Canon helps customers speed up high quality book production with the ProStream 1000

Canon Europe is today announcing new enhancements to the ProStream 1000 continuous feed inkjet press as well as two imminent installations at EMEA customers in publishing and promotional print.

Canon is announcing two imminent ProStream 1000 installations in EMEA

The ProStream 1000 was designed to enable customers to migrate high-value work from offset to inkjet and exploit the full creative potential of variable data printing within multi-channel promotional campaigns.

After only a year in the market, customers have embraced the technology for its superior inkjet productivity and offset-like print quality and there is now a total of seven placements in EMEA. Customer feedback from these first installations across Europe has driven Canon’s continuous innovation programme for the ProStream 1000 and new enhancements are being launched at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2019 in Lucerne, Switzerland (25th-28th February 2019).

Canon is introducing a new automation tool to improve production efficiencies and quality control. The optional Inline Quality Control system enables Nozzle Activity Control and Colour Uniformity Control. Other new features of the ProStream designed to help customers increase applications versatility also include improved sharpness for vectors, linear, inverse or micro text and edges, as well as an extended media range supporting papers up to 300gsm (see separate Hunkeler Innovationdays release).

First customer in the Nordic region
Otava Bookprinting Ltd, part of Otava Group, has become the first ProStream 1000 customer in the Nordic region and the eighth placement in EMEA. Operating for more than 125 years, Otava Group is a major Finnish media house and ranks third among graphic communications publishers in the country, with turnover of over €300m. It remains one of the only high volume publishing houses in Finland, publishing more than 600 new titles annually.

Marko Silventoinen, Managing Director, Otava Bookprinting comments, “Traditionally we only produced books with offset, but, with changing customer trends, we were no longer able to predict book volumes and struggled to respond quickly to changing customer demands. We therefore decided to investigate the opportunities with a number of digital print technology providers.”

When looking for a digital inkjet solution, Otava wanted a press that could work with exactly the same papers it uses in offset production. The company visited a few existing Canon installations and, convinced by the reliability and superior print quality of the ProStream, decided that it was the right solution for its business.

Silventoinen explains, “We were extremely impressed with the offset-like quality of the ProStream and how it could work with the existing media we use for offset production.”

He continues, “As a business operating for more than 125 years, we were looking for a solution that could help us modernise our publishing model and move to on-demand production. Currently, our soft-cover books take 10 days from order to delivery and hard covers take 15. Our aim with the ProStream 1000 is to deliver books within 48 hours. But shorter delivery times come with their own challenges and we don’t want to have lots of books in stock. We currently have direct access to data from a number of bookstores and can use this data to better predict future book volumes. Our ideal future would be one in which every book we produce is already sold.”

Otava is due to have the ProStream 1000 installed in March 2019, with production starting from April 2019.

Silventoinen concludes, “We know we can’t change our whole production line at the same time, but this is the first step towards improving production efficiencies. The local Canon team really understood our business and has come up with solutions that will help us meet our business goals. We’re excited to see how the ProStream will help turn our vision of on-demand production into a reality.”

Liber Digital future-proofs business with the ProStream
Liber Digital, a 60-year old, family run business and part of the Gómez Aparicio Group in Spain, was looking for a digital inkjet solution that could handle increasing run lengths, while sustaining print quality. The company’s existing ColorStream 3000 and digital toner systems could not handle the new requirements to produce high quality output on standard offset media at high speeds.

Luis Hedo, Managing Director, Liber Digital, comments, “We wanted a solution where there was no noticeable difference in quality between offset and digital and one that could integrate with our existing book finishing workflows. For us, a key requirement was ensuring that it could work with the same paper we use for offset.”

He continues, “Publishers are only concerned with superior quality. With the ProStream 1000, they can’t tell the difference between offset and digital – the quality is exactly the same. The ProStream is an incredibly reliable solution and since its installation in December 2018, we’ve encountered no downtime at all with the printer, which is a crucial factor in our business. Thanks to the ProStream, we are improving the operations of our educational publishing customers who look to balance supply and demand cost-effectively, to improve delivery time to reduce stock, and to make the whole value chain more efficient.”

Liber Digital is confident that it now has a solution in place that can adapt with the changing trends in the publishing market. He explains, “We’re always looking for the next step to prepare our business for the future. With Canon’s support, we’ve been able to improve book production using the ProStream and PRISMA workflow suite, which is enabling us to explore new opportunities. We can now efficiently handle run lengths of anything between 500 and 1,500 books. In the future, we see our main area of growth in children’s hard back colour books, niche magazines, and specialist interest books. With digital print technology, we are changing our customers’ business models by enabling publishers to deliver books faster than with offset.

Peter Wolff, Vice President PPP EMEA Commercial Printing, comments: “We set a new benchmark for inkjet quality with the ProStream 1000 and introduced a solution that could truly compete with offset quality. The press has been well-received among our customers with the relevant quality and volume requirements and is inspiring others to revisit their traditional business models and see where they can add further value – which is reflected in our strong sales pipeline. We’ve been working very closely with a small community of our early adopters to ensure that the technology fulfils its potential in their businesses, with a view to helping many of our customers optimise their operational efficiency, and in doing so, enable them to evolve their entire value proposition.”