Canon is doubling down on the mono toner market with a refreshed duplex printer.
What does the machine do?
The Titan is a revamp of the Océ VarioPrint 6000 range of cut-sheet black and white digital presses that brings these stalwarts of high-speed and volume production bang up to date.
When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
An appropriate venue – the Porsche factory in Leipzig, Germany – was chosen for the launch of these high-paced workers earlier this autumn.
Wayne Barlow, Canon UK head of graphics & communications, says: “While cut-sheet mono toner production overall is declining, as some work moves to inkjet, some to colour and some is replaced with digital documents, it is still a huge market for the industry. Some estimates put it at 350 billion pages per year in Europe and North America, which is a phenomenal amount of print.
“Yes, there is a top-line decline, but there are some sectors within that which are growing, including books, transactional and pharmaceutical. There is still a lot of litho substitution work, especially with the lightweight media kit, in applications including manuals, packaging documentation and pharmaceuticals.”
How does it work?
At the heart of the Titan is Océ’s Gemini technology. This is a unique toner printing unit that uses two exposure systems to image both sides of the sheet simultaneously – think of a blanket to blanket web offset unit if it helps.
In addition to standard toner there are options for MICR toner, for cheque printing, and for specific transactional print applications a wax toner, which reduces print marking and scuffing in inserting and mailing lines.
How does it differ from previous models?
A number of enhancements have been made, with the most significant changes covering media handling, workflow and inline finishing options.
To meet demands for lower paper and postage costs, lightweight media handling has been improved with a reduction of the lightest weight paper down to 45gsm from 50gsm. For book printing applications the optional Flex paper input unit now handles sheets up to 500x350mm as standard (it was available as a special option before). The bigger sheet size enables 4-up book production ensuring the most economical use of paper and clicks.
The new job scheduler function is PrismaSync, which enables the operator to plan in up to eight hours of work in advance by sorting jobs according to paper type and size to minimise changeover times between jobs.
How fast/productive is it?
A range of four different speeds are available ranging from 182, 221, 272 and 328 A4 pages per minute, referred to as the 6180, 6220, 6270 and 6330 respectively. As the machines are all based on the same core imaging system it is possible for users of slower machines to buy temporary licenses that enable their press to print at a higher rate. Barlow says this option is popular with firms that have a peak season, such as book printers, as it enables them to only pay for the higher volumes for the period required rather than having to pay for otherwise under-utilised capacity for the rest of the year. Monthly volumes of up to 10 million A4 impressions are possible.
What is the USP?
The Gemini technology (one-pass duplex) ensures front to back sheet registration of better than +/- 0.3mm.
How easy is it to use?
Automation of both setup and operation are claimed strengths, minimising the need for operator attention.
“These machines are usually specified with some sort of inline finishing to enable end to end automation of production,” says Canon product specialist Alison Davies.
Inline finishing options include the Canon branded BLM 550+ bookletmaker and DFS 30 tape binder, while a wide range of third-party devices can be connected using the DFD interface including the Watkiss 224 PowerSquare and Plockmatic BLM 35 and 50 bookletmakers.
How much does it cost?
From £85,000, although most configurations are expected to be £100,000-plus. The fastest machines, the 6330 series, start from £250,000 with one paper input and output module. Additional paper input modules cost £45,000 each. A unit can be upgraded in the field to increase speed, the number of paper input and output modules and software.
What is the sales target?
In the decade since the original machine was launched, Océ has installed 4,000 worldwide, which it estimates is about 60% of the total market for monochrome duplex cut-sheet toner. It expects to maintain that market share with this generation.
How many have been installed?
None as yet. “There was no beta test programme with the Titan as we did an awful lot of R&D testing,” says Barlow, adding that “the first two UK installations are imminent”.
Imaging technology LED toner
Speed (A4ppm) 6180: 182 6220: 221 6270: 272 6330: 328
Stock weight range 45-300gsm
Max sheet size 500x350mm
Price From £85,000
Contact Canon UK 01737 220000 www.canon.co.uk
Xerox Nuvera 200/288/314
Xerox achieves a similar level of throughput on its snappily monikered Nuvera 200/288/314 EA Perfecting Production System range by using two standard print engines running in tandem. As both are still capable of duplex printing, should either develop a fault production can continue, albeit at half the rated speed. Like Canon, Xerox offers temporary speed increases for the slower models. For cheque printing MICR is available.
Imaging technology Laser toner
Speed (A4ppm) 200, 288 or 314
Stock weight range 52-250gsm
Max sheet size 320x470mm
Price From £91,745
Contact Xerox 0330 123 3245 www.xerox.co.uk