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The flexibility of Océ inkjet

Published on August 1, 2011

Brian Dollard, Director of Product Marketing for Océ North America, discusses the advantages and flexibility of inkjet as more and more printers transition from offset to inkjet.

Richard Romano:  Hi, this is Richard Romano from WhatTheyThink.com and we’re here at the latest Océ Wow event in Boca Raton, Florida and we’re talking with Brian Dollard who is the director of product marketing for Océ North America.  So thank you very much for talking with us.

Brian Dollard:  Thank you Richard.

Richard Romano:  Now the big topic of this event was inkjet printing and how Océ customers can benefit from some of the applications in inkjet.  Now what are some of the specific advantages that inkjet has over toner in Océ’s opinion?

Brian Dollard:  The advantages are pretty simple.  There are a few key areas we focus on.  One is speed.  Today electro-photographic if you were doing full color and you were doing a few hundred pages per minute that would be quite an accomplishment.  In the inkjet space, however, we’re talking about doing thousands of pages a minute, so it really ramps up the speed and allows us to target a higher level of offset transfer.  Another area, important area I think that is really significant, particularly when we start talking about commercial print is how we can leverage the format, the footprint of the commercial print market space.  We can go much wider with inkjet, so we’re already starting to see web widths up to 30 inches.  They will be going—as the market demands more we’ll be going beyond that and I think what you’ll see, unlike electro-photographic is you’re going to start seeing the technologies and the solutions over time really mimic that offset footprint that we have seen in place.  Today it is continuous form.  Tomorrow we’re going to see the same thing in cut sheet or sheet fed as well.

Richard Romano:  So you see the transition being not so much from toner or electro-photographic to inkjet as from offset to inkjet.

Brian Dollard:  We see it both ways and it really depends on the market segment at your end.  If we’re talking about—I'll talk about three different market segments that we are really targeting with this technology today.  One is the transactional space and the real advantage there is that is a space where very often you have an offset printed shell.  You are imprinting it with a black and white laser.  There is a lot of waste associated with that.  There is a lot of time associated with it because you may be vending out for the offset shells.  With our workflow we’re talking about white paper in, finished product out.  The advantages are we eliminate that waste.  We might even be eliminating warehouse space.  There are a lot of other economic factors that we take into consideration here, so we really economize this process and that is the business opportunity at its core.  

We’re starting to hear a lot about trans-promotional and really that is I think a complimentary business model that runs parallel to this white forms replacement and then when you look at a market like direct mail it is a different advantage there.  It is still a white paper workflow, but we’re starting to see what direct mailers do is comingle much smaller batches from much smaller customers and therefore, they get bulk rate, sorted and they are really able to reduce their postal cost, which is one of the major components of direct mails.

When you get to the book market this is an area where if you look at the trends of book marketing, book printing with the digitization of all that content we’re seeing runs getting much, much shorter.  We have customers that do nothing but books of one, runs of one, so we’re seeing whether it is electro-photographic or inkjet we’re starting to see more and more work come at us that way and we, from an inkjet perspective we’re just starting to see that we can handle much higher volumes and again better mimic that marketplace in terms of format.

Richard Romano:  On the subject of that white paper end, one of the demos at this event was the JetStream printing basically from blank paper, checks with all the security features built into it.  Explain that workflow a little bit.

Brian Dollard:  In the past that could be a multi process method of coming out with a finished product.  What we’re doing here is we’re taking a paper and in one shot we’re laying down the color image as well as the variable image, so if you—previously there might be preprinted shells on—you could pick from certain design templates.  Now you really can have a truly individualized check, but then there are a few other things that need to happen.  There are all sorts of security features that need to be built into it.  It is amazing what people can do to forge your check or to take a check that you’ve previously written, eliminate your handwriting and actually put in whatever, sign the check themselves and cash the check.

So we have built a lot of security features into that.  Some of it is reactive where when certain chemicals hit the ink it will change color.  There is micer [ph] ink and that is the little number that goes down on the bottom right-hand corner of your check.  That is so that it can be read by a scanner and that is when you go into a store and they put your check through the cash register and it scans it.  It is reading that line and it actually accessing a database from that, so there is all these security features, functional features like the micer and it is all coming in one shot.  Again previously that could be a few different processes going on together and it is just again very efficient, white paper in, finished product out and that is actually a great example of how this technology really is impacting.

Richard Romano:  Now the Océ products print with both pigment or dye inks.

Brian Dollard:  Yes.

Richard Romano:  What is the difference just in a nutshell between the two?

Brian Dollard:  It really comes down to your application.  There is a belief out there that pigment offers you a higher quality and I can assure you offering both inks that is really not the case.  Pigment, for me the biggest attribute that pigment has is archive-ability, so if you’re going into the book space and you need to achieve certain archive-ability standards or even insurance documentation there are certain standards then you definitely want to go with a pigment ink.

Dye ink we’re going to be to get equal quality results off of dye than we do pigment.  Dye tends to be a little bit cheaper, so we’re seeing most of our customers lean in that direction, but it’s important to us to be able to tailor a solution to whomever or whatever market we’re in, so we have both pigment and dye inks.

Richard Romano:  So the future is definitely inkjet.

Brian Dollard:  No question, but I also want to point out that electro-photography is not dead by any stretch.  We expect, we see there is a new option out on the market for a lot of our print providers.  We don’t see a battleground out there between inkjet and electro-photography.  In fact this is great news for the printers.  They have a new option here.  They have another option, a viable option.  It is not always the best option, but that really comes down to what your specific needs are.  I guess it becomes a battleground if as a solution provider you only have one or the other because then you have to pretty much degrade the other.  At Océ we’re coming at it saying we have both and we want to look at what you do, how you do it, what is important to you and we’ll tailor the solution to them.

What we saw today, one of the big reason we were here to showcase the new ColorStream 3500 and at Océ we’ve had a legacy in building production printing systems, really dominate the continuous form electro-photographic market and a few years back we launched the JetStream full color inkjet, dedicated full color.  What we’re seeing with the ColorStream is that option that is really not out there for the printers and it is an option that is not an all or nothing option.  Right the options generally speaking are all or nothing monochrome, full color.  Can I do all monochrome on a full color device?  Yes, but sometimes it is not the most efficient way to do it.  The ColorStream gives our customers the ability to look at that transition whether it be a technology transition, wanting to go from electro-photographic to inkjet if that makes sense for them or wanting to go from monochrome to color, but not having to make the decision upfront and take one step today and upgrade in the future without it being a forklift upgrade.  To me that really completes, closes the loop on really covering the bases for our customers, so that they can make these decisions with less risk because it is a risky time right now.

Richard Romano:  This is true.  Great, well thank you very much.  

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