Faced with shorter runs, higher costs, demanding delivery times and diversifying print offerings, printer service providers are under constant pressure to accelerate production. On top of this, many have highlighted that they are forced to compromise because their existing technologies deliver on either productivity or quality, but not both. Canon introduced the varioPRINT iX-series to offer a solution that could cost-efficiently deliver premium image quality on a wide media selection, together with high productivity, fast throughput and increased uptime.
Since installing two varioPRINT iX-series sheetfed presses, Arna Marketing Group, a Canon Solutions America customer based in Branchburg, N.J., has strengthened its competitive edge and further established itself as an elite variable data print partner with a robust set of print technologies and solutions.
Mette Hegna, owner of Arna, explains, "We're more confident than ever in the direction we're heading in the variable data space, and we're willing to invest now to be prepared for the future. We expanded our footprint to fit all the new technologies we have acquired; it's quite remarkable to see it all in action. The PRISMA workflow is driving an entire fleet of Canon inkjet presses, including two ProStreams, two ColorStreams, three VarioPRINT i300s, and now the two varioPRINT iX-series presses. No ask is too large or too small. We feel unstoppable. The two new iX presses will be housed in a new, expanded, premier state-of-the-art space that is now under construction at Arna."
"We're continuously evolving our business model to fit the needs of our customers, and Canon Solutions America has been a great partner, helping amplify our competitive edge," Hegna continues. "We're always on the hunt for efficiencies and speed. We are the place that can go from the 6x9, to the five-fold, to the tri-fold, to the Z-fold, and our finishing equipment has supported our presses perfectly. We're equipped for extremely fast turnaround times for utmost convenience and are prepared to handle ancillary requests. We know that everything needs to be personalized, customizable and catered to any obstacle our customers may face."
Transitioning to Inkjet
Over 40 percent of varioPRINT iX-series users are new to Canon's equipment, having installed the press to complement other technologies or to transition volumes from offset and liquid toner to digital inkjet. Linemark, Inc., a family-run commercial print shop based in Upper Marlboro, MD, installed the varioPRINT iX3200 to meet the demand for its evolving offering, which includes personalized books and high-value, customized direct mail. Linemark CEO, Steve Bearden, explained the product benefits: "What stands out with this press versus our other presses in-house is the uptime it allotted us. In our experience, we have been able to run the press non-stop day and night, which means that by the time the team arrives in the morning the night shift jobs are completed, allowing us to meet our quick turnaround commitments."
He continues, "The varioPRINT iX is very productive and fast, which has been instrumental to our overall productivity. This technology upgrade to our fleet allowed us to significantly increase our capacity. We now feel we are equipped to meet fast turnaround times and are prepared to handle any ancillary requests from our customers. The press is phenomenal and well exceeds our quality standards and expectations."
The press output was also evaluated by Fogra and received the FOGRA51 certification for achieving the Process Standard Digital (PSD) Print Check specification. Therefore, customers can have the confidence that their technology achieves exceptional levels of color fidelity, consistency, uniformity, print resolution, detail sharpness and stability of print.
"We take tremendous pride in offering products and solutions that help take our customers' success to the next level. We are pleased with the positive feedback from our customers on their experience with the varioPRINT iX-series, and it is exciting to see them reach new market applications and increase their profitability," said Peter P. Kowalczuk, president, Canon Solutions America. "When the press was unveiled last year, our goal was to offer print service providers a solution that ensured they no longer had to compromise on productivity or media versatility to deliver high quality. It's encouraging to receive feedback from users that reinforces that it is delivering in all areas, allowing users to exceed customer expectations, take on new work and grow their businesses."
Reinforcing its success in the market, the varioPRINT iX-series was presented with an EDP award in 2020 and, as a winning technology in the Keypoint Intelligence Outstanding Innovation Awards in Production Print, judges highlighted that the varioPRINT iX-series is "the first true sheetfed inkjet press capable of handling different formats and weights of coated and uncoated media."