In May, Steve Myrvold and I were invited by our partners at Canon Solutions America to attend their Drive Change Symposium in Poing, Germany to see demonstrations of their new technology. This event was a two-fold opportunity for IWCO Direct. First, Canon gave presentations on their new technology releases including the InfiniStream and the Niagara (a high-speed cut-sheet inkjet). Second, the trip allowed us to have several meetings with senior Canon leaders to brainstorm ways to improve their current offerings to better serve the needs of direct marketers.
InfiniStream Adds Versatility and Flexibility
One new technology that Canon previewed was the InfiniStream. This machinery matches offset in terms of quality, productivity and media versatility, while adding digital flexibility. The technology is based on highly mobile, uniform colorants and a unique image transfer system. Both of these core innovations result in high productivity, top print quality and enhanced cost-effectiveness. A digital liquid toner press architecture has been developed for this machine based on the proven offset system geometry that enables variable imaging on all coated and uncoated offset standard papers and board stock. The modular print tower concept enables up to seven colors at speeds of up to 120 m/min, resulting in up to 14,400 B2 sheets or 7,200 B1 sheets per hour. Due to seamless printing cylinders and a real-time imaging process, the press enables fully variable format lengths including 70 x 100 cm or B1 sheet sizes.
Niagara Shows Off Speed
Another piece of equipment that we previewed was the Niagara, which is a sheetfed four-color, digital inkjet system (with a planned expansion to six colors in the future). The Niagara-based systems will provide color inkjet printing on standard coated and uncoated offset media at anticipated production speeds of 8,500 duplexed letter sheets (8.5×11) per hour, with volumes of up to 10 million letter size images per month. The Niagara digital press will also offer integrated end-to-end digital workflow, along with robust feeding, output and online finishing capabilities that are managed by full process quality controls.
We are currently in the lead customer group for this device and have met with the Niagara Team, led by Eric de Goeijen, director of business operations in Venlo, Netherlands (where the Niagara is manufactured). Their team will soon be visiting us in Chanhassen where they will meet with the IWCO Direct digital print team, maintenance and R&D/Engineering to review these items. Canon also talked to us about upcoming releases of new products and their R&D efforts. It was clear from the conversation that Canon has stepped up their game in the areas of ink development and paper testing.
Overall, this was an excellent and worthwhile trip. Seeing Canon’s new, advanced technologies and having the opportunity to innovate with them to improve our capabilities is part of what makes our relationship so valuable. This trip in particular spurred us to take another trip overseas to Japan, where we got a sneak peek of the ImageStream 3500. To learn more about this impressive machinery, stay tuned to SpeakingDIRECT for a continuation of Canon Innovations next Wednesday, June 18.