The AR ink’s ability to deliver sharper, richer, colour on a wider range of substrates with faster drying times and reduced energy consumption compared to the original latex ink will be highlighted. Print service providers will also learn how they can dramatically expand their indoor and outdoor sign and display graphics offerings.

Expanded colour gamut for vibrant results

Ricoh’s new AR latex inks are available in CMYK, plus orange and green for an expanded colour gamut. White ink is also available to enhance printing on transparent or dark substrates. The inks are ideal for a wide range of uses, from posters and point of purchase to window applications and outdoor banners. Excellent spot colour simulation with 6-colour process printing enables accurate printing of package proofs and other colour-critical projects. High black density and improved glossiness deliver rich and contrasting details, while white ink ensures vivid results. 

Graham Moore, Business Development Director, Ricoh Europe, explains, “This new eco-friendly ink will expand the range of possible applications that can be produced on Ricoh’s Pro L4100 large format series of latex printers to include window applications or outdoor banners by virtue of the improved ability to reproduce corporate and other special colours with high fidelity. The increased black ink density results in sharper details and richer colours. And improved glossiness creates more dramatic and eye-catching images. We think visitors to our stand at FESPA 2016 will be extremely pleased with what they see from the new latex inks.”

Three-layer printing with white ink

The ability to print white ink as a foundation colour layer on transparent or dark material enhances the natural vividness of colours. With three-layer printing, where white ink is printed between colours, images are visible on both sides of transparent substrates even though the printing is only on one side. This enables more dramatic and impactful colour with backlit and other transparent signage. 

Production efficiencies and strong environmental performance

Ricoh’s AR latex inks dry quickly for more efficient production, enabling operators to quickly move to secondary processes such as laminating and installation. “This is a big bonus in productivity,” Moore points out.

Using cold cure at 60 degrees Centigrade, Ricoh’s AR latex inks can be used with a variety of lighter weight and heat-sensitive media. Supported media includes film, coated paper, PET, tarpaulin, PVC, polyester cloth, cotton, wallpaper, transparent vinyl and more. In addition to substrate flexibility, cold cure saves money by reducing power consumption.

Ricoh new AR latex inks also offer strong environmental performance. The inks have been awarded the Greenguard Gold certification by UL Environment in recognition of low chemical emissions and improvement in air quality where the inks are used. This signifies that Ricoh AR latex inks are suitable for use in sensitive environments such as educational and medical facilities. The inks also have minimal VOCs and odour, eliminating the need for special ventilation.  Ink is delivered in reusable ink cartridges and eco-friendly ink packs.

When combined with Ricoh’s own print heads and jetting technology that deliver multiple drop sizes as small as four pico-litres, Ricoh new AR latex inks deliver excellent image quality and reliability while reducing ink consumption.

Print service providers are also able to choose up to eight cartridges for the ideal ink colour configuration for their Pro L4160 series printer at the time of installation.

Multicopy Lansingerland in the Netherlands has been a test site for the ink, using its Ricoh Pro L4160 for a number of applications including indoor and outdoor signage and wall coverings. Owner Robert de Klijne states, “We are extremely pleased with both the printer and the latex ink. We have experienced problem-free printing on all kinds of media, and that makes us and our clients very happy. The fast drying time streamlines production and has increased our throughput. The colour saturation is better and colour quality is improved over previous solutions. The black is deeper and gives us more contrast.  I believe that when we have perfected our processes with this printer and the latex inks, our production capacity will be almost doubled. With the lower curing temperatures, we have less wasted media, particularly with lighter weight or heat-sensitive materials.” 

Sixty per cent business growth

As for the overall impact on his business, Klijne states, “In the spring of 2015, we set a goal of increasing our signage business by 50%.  By the end of the year, it had grown by 60%, in large part due to our Ricoh solutions.”

Moore concludes, “The performance and flexibility of our new AR latex inks combine to enable print service providers to confidently expand the range of applications they can offer. It also delivers streamlined production, increased throughput, lower waste and improved quality. With the Ricoh Pro L4160 and AR latex inks, print service providers can better support their clients, enter new markets and win new business.”


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