Feb 21, 2017
Continuous feed colour inkjet has put its mark onto digital print for a number of years now, but it has been slow to escape the confines of transactional printing, despite some success in direct mail and book printing. While transaction print is set to decline, the much more attractive market would be moving into commercial print and converting portions of the immense offset print volume to digital. That is easier said than done however, with the demands for print quality and paper range being much higher in commercial print, compared to transaction print. Several devices have been launched to target this market, but success so far has been limited.
With its latest announcement on the 17th of February Canon plans to take advantage of this opportunity with a new product called Océ ProStream. The ProStream supports a print width of 540 mm, a maximum speed of 80 metres per minute, and a duty cycle of 35 million A4 pages per month. The printer is targeted to offer high print quality on a large range of substrates. Canon cites four major reasons why the ProStream should finally be able to gain a larger portion of the commercial print market:
– New 1,200 nozzle per inch Kyocera piezo drop-on-demand inkjet heads
– A new high-density polymer-based ink system – including ColorGrip primer
– A new, non-contact “flotation air” drying system
– A new usability concept supporting native PDF and PDF/VT Read more »
Oct 18, 2016
In honor of International Print Day, InfoTrends is releasing ten new print sample videos. This brings to 100 the number of print sample videos I’ve recorded since 2012. Here are the new ones:
- HP Indigo books and output on canvas
- Kodak Flexible Film technology demonstration
- Touch7 and the Ricoh C5110
- Xeikon Trillium and 9800 samples
- OKI C942 CMYK plus white on colored sheets
- Selected dimensional and foil print samples (included are examples from Duplo, Eagle Systems/Kurz, Intec, Konica Minolta, MGI, and Scodix)
- Envelope printing (included are examples from Bell+Howell, Pitney Bowes, Sensible Technologies, and Spiral Binding)
- Canon imagePRESS 850 direct mail and photo book samples (finished on a Duplo DC-646 and a Plockmatic BLM50)
- An International Paper substrate comparison on the Canon Océ VarioPrint i300
- Why I Record Print Sample Videos
For the previous ninety videos, go to the Print Sample channel on the Jim Hamilton YouTube page.
For those who are not familiar with International Print Day, it is “24-hour celebration without borders” for “anyone with an interest in the original communication delivery device…to join the planet’s largest conversation about print in all its forms.” International Print Day starts at 6 pm ET on October 18th (11 pm GMT, 9 am AEST) and will finish 24 hours later. Those wishing to participate on social media should use the hashtag #IPD16.
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Jul 1, 2015
Last week Canon Solutions America held a special inkjet event at one of its best customers, IWCO Direct in Chanhassen, Minnesota. IWCO Direct produces millions of letters a month as part of direct mail campaigns for many major brands. The variable component of these campaigns is printed and finished on a range of equipment including Canon Océ monochrome toner and color inkjet offerings. IWCO Direct is also active in Canon’s customer advisory councils and so they were a logical choice as the first site in the United States to have two of the latest inkjet products to come out of Canon: the cut-sheet Océ VarioPrint i300 and the continuous-feed Océ ImageStream 3500.
Both of these new products have strong potential, and Read more »
May 12, 2015
The importance of workflow and the matching software ecosystem has been frequently publicised and although not every user might have realised it yet, all production printing hardware vendors are strengthening their offerings in workflow and solutions nowadays. The importance of workflow is however in stark contrast with the lack of approaches in making the benefits of workflow visible in an exhibition or open house environment. Software remains intangible and while the benefit of some features can be calculated in time and money, for other features like customer satisfaction, error reduction, new services offerings and overall process efficiency calculating the exact value for a single business case is much harder.
Canon-Océ already organised several Commercial Printing Business Days, but for the event that took place in April 2015 the software portfolio was targeted to take centre stage. Presentations, workshops and customer testimonials focussed on workflow solutions. Canon-Océ invited users and prospects with interest in workflow solutions and had a total attendance of 550 visitors from around the globe at the three days of the event.
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Feb 17, 2015
About a year after Canon Solutions America (CSA) announced that it was exploring the idea of forming a user group for its production print customers, it has announced a name for the group and the date of its first event. The group is called the thINK Customer Community and its inaugural event, the thINK Customer Conference, will take place September 8th to 10th in New York. The thINK Customer Conference will overlap with Canon’s Expo (the once every four year showcase of Canon technologies).
Though thINK is described as a “Community of Canon Solutions America Production Print Customers,” the focus is clearly on inkjet, Read more »
Oct 1, 2014
Heidelberg and Canon/Ocè both reemphasized their push into the digital packaging printing market at their customer events last week. Each company gave a detailed update on the progress it has made.
As promised back in April at a digital sneak peek event, Heidelberg showed their first digital label printer at the Gallus “Innovation Days” from the 23rd to 25 of September in St Gallen, Switzerland. The event, which is not to be confused with the Hunkeler innovationdays) served well as a platform to reemphasize the changes in the ownership structure; this summer Gallus became part of the Heidelberger group, the upshot of a share swap that increased Heidelberg’s ownership of Gallus from 30% to 100% and with the former owner of Gallus becoming the biggest individual shareholder in Heidelberg.
