Wide-Format: A Bright Spot in Print

By Lynn Nannariello, assistant managing editor, and Joe Tischner, wide format test specialist, May 1, 2012

When BLI recently spoke to representatives from two major wide-format manufacturers—HP and Océ—about the state of the wide-format market, we found that, contrary to recent reports, not all news in the print industry is bad.

According to Sal Sheikh, vice president of marketing for Océ North America’s wide-format printing systems division, Océ’s wide-format devices cover two applications environments—technical documents and display graphics—both of which have seen significant growth. He attributed the company’s growth in the technical document sector to Xerox’s exit from the wide-format technical document market. After Xerox left the market in 2011, Océ expanded its distribution by establishing relationships with resellers who previously sold Xerox products and with Xerox customers. In the display graphics market, growth came from sales of the Océ Arizona product line, a portfolio that continued to expand in 2011.

Wide Format Printers Present Significant Innovation at drupa 2012

 By Joe Tischner, wide format test specialist, June 4, 2012

BLI editors had a chance to check out the latest offerings from a number of manufacturers in the wide-format arena represented across many of the halls at drupa 2012, the quadrennial print trade show that took place in early May in Düsseldorf, Germany. Enthusiastic product managers and sales reps eagerly discussed new ink colors, improvements in printhead design and the productivity enhancements of a great many newly-unveiled devices, as well as a few prototypes. BLI’s coverage primarily includes models in the 36- to 64-inch width range employing aqueous, latex or solvent inks, as well as two toner-based wide-format solutions.


Keen focus in Océ’s section of the Canon booth was on the Velocity, Océ’s high-volume color wide-format printer currently under development. The unit is the result of collaborative efforts between Océ engineering teams and Memjet, the printhead manufacturing company. According to Eelco Schillings, Océ business development manager, the 42-inch width four-color unit, which employs five Memjet printheads, is capable of printing up to 500 A0-size color documents in one hour at 1600-x-800-dpi. The Velocity supports up to six media rolls for a maximum output capacity of nearly 4,000 feet. Schillings stated that Océ will be offering beta-version models of the Velocity to existing customers in an effort to obtain critical feedback, and the company will determine if and when Velocity will move to the production phase based on that feedback, which they hope to have compiled by the second half of 2012. The recently-released Océ ColorWave 650, which utilizes the company’s CrystalPoint technology, was also busy churning out posters, maps and renderings during the show.

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