Canon unveils new varioPRINT iX-series press

New varioPRINT iX-series sheetfed press offers offset quality, digital flexibility and inkjet productivity.

Canon announced the varioPRINT iX-series, an advanced sheetfed inkjet press featuring iQuariusᶦˣ technology. For customers with production volumes of up to 10 million A4 images per month, the new press combines the image quality and media range of offset or liquid toner systems with the productivity and cost efficiency of inkjet.

The varioPRINT iX-series is capable of printing more than 9,000 SRA3 images per hour (or 320 A4 images per minute) on a wide range of media, including offset coated paper from 90 to 350gsm. The full spectrum of commercial print applications, from marketing collateral and premium direct mail to catalogues, magazines and books can be produced at high volume.

With more than 90% average uptime and no need for daily calibration and maintenance, the varioPRINT iX-series enables substantial productivity gains and measurable improvements in overall running costs compared to other cutsheet production print technologies.

The revolutionary new press builds on the success of the varioPRINT i-series platform introduced in 2015. With over 250 installations worldwide, the varioPRINT i-series has established Canon as a leader in sheetfed inkjet production printing for transactional applications, books and high-quality direct mail.

The latest iQuariusᶦˣ technology at the heart of the new iX-series combines three key innovations:

  • A breakthrough drying system combines air and heat with humidification to protect the paper. This ensures robust prints on a wide media range, perfectly flat and ready for immediate finishing.

  • New proprietary polymer pigment water-based inks and ColorGrip for outstanding, vibrant and robust colour on a variety of media, including coated stock up to 350gsm.

  • iQuarius quality control technologies for high-end image quality, with true 1200 dpi image processing and 1200 dpi co-developed Kyocera print heads for printing razor-sharp text and line details, smooth gradients and perfect skin tones. Advanced nozzle uniformity control technology uses an inline scanner to automatically check and align single nozzles during the production run to eliminate streakiness. Nozzle activity control offers the capability of detection and auto-compensation of the nozzles during the job and thus reduces downtime and waste, while ensuring high image quality.

Media handling is improved with auto-detection, enabling flawed sheets to be discarded before printing and precise paper transport to optimise quality and productivity. These innovations deliver a balance of excellent image quality, media and application versatility, reliable productivity and cost efficiency - all in a single inkjet press. The varioPRINT iX-series handle short runs profitably, switch jobs quickly, and produce documents with mixed media, while meeting demanding deadlines with ease.

Philip Chew, Director, Regional Commercial Printing, Canon Singapore, commented: “As the leader in sheetfed inkjet production printing, we are delighted to launch the varioPRINT iX-series. This new inkjet press excels in terms of productivity and uptime, impresses with superb print quality and vast media options, while delivering the cost efficiency of inkjet printing. With the potential of a wider range of high print-quality applications, commercial printers will be able to revitalise and grow their business through diversification of jobs.”

Powered by a high-performance, media-driven workflow, the PRISMAsync print server optimises productivity by automatically setting the appropriate printing parameters for the media selected as well as enables advance scheduling of up to eight hours of production. Combined with PRISMA software, a completely automated and highly intuitive solution can be integrated into any existing workflow, covering every stage of production, from creation and print management through to finishing and delivery tracking.

Steve Ford, Managing Director, Production Printing Asia, Canon, concluded: “With the enhancement of our diverse product portfolio, we remain committed to supporting our customers to achieve their business goals with flexibility and profitability. With a broad range of solutions from the varioPRINT iX-series to Canon Colorado UVgel technology and ProStream continuous-feed printer, we are confident of bringing new and exciting business propositions to customers, beyond meeting their specific business needs.”

First published in Issue 08/2020 of Print Innovation Asia.

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