Océ made its first entry in the copying market with blueprint paper, which in the 1920s was commonly used for the reproduction of line originals, such as tracings. The main users of blueprint paper were the design and engineering industries. After some scientific research a new process was developed which could produce a positive image (dark lines in a light background). This process, patented by Océ, became known as the semidry diazo (dyeline) process and captured the international market. For the next 70 years it remained the most commonly applied method for the reproduction of large size documents and drawings.
Only since the early 1990s have new technologies, such as plain paper copying, digital printing and plotting, been taking over the role of diazo in the engineering markets. The first large size plain paper copier was the Océ 7500 introduced in 1983. Hundreds were sold worldwide and there are some still operational in many countries including South Africa.
As a result of increasing automation and digitalisation in contemporary offices and engineering environments, Océ has increased its range of products and services through extensive research and development. Every year the Océ Group invests about 7% of its annual turnover (US$3 bn) in R&D.;
The products at a glance
The Océ 7050 family of analog wide format copiers have been designed to meet the need for low-cost engineering copying. Models range from the economic 7050 and 7051 manual units, right up to the 7056 with two paper rolls, multicopy feed and other productivity enhancing automated functions.
The 9300 LED digital printer/plotter is specially designed for productive and economic printing in AEC and CAD workgroups. Worldwide research estimates that up to 95% of engineering printing requirements are monochrome and will continue to be so for quite some time.
"The Océ 9300 price tag is comparable to most leading inkjet printers yet it offers significantly faster printing at two AOs per minute and operating costs of only a third of inkjet technology," says Luis Roldan, Business Unit Manager, Wide Format Printing Systems.
"The recently launched Océ TDS400 system offers true multifunctionality with copying, printing and scanning to file, with an amazing 600 dpi resolution for sharp lines," he continues. "The unit is aimed at small-to-medium-sized workgroups."
The Océ Power Logic Controller ensures efficient processing of almost all document types, whilst Océ Image Logic automatically enhances scanned images for high quality copying or scan to file. As the TDS400 scans to file it can also concurrently print a copy of the image. True scan to network can be accomplished for up to six remote pre-selected destinations at the touch of a button.
The flagship of the Océ range is the newly launched TDS800, its speed of 13 metres or 10 A0s per minute making it the fastest printer/plotter in the range. The TDS800 makes use of Océ's patented CopyPress technology for excellent image quality, which is maintained throughout its rated print load of up to 50 000 linear metres per month. The powerful controller allows for true multitasking, with spooling of files, processing, storing in set memory, viewing and printing occurring simultaneously. The TDS800 can also scan to file direct up to 12 intranet destinations, or via FTP to a remote destination. Complemented by a powerful folding and delivery unit, the TDS800 is one of the most productive high volume printer/copiers available.
The Océ 9600 is a versatile wide format multifunctional system for medium-to-large-sized companies, offering printing and copying to six on line media rolls at a speed of four AOs per minute, maintained irrespective of the workload. Scan to file or up to 10 remote network destinations is as simple as in the TDS400. It also has the unique ability to scan and save files directly in PDF format. The 9600, whilst scanning to file, can concurrently print from one to 999 copies of the scanned image automatically.
"A host of drivers for most popular applications, high-speed network interfaces that support all popular protocols, as well as remote communication tools make the 9600 a true workgroup printer," says Roldan. "An optional integrated online/offline folder with a variety of delivery options complements what could be described as the most productive printer of the Océ range.
"Products are as good as the company that supports them. When purchasing any printing equipment it is critical to ascertain that the vendor has the necessary infrastructure in place ie financial backing, trained personnel, comprehensive holding of spare parts and consumables, competence and a commitment to deliver satisfactory solutions to customers.
"Océ has built up a leading position on its markets worldwide by supplying products and services that are characterised by their high quality, reliability, productivity, durability, ease-of-use and environmental friendliness. We strive to build strong relationships with our customers and to become their business partners," he concludes.
(011) 249 4222