Ricoh is launching its own aqueous resin (AR) latex ink for the Ricoh Pro L4100 series of large format printers at FESPA Digital, Amsterdam, 8 to 11 March, to address the demands of its fast-growing sign and display graphics customer base.
“We’ll demonstrate how the new eco-friendly, durable, latex ink enhance productivity and image quality,” says Jacques van Wyk, COO of Ricoh SA. “The aqueous resin ink delivers sharper and richer colour on a wider range of substrates. It dries faster and uses less energy to apply. We’ll also show how print service providers can expand their indoor and outdoor sign and display offerings.”
Expanded colour gamut for vibrant results
The new 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. Spot colour simulation with six-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.
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.
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.
Ricoh’s AR latex inks can be used with a variety of lighter weight and heat-sensitive media because they cold cure at 60 degrees Centigrade. Supported media includes film, coated paper, PET, tarpaulin, PVC, polyester cloth, cotton, wallpaper, transparent vinyl and more. Cold cure also saves money by reducing power consumption.
The new AR latex inks are good for the environment. They have been awarded Greenguard Gold certification by UL Environment in recognition of low chemical emissions and improvement in air quality where the inks are used. It means the AR latex inks are suitable for use in sensitive environments, such as education and medical facilities.
The inks also have minimal volatile organic compounds (VOC) and odour, eliminating the need for special ventilation. Ink is delivered in reusable ink cartridges and eco-friendly ink packs.
Ricoh new AR latex inks deliver excellent image quality and reliability while reducing ink consumption in combination with Ricoh’s print heads and jetting technology that deliver multiple drop sizes as small as four pico-litres.
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 says: “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 our clients and us 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.”
60% business growth
As for the overall impact on his business, De Klijne says: “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.”