Although Canon had a strong brand and established market share of the office sector by the end of 1990s, its commercial presence had not yet reached the same heady heights. So in 2001, the company launched the first of its high-volume monochrome printers, the iR110.
Canon admits that, as it was targeting a market it had not yet explored, it took some time before the machine’s potential was recognised by the commercial market. To help it along its way, the digital manufacturer employed a dedicated sales team to raise awareness of the model in the commercial sector and to sell the benefits it would bring.
The 110 model runs at 110 pages per minute (ppm), a speed that has been increased on the iR125VP and 150VP models, which were brought out in 2004 to 125ppm and 150ppm respectively. The maximum resolution on the machines is 600dpi and they use a NexPress engine allied with laser technology that is designed to produce high speeds and high volumes while retaining good quality.
Trevor Dodsworth, product marketing manager of the professional division at Canon UK, says: “The print quality on the iR machines reaches a very high standard, which stands up strongly against like-for-like competition.” He also believes that Canon’s strength in other areas helped to build the machine’s popularity. “Our entry into high-speed digital did generate a great deal of interest and the feedback on the quality of these presses has been extremely positive.”
The inline digital finishing options are another popular element of the Canon presses. These include online perfect binding and bookletmaking options, both manufactured by CP Bourg, and a thermal binding option made by Bindomatic. There is also a hole-punching unit available with a variety of punch tools. “The machines are made to be very modular so that you can add the parts that you need as and when you require them,” says Dodsworth.
Numerous sectors have now taken up the Canon machine – including local authorities and legal companies – and the examining body AQA was one of Canon’s biggest successes, installing seven machines at once.
Canon has a 15-stong technical team that is dedicated to the three iR models and the firm is planning to increase the team’s personnel level. A 110 model will cost from £130,000, with the fastest 150VP version costing around £260,000. All prices include training, which can take two or three days, and after-sales service. “We have print consultants who will visit firms once the presses are installed and make sure that they are being used to their full capacity and advise on any problems or improvements,” says Dodsworth.
As the 110 range reaches its fifth birthday, some are beginning to trickle through to the secondhand market. Canon, or its only UK distributor Ikon, will refurbish and re-sell used models. “They are a good value used purchase as they still have a strong residual value and, at only five years old, they have a lot of mileage left,” says Dodsworth. Depending on the age, specification and volume produced on a machine, used models are sold for around £55,000.
“This is a great way for smaller commercial printers to get involved in digital for the first time without a larger financial risk,” says Dodsworth. A service contract on a used model bought through Canon is exactly the same as if the machine had been bought new.
• iR110 110ppm
• iR125VP 125ppm
• iR150VP 150ppm
Max imaging area
• iR110 354x455mm
• iR125VP 362x468mm
• iR150VP 362x468mm
• iR110 £130,000
• iR 125VP £165,000
• iR150VP £260,000
• Used iR110: £50,000-£60,000
What to look for
• Condition of consumable parts
• General condition of the machine