Canon Continues to Court CAD Market25 Apr, 2013 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson
Latest wide-format printers and multifunction devices are optimized for AutoCAD and more affordable than ever before.
Canon is not a newcomer in the CAD market; it introduced wide-format devices in 1999 with the BJ-W7000 bubblejet plotter sold under the Selex brand. In 2002, the company introduced the imagePROGRAF brand, and in 2007, the S-Series eight-color models came on the scene. In late 2009, Canon announced that Océ, a Dutch printer developer, would come into the Canon fold, forming a printing technology giant that offers a comprehensive range of low-, mid-, and high-production products.
What’s the company up to currently? Company representatives spoke with Cadalyst recently to bring us and our readers up to speed.
These days, Canon’s wide-format color imaging lineup comprises 23 printers. Of those, 10 five-color models are designed for CAD applications, including 17”, 24”, 36”, and 44” sizes. Some models add a hard drive, extra media roll, and/or support for high-volume production. The 36” and 44” models are expandable to full multifunction printers (MFPs) that include a scanner, computer, monitor, and software. As a price reference, the 36” IPF 760 costs $4,495, the IPF 765 adds a hard drive for $500 more, and both models are available in MFP versions for an added $4,000 each. “We have the versatility to hit many different markets,” said Richard Reamer, director of product marketing, Large Format & Photo Printing Solutions, Business Imaging Solutions Group — from small contractors who are watching costs to large architecture firms that demand high-volume production and the ability to easily print poster-size 3D renderings.
In 2011, Canon introduced its first wide-format MFP priced below $10,000. “That really changed things for us,” Reamer said. Five years ago, a large-format printer alone was $10,000–$15,000, he noted. “Now you can have an entire MFP for $7,500. It’s drawing in a lot of new users and getting people to include a scanner when they didn’t [have one] before.”
Canon MFP products are essentially advanced large-format copy machines, explained Brian Coombs, senior specialist, product planning, Large Format & Photo Printing Solutions, Business Imaging Solutions Group. “But instead of embedding the scanner in the printer, we found there are advantages in tying multiple components together.”
Canon’s 760 MFP M40 multifunction printer integrates a scanner as well as an independently functioning PC and 22” touchscreen monitor.
Each MFP comprises the following five components:
Scanner. These are the “most improved component” of the devices in the MFP, said Coombs. Optical resolution has improved two-fold to 1,200 dpi (interpolated p to 9,600 dpi), and scanning speeds are now “some of the fastest on the market”: 13 ips in monochrome and 3 ips in color. Media as thick as 2 mm can be managed. Scanners are manufactured by Colortrac and incorporate Canon imaging technology.
Large-format printer. Customers can choose from one of five base models for output and price flexibility. The five-color models are designed for producing technical documents, line drawings, and other CAD- and AEC-related output. Media options are many, including banner materials and glossy paper in addition to standard bond, “and quality is consistently good,” Coombs said.
A 22” touchscreen monitor and onboard PC. These components run independently of the MFP for controlling the device, viewing and editing CAD files right at the printer, and running any other traditional PC-based tasks.