Océ business development chief visits to spruik digital newspaper advantage

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Océ has upped the speed of its top-of-the range JetStream inkjet webs to 200 metres/minute, news business development director for inkjet technology Robert Kockeis was happy to bring to Australian newspapers and other target customers during a week-long visit.

The company believes it has a ‘prime position’ in the high-volume inkjet market following its DRUPA launch into web-fed inkjet with the Miyakoshi-based JetStream. Its Digital Newspaper Network – typically based on slower, less capable systems at transpromo printers – already has Fairfax Media among its clients.

During a week-long visit, Kockeis spread the message that the move into inkjet in addition to toner-based technologies had changed the game: “The speed of take-up on the JetStream has propelled Océ to leader in high volume drop-on-demand inkjet technology, a position we have long held worldwide in continuous feed monochrome technology.”

He says that while many had seen the worldwide market for the press as limited to only 30 or 40 units, its appearance at DRUPA had created worldwide interest.

“We have just sold our 18th JetStream in less than a year and our first customer, Direct Group in the USA, has just bought a second.”

He says users are finding “new and novel uses for the technology, with Océ recently adding a fifth station capability to embrace MICR. In Slovakia, a transpromo company is printing mailing pieces and the envelopes that hold them in four colour, ready for offline merging, in a single print run. “They are printing huge volumes at offset prices, while the cost of the envelopes produced this way is less than the cost of standard envelopes, while colours used on both pieces obviously match perfectly,” he says.

In the UK, Polestar is producing 90 different forms for a customer with individualised variable data – saving preprinting and an additional run – while another customer is producing five different forms for a bank with 800 branches and involving up to 4000 variables.

Speed of the JetStream range varies from the 100 and 200 metres per minute with both simplex and duplex versions. Kockeis is upbeat about prospects for the system, which costs an average $4 million: “In our opinion web-fed inkjet is the way of the future. Potential purchasers in Australia are seeing this and looking at it as a press that can not only handle current capacity but can extend their ability into other areas.”
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