Sharp Looks to Expand High-End Product Success with New Light-Production Color Engines

By George Mikolay, Senior Product Editor, A3/Copier MFPs, April 4, 2014

Building on its success in the high-end office space and its BLI Pick-winning monochrome production devices (the 95-ppm MX-M950 and the 110-ppm MX-M1100), Sharp recently made its initial foray into the color light-production space with the MX-7500N and MX-6500N.

“We believe these new products are a perfect fit for the light-production market that continues to see prints trickle down from traditional offset printing methods,” said Kent Villarreal, senior product manager, product planning and marketing, for Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America. “These devices are completely modular, and can be configured to either fit into a front-office marketing department requiring high quality printing for proofing, or in more demanding light-production environments that require professional finishing and the ability to print on-demand.

“The systems are also easy to use, making them ideal for in-plant print shops and CRDs looking to bring more commercial print work in-house in order to reduce costs and have more control over the end result, but that don’t necessarily have the commercial printer expertise.” These systems are the first in the industry to offer full control of EFI’s Command WorkStation job management interface directly from the engine’s control panel. “For one, this integration reduces device footprint and costs, as no additional monitor or PC needs to be placed on or nearby the device in order to access Command WorkStation,” said Villarreal. “And two, it greatly simplifies job management, as an operator is able to fluidly switch between the devices’ copier settings and Command WorkStation directly from the control panel.” The new paper catalog available through Paper Property settings holds up to 1,000 custom profiles, with the ability to set up paper by name, type and weight for quick recognition and selection. More advanced settings such as skew correction and magnification adjustments are available for jobs requiring extra care. “And Pantone licensing for the Sharp controller means that users can avoid the higher cost of an EFI controller and still be able to accurately reproduce critical colors such as logos and company colors,” Villarreal said. 

Another new feature is the devices’ edge-to-edge printing capability, which allows for the production of full-bleed, square-fold booklets of up to 120 pages on 11" x 17" sheets.  “There is a high percentage of saddle-stitch finishing in this market space, and to be able to print all the way to the edges of 11" x 17" paper, which eliminates the need for having to use a larger sheet size such as 12" x 18", is a huge cost and time saver,” Villarreal said.

The triple-air-feed large-capacity tray allows the device to feed many different media types, including glossy, coated and thin, among others. It further supports paper sizes up to 13" x 19", and automatic duplexing of paper up to 300 gsm. “The air-feed technology helps with separating media such as synthetic, textured and thick coated stocks that have a tendency to stick together,” said Villarreal. “Plus the belt transport and air suction technology prevent double-feed issues.

The First Look Reports are available on these models, and we hope to have more details on these two devices in the weeks ahead.  

Republished with permission from Buyers Laboratory LLC ( ©2013 Buyers Laboratory LLC