Forget CSI’s Forensics Lab – Check Out Canon Solutions America's New Media Lab
Most of my articles relate to production workflow topics, but I do also participate in various industry events and come across news and observations which I think my readership will find interesting. For instance, last week, I participated in the Canon Solutions America anniversary event and had a chance to see, first hand, what they’ve accomplished and where they’re headed.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on Canon’s new PRISMAsync Remote Access solution, but today, I’m going to write about what Canon Solutions America is doing to drive growth in the inkjet market.
Of course Canon is building bigger, higher-quality inkjet printers with better and higher density heads using more advanced inks and we’ll be hearing more about them as the year progresses. But, they are also growing the market with three non-hardware initiatives:
- Expanding and improving qualified inkjet media
- Hosting an inkjet users group
- Teaching designers how to design for inkjet
Media support is probably the biggest hurdle for inkjet to overcome. For years Océ had a closet-sized media lab in Boca Raton, FL, to qualify rolls of paper for their toner-based continuous-feed presses. Last week, however, as I walked into their large, glistening new media testing lab, I realized just how much they’ve really stepped it up for inkjet. They have lab benches with equipment to test everything imaginable: stiffness, smoothness, air permeability, tensile strength, roughness, opacity, surface resistivity, static charge, ink-rub, image quality, moisture, chemistry and others. They even have an ash oven to reduce paper to its chemical components and a 2,500x 3-D microscope to inspect how ink permeates paper.
All they need is a mass spectrometer and some funky blue lighting and this could pass for a CSI TV show set. Canon Solutions America has used this lab to qualify roughly 500 different types of media for their printers and to determine ideal settings. They have also used it to assist paper mills in the research and development of new media.
Greg Cholmondeley is president of Cholmonco Inc. Cholmonco is a technology marketing consulting company that researches, analyzes and documents best practices and innovative solutions. Cholmondeley is especially interested in how industry leaders efficiently get work through digital printing and marketing services operations. He has also written two fictional novels. The first is titled “Nakiwulo and the Circle of Shiva” and the second is called “Princess.” You can learn more about his consulting practice and read more of his blogs at www.cholmonco.com. You can discover his books at http://books.cholmonco.com.