For whatever reason: December is traditionally the month in which we make the most important new acquisitions. In order not to break with this tradition, the new proof printer generation from EPSON moved in with us this year: The SureColor SC-P9500 Spectroproofer.
Unpacking traditionally has to be done in front of the door, we wouldn’t be able to get the printer into the office on the two-metre-long pallet, but once it’s on rollers, it works fine.
The new SureColor P9500 complements our range of SureColor 7000 and 9000 proof printers and, above all, hopefully brings us a further plus in speed, especially for larger jobs. Thanks to a newly developed and now fully loaded print head with 12 inks with up to 800 nozzles each, it is said to print up to 2.4 times faster than our other proof printers, which is particularly advantageous for large proof volumes.
We are currently still in the process of measuring the large number of media we use on the new printer and gaining experience with the new proof printer. Many of the “advantages” are not really relevant for us, as we have very specific requirements in proof printing. In terms of gamut, i.e. the maximum colour space that can be achieved, we were unfortunately unable to determine any real gain. According to our measurements, the colour space has changed marginally compared to the previous proof printers, but not really increased.
For example: Admittedly, the printer prints much faster than our other printers. But in return, it takes much longer to transport the proof paper to the fans for drying, and the subsequent measurement of the media wedge also takes longer than on the 7000 and 9000 systems. For an A4 proof with media wedge and test report, the 9500 is only 8 seconds faster, taking just over 8 minutes. In other words, the higher print speed is almost completely lost in other areas.
Therefore, A4 proofs will not be the domain of this printer, but rather we will try to proof the larger formats on the 9500, where the speed advantage comes into play more.
This reminds me a little of the upgrade to Fiery 7, which was supposed to be up to 5 times faster than the previous version with FastRIP technology. In fact, the FastRIP technology was and is so error-prone that we were never able to use it, as we felt that every 20th job was processed incorrectly or could not be processed at all. On the other hand, with the version upgrade, the entire proofing software became considerably slower … So for us as non-FastRIP users, all that was left on average was a slower system.
And so we are still making our experiences with the new proof printer. The first conclusion we can draw is that many things are better, some are worse and some are simply different. The fact that the printer is still quite new is also evident from the fact that new media updates are constantly being added. We have already run some good jobs through the printer and it has not disappointed us. In this respect, the first conclusion looks fairly optimistic.
Fogra Fogra 51 and 52, optical brighteners and the new standards for offset printing and proofing are currently on everyone's lips. In the proof area we still see only announcements and beta versions, but no real solutionsby now. In 2013 the reorganization of ISO 12647-2 was adopted for offset printing, but according to ECI the earliest "expected recommendation on the implementation of the new ISO 12647-2 as well as the provision of appropriate handouts and instruments' will be in 2015. The current status of Fogra 51 and Fogra 52 from our perspective: