On Friday, I gave a brief recap on the Canon Solutions America Drive Change Symposium that took place in Poing, Germany. It was there that we caught a glimpse of the ImageStream 3500 overview and knew that we had to see more. After a quick stop back in the states, Steve Myrvold and I packed our bags and stamped our passports yet again and headed further east to Japan.
Canon’s manufacturing partner in Japan allowed us to see this brand new technology offering before its public release. The ImageStream 3500 is a roll to roll 4/4 color with an optional 5/5 upgrade. This 30-inch wide machine includes unwind and rewind and is available in four core sizes: 3”, 5”, 6” and 70mm. It features key innovations such as new print heads, smaller drop sizes, improved dryer and special ink set for standard paper stocks.
This machine supports an extensive paper spectrum including light weight, offset paper and standard offset coated stock, without separate primer/bonding agent treatment. This is due to new Kyocera ink heads and new ink chemistry, which creates the potential to improve profitability and allow more opportunities on quick-turn work.
In addition, the ImageStream 3500 can print 525 feet per minute at 1200×600 dpi and print 1200×1200 dpi at 262 feet per minute. Incredibly, it has half the energy consumption of other machines. It also has the most compact footprint in its class as well, with scratch and rub tests producing no defects. Clearly, these environmental advancements have not come at the expense of producing a quality product.
Although there is still some tweaking left to do, the print resolution at both full speed and half speed were excellent and we were impressed by initial printed samples. Canon has yet to set an official release date for the ImageStream 3500, but it is expected to be available in early 2015.
IWCO Direct is the only U.S. based direct mail printer to participate in the Beta test group for this new technology. We look forward to working with Canon to fine-tune the ImageStream 3500 and the opportunity to assess this machinery for direct mail. As a company, we are proud to be part of Canon’s continuing innovations and are excited to put the ImageStream 3500 to the test.
Check back with SpeakingDIRECT in the months to follow to learn more about the latest technology and innovations in the printing industry.