Canon unveils concept presses, expands Oce partnership

The company was keeping details of the new machine, which is codenamed imagePress Z, under wraps, but it is understood to be based on the firm's flagship imagePress C7010.

It appears to utilise the clear toner technology of the entry-level imagePress C1+, launched at Drupa 2008, which can produce matt or gloss flood varnish finishes, spot varnish and a pseudo-metallic effect.

However, Canon Europe professional print director David Preskett stressed that at this stage the concept machines unveiled at the three-day event are just that: concepts.

"But that's not to say that they won't become 'real' products in the future, if the customer demand is there," he added.

"That's what these events are for, to get customer feedback on innovative as well as existing technologies, so we can ensure we're all heading in the same direction."

The imagePress Z was demonstrated applying varnish at what appeared to be full production speed, and was shown being controlled by another Canon innovation – a specially developed iPhone app.

As well as the concept imagePress, the firm also unveiled two concept wide-format imagePrograf engines, the X and the Y. The latter is targeted at the CAD market, but the former could prove to be Canon's first outdoor-certified press.

The machine was demonstrated printing on a vinyl substrate, and is understood to use Canon-developed water-based, light-fast inks, as well as next-generation Canon inkjet heads. Both machines were demonstrated live, but the company declined to reveal further technical specifications.

However, the company did confirm that the integration of Océ within the Canon stable is "progressing well".

Not only were a raft of Océ products on display in Paris, but it was revealed that Canon will begin selling the Océ VarioPrint 6000 Ultra digital press range later this year, expanding the cross-selling of the two companies' products, and that they will also offer their combined wide-format portfolio to both Canon and Océ resellers.

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