Canon targets high-capacity flatbed rivals with new Arizona.
What does it do?
The Arizona 6100 series is Canon’s opening assault on the high-productivity UV flatbed market dominated by the likes of EFI Vutek and HP Scitex. Three years in the making, the open architecture design, 2.5x3.05m machine is the first Arizona to add ‘lights’ to the CMYK ink set. The three-phase machine is available as either the six-channel (CMYK, light cyan and light magenta) 6160 XTS or the seven-channel 6170 XTS, which includes an additional single channel white.
When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
The 6100 series was officially launched at Fespa last month, but around 200 prospects from across the globe were given a sneak preview at the Arizona factory in Vancouver, Canada in April. It’s aimed at existing Arizona customers looking to take a major step up in terms of productivity and automation, and also users of rival high-end flatbeds that, until now, Canon couldn’t challenge.
How does it work?
The 90kg print carriage houses six grayscale printheads per channel (36 or 42 in total) featuring Océ’s VariaDot technology. The carriage is supported on a twin-beam system featuring glass surfaces and air bearings, rather than the single beam, cantilever design of its predecessors.
For the first time it also features a camera system for dimensional characterisation to ensure faster printhead alignment during installation, but also timing alignment across the entire table offering a five times improvement on drop placement over the rest of the Arizona portfolio.
All 6100 series machines have space for eight channels in the carriage, which means that the six-channel 6160 can be field-upgraded to run white. However, the redundant eighth channel is little more than a future proofing feature, enabling the Arizona to possibly offer a varnish at a later date. Unusually the 6100 features a single hit white, because Canon believes that the machine is fast enough with the high-opacity Fujifilm Sericol IJC261 inks, which were developed specifically for the series.
“With inks there is always a balance between vibrancy and adhesion, because adhesion promoters tend to dull the colours. The IJC inks are the next evolution of inks and offer the best of both worlds,” says Dominic Fahy, Canon UK business group manager for Display Graphic Systems.
Drying is via a conventional mercury vapour UV curing system, which is the next generation of the system developed for the Arizona 550GT, but which runs 30% cooler.
How does it differ from previous models?
It’s faster. The 6100 is three times as productive as the next fastest Arizona offering 155sqm/hr in express mode – although Fahy expects most customers will run it at the 100sqm/hr production mode
What is the USP of the product?
In terms of the Arizona range, speed; in terms of rival machines, productivity. Canon is pushing the machine’s automation, from the fully automatic printhead cleaning to the dual-zone vacuum bed and pneumatic registration pins, as its key selling point. The 6100 series is the first Arizona to feature an automated maintenance system. The vacuum-operated mechanism can deep clean all seven heads in around two and half minutes.
While Canon says the Arizona will offer unrivalled reliability, it also puts great weight behind its support package for when things might go wrong – offering a typical call-out time of six hours.
How easy is it to use?
Very easy, thanks to the high level of automation, says Fahy.
What support is on offer?
Canon has 16 Arizona engineers in the UK. “As the manufacturer we are 100% dedicated to the Arizona range, so we heavily invest in UK support, whereas other resellers sell other products as well,” says Fahy.
How much does it cost?
Prices start at £300,000 for the 6160 rising to up to £330,000 for the 6170. The price includes the Onyx Thrive RIP, delivery, two to three days training and a 12-month maintenance contract.
What is the sales target and how many have been installed?
There are around 4,000 Arizonas installed worldwide, around 300 of which are in the UK. However, Canon’s ambitions for the 6100 series are far more modest. It estimates that the UK flatbed market in totality can support around 100-150 new machines a year, around third of which will be high-end machines. A handful of the 17 UK firms that made the trip to Vancouver have already ordered theirs and Canon expects more orders in the near future.
Max sheet size 2.5x3.05m
Max media thickness 50.8mm
Speed Express 155sqm/hr; Production: 100sqm/hr; Quality: 72sqm/hr
Colours Choice of six or seven channels: CMYK, light cyan and light magenta, with or without white
Printheads Grayscale variable droplet (6-42 picolitres)
Resolution 1,400dpi (apparent)
Price £300,000 for the 6160 rising to up to £330,000 for the 6170
Contact Canon UK 0870 600500 www.canon.co.uk
EFI Vutek GS3250
Unlike the Arizona, this 3.2m-wide UV flatbed can also print roll-to-roll. However, while Canon lists the GS3250 as its main competitor EFI says that a number of machines in its range, from the £210,000 QS2Pro to the £476,000 GS3250 LX Pro with Ultradrop and LED, could also fit the bill.
Print width 3.2m
Speed Fast-5 production: 223sqm/hr; eight-colour plus white: 111.4sqm/hr
Colours Eight (CMYK, LC, LM, LY, LB) plus white
Resolution 600dpi (24pl) or 1,000dpi (12pl)
Contact EFI UK 1246 298000 www.efi.com
HP Scitex FB7600
Canon cites the FB7600 flatbed as another rival, but in terms price, performance and materials handling options in some respects it’s in a different class. Capable of 500sqm/hr flat out, it’s a beast, but it’s restricted to boards up to 25mm thick.
Max sheet size 1.65x3.2m
Speed From 90sqm/hr to 500sqm/hr
Colours CMYK plus LC, LM (and optional white, orange and black with Enhanced Color Pack)
Price ‘Street price’ £560,000 excluding options
Contact HP 0845 270 4567 www.hp.com/uk/graphicarts
Fujifilm Acuity F
The Acuity is Fujifilm’s OEM version of the Arizona and features the same specs.
Price From £300,000
Contact Fujifilm 01234 572340 www.fujifilm.eu/uk
“Adding the Arizona 6170 XTS has been very smooth. We wouldn’t have met our most recent deadline without it, having successfully produced almost 2,200sqm of print in our first job alone” 5/5
Lane Beaton Production manager, PrismTech Graphics, Burnaby, Canada