The influential Buyers Lab (BLI), with operations across the globe awarded several prizes last month to some major manufacturers across the wide format industry.
Canon picked up most of the awards in our sector. The awards were:
1. Canon Recognized for Outstanding Achievement by Buyers Lab
During the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6450 printer’s extensive laboratory evaluation at BLI, technicians eagerly put the company’s latest colour management tools to the test in an effort to determine if Canon’s claim of colour consistency across a fleet of devices with a single spectrophotometer was achievable. The results of the experiment were nothing short of extraordinary. “The tools that Canon has developed are straightforward to use and take about an hour to implement,” said Joe Tischner, BLI wide format printer analyst. The SU-21 spectrophotometer is used to create a profile, and Canon’s Media Configuration Tool is then used to upload that media profile to any compatible Canon devices in the fleet (they must be among Canon’s new iPFX400 series devices). “Between the output of the lab-tested iPF6450 and a second model, the iPF8400, which was situated in another location, we were surprised to find that the system achieved an extremely low Delta E colour difference of 1.39. We usually don’t see a Delta E this low for one device over time, so it’s pretty amazing that Canon has achieved this tight a tolerance across two entirely different printers. This significant feature will be a huge benefit to the proofing market, where color consistency between devices is extremely critical.”
2. HP Honoured with BLI’s First-Ever Wide Format Technical Printer Line of the Year Award for 2013
HP’s Designjet T Series Offer Versatility, Speed and File Printing/Sharing from the Cloud
Having tested products from nearly all the players in the market, BLI has found HP’s Designjet T series of technical printers to be superior. With a broad range of models available to satisfy virtually all CAD, engineering and technical print applications, HP’s printers have distinguished themselves in BLI testing, and four of six currently available models tested have earned BLI “Picks” as the best in their respective categories.
3. Wide format printer picks awarded to Canon and Océ
Featuring one of the industry’s only 12-colour ink sets and an optional spectrophotometer that enables production of consistent and accurate colour output across all Canon imagePROGRAF iPFX400 devices, the 610-mm Canon imagePROGRAF iPF6450 has earned BLI’s Winter 2013 “Pick” award for “Outstanding Small Workgroup Colour Inkjet Graphics Wide Format Printer.” The model scored very high marks for both its colour and monochrome output, producing exceptional photographic images with sharp fine details, high densities and natural-looking flesh tones on satin and photo gloss media, even at the faster “Standard” driver quality setting. In addition, monochrome photographs exhibited smooth and neutral grey tones with no observable bronzing.
The Winter 2013 BLI “Pick” for “Outstanding Colour Technical Wide Format MFP” has been awarded to the 1,067-mm, four-colour Océ ColorWave 650 configured with Océ’s optional TC4 colour scanner. In addition to its flawless reliability performance, this highly versatile system, targeted toward mid-volume architectural and technical colour print, copy and scan applications, demonstrated a great many additional strengths during BLI’s lab evaluation. In its six-roll configuration—the highest capacity available in the industry—the printer accommodates an incomparable 4,160.5 square metres of roll media, which allows for considerably longer print runs than most devices, a noteworthy advantage for busy print shops. The scanner’s large and intuitive control panel enhances ease of use for scan and copy operations, while the unit’s “checkprint” setting enabled those operations to be performed not only easily but concurrently. Uncommon with many wide format scanners, the TC4 also enabled technicians to scan to multipage TIFF, PDF and PDF/A formats. Additionally, the ColorWave 650’s bidirectional Windows print driver scored high marks for its accurate monitoring of remaining supplies, as well as enabling users to create templates for frequently printed jobs.
4. Canon Wins BLI’s First Line of the Year Award for Energy Efficiency
The award was based on the energy consumption of current Canon models tested to date, including the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C2020H, imageRUNNER ADVANCE 4025, imageRUNNER ADVANCE C2030/C2030H, imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5035i, imageRUNNER 3245N, imageRUNNER ADVANCE 4051, imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5255, imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5051 and imageRUNNER ADVANCE 6075. Each device was compared against tested competitive models that are considered current in each manufacturer’s product line. Any devices that achieved an energy consumption rate more than 35% below the competitive average were eligible for the “Line” award. The tested energy consumption of Canon’s eligible devices ranged from 37% to as much as 62% below their competitive averages.