Konica Minolta Unveils New Inkjet Press
AccurioJet KM-1e Accelerates Growth with the Industrial Print Market
On June 24, 2020, Konica Minolta Europe held an analyst press conference to announce its AccurioJet KM-1e digital inkjet press. An update to the AccurioJet KM-1 that was originally launched at drupa 2016, the “e” in the name of the new device stands for “evolution.” This B2 + sheetfed UV color inkjet production press is designed to accelerate Konica Minolta’s growth within the industrial printing markets.
Upgrades to the New Model
Following the legacy of the AccurioJet KM-1, the AccurioJet KM-1e facilitates the transition from existing business fields to more profitable applications. Konica Minolta has incorporated UV inkjet technology to maximize printing capabilities on various types of media. Based on the buying criteria of today’s print service providers, the AccurioJet KM-1e features various upgrades to quality and productivity:
- Quality: Although the announcement of the new device did not reference specific improvements to print quality, overall quality is influenced by the variety and types of media that can be accommodated. To that end, the KM-1e is capable of handling lighter papers down to 0.06 mm. Users will be able to produce all of the applications that were possible with the original KM-1 (e.g., textured substrates, embossed and canvas, synthetic waterproof paper for packaging and labels), but the KM-1e also supports transparencies and color/metallic papers. These improvements are made possible by new media sensors that can better handle these types of substrates.
- Productivity: Regarding improvements to productivity, the KM-1e will deliver additional inline finishing capabilities as well as a tape inserter for job separations. The device also features a new interface for third-party integration. The new partner has yet to be disclosed, but the company will continue collaborating with existing partners (e.g., Rollem). Konica Minolta claims that the device will enable less downtime with fewer service calls and reduced job preparation time. Downtime examples for the KM-1e in comparison to the original KM-1 are as follows:
- A 40% lower paper preparation time
- Inkjet head replacements occur at least 50% less frequently
- A 30% to 40% reduction in paper profile registration time
- A 200% lifetime improvement in maintenance time with monomer self-maintenance
Whereas the KM-1 primarily targeted the commercial printing market, Konica Minolta is attempting to drive more packaging and labels applications with the KM-1e. Like its predecessor, the KM-1e accommodates thick and textured stocks. It also handles synthetic papers to improve the durability of packaging and label applications.
Targeting the B2 Market
Konica Minolta’s introduction of the B2 KM-1e follows other announcements from competitors like HP (which launched its B2 Indigo 15k and 100k devices earlier this year) and Fujifilm (which began selling its B2 Jetpress 750 device last year). It has become clear that a number of industry vendors are committed to strategically using their B2 presses to shift or win print volumes from analog and toner. Although Komori’s Impremia IS29 device is expected to benefit from the KM-1e upgrade due to a pre-existing reseller agreement, no further details have been released at this time.
Path to Upgrade and Installations
Konica Minolta confirmed that existing KM-1 customers would be able to upgrade to the KM-1e, but the company has not yet disclosed the additional cost (if any) that would be associated with this upgrade. Installations of the new device have already begun in Europe and the US, and the company expects to release more details soon. Keypoint Intelligence will follow up with additional insight as it becomes available.