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Canon throws down the gauntlet for high-end digital

Thursday, 29 September 2005
By Print 21 Online Article

The imagePRESS brand will encompass all of Canon’s new digital colour printing technology, targeted by the electronics giant to meet the needs of the commercial print and graphic arts markets. One of the industry’s worst kept secrets – a prototype press was in a secure room at last year’s drupa exhibition – imagePRESS will take the fight for production level digital print up to the other suppliers.

While details of the actual machines remain under wraps, with its launch still not due to hit the market until mid 2006, Canon has loudly declared that its entrance into the market will revolutionise digital colour printing in much the same way as its first colour laser copier did almost 20 years ago.

Steven Brown, manager for production and graphic arts at Canon Australia, emphasises the company’s attitude that hardware is a business enabler, rather than the key to business success.

“But we have to admit that we’re looking forward to redefining the hardware side of digital commercial print market with the new range of devices that we’ll release under the imagePRESS product family name,” says Brown.

Brown claims the release of the new products will mark a ‘new beginning’ for colour consistency and quality in graphic arts, the result of one of the most significant research and development investments made by Canon.

“Just as Canon pioneered the first digital colour copier and digital colour solutions for the enterprise market, we expect imagePRESS will transform the production marketplace, allowing commercial and quick printers, as well as in-plant and variable data customers, to grow their client base, volume and profits.”

Charlie Corr, group director of InfoTrends/CAP Ventures, claims Canon’s new strategy will offer commercial printers the opportunity to complement their existing offset presses with digital technology.

“This market has evolved to the point where – to remain competitive — print providers must offer their customers shorter run lengths and faster turnaround times at competitive pricing. Canon has consistently been at the forefront of digital imaging, and we see Canon’s imagePRESS representing the sort of innovative and flexible solutions required to deliver customised, relevant documents.”

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