Canon ME conducted a partner conference in Dubai recently for the large format segment under theme 'Expand new business opportunities with Canon'. The event attracted 55 participants and seen new product launches. Talking to PrintWeek MEA, product manager of LFP at Canon ME, Pratik Gargya said: "Out of 55, 70 to 80% were resellers but these are not only existing resellers but some prospective companies as well. As our theme is to expand business opportunities, we are looking at appointing new distributors for targeted vertical markets. We had a brief presentation on Canon's offerings and then we will have one to one meetings to discuss how to proceed further. We are looking at North/East Africa and ME region."

Canon had 7 dedicated zones to showcase the machines and solutions. They were: CAD, Corporate, Photography, Production, Service, Media and Ambassadors. There were also presentations from three of Canon's customers showcasing how they are using the Canon technology.

Director of LFP solutions at Canon Europe, Yuichi Miyano said: "The key challenges faced by customers today are: need for quick and economical print output, need to effectively manage costs, precision and high quality printing, compatibility with CAD/GIS applications and reliable performance. To control the cost, users can view paper, ink consumption and printing costs by print job. This allows print costs to be monitored and re-charged accordingly. To match the output quality to the captured image, all the Canon 12 colours have been updated in Lucia Ex pigment ink system, which supports a wider colour gamut."

Canon has also launched two new models in 8 ink category viz, imagePROGRAF iPF8300S (44'') and iPF6300S (24''). Some of the new features include user notification when calibration needs to be done. There is also a fast and economy mode. In the fast mode, the dense ink colour increases while reducing total ink consumption by up to 10-20%. The fast and economy mode reduces print density by 50% by using only 5 colours. Another feature is the ink tank replacement without stopping.

"To help creative printing, we have 1,000 templates and images to choose from for perfect posters and signs. There are Adobe Photoshop plug-ins which allows to print images without loosing depth-bit," said Miyano.Canon implements click charge model

Canon Europe's director of LFP Solutions Yuichi Miyano visited Dubai for the partner event. PrintWeek MEA talks to him about Canon's plans for Middle East region in the large format segment...

PrintWeek: You are implementing click charge model for the first time in the large format segment. How will it be implemented?

Yuichi Miyano: The difficulty of click charge model in the large format is you never know how much ink will be used. Some prints require lot of ink and some are not like in drawing the variation can be 5%, while in photo print there is quite a high consumption. So in some cases you earn money and in some cases you may loose money. But our printers have five different duty counters and we can set up a price for each duty counters. The machine will calculate the amount of ink used and automatically fall into one duty cycle.

PW: When did this click charge model started?

YM: This project has started from April this year and it is under discussion to start in the Middle East.

PW: What are the initiatives in the recycling of cartridges and substrates?

YM: We do not have the recycling program running at the moment in our region. But soon there will be new initiatives in this directions from Canon.

PW: Do you have any plans to have machines for outdoor use?

YM: Yes we had Canon Expo where we had shown future trends. There we had one large format printer designated for outdoor printing. So we are working on this. But Canon has strict green policy and we are on the way to produce totally environmentally friendly product.

PW: What can we expect from you in Drupa?

YM: Canon is always trying to be innovative in the technology. In Drupa we would like to show our new technology which is not available at the moment. This will be in line with networking of the machines.

PW: How much does ME contributes to your total sales?

YM: It contributes to about 5% and we would like it to be two digit in the next one year.

PW: What is your strategy for the ME region?

YM: Our strategy is to first try to use Canon resellers who already work for our copier products and use some resellers of consumer products like camera. We would also like to develop dedicated resellers for LFP product line. We would like to multiply our sales channels in the Middle East because it is the growing market.

PW: How much does LFP contributes to Canon's global portfolio?

YM: Canon does not disclose this information business unit wise. We showed innovation products in Canon Expo recently. One product is for outdoor and another product is a technical product, so we are having lot of R&D time dedicated to the large format segment.

AST discusses how they use Canon tech

Dubai based, Digital printer and distributor, AST discusses how they overcame the challenges using the Canon technology. PrintWeek MEA talks to managing director, M.G.Ittan to find out more...

The 25 years old company has 11 outlets in UAE serving digital printing, graphic designing, leasing of Canon machines and CAD operators outsourcing. AST also specialises in setting up on site reprographics centres for copying and commercial printing.

PrintWeek: What are the challenges faced by company like yours?

M.G.Ittan: Need for quick, hassel free and economical print output. We needed to reduce TCO for printing devices and we required high quality scratch resistant prints.

PrintWeek: How has Canon helped you to overcome those?

M.G.Ittan: Canon iPF printers helped us to improve productivity by offering features like, hot swaps of ink tanks, high capacity ink tanks with remote administration. We are trying to be more competitive by offering new services like: short term outdoor signage without the need of lamination. We have a clear visibility of media and ink costs which reduces our TCO. With borderless images, we have improved turn around time with less finishing efforts.

PrintWeek: How much money has these machines saved you?

M.G.Ittan: We are able to achiev savings of about 15% over the last 3 years. Also with built-in accounting tool, it is easy to track the true cost of jobs and calculate our ROI.

PrintWeek: How has the current volatility affected you?

M.G.Ittan: We are doing business in different sectors like digital, colour, and engineering drawing etc so we are not affected. We are also planning for outdoor digital printing.