Canon EXPO 2010 showcases digital printing technology

Canon EXPO 2010 took place September 1-3 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, with the theme being “We Speak Image.” This once-every-five-year event that Canon puts on for customers, partners and dealers drew nearly 3,000 invited customers and dealers to see the latest in current and future digital printing technology before the show makes its appearance in Tokyo and Paris later this year.

The technology extravaganza highlighted new technologies as well as current award-winning imaging and output products. The EXPO also offered a hint at future products that will change the way people incorporate imaging into their lives.

“Canon EXPO 2010 New York is an extraordinary demonstration of how Canon is uniquely positioned to say, ‘We Speak Image,'” says Joe Adachi, president and chief executive officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The ground-breaking products and solutions on display at EXPO are transforming the way businesses operate and how people across the globe share their experiences, reflecting our commitment to responsible innovation and our corporate culture of Kyosei.”

This was my first experience in attending a Canon EXPO, but I had been looking forward to this event ever since hearing about it in 2005. I certainly was not disappointed with what I saw and experienced. The show highlighted the areas where imaging plays a critical role in serving customer needs including consumer imaging products, office equipment, print production, broadcast and communications, healthcare technologies and security solutions.

In addition to an incredible array of powerful cameras, monitors, medical imaging technology and other equipment, the event showcased Canon’s plans for the graphic and digital print environment. It was the first time that Océ and Canon had come together as a single entity at an event, presenting a unified approach to the market.

Advanced Image Apparel Company

To show off and demonstrate their newly broadened print capabilities, Canon created a fictitious fashion company, Advanced Image Apparel Company, complete with an art department, business offices and even book printing capabilities.

Canon staged photo shoots on a huge runway with several of Canon’s Explorers of Light photographers explaining their shooting techniques, while onlookers on either side of the runway were also able to take shots via the 40 or more cameras that were available for them to use. Resulting photos were displayed on large monitors above and then printed on several large-format printers and digital presses in the area next door. These room-size printers demonstrated not only digital printing and binding, but the resulting books and brochures were internally cut and finished all within a seamless workflow. This demonstrates the various printing technologies in Canon’s impressive range of products.

Large-format printing

The Expo had an area called “Canon and Océ: The Power of Synergy.” This digital print showcase simulated an actual print production shop. As people entered through this area, the first focus was on wide-format printing. Canon demonstrated the imagePROGRAF “Y,” a future 42-inch, high-speed inkjet printer geared towards the CAD market, which produced waterproof prints within 20 seconds. Next to this extraordinary CAD printer was the future imagePROGRAF “X,” a 60-inch, durable aqueous-based printer that produced indoor and outdoor signage in photographic quality. This new printer featured Canon’s new generation of durable aqueous inks, which was designed with the environment in mind. The centerpiece was a vehicle-wrapped Mini Cooper.

A particularly impressive printer on display was the Océ Arizona 550 XT, a large-format UV flatbed printer. This printer with an extra-large flatbed table is designed to print on oversized rigid media, irregularly-shaped objects, glass, or materials that have an uneven surface such as wood. This printer produced exceptional image quality on rigid or flexible media with a production print speed that’s nearly twice the speed of the Océ Arizona 350 XT model.

The Arizona 550 XT uses UV curable inks and Océ VariaDot™ imaging technology to deliver near-photographic image quality for nearly any application. Designed as a true flatbed system, it can print on a wide variety of oversized rigid substrates up to 98.4 × 120 inches and offers a flexible media printing option for roll-based media up to 86.6 inches wide. Production print speeds were up to 462 square feet per hour on rigid media without sacrificing any of the photo quality. An Express print mode is also available with print speeds of up to 709 square feet per hour.

Paired up with the Arizona 550 XT was the “next generation” of Zund Cutters, the G3 cutter capable of cutting materials between 126-inch wide x 126-inch long and up to 2-inch thickness; it is used for contour cutting, creasing, perforating, routing, packaging, for cut outs, mock-ups, using MDF, cardboard, polycarbonate, foamboard, foamex, vinyl, and other materials. People lined up to receive their sample of the Statue of Liberty printed and cut out on a 1/2″ high-density polyurethane board.

Digital print production

As one moved next door into the digital print area, there was a huge wall displaying a large assortment of on-demand printed book and magazine covers. Canon used the event to announce the release of new flagship digital presses: the imagePress C7010VP, the C6010VP and the C6010. The models sport new sensor technology for more accurate toner distribution, enhanced airflow unit and toner density stabilization for colour consistency, and new EFI and Creo servers. They handle an expanded range of substrates from 16 lb bond to 120 lb cover. Canon demonstrated the imagePress C7010 with an in-line clear toner unit, a feature already available on the imagePressC1 digital press. There was also a new imagePress monochrome unit with a running speed of 150 pages per minute.

Canon also featured the Océ VarioPrint 6320 model as the centerpiece of the new Océ VarioPrint 6000 Ultra line, the fastest, most productive family of ultra-high-speed, high-volume digital perfecting systems. This robust platform is built to sustain monthly duty cycles up to 10 million prints, ideal for the persistent demand for greater productivity in the growing digital book publishing market. The VarioPrint 6320 Ultra cut sheet printer, is touted as the world’s fastest, most productive digital perfecting system. This high-speed system clocks in at 314 (A4) size prints per minute.

The final grand digital printing press was the Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex, a high-speed production web press that brings maximum monochrome productivity combined with premium colour to the direct mail market. This would be the perfect production printer for Transaction, TransPromo, Direct Mail and Book printing. The Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex delivers the fastest toner-based, colour-capable black-and-white productivity in the market, with up to 1.425 A4/1.515 letter size prints per minute. As a colour press, the 168/172 ppm Océ ColorStream system powers through over 5 million full-colour prints a month.

Ultra high-definition 8-megapixel, 30-inch professional-use LCD display

In the future products section, Canon showed prototype LCD monitors with an 8-megapixel display, or roughly 4x HD. The displays were 30 inches and appeared to be 16:9 ratio. The ultra-high-definition, 8-megapixel displays are designed for use by designers, prepress, CGI artists, printers, video producers, and in other professional applications.

Don’t miss the next Canon EXPO in 2015. If you’re able to get an invite, I would highly recommend it.