Did Oce save Canon?

Despite Canon acquiring Oce, and Canon USA/Japan being one of forerunners in the digital print industry, It may very be the case that Oce’s engineering and technology has saved Canon from falling into the rat race with companies like Xerox and Konica Minolta.

Who would have thought that a rather small company in the Netherlands was holding on to technology that would revolutionize digital print. In both Black and white and color digital presses.

Oce’s Vario 140, a toner based, BW digital press without a fusing system, zero waste, and reported cases of over half a million sheets with no jamming or maintenance required. Unheard of.

The Vario Titan can run 336 impressions a minute and print the front and back of a sheet simultaneously with two independent marking engines.

Their i300, one of the first digital, color, inkjet presses to grace the industry, can literally give offset printing a run for its money.

And to compare to anything Canon has created in the past simply can’t be done.
The Canon C10000 is certainly a marvel, but no other company has branched out from the current technology of electrostatic transfer and a scorching hot fuser (except for perhaps HP and its Indigo).

A well played acquisition on Canon’s part. And a lucrative future in digital print, thanks to a group of humble engineers from the Netherlands.

Oce has been around a good long time. They have quite the presence in the wide format market as well. The Arizona has been around for as long as I can remember as one of the first flatbed printers. We used to jokingly talk about that first flatbed saying, if you blow a print, you blow the whole board and thought it was a dumb idea. Who knew?

I had quite a few Oce BW architectural printers way back when. Such a unique way to fuse toner, and fast, a decade ahead of it’s time.

I heard the initial agreement between the two companies was that Canon would let Oce keep their name and brand. I’m not sure what happened. The machines all bear the Canon name now.

Even Oce’s PRISMA controller has Canon on the wrap, but Oce’s name when the application starts.
A brilliant controller by the way. G7 Certified right-out the box. But, it’s only compatible with Canon Engines. A huge draw back.

As crazy as it sounds, i’m in the process of designing a digital press of my own. It probably won’t ever grace the floor of a print shop. But Since Canon’s Engineering portal has a place to submit ideas, maybe i’ll give a go. After getting some sort of Patent or trademark of course.

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