Oc? recently unveiled a new range of high-productivity wide format print, copy and scan systems. AEC Magazine’s Consulting Editor, John Marchant reports from the launch event, held at Oc?’s headquarters in Venlo, The Netherlands.
Those of you old enough to remember the colour pen plotters of old will understand exactly why the majority of engineering drawings are still produced in monochrome. Fortunately, things have changed for the better. The latest generation of wide format colour plotters and scan/plot/print stations are now within the reach of all sizes of organisations and HP, KIP, Ricoh, Kyocera, Canon, Xerox and others are fighting hard for that business. This competition can only benefit you, the user. It is against this background that Oc? has launched a new range of high-productivity wide format print, copy and scan systems. From what I saw at Oc?’s 12th January new product launch, they will give the competition a run for their money.
Fastest colour plotter?
Pride-of-place went to the TCS500 wide format colour printing, copying and scanning system. This is claimed to have the fastest and most productive colour CAD plotter in the world. The TCS500 is capable of printing an A0 CAD line drawing in monochrome in only 40 seconds or printing it in colour in only 60 seconds. The system looks particularly useful in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) applications as GIS data files are often complex to process and can exceed 100MB in file size. The TCS500 achieves its high speed in part through the company’s Dynamic Switching Technology. DST detects the type of file being printed and adjusts the settings to optimise speed and quality and will even adjust the settings for different areas of the document during printing. The use of nine print heads – three monochrome and two for each colour – further assists the printer attain such a high speed. Targeted at small to medium AEC companies – around 100 staff and 10 CAD seats – the TCS500 will ship to UK customers by March.
The entry-level CS2044 (44” width) and CS2024 (24” width) should be of particular interest to small manufacturing and AEC organisations producing up to 1,500 m2 of CAD drawings and colour graphics a year. This range is equipped with a standard Windows driver and there are two optional RIPs for HPGL and PostScript processing and a full PANTONE colour library. Pre-set Oc? media profiles match the inks and media to the printer, saving the time and cost of test prints. I was particularly impressed by the speed of output and the readability of the drawings. Printing of architectural visualisations was good, too. Price details are to be confirmed but are expected to be in the ú3,500 to ú5,000 range. At this level, it may make sense to have this capability in house rather than outsourcing to the local copy shop.
The TDS450 wide format mono scan /copy/print system includes Oc?’s own 600 dpi colour scanner. This device employs a new single mirror, single camera optical system together with Direct Scan technology for uniform, stable, sharp and accurate images in mono and colour. This is reckoned to eliminate the risk of image distortion or misalignment by reducing the number of moving parts to a minimum. In addition, Oc?’s Image Logic technology ensures accurate reproduction of all kinds of originals, both black and white and colour, whether multitone images like illustrations and photos or CAD drawings with fine line details. The TDS450 is available as standard as a black and white printing system, with the option to expand the system with a full-colour scan-to-file capability.
Completing this round of new product announcements is the TDS320 mono scan/copy/print system. The system is aimed at workgroups in large companies and at smaller engineering and architectural firms that produce between 2,000 and 5,000 mono A0 plots a year. Oc? claims its Radiant Fusing Technology ensures excellent reproduction of fine details, sharp lines, smooth curves and high-level grey scales. Switching between media sizes is made simple with automatic switching between the two media rolls and the integrated Compact Output Stacker streamlines the delivery of printed documents.
John Marchant runs the SkilStream Partnership (www.skilstream.com)