Canon announces iX-series inkjet presses

Canon has announced a new series of VarioPrint iX sheetfed inkjet presses, with two models that are basically an update to the existing i200 series to accommodate the latest Kyocera printheads.

Canon’s VarioPrint iX sheetfed inkjet presses use Kyocera’s second generation 1200 dpi printheads.

There are two new models, the iX3200, which can handle up to 10 million A4 impressions per month, and the iX2100 which takes 7 million A4 impressions per month. However, the only real difference between them is the speed, with no physical differences, so that a simple license cost is all that’s needed to unlock the higher speed and upgrade the basic model to the full spec. 

The major new feature of these presses is that the resolution is improved from 600dpi to 1200 dpi, due to the new printheads. I’ve already covered Kyocera’s second generation printheads when they were first announced last year. 

The advantage of the higher resolution printheads is not just improvements to the image quality, but that the heads are firing smaller droplets that are easier to dry, which in turn allows for slightly faster print speeds. Thus the iX3200 can run at 320 A4 duplex ppm, up from the i300’s 300 A4 ppm, while the iX2100 produces 210 A4 duplex ppm, a slight improvement on the i200’s 200 A4 ppm. 

Naturally, Canon has had to improve the drying system to handle the higher printing speeds. The VarioPrint models use Canon’s iQuarius drying system combined with ColorGrip inks, which I’ve covered in more detail here. Essentially, the ColorGrip primer allows the presses to handle uncoated paper from 60 to 350gsm, and coated paper from 90 – 350gsm. Canon has updated the inks for use with the new presses.

Canon says it has added a new function, which fixates the ink to form a robust layer. This post-fixation unit uses instant heat combined with humidity to keep the humidity level of the paper stable and avoid waviness or curl. The end result is a robust and flat print, ready for further processing. 

The new models also come with the XL-sized paper input module as standard, which takes sheets up to 350 x 508mm.

It’s also worth noting that as well as these sheetfed presses, canon also sells the ProStream continuous feed press, complete with its own variation of the Colorgrip inks.

These presses should be available in Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as the Americas later this summer. Pricing starts at around £700,000 though depends on exact configuration. Canon will also continue to sell the older i200 and i300 presses. You can find further details about Canon’s production inkjet presses from canon.co.uk.

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