Keypoint Intelligence has recognised the advances that Canon has made in production print with the announcement of BLI Outstanding Innovation Awards in Production Print for three Canon products: the sheetfed inkjet varioPRINT iX-series, the ProStream 1800 web-fed inkjet printer and the Arizona 2300 flatbed printer series. All of the winners of these inaugural awards “feature technologies that improve output quality, enhance productivity, deliver workflow efficiencies, impact sustainability, and advance their product segments in meaningful ways.”

Selected by a panel of expert analysts with years of combined experience in production print products and analysing market trends, the products were judged against three key metrics: how ground-breaking or unique the product innovation was, its likely impact on the market segment it addresses, and the expected timeline for availability to the market.

Excelling in quality, productivity, media versatility and flexibility, Keypoint Intelligence highlighted that the varioPRINT iX-series is “the first true sheetfed inkjet press capable of handling different formats and weights of coated and uncoated media”. The press’ maximum speed of 320 A4 images per minute and monthly volumes of up to 10 million images per month were also recognised as being “impressive for the class”.

Launched in April 2020, the varioPRINT iX-series has seen more than 40 orders globally. General commercial and online print service provider, Kampert-Nauta, was the first customer worldwide to install a varioPRINT iX3200. Richard Kampert, Managing Director, comments: “In recent years, we have been talking to Canon about investing in inkjet. The main talking points were quality, productivity and paper weights. Canon was very responsive in addressing these points with the varioPRINT iX3200. The press combines heavier weight media with high quality, that is comparable to offset, and high productivity. That’s a golden combination. On the iX, we plan to produce greeting cards, business cards, leaflets, folders and brochures. All in small runs. That’s where our future growth lies.”

The ProStream 1800 was noted as “an impressive evolution for its class”, with its ability to achieve offset print quality on standard coated stock with increased speeds of up to 133m/min. The press’ air flotation drying system and Canon’s Inline Quality Control high-performance camera system were also referenced as “other innovations” contributing to the ProStream’s superior print quality.

Ahead of its launch in August 2020, Italian book printer, Grafica Veneta became the first beta customer to trial the ProStream 1800, having upgraded from the ProStream 1000 which was installed in 2017. Dr. Mauro Fontanari, General Manager remarked: “For many years, we were looking for a digital press but we were never happy with the quality available on the market. With the ProStream, we have found a machine that enables us to achieve a final product that has similar paper and the same quality as offset. Since installing the ProStream 1800, we are able to produce 50% more work which means we will have much more flexibility and have the chance to deliver more orders in the same amount of time.”

The Arizona 2300, which was launched this year on 1st September, was celebrated for its ‘game-changing’ Arizona FLOW technology. Using an airflow suction technique, it combines a zone-less, multi-origin table layout with easy-to-use registration pins to better secure a substrate in place on the table. With this technology, the Arizona 2300 no longer requires operator time for masking the table or taping down the media, “enabling faster changeover between jobs, shorter set-up times and hassle-free job switching”.

Jens Filipsson, Owner of Wiking Screen & Reklam commented: “Our everyday challenges to reduce turnaround times have been solved since installing the Arizona 2300, which offers high speed and improved quality. The Arizona is crucial for our business success and with the flatbed printer, we can take customers ideas and turn them into reality. We chose Canon for it quality and value which has once again been proven with the Arizona 2300.”

Christian Unterberger, Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President, Canon Production Printing, comments, “We’re extremely proud to have had these three printers recognised in the inaugural Keypoint Intelligence BLI Awards. At Canon, investment in R&D comes high up on our list of priorities so that we can deliver on our promise to our customers of “no compromise” on innovation, quality, productivity and versatility. The feedback we’ve had from our customers on our production print product portfolio has been excellent. We’ve enabled our customers to improve production efficiencies, expand their application possibilities and, in turn, achieve business growth.”