The Next Evolution of the Canon Colorado
“We are taking it to the next level with this launch,” said Rich Reamer, senior director, product marketing and planning, Large Format Systems Division, Canon USA during an invitation-only event on March 16 in the Canon USA offices in Itasca, Illinois.
During this event, Canon introduced the new Canon Colorado M-Series printers to a group of dealers and select industry press and analysts. This modular printer series includes the newest printhead technology, “white ink without worry,” an extended application range, and reduced operator maintenance. These new features are built on the original Colorado platform that include high levels of productivity, a wide application range, low cost of operation, consistent and predictable output, and next-level automation.
Canon USA has had consistent growth in engine placements since the Colorado 1640 launched in 2017, according to Rob Reddy, senior vice president, LFS Business Operations at Canon Solutions America. Additionally, the Colorado line of printers continued to grow over the next several years. 2019 saw the launch of the Colorado 1650 that included the ability to print with matte and gloss effects. The following year saw the integrated solution of the UVgel Wallpaper Factory unveiled, allowing for even more productivity. In 2021, the line was extended with the entry-level Colorado 1630, which featured the new UVgel 425 printhead. And last year, FLXfinish+ was unveiled, which allows PSPs to print matte and gloss effects on one print without the need for a separate varnish channel or ink change.
The Colorado platform, according to Reddy, is allowing Canon — and in turn its customers — the ability to grab more market share in the industry. Reddy equates this platform growth to the fact that running costs of the Colorado printers can be “less than half” of competitive products. And since these machines are so productive, it allows PSPs to “compete and win deals they wouldn’t have before,” with many seeing “net-new volume and jobs” because of it.
Looking ahead, Reddy points to several trends impacting the industry and their customer’s bottom line. Turnaround times continue to decrease, with 61% of jobs now featuring less than 24 hours of turnaround time.
Consolidation also continues to impact the market as more and more PSPs are expanding into adjacent markets — and wide-format remains one of the most noted expansion areas. And for those companies looking to expand and invest in new technology, UV is at the top of their list.
“There is competition coming for you,” said Reddy. “You can’t keep doing things the same way you’ve been doing it before. There is a better way to do it.”
Enter the Colorado M-Series printers, the “next generational step in the Colorado series,” said Jeff Edwards, senior business development manager at Canon Production Printing Canada during the March 16th presentation.
The new Colorado M-series 64" roll-to-roll printer can help users produce high-quality applications and meet the demanding productivity and turnaround standards PSPs are facing today.
The M-series design, with in-field upgrades, is based on a single platform that can be configured to help meet customer needs. The scalable series features two speed configurations, optional UVgel white ink capabilities, and additional modular options to enable end-users to customize their device according to their business needs. The M3 BASE configuration can be expanded over time up to the M5W PRO configuration, which includes increased functionality such as speed enhancements, double-sided printing, dual-roll, white ink capabilities, and FLXfinish+.
The M-series devices can be upgraded to ‘W’ versions for white ink so customers can purchase the white ink option after their initial printer purchase. The printers incorporate the latest printhead technology found in the Colorado 1630 devices — the UVgel 425 printhead.
With the newly introduced white ink, PSPs will have the ability to offer a full spectrum of applications, including premium graphics, décor, window graphics, labels, and wallpaper. Additionally, with the new media detection sensor technology for easy media handling, customers can expand product offerings using heavy structured, transparent, colored, metallic, and magnetic materials.
Customers can also choose the FLXfinish+ option, allowing the ability to add matte, gloss, or mixed matte and gloss on the same print, without additional varnish. High-volume customers can automate the print-to-finish process with a UVgel Print Factory or UVgel Wallpaper Factory configuration, which integrates the Colorado M-series printer with cutting, rewinding, taping, or sheet stacking to manage volumes of at least 500,000 sqft per year with minimal operator time.
First units should be available mid-May.
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.