Océ JetStream Goes Monochrome – Océ Is Enlarging Its Inkjet Offerings

Ralf Schlozer
Dec 14, 2011

In anticipation of drupa 2012, the landmark graphic arts trade show that will take place next May, Océ is closing out this year with a couple of product announcements in the high-speed inkjet category. The JetStream 2300 mono, 3300 mono, and 4300 mono represent Océ’s first dedicated monochrome inkjet printers.

With a 3-up (30 inch) web width, these printers fall into Océ’s Wide series and feature printing speeds of 100, 150, and 200 m/minute respectively (328, 492, and 656 fpm respectively). At the highest speed, this translates to 4,040 A4 or 4,296 letter-sized images per minute. With a 600 dpi by 600 dpi resolution, 2-bit imaging, and pigmented black ink, these printers are primarily targeted at the book market. Océ’s newest JetStream printers are very compact with a total length of 7.9 metres from unwind to rewind, and they feature a dedicated two-tower design with very narrow monochrome towers.

On Demand book printing has become a hot market, and we have seen quite a few continuous feed devices heading into book sites lately. Nevertheless, the majority of installations were monochrome because the majority of books are printed in this format. Océ does offer single-colour versions of its range of JetStream and ColorStream inkjet printers, but even when equipped with only a monochrome printing head, they carried the load of devices that were designed for full-colour printing. While the ability to upgrade to full colour is a nice feature, not every book printer will need to do so and pricing in this market is competitive. Océ reckons that the purchase price of a pure monochrome printer is 30% less than a monochrome version of a comparable 4-C inkjet printer.Monochrome continuous-feed sales are plummeting nowadays, but book printing is creating some new market opportunities. These new monochrome inkjet printers are closing a gap in Océ’s portfolio because its toner-based printers lacked in speed, width, and possibly running costs. The JetStream devices also offer a lower investment than monochrome versions of Océ’s colour inkjet printers. Colour inkjet printers are expected to show faster growth moving forward, but a dedicated monochrome solution helps to round out the company’s portfolio.

It should be noted that monochrome inkjet will not be the only segment to receive a boost from Océ’s most recent announcements. Océ has also enlarged its JetStream Compact series, which features duplex printing in one cabinet, with a third model. The JetStream 1900 runs at 127 metres/mi (417 fpm), 27% faster than the JetStream 1400 (launched very recently in June 2011). With a 2-up width, this translates into 1,718 A4 or 1,818 letter-sized images per minute. This higher speed is achieved at the expense of resolution, which drops from 600 by 600 dpi to 600 by 480 dpi. That said, the JetStream 1900 has a two-bit multilevel capability, which increases the apparent resolution. The printer has a premium mode as well, which features 600 by 600 dpi resolution at 100m/min–exactly the speed and resolution of the JetStream 1400. All devices in the compact series are upgradeable, so a JetStream 1000 can be field-upgraded into a 1400 and a 1400 into a 1900.

While it is still a printer with a very small footprint, the JetStream 1900 moves Océ’s Compact series into a new, more competitive field. A web speed of 127 m/min enables it to compete head-to-head with the InfoPrint 5000 GP, the Kodak VL4200, and the HP T200. Océ claims that its JetStream 1900 has the highest resolution and the smallest footprint for a full line (including unwind and rewind) of all competing devices in the 120-130 m/min range. The printer is targeted at transaction and direct mail markets, and its compact footprint can be of particular advantage in Europe, where sites are generally smaller with limited floor space.

With only 5 more months to go until drupa 2012, Océ’s announcements help mark an interesting close to a year that has already has seen a fair share of high-speed inkjet announcements. There can be no doubt that many more products will be announced before and during drupa, which will add even more dimension to the high-speed inkjet market. While these new printers seem to give Océ an edge in its targeted markets, we are all waiting in eager anticipation to see what the competitive landscape looks like in another several months.

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