Drupa attendees shelled out for Ricohs Pro C901 at drupa. One was sold to Barnwell Print, several to UK commercial printers including one to Jasprint, one to Remous, and one combined with a Ricoh Pro 751 digital colour press to Creative Digital Printing. Seven systems were sold to German insurance specialist LVM, including the InfoPrint 5000 MP continuous feed and digital cut sheet presses, and Polish graphic arts specialist Multikop bought a Ricoh Pro C651EX digital colour press to enable it to move in to high quality production printing.
Commercial printers are after the anticipated 30% improvement to production speed and 50% reduced downtime of the Ricoh Pro C901.
There was a great deal of interest in systems and solutions that bridge the gap between digital and online, said Alan Austin, sales and marketing director of Ricoh SA. The number of visitors to the stand this year surpassed our 2008 figures.
Ricoh’s Transformation Hub featured, among others, Heidelberg representatives talking about the companys strategic partnership with Ricoh.
Some of the demonstrations that proved popular with visitors were the InfoPrint 5000 VP, shown in Europe for the first time,  the new large format inkjet Ricoh Pro L4000 printer with latex ink, and the Ricoh Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition digital, colour press.
Trends and applications showcased in Ricoh’s Innovation Zone included technologies with future potential such as Clickable Paper and 3D printing, which will enable operations to take their service proposition beyond traditional print.
Print service providers were also attracted to the creative solutions in the Packaging Zone to see the short run, on demand, personalised packaging examples such as retail boxes.
On demand applications created a buzz, with the InfoPrint 5000 GP (general production) colour printing solution customising a book by Re.Be.L, a Turin-based variable data digital printing specialist. The process would allow print service providers to print books on demand, and delivered to customers within five hours of ordering.
Rebecca Noviello, CEO of Re.Be.L, said, Publishers are benefitting from new-found freedoms to choose the books to publish without being influenced by the mass market, and eliminating the stifling cost of warehouse and distribution.
Ricoh also demonstrated how cross-media solutions can help commercial printers establish creative credentials that foster stronger customer relationships.
A specialist application that generated interest among commercial printers was the preview of Ricoh’s black box interface device. The RPIP (Ricoh Parallel Interface Protocol) was used on four different concept configurations at the exhibition: a Pro C651 EX printer was connected to a Nagel UV coating and die-cutting system for a packaging solution; a Pro C751 was fitted with a Plockmatic envelope inserter; a Pro C901 press had a Nagel vacuum feeder for handling tricky stocks; and a monochrome Pro 1357 EX printer was fitted with a Müller unwinder and reel sheeter.
Supporting Ricoh’s zones with advice and guidance was the comprehensive Ricoh Business Driver Programme. Reviewed and updated following continual client consultation, the programme helps operations to acceleratetheir business performance. A team of experts walked visitors through its many business-enhancing capabilities including new exclusive reports from PIRA about strategic options for Print Service Providers.