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NZ commercial printers pick up on new Canon digital press

Wednesday, 12 September 2007
By Print21
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The first three installations of Imagepress7000 confirm its appeal to the broad commercial printing market.

The first press went into Hyper Print in Hamilton, a new digital subsidiary of well-known printing company Fast Print under Graeme Foote. Within a couple of weeks another followed it into well respected printer, Oliver Young in West Auckland and latterly by the third into Jason Pressley’s Press Print, also in Auckland

The initial success is spearheading predicted nationwide sales of 12 this year of the long-awaited engine in New Zealand. Most of them are going into mainstream commercial printers, according to Graham McDonald, national sales manager print & graphic arts. “We don’t have to make a big launch of the ImagePRESS. Our customers know about it and they know it’s here now. We’re booking them to see it in action at our demonstration suite,” he said.

The interest from mainstream commercial printers is seen as a justification of the strategy McDonald has pursued from the start. From day one, which was three years ago when the press was first announced at Drupa, he has positioned the ImagePRESS as a production machine for those companies that are concerned with quality, rather than the quick print good-enough space.

“There are a lot more pages printed in the offset printing sector than in the digital or quick print sectors. Where would you rather play?” he asked.

This is in contrast to the Australian experience where the first machine has gone in to a Snap printing location in Melbourne. “We just see the market in different ways,” said McDonald.

Either way the arrival of the Image Press puts Canon back into the production printing space race where it has been noticeably absent in the run-up to the release date. It is recognised on both sides of the Tasman that a number of sales were lost because of the delay, as printers could wait no longer.

Relying on a very competitive price point of around half a million dollars, it is positioned against the high-end HP Indigos and Fuji Xerox machines. Although it is early days, if samples being produced by the initial New Zealand installations are anything to go by the quality of the new imaging system has justified the wait. The arrival of the new Canon engine heralds a new phase in the battle for the digital production dollar.

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