Canon has announced the Océ VarioPrint i200, a press which fills the gap between the C10000VP toner press and the VP i300 cutsheet inkjet press.
While this press has received plaudits for its quality and 300ppm throughput, a price tag close to £1 million has limited potential sales. The company hopes that a lower cost version, limited in terms of productivity and lacking the ColorGrip technology that enables the i300 to print on any stock at high quality. An upgrade path exists to enable users to move to the higher specification model at a later date.
The VP i200 will offer 200ppm productivity on an SRA3 sheet. An MICR option exists for inplant users that need this for machine readable documents. It becomes available in June.
Canon has commissioned two of the i300 models in the UK, though another five have been sold. Applications addressed include direct mail, transactional and book printing.
Other have been sold in Europe while the majority of sales have been in North America where runs remain larger. The high duty cycle and associated cost is thought to have been a barrier in Europe where average volumes are lower. The new machine will also be 15-20% less expensive than the £750,000 price tag that the VP i300 comes with.
According to a company statement: “This press allows Canon to offer the capabilities of inkjet to customers with lower volumes. The VPi200 will suit a variety of customers, those who currently run toner based digital presses or sheet fed offset and welcome the media versatility along with the ability to personalise every sheet, therefore the same key markets as the VarioPrint i300, but for lower production volumes.”
The new press comes with Océ iQuarius features using air assisted paper transportation and improved feeder, to ensure that sheets are accurately positioned under the printheads which come with nozzle failure detection and correction.
A new version of the PrismaSync workflow will drive the VPi200 and is an upgrade for the VPi300s already in use. It links the cutsheet inkjet press to other Canon cutsheet machines.
“When we originally launched the Océ VarioPrint i300, we brought unprecedented innovation to the inkjet space and introduced a technology built around the evolving needs of our production print customers,” says Peter Wolff, senior director commercial printing and production CRD at Canon Europe.
“Now, we are not only bringing this technology to a wider customer base but also helping printers expand into more application areas and new markets with the introduction of MICR inks. Importantly, by giving customers upgrade paths, we can maximise their capabilities and production efficiencies today while also protecting their investments long-term.”
The press remains almost unique in format. Other production sheetfed inkjet presses have been clustered around the B2 format, with the exception of the Xerox Brenva, which also offers greater throughput than its toner presses.
The new VarioPrint i200 shares the same frame and core technology as the more productive i300. The price is lower as is speed and monthly volume, and the press can be upgraded if the user requires.
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