Wide-Format Printers/Plotters

Canon Keeps CAD in Mind with New Wide-Format Color Printers

3 Sep, 2013 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Paperless documents may be decreasing the demand for printing hardware, but the diversified digital imaging solutions provider is still pursuing the CAD market.

Today Canon expanded its large-format printer family, adding the 44-inch iPF8400S and 24-inch iPF6400S to its imagePROGRAF S Series. The eight-color printers support the imagePROGRAF Direct Print & Share software, which allows users to print files without opening them and to share files via the cloud.

"We have a fairly robust lineup — 23 printers altogether," said Rich Reamer, director of product marketing. He explained that Canon offers twelve-color printers for graphic arts, eight-color models for production printing, and five-color units for technical documents and general use. With the decentralization going on in the CAD world, Reamer continued, many subcontrators are now working with inkjet printers. "[We are] really giving the ... CAD world a lot of flexibility ... and doing so at a low cost."

The iPF8400S and iPF6400S are geared toward print service providers and feature:

  • a built-in 250-GB hard drive
  • support for high-capacity ink tanks (300-mL ink tanks in the iPF6400S; 330-mL and 700-mL in the iPF8400S)
  • an upgraded multisensor color calibration system
  • Color Calibration Management Console (CCMC) software, which provides system-wide color management control from a single computer.

  • an optional spectrophotometer.

The iPF8400S (top) and iPF6400S are expected to be available in mid-September for $4,995 and $2,995, respectively. Images courtesy of Canon.

ColorWave of the Future

This announcement comes on the heels of last month's unveiling of the ColorWave 900 — "It redefines production wide-format color," said Executive Vice-President Mal Baboyian. The 42"-wide printer can produce as many as 500 B1-size pages per hour, and can print close to 14,000 feet continuously, thanks to its six-roll capacity. "Production is a lot more than mechanical speed," Baboyian noted. "You don't want the production to stop." Prints dry "instantly" and feature resolution as high as 1600 x 1600 dpi.

The ColorWave 900 is designed for professional print providers; reprographers will use it for CAD-type printing jobs, said Baboyian, as well as graphic arts. The decision to address both markets with the same product reflects Canon's assessment of the CAD market's potential.

In 2012, Canon claimed about 39% of the CAD/GIS market in terms of market placement in North America. However, "that market is relatively flat," said Baboyian. "It's a technological change away from printed materials [among CAD users] ... you're seeing a shift away from a significant amount of printing to either decentralized printing or no printing at all," he explained. "I don't see that coming back ... there will be a shift from black-and-white to color as the cost comes down, but that's a different issue."

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