Star product: Océ VarioPrint DP Line

Tim Sheahan
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A digital mono press that needs little maintenance

What does the machine do?
The Océ VarioPrint DP Line family of monochrome digital printers comprises three models offering a range of different output speeds from 95ppm up to 135ppm and is designed for the production of books, manuals, booklets and training collateral.

The new platform combines Océ’s print engine and controller with Canon’s integrated scanning and finishing technology. According to Océ, the VarioPrint DP is the world’s first truly digital monochrome press, designed to address the mono print demands of commercial print businesses and in-plant facilities.

When was it launched?
Something of a landmark in the fledgling partnership between Océ and Canon, the VarioPrint DP Line was the first of two co-developed products launched last year, 18 months after Canon acquired the Dutch manufacturer in March 2010.

It was launched along with the Canon imageRunner Advance C9000S Pro series, at a joint event at Océ’s international headquarters in Venlo, Netherlands in September. Commercial availability commenced in the first quarter of 2012 with mid-volume customers the primary target market.

How does it work?
According to Barry Meaden, business development manager at Océ UK, the VarioPrint DP Line wields the manufacturer’s DirectPress technology to produce consistent, high-quality mono images.

"This is the first mono application of a completely digital printing process devoid of the expected electrophotographic component parts with finite longevity," he says.  "DirectPress replaces multiple process steps in traditional printing technologies with a single, digital, no-variable process, unaffected by light, static charge, temperature, humidity or other challenges with toner/developer mixtures."

This produces "highly stable and consistent output" that is free of toner cracking when folding or creasing, says Meaden. Meanwhile media distortion is reduced as a result of the low fusing temperature.

How fast/productive is it?
The line is available in configurations of 113ppm, 123ppm and 138ppm A4 pages per minute. Capable of resolutions up to 600x2,400dpi, the DP printers can handle substrates ranging from 50-300gsm.

What is the USP of the product?
The manufacturer says that the key selling point of the machine is its capability of printing at 200lpi, which matches offset quality. Also, for operators working with printing systems, the Océ VarioPrint DP Line emits zero ozone, improving printers’ working environments.

How easy is it to use?
Meaden pinpoints Océ’s Prismasync as a key factor in ensuring that the VarioPrint DP Line can be used easily and effectively by any member of staff.

"It will seamlessly integrate into workflow systems and accept print files from other manufacturers, meaning the print facility can be enhanced without removal of present workflow solution," he adds.

According to Meaden, with the VarioPrint DP Line, operators spend less time programming the machine, staff can be more efficient, training costs and re-training costs are vastly reduced and productivity increases.

What support is on offer?
"The system’s inherent lack of electrophotographic components means that the reliability of the Océ VarioPrint DP Line family enters new territory where the operators can replace three items, giving extended periods between non-scheduled service calls," says Meaden. These components, he explains, are not related to image quality or stability; they are the paper feed rollers, a spiral cleaner, which removes paper dust as a waste product from the print process, and the heat exchange foil. Océ’s direct service organisation provides ISO-accredited onsite support directed from the UK-based call centre.

How much does it cost?
The Océ VarioPrint DP Line has a list price from around £30,000, depending on configuration.

How many have been installed?
Meaden says that sales targets and install base are commercially sensitive, but confirms that in the UK the company has had "a very successful start to 2012".

"Customers who have purchased the product are extremely pleased with their investment," he says.


Engine resolution 600x2,400dpi
Print speed VarioPrint 135: 138ipm (A4 duplex), 72ipm (A3 duplex), 68ipm (SRA3 duplex); VarioPrint 120: 123ipm (A4 duplex), 64ipm (A3 duplex), 60ipm (SRA3 duplex); VarioPrint 110, 113ipm (A4 duplex), 59ipm (A3 duplex), 55ipm (SRA3 duplex)
Feed capacity 300 sheets (80gsm)
Price £30,000, depending on configuration
Contact Océ/Canon +49 8121 720


Konica Minolta bizhub Pro 950/1051/1200P
Konica Minolta offers a trio of mono production machines that are capable of similar output speeds to the VarioPrint. Capable of 95, 105 and 120ppm respectively, the bizhub Pro mono machines can print on a range of substrates up to 1,200dpi.

Speed 95, 105 and 120ppm
Resolution 1,200dpi
Price on application
Contact Danwood (Konica Minolta supplier) 020 7826 3939

Xerox Nuvera 100/120/144 EA DPS
This range of Xerox Nuvera machines is available in three configurations, offering output speeds of between 100ppm and 140ppm. The range uses Xerox’s Emulsion Aggregation toner that is claimed to create levels of quality comparable to offset.

Speed 100-140ppm
Resolution 4,800x600dpi
Price from £80,000
Contact Xerox 0870 873 4519


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