Canon Solutions America Exec Francis A. McMahon on Recent Successes, State of Production Inkjet Market
Francis A. McMahon, senior VP, marketing and sales operations, for the Production Print Solutions (PPS) division of Canon Solutions America, recently checked in with Printing Impressions to reflect on the success of the thINK 2017 conference in Boca Raton, Fla. last month, new high-end Océ inkjet presses in the pipeline, the new leadership position that he's assuming within the PPS division, as well as the current state of the production inkjet market in general.
Printing Impressions: Canon Solutions America and its board of directors have wrapped up another highly successful thINK production inkjet user conference. What do you think is the value proposition of this member-driven event and why it's become such a huge success in just three years?
McMahon: This year's event was amazing, better than we could have ever expected. The reason for the success is boiled down into one word - collaboration. With over 500 attendees, 20+ sessions, 40 partners, and over 50 customer speakers, we saw first-hand how our market is responding to inkjet technology. I would also say that I witnessed the customers belief in thINK and how it can help drive their businesses. There was a thINK identity that grew organically during the past three years and I was enthralled with companies buying simple things like shirts and mugs to bring back to their team members as a reminder that thINK is more than just a conference - it's a means to help them grow their businesses. It was a heart-warming phenomenon in our industry.
PI: The thINK 2017 conference also featured the North American debut of the Océ ProStream 1000 continuous-feed color inkjet press. How does this new inkjet press offering enhance Canon Solutions America's product portfolio and impact its sales organization?
McMahon: The Océ ProStream Series is our brand new breed of fast, high-productivity, continuous feed inkjet presses combining the vibrant colors of offset with the variable-data versatility of digital printing. This machine was designed and built specifically for commercial printers and will be the machine that can truly bring commercial printers and applications into the inkjet space. It can produce high-quality output - up to 1,200x1,200 dpi, while running at a very high speed of 262 feet per minute on conventional coated and uncoated offset media. Feedback to this press was outstanding at thINK and we are excited to introduce it to the market. We have two installs going in this year and expect to see this machine take off in 2018.
PI: The highly-anticipated Océ Voyager sheetfed inkjet press will launch next year. What primary markets is that press targeted toward?
McMahon: The Voyager really pushes the technical boundaries of inkjet to a new level and is targeted toward the high-end commercial print market. This machine will fit well with print service providers producing high added-value applications, such as catalogs, brochures, marketing materials and customer publications for luxury brands, real estate, food and travel, where the quality of image reproduction is paramount. With its high gloss, photo quality output, Voyager could also lend itself to the production of classic photographic applications such as premium quality photo books, single photos and commemorative prints.
PI: You will also be assuming a new title following the retirement of Mal Baboyian in late December. What does this leadership transition mean for the Production Print Solutions (PPS) division of Canon Solutions America and for you personally?
McMahon: Mal Baboyian has been an instrumental figure in printing for over four decades and we will be sad to see him go. His fingerprints are all over the incredible PPS organization that exists today - we are forever in gratitude for what he has built. I am honored that Canon saw me as a suitable replacement and I will work collaboratively on the continued growth of our business. As someone who is a big believer in the power of print, my goal is to continue to share the opportunities that print can provide and work with our customers to place them in the best position for future successes.
With the diversity of our equipment portfolio and the teams of sales and service professionals that work with our customers every day - I can tell you we are bullish on the future of PPS and the impact we can make on the industry as a whole.
PI: From your perspective, what overall industry trends are you seeing within the production inkjet printing market?
McMahon: We are seeing the market shift from just evaluating and adopting inkjet technology, to really succeeding and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with inkjet technology. The industry has moved from thinking inkjet is “the next big trend” to acknowledging that this trend has arrived and is here now. PSPs are taking advantage of networking events like thINK to learn how to maximize their investment in inkjet and offer more to their customers. We’re seeing more printers tackle higher quality pieces with inkjet, applications with full ink and color coverage and gloss stocks - applications that previously never would have been tried on an inkjet device.
The results are impressive, which allows PSPs to move applications from toner to inkjet and achieve higher profit margins when the quantity is right.
Related story: thINK 2017 Sets New Bar