*NEWS*CANON AIMS WIDE WITH INK ,INK ,INK

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*NEWS*CANON AIMS WIDE WITH INK ,INK ,INK

 user 2006-05-17 at 9:53:00 am Views: 82
  • #15473

    Canon Aims Wide
    New York -MAI 06
    At
    one of the largest document management and digital printing events of
    the year, industry heavyweights and small fries alike are jostling to
    prove they’re on to the next big thing.

    But at the AIIM and
    On Demand Conference and Trade Show underway in Philadelphia today, the
    next big thing is the same old thing: ink, ink and more ink.Looking to
    capitalize on niche industries that soak up lots and lots of ink, some
    digital imaging companies are expanding into the wide format printing
    market, which produces over-sized, ink-drinking documents.”Wide format
    is another opportunity to get ink on paper,” says Angele Boyd,
    wide-format printing analyst with research firm IDC. “The trick is to
    tap into new and emerging segments.”Canon  announced four new large
    format printers Tuesday. Ranging in width from 17 inches to 60 inches,
    the imagePROGRAF series is priced between $1,500 and $15,000. The
    narrower iPF 600 and iPF 500 machines will be available next month, and
    Canon says two other models should hit the market by the end of the
    year.”We believe there is a huge potential in this market,” says Nobu
    Kitijima, director of marketing for the company’s Wide-Format Group.
    “This shows how aggressively we are planning to capture this
    market.”There’s quite a contingent of companies already in the market,
    including heavyweights like Hewlett-Packard  and Nagano, Japan-based
    Epson, but other companies like Xerox  have been less successful in
    maintaining a presence.
    That’s because the umbrella-term “wide
    format” encompasses aspects of the market that are quite mature, like
    black-and-white computer-assisted engineering and architectural design
    (CAD).But other areas of the wide-format industry are just beginning.
    “Certain companies are shifting strategies and realizing opportunities
    in graphic arts,” Boyd says. “The signage market is one big potential
    business.”Still, those strategies require a commitment and dedicated
    resources to more than just technological advances. “They have to have
    a go-to-market strategy, including channel distribution, programs for
    resellers and introducing a wide range of ink solutions,” Boyd
    says.According to Kitijima, Canon is aware of the challenges, but has
    “full confidence” in the company’s strategy.“The key market is in the
    general use area in office environments for smaller demands,” he
    says.But more important is covering as many wide-format bases as
    possible, from posters to giant banners. “The target market is
    segmented–the office, photography, fine art, technical CAD
    applications, commercial and pre-press proofing,” Kitijima says.How
    Canon’s bid plays out initially depends on what customers and analysts
    see at the On Demand conference, which ends on Thursday. But the
    company’s intention is clear.
    “We want to be number one,” Kitijima says