Making a Strong Case for Inkjet
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, 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 much has already been written about each. What made this event particularly compelling was the chance to see the two products in operation in a production environment. What’s more, Canon provided print samples, a sure sign that the secrecy of the development process is over and the product commercialization has actually begun.
Here’s the latest on the two new products:
- The Canon Océ VarioPrint i300: The VarioPrint i300 is a four-color cut-sheet inkjet B3-format printer that previously went by the technology name 'Niagara.' The VarioPrint i300 is capable of speeds up to 294 letter pages. Canon is positioning the i300 as twice the speed of most color electrophotographic competition while having an affordable acquisition price (compared to B2-format digital offerings) and lower operating costs. The VarioPrint i300 is one of the first products to enter InfoTrends’ 'Zone of Disruption.' For more on this, see the InfoTrends white paper entitled, "The Cut-sheet Inkjet Color Revolution."
- The Canon Océ ImageStream 3500: The ImageStream 3500 is a continuous-feed color inkjet printer that is designed to print on all kinds of non-inkjet optimized papers, including standard offset coated stocks. It uses the latest 1,200x1,200 dpi Kyocera heads and produces a drop size of 2 picoliters. It operates at a speed of 525 meters per minute and has a 30" web. A sister product called the ImageStream 2400 will use the same inks and heads, but will have a 20" web.
Samples from both of the devices look very good. For my perspective on these, please check out the following videos:
- Print samples from the Canon Océ VarioPrint i300
- Print Sample on Offset Coated Stock from the Canon Océ ImageStream 3500
Canon made a sizable investment in this event, and I suspect that they will be pleased with the results. Getting dozens of customers in front of the latest inkjet technology at a premier customer is a great formula for sales success with existing clients and prospects.