Canon announces ‘revolutionary’ wide-format technology

by FESPA | 19/09/2016
Canon announces ‘revolutionary’ wide-format technology

The manufacturer has unveiled first details of its new UVgel print technology, which it says will transform wide-format roll-to-roll printing.

Spring 2017 has been earmarked by Canon for the release of the first roll-to-roll printer using its UVgel print technology. The system is based on a new UV curable ink that gels immediately on contact with media, but also incorporates new hardware developments.

According to Jeppe Frandsen, executive VP industrial and production solutions, Canon Europe, this is a “revolutionary and game-changing new technology that addresses the limitations of eco-solvent and latex printing by enabling more ink to be jetted onto media more quickly.”

"We felt there was a gap in the market that isn’t addressed by existing printers," said Pierre-Olivier Esteban, European TDS/DGS marketing director at Canon Europe.

"We see 64” low-volume printers between €20,000 and €30,000 based on eco-solvent latex technologies and then above that in terms of price and productivity there is nothing until you get up to more high productivity latex and UV systems, usually wider than 64” with a much higher price tag," he explained.

"We see some printers buying multiple machines because they can’t afford to buy the higher-end products, which are often too big as well. We want to offer something that is more affordable but also much more productive than what exists."

The devices will feature Canon's latest-generation piezoelectric print-head technology, adapted to suit the new UVgel ink. The system uses acoustic sampling to monitor nozzle performance on-the-fly, whilst the LED UV curing system works without applying any heat to the substrates meaning ultra-thin and heat-sensitive media are suitable.

The LED UV curing system operates independently from the printing system, which Esteban said ensured identical jetting to curing for every droplet and gave better control of accuracy and size.

“Our strategy is to focus on growing markets and offer game-changing products that help both our customers and partners,” said Frandsen.

“The graphic arts marketplace, including wide-format signage, is rapidly expanding and volumes printed on roll-to-roll printers are growing year on year. In addition to this, over 40% of orders usually need to be turned in 24 hours, demonstrating the pace and the expectations that are now commonplace in this industry. Canon is proud to continue honouring its commitment to enable our customers and partners meet the demands of the 21st century print landscape.”

Canon’s new UVgel printing technology will be at the core of a family of new roll-to-roll printing products, the first of which will be a high productivity 64in printer next spring.

Frandsen said: “We are looking forward to showcasing this breakthrough achievement at special reseller and customer events across Europe this year.”

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