In this article, David Zwang looks at Canon’s new Océ ProStream series production inkjet offering introduced in advance of Hunkeler Innovationdays 2017. The ProStream is a continuous feed production inkjet system targeting the mid-to-high volume commercial printing market. The device leverages Océ technology from its previous continuous feed systems as well as the its sheetfed Océ VarioPrint i300 and introduces new polymer ink set.
Canon Océ ProStream. Source: Canon
Hunkeler is usually an event where many companies introduce new technologies and products. It isn’t anything like drupa, considering size, length of show and booth setup, but it is a focused event that has seen some very interesting introductions. It is also unique in that the production lines featured at the show are multivendor lines that demonstrate a complete end-to-end solution.
One of new announcements at the 2017 event is the new Canon Océ ProStream production inkjet press. In development for more than three years, Canon has used the knowledge obtained through its existing continuous feed and sheetfed production inkjet products, along with market intelligence the company has developed, to bring this new press platform to fruition. The goal was the ability to produce high quality, high coverage print on conventional coated and uncoated offset media. The newly introduced press is not just another variation of one of Canon’s existing inkjet products; rather, it is a completely new design incorporating selected technologies from both the sheetfed VarioPrint i300 and the ColorStream 6000 Chroma.
ProStream imaging starts with the use of Kyocera KJ4 piezo electric drop on demand print heads. These 1200 dpi and 1200 npi (dots per inch and nozzles per inch, respectively) have a firing frequency of 64 kHz currently producing multilevel drop sizes of 2 and 5.6 picoliter drops. To address the higher temperatures of the new heads, Canon introduced a print head cooling system that allows the heads to maintain a <32°C temperature to reduce risk of ink drying in the nozzles. This creates more stable jetting over print width and time.
The print heads also support the Pre-Fire technology introduced with the ColorStream 6000 Chroma. Pre-Fire is a technology that recirculates ink inside the printing head anytime it isn’t ejecting ink. It ensures consistent droplet size and positioning, by both ‘exercising’ the head and minimizing ink waste. The ProStream also includes Océ HeadSafe technology that enables switching between mono and full color printing.