The new Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C7000 is making waves at Cape Town-based commercial print business, Salty Print, with the company upgrading its PRO C6501 digital machine to the new press.

The cost effective digital press is well suited to Salty Print’s operations and customers, especially because the device’s superb image quality rivals offset printing, said Leon Minnie, product manager – production solutions at Konica Minolta South Africa.

According to Stephen Bardwell, operations manager at Salty Print, the upgrade to the bizhub C7000 machine is the result of an aggressive modernisation strategy conceived by the company’s board to meet future challenges facing the printing industry.

At present we look forward to the deployment of our customised web to print e-commerce solution for both trade and retail clients during December 2012, as well as the arrival of new offline finishing equipment in the form of UV varnishing and foiling. The C7000 joins other new arrivals at Salty Print, namely cutting and scoring equipment as well as perfect binding and laminating equipment, said Bardwell.

From experience gained in the use of the bizhub C6501, Salty Print opted to have the bizhub C7000 unit coupled with Konica Minolta’s PF-602 high capacity feed unit rather than the company’s more conventional LU-202 unit.

Salty Print has found that the advantages of this bulk unit more than justify the added expenditure. By using this unit, we are able to accommodate five different media types. The added benefit is that the built-in humidity unit in the tray allows enough paper to be stored under correct printing conditions to accommodate a full day’s production. With print runs getting shorter, it also facilitates changing seamlessly between jobs in the print queue, said Bardwell.

Salty Print has realised three particular areas of increased productivity besides the PF-602 over the C6501.

The first, and most important from a production perspective, is the ability to run media of higher GSM long edge first. Not only does this increase throughput on the machine, but it also eliminates the problem of banding associated with running a large percentage of media short edge first. This relates in particular to the production of short run book covers and business cards.

The second is a noted increase in throughput when printing SRA3 spreads. With output activated to the sub tray on the finishing unit, we have noted an increase in speed of between 10 and 15 percent, coupled with a noted reduction of creasing and jamming of low GSM gloss art media, which would have had to have customised print settings on the bizhub C6501, said Bardwell.

Thirdly, Salty Print has noticed a difference in the user interface, both on the machine as well as the new print driver of the bizhub C7000. Bardwell says that selection options for paper types, settings, as well as grammage are now combined on one easy to use screen, alongside all of the previous advanced features that are available to fine tune your print job. When this is used in conjunction with the paper library it saves noticeable time on spooling print jobs for printing.