Digital Digest: Canon Solutions America Talks ‘Niagara,’ User Group
DELRAY BEACH, FL—Canon Solutions America executives painted a positive picture of continued growth during an event held here last month marking Canon Solutions America's second anniversary as as wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A.
“We think we can grow our business 40 percent in the next three years,” remarked Mal Baboyian, executive vice president of Canon Solutions America's Large Format Solutions (LFS) and Production Print Solutions (PPS) divisions. In 2014, he said, PPS revenue grew 6 percent over the previous year, while LFS sales grew 7 percent. Canon Solutions America customers digitally printed a whopping 71.5 billion pages.
In 2015, the company plans to continue that trend, Baboyian promised, by aggressively engaging new markets, such as books, packaging (folding cartons) and commercial printing. Canon now claims about 35 percent of the market share of continuous-feed inkjet press placements in the United States, he said.
Baboyian discussed upcoming production inkjet products, such as the continuous-feed ImageStream 3500, which will print 525 feet/min. at 1,200x1,200 dpi on an extensive range of papers without requiring a bonding agent or primer.
And Canon’s much-anticipated “Project Niagara” cut-sheet inkjet press—officially renamed the Océ VarioPrint i300—is set for general release later this summer, but has already been installed at T Systems in Germany, which is part of the Deutsche Telekom group. The first U.S. Lead Customer Program (LCP) installations of the new cut-sheet device include IWCO Direct, OneTouchPoint (CCI), Merrill Corp. and Progressive Impressions International (PPI).
Baboyian said he anticipates receiving three times the number of orders for the Océ VarioPrint i300 press than Canon Solutions America will be able to deliver.
The Océ VarioPrint i300 was designed to fill the speed and capacity gap that exists between conventional high-end toner-based, sheetfed and entry-level continuous-feed inkjet presses. Printing up to 300 A4 images/min., it can produce monthly volumes of up to 10 million letter or A4 images. Sheetfed flexibility and price point make the press accessible to a much broader audience in the transactional, direct mail, book and manual markets.
Featuring a patented four-color ink system, the B3-format printer prints on a wide range of media, including uncoated, coated and inkjet treated paper. It leverages Canon Océ ColorStream inkjet print head technology and Océ VarioPrint media handling.
On the wide-format digital printer front, Sal Sheikh, vice president of marketing for Large Format Solutions, announced two new ColorWave products—the 500 and 700, which can print on a flexible range of substrates including thicker materials. The ColorWave 700 can print up to 640 posters or 1,800 A1/D-size CAD drawings per working day, using low-cost, uncoated media (up to 32 mil), as well as vinyl and canvas. Up to six different rolls of media can be loaded simultaneously.
Using Océ CrystalPoint technology, the ColorWave 700 produces waterfast prints with sharp lines, high readability of fine details and smooth, even area fills, and is ideal for producing posters, pop-up banners, wallpaper and more.
Designed as a walk-up system for producing CAD, GIS and color graphics, the Océ ColorWave 500 lets multiple users simultaneously print, copy and scan up to 225 A1/D-size black-and-white or color prints per hour. Prints come out dry, cut to size and ready to use.
Educating the customer’s customer is a top focus of Canon Solutions America, remarked Francis McMahon, vice president of marketing for Production Print Solutions, so they can help drive more volume to inkjet presses. He showed copies of a brand-new publication published by Canon Solutions America, called “The Designer’s Guide to Inkjet,” which was co-authored by industry experts Elizabeth Gooding and Mary Schilling. It is full of best practices and real-world recommendations to help designers better understand how to optimize print pieces for production on high-speed inkjet presses. The book includes practical information on inks, media and color gamut values.
McMahon also announced the formation of an independent inkjet users group, named thINK (visit www.thinkforum.com), which will hold its first annual conference Sept. 8-10, held in conjunction with Canon Expo in New York. More than 300 inkjet service providers are expected.
It will focus on innovation, best practices and world-class education. Ten Canon Solutions America customers comprised the steering committee, which began meeting in April 2014 to shape the users group’s direction and goals, including Mark DeBoer, Darwill; Andy Gerry, Intersections; Dave Johannes, IWCO; Art Manzo, GlobalSoft Digital; and Bob Radzis, SG360°.
Wrapping up Canon Solutions America's Anniversary Event was a visit to its Customer Experience Center (CEC) in Boca Raton, where visitors got a closer look at Canon technologies. The tour also featured the new media solutions and testing lab, which supports Canon Solutions America's paper testing program. Though a VarioPrint i300 was not yet physically installed at the CEC, Canon reps revealed that one was on its way to Florida. PI