IWCO Direct, Canon Solutions Host Open House to Debut New Inkjet Presses
CHANHASSEN, Minn.—More than 65 printing executives from around the country, as well as several trade press members, analysts and Canon Solutions America employees, took part in the “Future of Inkjet” event held here June 23-24. The main attraction was the ability to see the first Canon Océ VarioPrint i300 (formerly called project Niagara) cut-sheet and ImageStream 3500 continuous-feed inkjet presses running side-by-side at IWCO Direct—which marked Canon Solutions America’s first U.S. customer installations of these two “game-changing” printers.
The day kicked off with welcome addresses and presentations from several Canon Solutions America executives, including Mal Baboyian, executive vice president of Production Print Solutions/Large Format Solutions; and Francis A. McMahon, vice president of marketing, Production Print Solutions; among others.
“Today is the culmination of years of planning, research and development,” proclaimed Baboyian, who first joined Océ in 1976. “In my 39-1/2 years, I never been more excited than I am now with the kind of technologies we’re bringing to market.”
He added that Canon has extended its lead in the U.S. continuous-feed inkjet market with a 36 percent market share (based on IDC data) and that U.S. customers printed 73 billion pages in 2014, comprising about 25 percent of the total number of pages printed.
Aside from his state-of-the-industry overview, McMahon revealed there have been 36 customer orders placed so far for the new VarioPrint i300. In addition, he described plans for the inaugural Canon Solutions America thINK inkjet user conference to be held in New York from Sept. 8-10. Former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms will provide a keynote address the opening night. The user meeting is being held prior to and in conjunction with the Canon EXPO.
Jim Andersen, IWCO Direct CEO, then provided a brief overview on his company. Based on the Printing Impressions 400, he said IWCO Direct is the largest direct mailer in the U.S. and Canada with more than 3.7 billion pieces mailed annually. With projected sales of $425 million in 2015, Andersen added that IWCO Direct has experienced 20 percent organic growth the past two years alone.
Andersen was followed by an IWCO Direct user panel discussion that was moderated by Canon Solutions America's Eric Hawkinson, director of marketing, Production Print Solutions. The panel featured Steve Myrvold, executive vice president of operations; Dave Johannes, senior vice president of operations; and Debora Haskel, vice president of marketing.
(Watch Dave Johannes here describe why IWCO Direct opted to serve as the first customer site in the United States for these two new devices, and how production inkjet technology is altering the direct mail printing landscape.)
Following the panel discussion, the group was transferred by bus to tour IWCO Direct and witness the real stars of the event—the Océ VarioPrint i300 and ImageStream 3500 inkjet presses—in action.