Some call it disruptive, we say it’s simply a big improvement on existing wide-format inkjets.
Fundamentally, plain and simple, I am still a hardware guy. Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets me more excited than a new product that breaks new barriers. Canon’s Océ Colorado 1640, introduced at the One Canon event in Boca Raton, March 8-9, is one of those products that breaks new barriers, particularly in the world of commercial print.
Some of our fellow analysts spoke of the Océ Colorado 1640 as a “disruptive” technology. To our way of thinking disruptive implies a destruction of another type of technology or device. For example, A4 MFPs have been construed as disruptive to A3 MFPs. That is true to the extent that A4 did not replace A3, but it was disruptive in that it reduced the number of potential placements. However, the Océ Colorado 1640 is as far from being destructive or “disruptive.” Allow me to explain my reasoning.
First, let’s start by acknowledging that there are two things at the top of the list for commercial printers—a lower consumption of ink per job and faster speeds for wide format inkjet devices. The 1640 delivers both.
At the center of the Océ Colorado 1640 is Canon’s recently announced UVgel technology. This technology combines a new UV curable ink from Canon that instantly gels on contact with the media, a piezoelectric printhead technology, a LED-based UV system that cures without adding any heat to the media, and continuous printhead nozzle monitoring and performance compensation. Cumulatively, these technologies deliver a 64” roll-to-roll printer that provides excellent image (cmyk) quality, greater speed, and requires less ink to produce a highly competitive image.
The Océ Colorado 1640 offers a top speed of 1,710 square feet per hour and delivers POP prints at 430 square feet per hour. This is easily at least three times faster than any other printer in this class. The new UVgel ink instantly gels on contact with media and yields a cured durable print with no deterioration for two years, according to Canon.
The Océ Colorado 1640 is well suited for both indoor and outdoor applications. It delivers a color gamut similar to solvent inks, but combines this with the environmental benefits and the safety profile of latex and UV-cured systems. The result is nearly odorless, VCL-free, durable prints on heat-sensitive media. The key here is Canon’s UVgel technology, which enables ultra-thin ink dispersion. This results in lower operating costs. According to a Canon press release, and emphasized during its rollout at the Canon One event, “Canon’s unique UVgel technology features ink consumption much lower than competitive technologies, as much as 40% lower.”
Canon will officially debut the 1640 at the ISA Show in April. The manufacturer’s suggested retail is $58,000.
We believe the 1640 is different, but not disruptive because it will offer commercial printers a device that is at least three times faster and less expensive to operate than competitive devices that are selling for $18,000 to $28,000 compared to $58,000. It will also offer a competitive edge to those commercial printers who make the capital investment for years to come as the ink, nozzle heads, and curing process are all patented technologies. This means nobody will be able to offer a competitive faceoff to this product for quite a while. Certainly, competitors such as Roland and Mimaki can lower their prices to make their devices even more attractive to commercial printers. However, those same printers will not be able to compete on the price and performance of the 1640.
What gets us even more excited is that this is a printer that is made for dealers that are currently involved in selling production print devices to commercial printers.
If you are a Canon dealer don’t even think twice about this one.
The Océ Colorado 1640 at a Glance
Based on what we saw and heard at the Canon One event, and as outlined in Canon’s press release for the product, the following summarizes what makes the Océ 1640 Colorado special:
- The world’s fastest 64-inch roll-roll printer with a maximum usable print speed of 1710 square feet per hour and a high-quality POP mode at 430 square feet per hour.
- Up to 40% reduction in ink/printing costs compared to other technologies such as latex.
- Industrial designed production printer capable of printing higher print volumes and built to withstand high duty cycles.
- Extremely easy and fast media loading and automatic switching with the support of two in-line rolls.
- On-the-fly quality assurance technology facilitates unattended printing and reduced print waste.
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