Epson also launched a pair of new high quality inkjet wide format printers, the Stylus Pro 7900 and 900, and showed its first outdoor printer, the GS6000, which it previewed last month.
On a stand three times as large as its drupa 2004 booth Epson said the new label press would be a seven colour machine with a web width of 315mm, and capable of printing five metres of media every minute, or 300 metres an hour. Epson said it would implement multiple heads and multiple arrays to provide continuous reel printing.
It will also launch a new ink, which it says is 'offset look and feel', and as well as label stock it will be able to print on fine papers and on board.
Epson is the world's primary inkjet printing head manufacturer, producing an incredible 40 million a year, many of which are used by other vendors. It is clearly wanting to leverage this technology into new applications. It is designing its new generation of print heads to massively increase volumes, as it wants to make a major impact in the commercial graphic arts market, which it sees as ripe for digitalisation.
With its new wide format printers Epson says an improved ink formulation, a new printer mechanism and a raft of new technologies make these two new additions to the Epson Stylus Pro range ideal for production and contract proofing, as well as the highest quality fine-art and photographic applications.
Epson says they will also enable printers to extend their business into the demanding packaging proofing and flexographic markets. In addition an optional calibration and verification system, the Epson SpectroProofer, means the Stylus Pro 7900 and the Stylus Pro 9900 can be used for remote proofing.
The new printer mechanism implemented in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 builds on Epson's MicroPiezo TFP (Thin Film Piezo) print head, introduced with the launch of the Stylus Pro 11880 last year. It delivers perfectly spherical dots with high precision dot placement and can deliver resolutions up to 2880 dpi. Both the number of nozzles and throughput has been doubled in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900, resulting in a maximum speed of up to 40sqm per hour. At these increased print speeds, the new 10-channel MicroPiezo TFPprint head ensures production of the highest image quality.
The Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and Stylus Pro 9900 utilise a new fifth generation pigment ink, which is key to the quality of print output. Epson UltraChrome HDR (High Dynamic Range) ink is an 11-colour ink set consisting of Pk, Mk, Lk, LLK, C, VM, Y, Lc, VLm, Or and Gr available in 350ml and 700ml cartridges. This high quality ink set expands on Epson's UltraChrome K3 with vivid magenta by adding orange and green inks, which significantly increases the range of colours that can be achieved, especially bright green to yellow, and yellow to red. The Orange ink in particular contributes to reducing the graininess in skin tone. Epson UltraChrome HDR pushes the limits of ink chemistry to deliver the widest colour gamut on the market to date on a variety of media.