Canon expands ColorStream family with new 8000 series

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Canon has expanded its range of continuous feed inkjet printers with the launch of the new ColorStream 8000 series.

The 8000 series printers are highly automated and have an uptime of over 90%
The 8000 series printers are highly automated and have an uptime of over 90%

Additional to the manufacturer’s portfolio, Canon said the new flagship features advances in productivity, print quality, and application flexibility.

It is targeted at corporate and public sector in-plants, transactional and direct mail providers, and specialised commercial printers, such as those producing books, manuals, or pharmaceutical leaflets.

The 8000 series comprises two models – the ColorStream 8133 and 8160, which reflect the maximum print speed of each; the 8133 prints at up to 133m/min with the 8160 capable of up to 160m/min.

The series prints up to 2,152 A4 images/min or between 15 to 70 million A4 images per month. Canon said users can reduce run and labour costs by consolidating volumes from existing offset and continuous feed toner presses onto the ColorStream.

The printers are highly automated and have an uptime of over 90% according to Canon, which said the machines were developed in response to customer feedback.

Peter Wolff, senior vice president sales and service, Commercial Printing EMEA at Canon Europe, told Printweek: “Automation in principle has two larger impacts; one is when you can reduce your operating costs and the second is where you are excluding manual or human mistakes.

“Automating the web cleaning or head cleaning process saves time but also ensures a high level of quality. You’re not only saving time and reducing operating costs, but you’re also making sure that the output of the machine meets the requested quality; you don’t need to repeat any jobs because you have seen, for example, that manual head cleaning has not succeeded in the way you wanted to have it.”

The 8000 series’ proactive maintenance helps production planning by delivering predictive maintenance, enabling targeted machine downtimes for service and avoiding unpredicted downtimes during production.

The machines feature new 1,200dpi Kyocera printheads that Canon said yield “a stunning and consistent print quality – even at the highest speed – from the first print to the last”. The heads are said to reproduce smoother gradients, homogeneous tints, and sharper detail, while minimising artefacts.

The 8000 series also uses a new water-based pigment inkset with latex polymer, which delivers a very wide colour gamut that Canon said meets Fogra process standards, perfect droplet formation, and deep black and vibrant colours on uncoated paper without any pre-treatment.

The machines can print on a wide variety of uncoated, recycled, and inkjet treated papers with a maximum width up to 560mm, from 40gsm to 160gsm as standard, and on selected papers up to 220gsm.

“Large offset printers are now looking to new technologies, to the flexibility of digital, and consequently when it’s about huge volumes, to inkjet in a different way [due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic],” said Wolff.

“It has really been an acceleration in that thinking process – if you go back 18 months everybody had seen the opportunity [of inkjet] but most people thought it was good to wait. But that has now changed, and people are now thinking that it’s good to act.

“For companies that have the strategic vision and the financial capability, the situation that we have now is an opportunity to make steps forward in order to confirm or create your leadership as a print service provider.

“This is a period where decisions are being taken to be ahead in two to four years’ time – companies are thinking more strategically.”

The ColorStream 8160 is commercially available from today (12 May), with an eight-week lead time according to Wolff, who added the ColorStream 8133 will be available from around August/September. Both models will be available in mono and full-colour configurations.

Existing ColorStream printers on the market, including the 6000 series, will remain available. Retrofitting older models is not possible as while the 8000 series builds on existing ColorStream models, they are redesigned machines with a different paper path and drying configuration as well as the new printhead technology and automated features.

Prospective customers can see the 8000 series in action at Canon’s Customer Experience Centre in Poing, Germany, or via a virtual demo.

German business software provider Datev has become the first Canon customer to install an 8000 series printer. The company took delivery of its machine in mid-December 2020.

While pricing for the series has not been disclosed, Wolff said that when taking into consideration the whole package – the technology, Canon’s customer support and service, and TCO and running costs – overall it is “attractive and competitive”.

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