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By Editor Morten B. Reitoft 

At the recent Sign & Print event in Stockholm, I learned how excellent color management could make a world of difference to your equipment. It was an eye-opener to understanding how color management could turn equipment from good to great.

The Swedish distributor Visutech presented the Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000C to the public at the event. They did this by having a machine on the floor and showing stunning print samples.

Before discussing the samples and how they made these look great, let's talk about the TASKalfa Pro 15000C. About a year ago, Kyocera presented their new TASKalfa Pro 15000C cut sheet inkjet printer. Kyocera has developed and produced print heads used by vendors like Canon for a long time. It wasn't a surprise that these print heads would be utilized in a Kyocera branded printer. And here we are. TASKalfa Pro 15000C is an inkjet printer with a similar footprint, form, and function as almost any toner-based device on the market.

Equipped with an EFI Fiery RIP, most PSPs would also immediately feel at home with how the machine is operated - and with a price tag in the absolute lower end, the Kyocera aimed at an entirely new market. The machine is mainly suited for uncoated paper or inkjet-treated paper. As we realized while visiting a TASKalfa customer in the Netherlands, Kyocera has developed a robust and very productive inkjet printer with low maintenance and low operational cost.

The printer is excellent within the limitations of its scope. It is used for everything from transactional print to textbooks to jobs printed on uncoated paper with a fantastic spread from 35g to 360g, depending on the configuration. The speed is impressive, with up to 9,000 A4 sheets per hour. So as you can read, good specs and a machine worth considering if you have the applications that suites the machine's capabilities.

All of this you can find more details about on INKISH, and soon also a film from one of Kyocera's customers, Verloop in the Netherlands. But let's move on!

In Stockholm, I was pretty much blown away by the print samples delivered by the TASKalfa Pro 15000C. The samples didn't look like any of the samples I've seen before and not even like the job we did ourselves on the machine a couple of weeks ago.

At first, I was sure it was mainly because the design was better and made for the OFFSET touch, feel, and look that Visutech clearly wanted to present. But as I spoke to Sales Manager Johan Gustafsson from Visutech, I realized that the improved quality was because of the severe color management they did with the machine. And what a difference. The TASKalfa Pro 15000C is, by all means, good, but after being managed professionally, the device went from good to great! The densities, colors, images, and details are now stunning and will now be the standard when buying the machine from Visutech in the Nordic.

You can, of course, decide on the color management yourself and achieve similar results, and judging from the result, it's for sure worth the time and investment. What surprised me a bit, and though I am not a color specialist, the result was even to a relative layman excellent.

So why this story? A couple of things that always encourage me are how intelligent people can utilize the equipment in ways not done by default. A couple of years ago, I interviewed the former HP Indigo GM Alon Bar-Shany. He said - also from a tradeshow in Sweden, the Indigo never was supposed to be printing balloons - and yet this is what the Indigo is used for. Maybe the good folks at Kyocera didn't think of the TASKalfa Pro 15000C for printing magazine content, brochures, and other design pieces. Still, with the work Visutech has done with it - it for sure can open up an even greater market for a machine that by some might be seen as an underdog!

Most printing companies use color management to ensure quality and consistency, but color management amazingly increases the value of an already valuable machine. Good work, Visutech, and thank you for the chance to review the great work!

Click on photo for enlargement.

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