Océ Wins Two BLI PRO Awards for Monochrome Production Models
Hackensack, NJ, April 16, 2012 - Buyers Laboratory LLC (BLI), the leading independent authority in the document imaging industry, today announced the winners of its new PRO Awards honoring the best-in-class monochrome production print devices tested. Both awards in the monochrome arena went to Océ—for the VarioPrint 135 in the light- to mid-volume production category, and the VarioPrint 6320 Ultra in the high-volume production category.
“As the leading independent tester of hardware and software for the document imaging marketplace, BLI has unmatched expertise in evaluating production devices and the key aspects of their performance,” said David Sweetnam, head of European Research and Lab Services for BLI. “In the highly competitive and complex world of production print, choosing the most suitable device for your workflow is a tough task. BLI’s comprehensive production test suite makes the task easier by revealing how these devices actually perform in real-world workflows, which is often a far cry from what a vendor’s brochure might lead you to believe.”
BLI’s field evaluations entail three full days of intensive testing during which tens of thousands of impressions are printed—from 30,000 to more than 150,000, depending on the model. Devices are tested for productivity with coated and uncoated media in a wide range of weights and sizes and using various finishing options, simulating a wide variety of real-world job scenarios. BLI technicians evaluate image quality, including production of halftones, text and fine lines, plus density levels and variations in density, providing buyers with invaluable advice on best practices—pre-flight and in-flight—for achieving optimum output and productivity. BLI also assesses media-handling capabilities in terms of the paper sizes, weights and capacities supported; media catalog integration; and inline finishing support. In addition, the test includes an assessment of ease of use for setting up, submitting and managing jobs; loading paper and toner; switching out operator-replaceable consumables; and removing misfeeds.
BLI technicians have produced more than 22 million impressions—both in the lab and in the field—in the years since it began testing production devices and has learned what separates the best from the rest of the pack. It is the best in each category that BLI recognizes today with its inaugural PRO Awards.
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Océ VarioPrint 135
Outstanding Monochrome Light- to Mid-Volume Production Device
Océ, A Canon Group Company
Océ VarioPrint 6320 Ultra
Outstanding Monochrome High-Volume Production Device
Océ VarioPrint 135 Sets Image Quality Benchmark for its Class
Winner of the PRO Award for “Outstanding Monochrome Light- to Mid-Volume Production Device,” theOcé VarioPrint 135 gave a stellar performance in its intensive three-day test period during which 87,841 impressions were printed.
“The Océ VarioPrint 135 produced the best image quality in default settings of models tested to date, including smooth halftones and crisp text and fine lines,” said Sweetnam, commenting on the unit’s selection as a PRO Award winner. “In fact,” added Sweetnam, “in the two years since BLI began its field testing of production units the VarioPrint 135 is the first device to receive the rarely-awarded five-star rating for image quality, as well as for an unprecedented five out of six image quality sub-categories.”
Equally impressive are the unit’s paper-handling capabilities, with WYSIWYG loading for all trays and a seamlessly integrated media catalog, that make setting up custom media, switching between media, and managing changing media demands over the course of a day seamless and much less prone to error than with competing units. The device also offers excellent queue management capabilities, the same job scheduler screen display as on the Gemini series products, and a new WYSIWYG pre-flight job-ticket adjustment capability.
Capable of running 24-hour shifts with no downtime thanks to its multi-stacker tray design and uninterrupted paper and toner refill, the fully configured Océ VarioPrint 135 can run unattended for nearly three hours, producing 23,600 double-sided A4 impressions (2-up on A3) before requiring attention, which is significantly more than most competitors.
“The VarioPrint 135 delivers users a level of production efficiency, workflow intelligence and consistent quality output that is unmatched in the production printing marketplace today,” said Sam Yoshida, vice president and general manager of marketing, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. “We are happy to be recognized by BLI for our dedication to successfully deliver the next generation of monochrome digital presses without sacrificing performance and reliability.
Océ VarioPrint 6320 Ultra Allows Super-Fast Duplexing
Winner of BLI’s PRO Award for “Outstanding Monochrome High-Volume Production Device,” the Océ VarioPrint 6320 Ultra, which produced 163,802 impressions in its evaluation, is the latest in the series of production devices using Océ’s patented Gemini instant duplex printing technology, which involves imaging both sides of the paper at the same time using dual-imaging organic photoconductor belt and fuser modules. With advertised maximum throughput speeds of 157 impressions per minute in simplex mode and 314 impressions per minute in duplex mode, it’s also the fastest in the family.
“With its single-pass duplex system, the Océ VarioPrint 6320 Ultra not only achieves super-fast duplex speeds, but also has the simplest paper path of models in the marketplace,” noted Sweetnam. “Unlike with rival devices,” he explained, “there is no need for reverse direction clutches, flipping of sheets or reverse collation of tabs or inserts, all of which help minimize the impact of media size, weight and type on image registration and reliability and reduce the occurrence of operator errors.” The benefit of this simple paper path was demonstrated during BLI’s extensive 10-million-page test of the 250-ipm VarioPrint 6250—the 6320’s sister product—in which the unit proved to be highly reliable and not a single job from the wide array of complex production-class jobs was produced incorrectly.
“Ease of use and operator productivity are also key strengths of the Océ platform,” Sweetnam added, “with WYSIWYG media handling throughout, an excellent device control panel providing efficient job and queue management capabilities, and a unique scheduler function that allows operators to anticipate any need for intervention from across the print shop long before it will be required, helping to reduce device downtime.”
The unit’s very good output quality has a pleasing matte finish similar to that produced by offset/litho presses. What’s more, the Screenpoint tuning capability in the print driver adds a selection of custom brightness and contrast settings that give the operator more control over output appearance than with the previously tested VarioPrint 6250.
“We are extremely proud that the Océ VarioPrint® 6320 Ultra has received the coveted BLI PRO Award,” said Ap Stout, marketing director for document printing for Océ in the Netherlands. “Rather than simply putting two print engines together, Océ developed a real perfecting press. Both customer feedback and the BLI tests prove that this was the right decision, with high marks for the image registration accuracy, media flexibility, intrinsic printer reliability and low energy use of the system.”
About Buyers Laboratory LLC
Buyers Laboratory LLC (BLI) is the world's leading independent provider of analytical information and services to the digital imaging and document management industry. For over 50 years, buyers have relied on BLI to help them differentiate products’ strengths and weaknesses and make the best purchasing decisions, while industry sales, marketing and product professionals have turned to BLI for insightful competitive intelligence and valued guidance on product development, competitive positioning and sales channel and marketing support. Using BLI’s Web-based bliQ and Solutions Center services, 40,000 professionals worldwide create extensive side-by-side comparisons of hardware and software solutions for over 15,000 products globally, including comprehensive specifications and the performance results and ratings from BLI’s unparalleled Lab, Solutions and Environmental Test Reports, the result of months of hands-on evaluation in its US and UK labs. The services, also available via mobile devices, include a comprehensive library of BLI’s test reports, an image gallery, hard to find manufacturers’ literature and valuable tools for configuring products, calculating total cost of ownership (TCO) and annual power usage. BLI also offers consulting and private, for-hire testing services that help manufacturers develop and market better products and consumables.
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