Sign & Digital is 30 years old this year and what a 30 years it has been for printing! The IT revolution during this period has enabled digital printing to grow and has delivered a wealth of opportunities to new print service providers.
New applications and new services have been made possible, but ultimately the consumer’s experience of print has been made more valuable than it has ever been. Looking ahead to the next 30 years, the opportunities are endless and continuously growing, as the needs of our customers and their customers continue to evolve.
As an industry, we have the opportunity to bring vibrant, bold and disruptive ideas to life, and Canon will be spending time at the Sign & Digital show, discussing with print service providers how we can do that together, not least through a bespoke Application Gallery, which will illustrate the possibilities of print for backlit displays and decorative surfaces.
The Canon stand will be one of the largest at the show, and we can promise visitors a heady combination of outstanding technology and inspirational ideas to move our customers’ businesses forward. Of course, while our technology is important – and Canon, as you will soon see, will have some truly state-of-the-art technology on show – we recognise the important role that companies like Canon play in helping our customers extend their business capabilities. Through continuous dialogue with our customers we have a deep understanding of the trends that are driving change. We want our customers to reimagine their businesses and realise their full potential.
Visitors to the Canon stand will experience a hub of creative and disruptive ideas that will help them to unlock the power of print. Our specialist team will be on hand to discuss ideas on how show-goers can develop their businesses through a combination of technology and knowledge.
Also on view for the first time in the UK will be a very exciting new technology: our unique new UVgel. This is a UV curable ink that gels immediately on contact with the media, requiring no heat to cure, and therefore being suitable for a wide range of media, including ultra-thin and heat-sensitive substrates.
This breakthrough technology allows users to print up to four times as fast as is possible with water-based printers. It therefore breaks through the speed barrier, helping you sidestep production bottlenecks. delivers consistent vibrant colour, banding-free output and sensational finishing, and its versatility means that POS, billboard, wallpaper and more are effortlessly at the disposal of the signage and interior décor market.
Why is UVgel so important? The market is telling us that volumes are growing, that there is a need for faster turnaround times and for prints that don’t need time to dry. This technology meets all of these demands and does so at a significantly reduced cost, compared to eco-solvent and latex printing. In part, this is caused by the UVgel’s ultra-thin ink dispersion, resulting in low ink consumption.
We believe UVgel technology will transform prospects for wide format roll-to-roll printing, and the first models to use this ink have already been announced: the Océ Colorado 1640 – a 64-inch roll-to-roll wide format printer that has a top speed of 159 square metres per hour for applications such as billboards and outdoor banners. At its highest quality level, the Colorado 1640 can still operate at 40 square metres per hour. The first public presentation of this system will be FESPA 2017 in Hamburg in May 2017 and we’ll be showing UVgel applications at Sign & Digital.
Also at Sign & Digital, Canon will be showing the award-winning Arizona range, which sets new standards in productivity and ease of use and reliability.
At Canon, we are in constant contact with the industry, to ensure that our technology and services meet the needs of this vibrant, fast-moving market place. Visitors to Sign & Digital will see us unleash the power of print like never before, with ground-breaking new printing technology and inspirational application ideas. Print is exciting again, but our customers still face many challenges. We believe that by surrounding themselves with the right partners, they will continue to survive, prosper and transform.
Dominic Fahy is the Business Group Manager for Display Graphics Systems and Imaging Supplies at Canon UK.