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Production: bizhub does it better

Konica Minolta South Africa’s (KMSA) digital bizhub production range offers unrivalled pricing combined with greater versatility and functionality than many other production brands. Konica Minolta South Africa (KMSA) digital product specialist, Andrew Griffith, says customers are seemingly unaware that there are competitive products on the market that offer superior productivity, reliability, quality and larger duty cycles at more affordable prices. Konica Minolta Business Technologies Japan spent four years researching and developing the bizhub production range. Griffith says this painstaking effort has resulted in an exceptional product that meets the growing demand for short run print on demand applications.
“Customers want shorter runs of more customised documents with shorter turnaround times,” he says. Short runs were historically a problem for the print production industry. The make-ready process for these devices means that turnaround times could not be met and short runs were not cost effective. But, says Griffith, times have changed. “KMSA has manufactured top-level digital production devices that offer superior printing and reliability combined with a host of print on demand functionality that is perfect for short runs. In addition, KMSA offers Micropress, the latest in digital prepress and workflow management technology.
Griffith says KMSA is currently the only supplier of this document make-ready solution in South Africa. “MicroPress offers advancements in speed, document editing, job management, load balancing and colour management,” he says. Griffith urges organisations investing in digital production devices to consider KMSA’s advanced offering, as well as five critical factors – productivity, reliability, quality, versatility and cost – before committing to a purchase or contract with any supplier. “The best combination of these factors is what should influence the purchasing decision,” he says. The selected device should turn the job around quickly without compromising quality. KMSA’s production range incorporating the bizhub PRO 1050e, bizhub PRO 920 and bizhub PRO C6500 print 105 (B&W), 92 (B&W) and 65 (colour) pages-per-minute respectively. But, productivity is not just about the engine speed. It’s also about reliability.

Konica Minolta is one of the only manufacturers to produce its own toner. The Simitri HD particles are smaller and more symmetrical than traditional toner particles and have evenly distributed wax particles within the toner particle itself. This results in better overall and more consistent image quality, less fading, more resistance to folds and a lower fusing temperature ensuring reduced paper curls, peeling and blistering. This also results in improved output consistency and reduced carbon dioxide emissions (up to as much as 40%). Griffith says quality is of course also critical. “Customers are not willing to sacrifice the quality they are used to receiving from the lithographic process. With the advent of more sophisticated technology, the gap between litho and digital quality has closed considerably,” he says. The bizhub PRO 1050 and bizhub PRO C6500 offer unrivalled paper feeding reliability.
These devices feature air-assisted paper feeding that prevents adhesion between sheets. Ultrasonic multiple feed detection sensors analyse paper density to prevent multiple sheets being fed at once and a dehumidification heater keeps paper dry in humid conditions. Griffith says KMSA’s claim to reliable devices is supported by industry awards from leading global consumer guides such as Bli and Bertl. “The bizhub PRO 1050 garnered BLi and Bertl awards for reliability and versatility, the bizhub PRO 920 won a BLi Pick of the Year award and we’re expecting even bigger accolades for the newly launched bizhub PRO C6500,” he says. Another factor to consider is the device’s versatility. Colour matching is critical to the print-on-demand environment. Griffith says all KMSA colour production devices are fitted with EFI Fiery print controllers that boast print-on-demand colour management and matching functionality that is simple and easy to use. These devices are also versatile from a paper handling perspective and can handle coated stock ranging from 60 to 300gsm as well as a wide range of paper types.
All paper trays are universal, which means the devices can handle more varied jobs without the output capability being affected. In addition, the bizhub production range boasts in-line finishing capabilities ranging from stapling, hole-punching, up to six different type of fold functions, post cover insertions, mixed media support, saddle-stitch finishing and on the bizhubPRO 1050, Perfect Binding. Griffith says KMSA’s bizhub devices provide arguably the best combination of quality, productivity, reliability and versatility. “KMSA understands these factors are non-negotiable to the production market as a whole. But once these factors are served, there is of course the very important element of cost. “Production operations need to know they are getting the best value for money.
We view our clients as our partners and our bizhub PRO production range is optimally priced to give our clients a better chance of breaking even as soon as possible and minimising the financial risk of entering the short run, print on demand market. Our products are also backed up by a competent support network that understands this unique environment,” says Griffith.

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