Data Direct installs first Océ VarioPrint i300

Boutique digital print and mail-house Data Direct Australia (Data Direct) is installing the first Canon Océ VarioPrint i300 inkjet digital press in the country, saying it plans on disrupting the larger players on the market.

The Melbourne based printer believes the VarioPrint i300 fills the market gap for low-cost high quality short-run work in the transactional market place, with CEO, Nicolas Ficinus saying, “This investment is so that we can be a disrupter in the market. The quality is phenomenal and the ability to run the inkjet process on a one by one print basis is great, there is no minimum set.

“We are the only people in the southern hemisphere with this investment, and it is future-proof in that runs are getting smaller and smaller, and this press reflects that.”

Following a change of ownership last November, Data Direct is now a member of the family of independent companies which also includes offset powerhouse Mercedes Waratah and Data Direct Digital in Port Melbourne.

The new i300 is not the only investment the company has made, also spending on GMC’s software platform, a Customer Communications Management (CCM) system.

“It is a world class software platform that enables us to be as flexible and advanced as the largest plants on the market. It is the best tool for proper multi-channel marketing. The infinite flexibility in the software platform allows us to do anything, and the i300 forms the rest of our solution, complementing the short-run digital element of printing.

“We see ourselves not as a mail house or a print service provider, but as a multi-channel, or omni-channel, solutions provider. That requires us to have both ‘soft’ digital technology which will allow us to meet and manage the needs of a very dynamic and rapidly changing market, and the integrated physical production resources which will enable us to deliver.

“We are a boutique mailing house with big-boys toys now, so we are ready to disrupt.”

Ficinus has previous experience managing ABnote, and Leigh Mardon Australasia, having recently returned from a business sabbatical to lead Data Direct.

Peter Brittliff, senior manager, Canon Australia says, “The Océ VarioPrint i300 uses new iQuarius technologies allowing users to print on lower cost media, such as offset coated and uncoated stocks, to achieve a higher print quality to what has previously been seen with inkjet technology.

“A series of three paper input modules, high-capacity media drawers which carry up to 12 different stocks, and automatic, ‘on the fly’ printhead adjustment, allows the i300 to affect media changes effortlessly, and almost instantaneously, between and even during print runs.

“Above all, the i300 is extremely economical and highly productive – its sweet spot is for businesses producing between one and ten million impressions per month. It can address direct mail, publishing and general commercial print applications, and its high levels of automation and broad range of inline finishing options, with minimal need for further handling, delivers significant productivity improvements.”

The result, says Finicus, is a machine which ticks all the boxes.

“Every now and then you come across a technology which is truly game changing, and when I first saw this machine shortly after its international release in 2015, I remember thinking that this was one of those technologies,” he reflects.

“Fast forward a couple of years and, I’m in a new position, in a new company and have the opportunity to capitalise on the technology that impressed me back then – and I couldn’t be happier.”

While Data Direct is singing the praises of its i300 to clients, Ficinus might have a hard time keeping it to himself, as its sister companies say they are eager to take advantage of access to the press.

Mercedes Waratah COO, Brett Chalmers, admits he is already investigating the way they can leverage the unique benefits of the technology for its own customers.

“The strength of our family of companies is in our ability to offer truly independent operation, while sharing resources for the benefit of our combined customer base,” Chalmers explains. “Having access to the new i300 at Data Direct Australia gives Mercedes Waratah customers all the benefits of this powerful and flexible technology – we are almost as excited as they are.”

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