Production Inkjet Tradeshow Shopping Guide – Part 1

By Elizabeth Gooding / Published:

If you are in the market to purchase a production inkjet device in 2019, Print 19 and Printing United are great opportunities to kick the tires, network with current customers, and negotiate a great fourth quarter deal.

Trade shows can be overwhelming, so we want to help you use your time wisely by providing an overview of trends and options in various aspects of the production inkjet market. Whether you are looking for web-fed or sheet-fed, entry-level or top-productivity models, there are devices and trends you should be aware of.

In the first installment of the series, we’re talking about the trend toward making inkjet financially accessible to more companies. Throughout the series, we are focused on the devices you are likely to see at shows this year – however, you can easily compare devices referenced in this article to others on the market using Device Finder and searching by requirements. Also, don’t miss the free attendee code at the end of this article.

You Don’t Need to Be Big to Buy Inkjet Anymore

There are a range of inkjet devices priced at around US $1 million, and a few for close to half that price. The challenge for many first-time buyers at this level is to find the best fit. Should they stay with the format, web or sheet, that they have now, or are there dynamics that make it more economical to switch? Let’s look at equipment you are likely to see at trade events this year in the entry-level price range:

Productivity, Format
BlueCrest Accelejet
716 IPM, Roll to Sheet
Accelejet is a roll-to-sheet production inkjet device targeted at production printing of Direct Marketing Self Mailers and Traditional Transaction Print. It uses aqueous pigment ink with 5 gray levels and 600 x 600 DPI.


Canon VarioPrint i300
294 IPM, B3+ Sheet
The VarioPrint i300 uses Océ iQuarius inks jetted through optimized Kyocera KJ4B heads and ColorGrip primer to print on a wide array of media including some offset coated papers. Last month Canon announced enhancements to the line to expand compatibility with offset coated papers. With 600 x 600 dpi resolution and 4 gray levels it can tackle applications from transaction printing, forms and books to direct mail and marketing collateral.


Komori Impremia IS29
300 IPM, B2 Sheet
The Impremia IS29 did not start off as an entry-level device, but pricing has come down since introduction. The IS29’s use of UV inks eliminates media limitations inherent with aqueous inks, expanding the range of offset coated and uncoated media to up 600 microns or approximately 540 gsm along with textured an embossed paper, paper board and many synthetics. With 1200 x 1200 native dpi and 8 gray levels, the device is capable of stunning color with the durable output required for high-end direct marketing and commercial jobs. The B2 sheet size is a natural for companies moving from a half-size offset press to digital.
Konica Minolta – Accuriojet KM-1
300 IPM, B2 Sheet
The Accuriojet from KM-1 is part of the same partnership between Konica Minolta and Komori that delivered the Impremia IS29. Konica Minolta provides the heads and ink on the Komori chassis and transport framework. The press is identical to the Impremia IS29, delivering high quality B1production to the direct mail and commercial markets on a wide variety of substrates up to 600 microns/540 gsm.


320 IPM, B3 Sheet
The Valezus T2100, announced in August 2019, is a sheetfed production inkjet device targeting Direct Mail, Direct Marketing – Self Mailers, Traditional Transaction Print and Transitional Mail. It uses 5 colors of oil-based pigment ink in CMYK plus a gray. CMY and G print at 300 x 300 dpi in standard mode, or 600 x300dpi in fine mode, while black is always 600 x 600 dpi.
Truepress Jet520NX EN
984 IPM, Continuous/ Roll-fed
Introduced in 2019, the Truepress Jet520NX EN is the new entry-level version of the popular Truepress Jet520NX. With a price tag of under a million, before optional finishing, and leveraging the same printhead module, control technologies and transfer system as Screen’s mid-range system, the EN model is a fit for smaller commercial, book and direct mail operations. The EN has a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 (versus 600 x 1200 for NX) with 4 gray levels and a MICR option. Monochrome versions of the EN are also available.
Xerox Baltoro
300 IPM, B3+ Sheet
The Baltoro, launched in June 2019, represents a new, internally sourced inkjet platform from Xerox. Leveraging aqueous pigment inks and Xerox W-series print heads with 1200×1200 dpi resolution and 2 gray levels (one drop size), the Baltoro will print on uncoated stocks and inkjet optimized stocks up to 270 gsm. Baltoro is targeting transaction printing, direct marketing and commercial market segments.

If you are headed to PRINT 19 this week, make sure to catch up with Mary Schilling who will be the host and tour leader for Expanding Opportunities with Inkjet, Print19 TechWalks, Friday, October 4th at 11:30 am on the show floor theater. The inkjet tour will highlight the entry level RISO and Xerox devices cited in this post as well as inkjet proofing printers from Epson and Xante.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series where we will cover the other end of the inkjet game: maximum productivity models delivering over 2,000 U.S. letter impressions per minute (or more than 33 IPM per SECOND!) Different price range, different application segments and a bunch of other interesting differences you can learn all about right here.

Some of those max productivity models will be on display at Printing United later this month. You can ATTEND PRINTING UNITED FOR FREE as a guest of Inkjet Insight using the VIP code: 6000000T.   If you appreciate the great information and free stuff we provide, please take a moment to register as a free or contributing member of our community.


About the Author

Elizabeth Gooding


Elizabeth is the Editor and Co-founder of Inkjet Insight. She has a rare ability to see print related issues from many perspectives. She has managed creative teams on complex design projects, selected outsourcers for major brands and helped print organizations to retool operations, focus their market positioning and educate sales teams to accelerate growth. She works with a team of top analysts to translate experiences into tools, data and content to help print organizations evaluate the potential of inkjet, optimize their operations and grow pages profitably. She is a founding member of the Inkjet Summit advisory board, the co-author of an award-winning book on designing for inkjet and a curious consultant constantly seeking innovative ways to drive new pages onto inkjet presses.

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