Canon announces iX-series inkjet presses

Canon's i200 and i300 presses sheetfed inkjet presses upgraded

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Canon's VarioPrint iX sheetfed inkjet press
Canon's VarioPrint iX sheetfed inkjet presses use Kyocera's second generation 1200 dpi printheads.

Canon has announced a new series of the VarioPrint iX sheetfed inkjet presses, with two models that update the existing i200 series to accommodate the latest Kyocera printheads. However, Canon will continue to sell the i200 and i300 presses as well.

There are two new Canon inkjet digital press models, the iX3200, which can handle up to 10 million A4 impressions per month, and the iX2100, which takes 7 million A4 impressions per month. However, the only real difference between them is the speed, with no physical differences, so that a simple license cost is all that’s needed to unlock the higher speed and upgrade the basic model to the full spec.

The major new feature of these presses is that the resolution is improved from 600dpi to 1200 dpi, due to the new printheads. Kyocera says that these new heads were designed to offer more throughput and to be more robust. This head produces drops from 1 to 2.8pl and includes for automatically correcting for missing nozzles.

The advantage of the higher resolution printheads is not just improvements to the image quality, but that the heads are firing smaller droplets that are easier to dry, which in turn allows for slightly faster print speeds. Thus the iX3200 can run at 320 A4 duplex ppm, up from the i300’s 300 A4 ppm, while the iX2100 produces 210 A4 duplex ppm, a slight improvement on the i200’s 200 A4 ppm.

Naturally, Canon has had to improve the drying system to handle higher printing speeds. The VarioPrint models use Canon’s iQuarius drying system combined with ColorGrip inks. Essentially, the drying system uses a vacuum to hold the sheets around a drum and gently wafts warm air around to evaporate the water away and counter the risk of cockling. Canon says it has added a new function, which fixates the ink to form a robust layer. This post-fixation unit uses instant heat combined with humidity to keep the humidity level of the paper stable and avoid waviness or curl. The end result is a robust and flat print, ready for further processing.

This ink set includes the ColorGrip primer, which is jetted ahead of the inks using the fifth set of printheads, with the primer landing exactly where the ink drops will follow. This approach allows the presses to handle uncoated paper from 60 to 350gsm and coated paper from 90 – 350gsm. Canon has updated the inks for use with the new presses.

The new models also come with the XL-sized paper input module as standard, which takes sheets up to 350 x 508mm.

It’s also worth noting that as well as these sheetfed presses, Canon also sells the ProStream continuous feed press, complete with its own variation of the Colorgrip inks. This already uses a 1200dpi Kyocera head, so essentially, Canon has taken the opportunity to bring its sheetfed range up to the same specification.

These presses should be available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as well as the Americas later this summer. Pricing starts at around £700,000 (approximately Rs. 6.6 crore) though it depends on the exact configuration. Canon will also continue to sell the older i200 and i300 presses.

Canon’s VarioPrint iX sheetfed inkjet presses use Kyocera’s second-generation 1200 dpi printheads.

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Nessan Cleary is a freelance journalist, based in the UK. He mainly writes about all the aspects of commercial printing, including wide format, labels and packaging. He also covers the underlying technologies, particularly digital printing, which has led him to an interest in industrial printing and additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing.

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