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By admin / January 16, 2019

Wide Format Technology Update- The Canon TX Series printers and MFP Systems

About a year ago, Canon USA released their new TX Series of Wide Format inkjet printers and MFP Systems.  Canon has positioned the TX Series as a higher volume solution to capture opportunities on the production side of the aqueous inkjet technical documents market.  There are two basic TX Series models available, the TX 3000 and TX 4000. The difference in these models is their supported print width, the 3000 being a 36” printer and the 4000 is a 44” printer.  Both TX printers are single roll units with the option of a second roll that is easily field upgradable.  In addition, Canon also launched their new T36 scanner with these units for configuration as a full MFP unit.  So, the result is a very flexible configurable higher volume lineup of 8 printer and MFP models.  Fully loaded, the two-roll 4000 MFP unit lists at $9,495.

Canon designed these models to fit a variety of technical print markets including standard architecture, engineering, construction and something they are calling “office document enlargements”. I believe this last item is the ability for departmental workgroups to use the supplied MS Office plug-in to produce large format timelines, PPT presentations and Excel graphs and spreadsheets.  For ease of understanding lets just call the “office document enlargement market” (where do they come up with these terms?)  what it really is…and that would be POSTER PRINTING.

So, the product was launched with great fanfare and special incentives a year ago. Sales went well, despite limited inventory, but over the last six months we have seen a very interesting trend emerge with the imagePROGRAF TX Series.  Sales of the product to corporate America are increasing month over month and quarter over quarter.  What is the reason you may ask???  Well for starters, there is virtually nothing to not like about this product, it’s got everything you would expect plus much more.  I won’t bore you with a full list but some of the more outstanding features of the TX Series include:

  • Fast print speeds – up to 3 D-size prints per minute.
  • Increased print quality – new Canon high density, high precision print head design with over 15,000 nozzles (Canon’s head technology is by far superior to anything in the market) lays down 5 picoliter-size ink droplets at 2400 x 1200 dpi.  
  • Optional second roll unit for up to 3,900 sq. feet of uninterrupted printing. The roll units can also double as a take up reel.
  • Automatic media loading- The printer detects the roll and automatically feeds it through.  No manual feed required.
  • Direct USB thumb drive printing.
  • Enhanced security features including a self-encrypting hard disk and secure disk and file erase.
  • TX Series stacker- increased flexibility and document handling with mixed sized prints up to 100 sheets.

I could go on and on but for a sub 10k price point, the Canon TX Series includes features that may not be available in units twice their price.  There are several other key features that have emerged as the true drivers behind the growing success of the TX Series and they are ….

Reliability- Canon tried something new with the TX Series and that was to offer the product with a 90-day warranty instead of the standard one- year.  This move was based on requests from the reseller channel to allow the service and support revenue stream to begin earlier in the life cycle of the product allowing them to capture revenue faster.  Now this only works if the product is reliable and what we are seeing in the field has shattered expectations.  The TX is truly exceeding the metrics provided by the manufacturer. We know of placements doing 10-20k per month without a problem. 

New LUCIA TD Pigment Ink Set- The TX series features a pigment-based ink set which produces fine text and lines on both inkjet and non-inkjet plain paper.  The addition of the new LUCIA water resistant pigment-based set opens more usage for the option to print posters, maps, signs and displays. This capitalizes on the trend that the technical print market is experiencing which is the cross-over from standard black and white technical prints to graphic arts or poster printing.

Canon software suite- Newly developed for the TX Series are a series of industry leading software utilities designed to help the users print, a trend Canon calls an “investment in the simplification of printing”.  The included software suite includes Free Layout Plus, Poster Artist Lite, Direct Print & Share, Accounting manager, Unified print drivers, AutoCAD optimized print driver, Print Plug-in for MS Office, Apple AirPrint etc.  A space limitation keeps me from a full explanation of each of these utilities but please take a few moments to peruse Canon.com and enter any of the above names into the search field. Or click this link for a software suite list: https://cloud.azon.com/index.php/s/wYfgmx4gcRF2yXY.

Summary- Whether you are currently invested in wide format sales and support, or just beginning the process, the Canon TX Series is a product worthy of very strong consideration. From the excellent print quality to the ease of service, the high-quality scan/copy/print, low cost of operation, poster printing, media offerings, pigment ink, and included software utilities the TX Series is the first truly hybrid printer designed to help you capture the move from B/W technical to Color technical, poster printing and beyond.

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