Center stage, however, was the digital label press with the somewhat less catchy name of Gallus DCS 340. The press, which comes with in-line finishing, is the result of development cooperation between Gallus, Heidelberg and Fujifilm. The press base is supplied by Gallus and is derived from the well-established ECS 340 label press, hence the web width is set at 340 mm (13.4”) and a range of flexo, screen and offset modules can be added. The press has a solid granite base and is equipped with an unwind and a die cutting/stripping module. Only the speed of the DCS had be limited to 50 m/min (150 ft/min) compared to 165 m/min (492 ft/min) of the conventional press. The integrated finishing is somewhat misleadingly named “ digital converting system”, since the ECS C finishing part contains no digital components at all. Its core is a semi-rotary die cutter, which is at least format variable, but still requires a conventional die.
Read more »
Jun 19, 2014
At a recent launch event in San Diego, CA HP unveiled plans to “reboot” its wide format digital printing portfolio with a new modular thermal inkjet (TIJ) platform. Additionally HP launched new wide format technical printers, production software, and a single print driver for their DesignJet family, but the headliner was a wide format printer from HP that will compete in the single-pass wide format segment.
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May 30, 2014
Continuous feed colour inkjet printing has been a big success story over the past seven years especially in transaction print and with some book and direct mail printers. However the market lost a bit of momentum recently. While the move to inkjet in the transaction market is in full swing a lot more opportunities rest in short run publishing and promotional applications, especially when some degree of customisation, personalisation, and just-in-time manufacturing. Inkjet has had limited success so far in areas requiring higher print quality, particularly on coated papers. Canon’s launch of the ImageStream 3500 is intended to address that challenge.
On the 22nd of May Canon invited a small group of analysts to the Miyakoshi Akita plant in northern Japan, where all of Miyakoshi’s digital print engines are manufactured. At the manufacturing site Canon presented the latest launch in its inkjet portfolio, the ImageStream 3500. At first sight the ImageStream 3500 looks like a JetStream 3300 — part of Océ’s Wide series. In fact, both products share the same press base. Accordingly the maximum print speed is set with 160 meters per minute and the paper width is 30 inch.
The differences between a JetStream and the new ImageStream lie in the inkjet heads and the ink. The printer uses the latest Kyocera printheads with a native resolution of 1,200 dpi and three drop size levels. The printer can print with 1,200 x 600 dpi resolution at full speed, or 1,200 x 1,200 resolution at half speed, which is still an impressive 1,600 A4 pages/minute. The high resolution results in tiny droplet sizes with 1.3, 2, and 2.8 picolitre. Canon is using a new, waterbasedÂ ink as well, not only optimised for the tiny droplet size, but also engineered to stick on the surface of the paper — any paper. Read more »
May 29, 2014
At the Canon for Business 2014 event in Poing, Germany and at the FESPA trade show in Munich last week, Canon Océ showed strong signs of progress in a variety of areas related to digital color printing through a series of announcements:
- High-speed color inkjet printing on standard coated offset papers’ Announced but not shown in Poing was a new inkjet system that Canon Océ representatives say can print on a range of offset paper stocks, including coated ones, without the use of bonding agents or primers. The solution, according to Canon, can accomplish this due to its high resolution, small ink droplets, dryers, and a special aqueous pigment ink formulation. The Canon Océ ImageStream 3500 runs at up to 160 meters per minute (525 feet per minute) at 1,200 x 600 dot per inch resolution on a 750-millimeter (30-inch) web. (The device can also run at 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, though at half the speed of 1,200 x 600.) Canon expects the product to be available at the beginning of 2015. InfoTrends will learn more about this product soon (Canon hosted analysts, including InfoTrends’ Ralf SchlÅ‘zer, in Tokyo last week), but for now, it’s intriguing to consider that a vendor has come up with a solution to address standard coated offset papers without inkjet treatments of any kind. (See Ralf Schlozer’s blog on the ImageStream 3500.)
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Nov 5, 2013
The World Publishing Expo, the largest global trade fair for the newspaper and news publishing industry was held in Berlin, Germany, from the 7th to the 9th of October. It was the 43rd annual exhibition and conference and featured 267 exhibitors from 35 countries, including printing press manufacturers, editorial and advertising system providers, new media providers and other suppliers to the industry.
About 8,500 visitors from 90 countries attended. The 8,500 visitors were an increase from 7,000 who attended the 2012 Expo, which was held in Frankfurt, Germany. It is nevertheless a far cry from the heydays of the newspaper industry when publishers ordered presses by the dozen, invested in dedicated editorial systems, and newspaper publishers routinely had a return on revenue in the 20% range. These cases are pretty rare nowadays as newspapers are on one of the most embattled print segments. Not only is there a massive shift of readership from printed copies to electronic displays, additionally the base business model of publisher is under threat: charging for news content in the light of free electronic news sources. As a result, circulation is dropping across the industrialised countries. According to WAN-IFRA, newspaper circulation dropped by about 25% in Europe in the last four years, with North American circulation dropping by 12% in the same timeframe. There are bright spots however with noticeable gains in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Still with anÂ average daily circulationÂ of over 522 million newspaper copies worldwide in 2012, printed newspapers is a very sizeable market.Â Newspaper publishers know that they need to shift their business model from traditional mass print production to different forms of publishing however. Read more »