Global demand for machines to meet the demands of these markets is expected to reach almost 40,000 units in 2004 with ongoing steady growth predicted and Océ believes it has the right stuff to compete on the same turf as Fuji Xerox with its Nuvera and GATF award-winning iGen3 offerings.
In determining the value of launching into the mid-production segment, Océ identifed a number of key trends that needed to be addressed. Tim Saleeba, marketing manager, Digital Document Systems, for Océ-Australia Limited says “This is a market which produces from 150,000 to one million copies per month. It involves shorter runs of more complex jobs, such as manuals with tabs, books with covers and mailing inserts. It also includes long runs of simpler jobs and familiar tasks such as straightforward copying, collating and stapling.
“There is also a growing convergence of black and white and colour as companies realise the increasing importance of colour to their corporate documents. Océ believes the key to this market lies in a number of important deliverables. First and foremost, Océ considers high productivity, not just of print engines, but the entire production process at full engine speed to be of utmost importance. There is no point in fast engine speed if you are unable to RIP information and perform collating tasks at the same speed.
“The market also has other demands that accompany this, combining to make up a powerful and productive workflow. We are looking here at increased flexibility of media, ease of operation, unattended printing without paper jams and high quality print production", says Saleeba.
Océ will launch its assault on the market two machines previewed by the trade press in Melbourne late July: the Océ VarioPrint 2110 black and white mid-production system and the Océ CPS900 colour production system. Both machines will be ready for market in Australia this September.
The VP2110 is a workhorse operating at 105 impressions per minute and Océ expects this device will emulate the success of its highly popular 3165, released in the mid-1990s.
“What makes the Océ VP2110 such an impressive machine is its delivery of outstanding productivity to the print floor through its ability to perform all functions at full engine speed,” says Saleeba. “It can RIP information and perform collating and finishing tasks at a constant print speed of 105 impressions per minute. It even has a ‘Print While RIP’ feature so that printing is not delayed until a multi-page document has been completely ripped.
“With the Océ VP2110 we have combined ease of use, reliability, throughput, applications and workflow to produce a system that ensures the best possible total performance on virtually any media. Advanced features include tab printing, interposing of post-process colour pages and inline finishing - booklet making, binding, etc, as well as a customer programmable interface that’s unique and best in class. It actually prevents users from making costly programming mistakes", he says.
Saleeba claims the Océ CPS900 will issue a broad challenge setting unparalleled benchmarks for colour consistency In the colour market. “The Océ CPS900 achieves consistent colour automatically, without calibration, for printing on a wide range of media choices on sizes up to oversize A3", he says.
“This means users can rely on colour consistency for such specifics as corporate colours, logos and brand reproduction. Your jobs can be printed on machines as far apart as Melbourne and Milan, this year or next, on paper or textured card, and still achieve identical colours".
The reproduced image is created in a single step without using a light source, the toner image of each required colour being transferred onto an intermediate drum and then onto the paper in a single pass. Saleeba says the consistent colour performance of the Océ CPS900 is the result of trademarked Océ Colour CopyPress technology developed over years of research.
“Océ Colour CopyPress allows the complete seven-colour toner image to be ‘pressed’ onto the paper for consistent, high quality colour - with a single layer of toner fused at a lower temperature. Because it uses virtually no silicon oil, there’s no excessive surface shine, so prints come out with an offset look and feel and with no cracking of toner during folding.
“Output is achieved with a print resolution of 600 dpi which results in sharp, photo-realistic images. We consider this to be imperative for professional document production environments whether printing onto embossed, textured, or coated paper - even overhead sheets. Operators can also utilise heavier media - up to 250gsm - while maintaining full engine productivity with A4, A3 and oversized papers. The machine will produce up to 1,000 oversized sheets in one run, without operator intervention. Duplexing, when required, is automatic on all media", he says.
The CPS900 operates at a constant print speed of 30 x A4 (15 A3) images per minute, no matter what the media. Both systems utilise a shorter paper path than conventional xerography systems, virtually eliminating paper jams and resulting in further productivity.
Saleeba says the mid-production digital print segment has been dominated by a few manufacturers, notably Xerox, over the past few years, but that’s about to change: “... with the Océ VP2110 and the Océ CPS900 we have machines that address our predictions for this market and that offer benefits and features that other manufacturers will find difficulty matching", he concludes.
Océ is planning a series of upscale events across Australia to usher in its new offerings for the mid-production market.