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.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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