GRAPH EXPO 2014: The Digitalization of Graphic Arts
In a move that is sure to have an ongoing impact in the market, Canon Solutions America showcased many major production color trends at Graph Expo (Chicago, IL; September 29–October 1). With the largest exhibit space in the hall, the offerings in Canon’s booth reflected the trends impacting the digitalization of graphic arts today while also demonstrating “creativity without boundaries” and inspiring innovation. During Graph Expo and in the weeks leading up to the event, Canon Solutions America made several announcements regarding its expanding portfolio, including cutsheet electrophotographic color, cutsheet inkjet, and roll-fed inkjet.
The light-to-mid-production cutsheet color market is a very competitive space and major system vendors are upping the ante with faster and more capable products.
GROUP DIRECTOR OF INFOTRENDS’ PRODUCTION GROUP
LIGHT-TO-MID-PRODUCTION CUTSHEET COLOR HEATS UP
According to Jim Hamilton, Group Director of InfoTrends’ Production Group, “The light-to-mid-production cutsheet color market is a very competitive space and major system vendors are upping the ante with faster and more capable products.” The action at Graph Expo was particularly notable, highlighted by Canon USA’s introduction of the Canon imagePRESS® C800/C700 color devices, which offer speeds of up to 80 images per minute. In addition to nicely complementing the existing Canon imagePRESS line, these devices provide a step up from the Canon imageRUNNER® Advance Color offerings.
CANON SOLUTIONS AMERICA ENTERS THE ZONE OF DISRUPTION WITH CUTSHEET INKJET NIAGARA TECHNOLOGY
The production color digital print market can be broadly divided into two groups:
1. Cutsheet electrophotographic copiers and printers
2. Continuous feed inkjet printers
The electrophotographic copiers and printers generally produce high quality levels across a broad range of stocks, but they lack the high productivity levels of the continuous feed inkjet printers. There is a gap between these two product classes that InfoTrends calls the “Zone of Disruption.” Within the Zone of Disruption, new products that combine some of the benefits of both classes—namely high productivity at attractive price points—have begun to appear. The first cutsheet offering to truly address this space is the Niagara technology from Canon Solutions America, a B3-format inkjet printer with color speeds of up to 300 ipm.
Francis A. McMahon, Vice President of Marketing at Canon Solutions America, states, “Our goal with the Niagara technology is accessibility for a much broader audience than the B2 digital competition. Additionally, the B3-format device will have more access to finishing capabilities from the Océ VarioPrint® 6000 series, providing more flexibility for various applications.” These are two important aspects that will help Canon Solutions America and its customers tap into the Zone of Disruption market opportunity.
The Océ ImageStream 3500 printer, our newest addition to the continuous feed inkjet market, will print high-quality full color designs while also printing on standard offset papers. This can save time and cut costs for commercial printers or in-plants, in addition to preventing a lot of headaches.
GRAPHIC ARTS SEGMENT MANAGER OF CANON SOLUTIONS AMERICA’S PRODUCTION PRINT SOLUTIONS DIVISION
CONTINUOUS FEED INKJET TARGETS THE COMMERCIAL PRINT MARKET
Although continuous feed color inkjet products have very high levels of productivity, they haven’t historically been able to achieve the highest quality levels. This was particularly the case for the types of matte and glossy papers that are typically used in commercial printing markets. In the months leading up to Graph Expo, a number of announcements were made to address this issue. Through its Océ JetStream® and Océ ColorStream® product lines, Canon Solutions America is the global market share leader in placements of continuous feed color inkjet systems and has experienced great success in transactional, direct mail, and book applications. With the Océ JetStream and Océ ColorStream products, creative clients from the graphic arts industry are able to create impressive digital applications with full color coverage. According to Tonya Powers, Graphic Arts Segment Manager of Canon Solutions America’s Production Print Solutions Division, things don’t stop there. She elaborates, “The Océ ImageStream 3500 printer, our newest addition to the continuous feed inkjet market, will print high-quality full color designs while also printing on standard offset papers. This can save time and cut costs for commercial printers or in-plants, in addition to preventing a lot of headaches.”
The Océ ImageStream 3500 printer can run to up to 160 meters per minute (525 feet per minute) at 1,200 x 600 dot-per-inch resolution with multiple drop sizes. With this device, Canon Solutions America makes it possible to print without special inkjet-treated stocks. Powers continues, “Eliminating the need for special inkjet-treated stocks or workflows that require pre-treatment of the paper via primers or bonding agents is an important development because it enables sites to use the same stocks for their offset and inkjet printing systems. This opens up new opportunities for inkjet in higher coverage output on coated stocks in applications such as books, brochures, magazines, and personalized catalogs.” Other system benefits include a compact footprint and Océ’s PRISMA® workflow management software working in conjunction with a scalable Océ SRA® MP controller. The Océ ImageStream 3500 printer will be available from the beginning of 2015.
INKJET AT A CROSSROADS
“The Inkjet Crossroads” area in Canon’s booth brought the theme of creativity and innovation to life. Together, Canon Solutions America and Graph Expo 2014 inspired several conversations about the industry’s future direction, challenges, and opportunities. Sheri Jammallo, Corporate Enterprise Segment Marketing Manager for Canon Solutions America, concludes, “The Canon booth was designed to help attendees learn more about the prevailing shift to inkjet printing in a number of major application areas. I kept a close watch on the show floor during the week of Graph Expo, and I could see the excitement of the industry right before my eyes.”
GRAPH EXPO 2014