Canon has installed its first liquid-toner based InfiniStream Technology at packaging printer Joh. Leupold GmbH, based in Schwabach, Germany. The InfiniStream complements Leupold’s existing fleet of high-end offset printing presses, and will provide digital short to medium length production runs for Leupold’s customers, who consist of global brand owners and local German brands.

The Océ InfiniStream Technology offers productivity at offset level coupled with minimum set-up times and a unique capability to individually modify contents and artwork, thus paving the way for real mass packaging customisation with the shortest possible time to market.

It combines the advantages of offset printing with the many benefits of digital printing, delivering unrivalled time, cost and value improvements in folding carton production. The Océ InfiniStream is the ideal solution to the increasing demands in the packaging value chain for shorter run lengths, waste and cost reduction and reduced turnaround times for faster campaign execution.

Canon is working with forward-thinking packaging printers worldwide to continuously test the InfiniStream platform under real-time conditions in advance of full commercial availability.

Leupold offers a complete range of services for folding cartons, point of sale displays and presentation boxes. Founded in 1890, the company has developed into an international organisation with a turnover of more than EUR 30 million and a workforce of around 110 employees.

Leupold is the first customer in the world to install this ground-breaking digital technology as part of Canon’s ‘Proof-of-concept’ commercial printing customer programme. As a ‘Proof-of-concept’ customer, Leupold has been involved in the development process from the start and Canon will continue to work closely with the company to prove and fine-tune the technology in the challenging market environment in order to ensure an optimum market fit.

Bernd Assmann, Managing Director of Leupold, states, Using state-of-the-art technology to meet customer requirements has always been the strategy for Leupold. During discussions with brand owners, it became evident that trends such as declining run lengths and increasing use of versioned products will become major challenges in the packaging value chain. Brand owners are requesting shorter turn-around times and faster campaign execution, as well as waste and cost reduction.

Océ InfiniStream is based on an electro-photographic liquid toner technology that matches offset in relation to productivity, print quality and substrate versatility. With its roll-fed, modular print tower architecture, customers can select from four to seven colours, depending on requirements. Running at up to 120 metres per minute (394 feet per minute), it can produce output of up to 14,400 B2-sized (50 x 70 cm) or 7,200 B1-sized (70 x 100 cm) sheets per hour on a 28 inch-wide web.

We have carefully analysed the market so that we can ideally address these requirements. It was clear that the InfiniStream technology is the way forward as the answer to major trends in the packaging market. That is why we are taking advantage of a completely new press category – the fastest in the industry – in digital folding carton production.

InfiniStream Technology has the potential to be extended to even larger formats, significantly exceeding the productivity and format flexibility of current digital presses for cardboard production. Compared with offset and depending on the specific job parameters, InfiniStream will deliver a cost advantage for run lengths up to 3,000 to 4,000 B1 sheets. Through an offset-like image transfer with a rubber-coated transfer cylinder, InfiniStream handles standard offset cardboard substrates up to a thickness of 600 microns.

Christian Unterberger, Executive Vice President for Commercial Printing at Océ says, Canon is and has been the world market leader for many years with its dry toner and inkjet continuous feed presses in monochrome and colour. With the unique InfiniStream technology, Canon will extend its leadership into a new market, the digitally printed packaging market. To that end, we are proud to announce the first installation of InfiniStream Technology at our customer, Joh. Leupold GmbH and Co KG.

Peter Wolff, Head of Commercial Printing Group Canon EMEA, adds, The Canon Commercial Printing Group has also become a leading supplier in the Graphic Arts market. Combining that status with our new InfiniStream technology, which already matches the productivity of sheetfed offset presses, ideally positions us to enter the growing packaging market.