Canon has entered the crowded digital label printing market with a new inkjet press – the Océ LabelStream 4000 – that it believes offers significant USPs compared with the existing competition.
The LabelStream 4000 was unveiled today at the Canon Océ Customer Experience Center in Poing, near Munich.
It has been developed in cooperation with two British firms: inkjet integrator FFEI and label press specialist Edale, and also uses UK-developed Xaar 2001 drop-on-demand piezo inkjet heads.
The five-colour (white plus CMYK) UV inkjet press has been designed to be modular, and is available as pure digital standalone press, digital press with inline finishing, or as a full hybrid configuration including flexo units.
Crit Driessen, vice-president of strategy and alliances and head of digital packaging described the new device as “a very important step for Océ and for Canon.”
“A lot of digital presses are still based on toner. We believe inkjet is the technology of the future,” he stated. “We believe production inkjet is now ready for that marketplace.”
The LabelStream 4000 comes in two widths, 330mm and 410mm. Standard speed is 48m/min or 68m/min for less demanding work. Resolution is 720x600dpi with three grey levels.
Canon is positioning the new press inbetween sub 50m/min inkjet and toner presses, and the faster conventional label lines.
Driessen described the high-opacity white as “exceptional”, achieving more than 80% opacity at the press’s standard speed. It has two white modes: true white (67% opacity) and alpine white (+80%).
He said that Canon’s USPs compared to competitors included the LabelStream’s modular design, print quality, high uptime, seamless integration and world-class service.
The new press will become commercially available at the end of this year. Pricing is from €650,000-€1.5m (around £570,000-£1.3m) depending on configuration.
Canon is offering various pricing options, including a head insurance model and ink charging.
FFEI managing director Andy Cook said: “I think this is the first machine in the labels and packaging market with the Xaar 2001 head.
“Right at the beginning I was very impressed with Canon’s focus on what customers were talking about – final products and making money. They did a lot of research.”
The LabelStream 4000 is targeted at self-adhesive labels and some flexible packaging applications, for markets including beauty and personal care, industrial, pharma, beer and spirits, and household.