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Signage has evolved to help companies achieve customer engagement and communication goals

Canon demonstrated its range of capabilities in large format printing for indoor and outdoor signage applications with products such as the Arizona 1280GT flatbed printer for flexible and rigid media; Océ ColorWave, designed for applications in graphic arts, architecture, engineering and construction; imagePrograf iPF8400SE, a 44-inch printer designed for poster creation; and imagePrograf Pro-6000S, designed for production signage and commercial photography.

The topic of interest was the highly anticipated UVgel printing technology, which Canon claims will transform large format roll-to-roll printing. According to Canon’s initial announcement, the technology includes a new UV curable ink from Canon that instantly gels on contact with the media, resulting in precise dot placement and area control for consistent high-quality images at high speed. Canon has announced that the UVgel technology will be at the core of a family of new roll-to-roll printing products, the first of which will be a high productivity 64-inch roll-to-roll printer to be released in the spring of 2017.

Ayman Aly, professional products marketing manager, Canon Middle East, provided an update on the UVgel technology. “The sign and graphic imaging industry is rapidly expanding, and volumes printed on roll-to-roll printers are growing year on year. In addition to this, over 40% of orders usually need to be turned in 24 hours, demonstrating the pace and the expectations that are now commonplace in this industry. Canon’s UVgel technology addresses these limitations; it enables to jet the ink faster onto the media which increases the productivity and speed, while using less ink and still delivering an improved colour gamut. With these innovations, Canon continues to enable its customers and partners meet the demands of the 21st century print landscape,” said Ayman.

Canon also showcased its XEED range of projectors, targeting verticals of retail and hospitality. Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, B2C business unit director, Canon Middle East, said: “Digital coupons, interactive mediums such as digital mannequins and AR/VR are changing how the world looks and interacts with signage, opening an exciting gamut of possibilities. Canon is exploring the space of digital signage by offering customized solutions with its 4K XEED projector range that are ideal for a wide range of markets and applications including simulation, museums, art galleries, planetariums, higher education, medical education and training.”

Shadi Bakhour, B2B business unit director, Canon Middle East, elaborated on the company’s product development strategyin line with changing business models. “Canon is perceived as a company that offers end-to-end solutions both in the B2B and 2BC markets. In the B2B market, we take into account crucial factors such as productivity and profitability while designing products for enterprises. In the B2C market, we prioritize the emotions of the consumer. As the only company that caters to all these market segments, we are finding new ways to integrate all our strengths to offer the best value to our customers. With regard to signage, we are offeringa full range of products including large format printers, projectors, cameras and other imaging equipment, workflows, software and mobile applications to plan and execute print, digital and interactive signage effectively,” explained Shadi.

The potential for signage growth is huge in the Middle East region, especially in countries like the UAE which is highly committed to transform its cities into smart cities, which fosters a demand for more exchange of information. Shadi pointed out that signage in various forms will play an integral role in every communication strategy in the future.

“New applications of large format printing and the integration of print, digital, and interactive signage have opened new markets in the retail, interior decoration, hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, driven by an increasing need to communicate with customers, promote brands, and create new ways to engage with customers. So, when we develop better printers and other products, we also look at how they can be integrated with our customers’ business processes to benefit both the businesses as well as the end users,” said Shadi.

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