The Xerox iGen 150 press was originally debuted at Drupa 2012, the product was updated in October 2013 with new configurations, software, and line screens. This flagship product from Xerox’s arsenal was launched in India in the last quarter of 2013 and saw its first installation at Coimbatore-based Star Colourpark earlier this year.
The iGen 150 derives its roots from the same iGen platform which the manufacturer had introduced at Drupa 2000. The iGen family has evolved extensively over the years and today it includes iGen 3, iGen 4, iGen4 Diamond edition and iGen 150.
According to Xerox, the iGen4 has been recognised to be the most productive system in its class, among those independently tested by the SpencerLab Digital Color Laboratory.
Pankaj Kalra, head, production systems group, Xerox India, says, “The iGen 150 press arms a commercial printer with one of the most productive digital cut-sheet colour presses. It is targeted at at print providers in the graphic communications business as well as in-plant print shops.”
The advantage of iGen 150 over iGen 4 is the larger maximum sheet size (364x660mm v/s 364x521mm). The longer sheet of 660mm means that print firms can diversify their portfolios to include A4 landscape and 6pp A4 portrait brochures and bigger photobooks among others.
The iGen 150 uses a 2-D VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) 2400×2400 raster output scanner, which enables more data per inch and new line screens that approach offset quality. Kalra explains, “In addition to iGen 150’s existing 160/180/250-line screens and their existing dot patterns for traditional applications, a new line screen is ideally suited for specific applications and for specific customer needs.”
Kalra adds, “For the photo market where the desired image quality has a different look from traditional commercial print, a new 210-line screen optimises the softness in skin tones while keeping the detail of hair and background images.”
When it comes to commercial printing jobs with a mix of images and heavy text, the iGen 150 uses a new technology called Object Oriented Halftoning. “This renders images at a 180-line screen for optimal smoothness. For the different requirements of text, Object Oriented Halftoning renders elements in the document at a 250-line screen that is optimised for sharpness,” says Kalra.
The machine is equipped with an inline spectrophotometer, which in conjunction with automated colour maintenance tool enables automatic calibration process thereby eliminates human interference in the process. Kalra says, “It analyses a mix of target colours and informs the operator on the availability of the press for production thereby eliminates maintenance procedures and increasing uptime. While the improved auto density control system minimises the variability of photoreceptors, detecting and correcting streaks before they occur.”
The iGen 150 boasts of automated image-on-paper registration tool, which enables accurate front-to-back image registration. How does this work? Kalra explains, “It works by printing test patterns, which are read by an auto density control sensor. This sensor takes a reading of test pattern images on the photoreceptor at eight target points. A number of test prints are generated, and the resulting measured values are averaged and adjusted for fuser shrinkage. These new values are then fed back into the system, which adjusts the image magnification in both process and lateral directions.”
“In a duplex job, the fuser will typically shrink each side of the page by a different amount. This achieves extremely accurate front-to-back image registration and greatly reducing the amount of time operators spend on correcting front-to-back registration.”
The iGen 150 also features the IntegratedPlus finishing solution for booklets. It eliminates the need for highly skilled pre-press operators to prepare files according to finisher specifications. According to Xerox, it offers the offline automation by combining the efficiency of inline with the flexibility of offline into one device. Kalra says, “A new dual mode feeder allows an inline finisher traditionally dedicated to a single digital print system to accept and handle printed output from multiple presses when operated in off-line mode.”
Kalra sites an instance. “Applications printed on a Xerox Color 1000 Press could be wheeled on a stack cart to the dual mode feeder attached to the iGen 150 press for booklet making. The operator simply scans a bar-coded banner sheet before connecting the stack cart into the feeder. The bar code instructs the booklet maker to set itself up automatically and the process is completed without requiring skilled operator intervention. The iGen 150 can also print another job to its own stack cart simultaneously.”
This helps to reduce the risks of manual programming at the finishing device and error because the necessary parameters—such as page imposition, page ordering and trimming—are set automatically when a job enters the workflow. The iGen 150 comes with matte dry ink formulation, which gives the uniformity across highlights, midtones and shadows. It is ideal on any application demanding a pleasing matte finish, particularly those on uncoated or silk stocks, however, a standard dry ink configuration is also available for customers who prefer it.
Another USP of the press it that it’s modular with optional feeding (roll feed or cut sheet with a choice in the number of feeding modules) to finishing (stacking, perfect binding, die-cutting, slitters, and creasers).
The press is driven by software contained in the print engine as well as the DFE. The print engine software is what enables the automation technologies and the DFE software for both the FreeFlow Print Server and EFI Server enable customer workflows within a shop.
Speeds of 150 pages per minute
The speed of the press varies according to the input sheet size. This means for A4 size paperstock, it delivers an output of 137.5ppm. For A3 size the speed turns out to be 75 sheets per minute, which translates to an effective speed of 150 pages per minute. At the maximum sheet size of 600mm, it outputs 50 sheets per minute meaning 150 pages per minute, imposed 2-up and 3-up with an optional large sheet optimisation module.
The machine can handle a wide range of papers, with no drying time required. These include coated, uncoated, textured, and specialty stocks such as recycled and perforated stocks, tabs, transparencies, labels, synthetics, and branded stocks. The weight range for the iGen 150 is 60gsm to 350gsm.
Kalra says, “With iGen 150, automation is key. Tasks that once required the time and attention of a dedicated press operator now happen automatically. The press room can better sustain an operator staff with a variety of skill levels and still produce outstanding image quality and consistent, predictable colour.”
Applications from photobooks to transpromo
The iGen 150 enables diverse applications from short-run books to manuals to all sorts of marketing collaterals to photobooks to signages to transpromo. Kalra says, “Demand for photo applications, such as high-margin photo books, greeting cards and calendars is increasing rapidly. iGen 150’s standard use of Matte Dry Ink, in combination with high-resolution dot density, make it ideal for high-volume photo printing applications.”
K Janakarajan, the managing director of Star Colourpark in Coimbatore says, “We have been catering to the commercial printing segment from a long time and wanted to strengthen our footprint in the digital photobook segment. With the bigger size and higher volume promise offered by iGen 150, we were sure that it fits perfectly w
ith the need of our operations. We have opted for the Dry Matte Ink option with the press which will help us provide excellent print results to our customers.”