Canon Shares More Details on its New MAXIFY Business-Inkjet Family

maxify lineup

December 9, 2014 – Back in September 2014, Canon U.S.A. introduced an interesting new business-inkjet lineup, called MAXIFY. Last week, Canon U.S.A. held a Webinair in which Canon executives provided more details on the new line, and where Canon will likely be heading with business inkjet.

According to Canon U.S.A.’s Michael Duffett, vice president and general manager of Inkjet Printer Marketing, the MAXIFY line is targeted at small- and home-office (SOHO) users, in particular at “print-heavy” customers in key vertical markets: construction and independent contractors; real-estate agents and brokers; professional services (particularly legal services); repair, maintenance, and personal services; retail services; healthcare services; and accommodation and food services.  Canon research shows that while office printing is generally gradually declining, these particular vertical segments still have significant print volumes, representing 70 percent of the top print-heavy SOHO market. In particular, Canon is targeting the small-business owner, seeking to attach to such customers, so, for instance, as these customers grow in size, they can also migrate to higher-volume Canon printing systems, such as Canon’s higher-volume imageRUNNER ADVANCE line of office MFPs.

Maxify_MB5050_mf_PR

The MAXIFY family currently consists of five color models: four All-in-Ones, and one standalone printer. All of the models support WiFi wireless connectivity and  Apple AirPrint mobile printing, and are Google Cloud Print Ready for mobile printing. The All-in-Ones provide print, copy, scan, and fax, and a 50-sheet automatic duplexing document feeder. There’s also new MAXIFY Printing Solutions: users are provided direct access to the cloud through MAXIFY Cloud Link from compatible mobile devices and tablets. MAXIFY Cloud Link enables documents and photos to be accessed and printed at any time from a compatible mobile device or tablet by connecting to popular document- and image-sharing sites such as Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Photobucket. The free MAXIFY Printing Solutions app is available at the App Store and at Google Play. It’s compatible with Apple iPad, iPhone 3GS or later, and iPod touch third-generation or later devices running iOS 5.1 or later, as well as with Android mobile devices running Android 2.3.3 or later.

For management, there’s local user authentication, and administrators can restrict user access to functions.

Canon MAXIFY Product Line-Up and Specifications

maxify spec chart

Key Areas of Improvement: Print Speed, First Page Out Time, and Copy Image Quality

Based on user feedback, Canon focused on three areas of improvement when designing the MAXIFY lineup:

  • Print speed: The MAXIFY lineup features what Canon calls a world’s first: overlapping paper-feed. With this feature, as the first sheet is being printed, the second sheet is already being overlapped, so that print speed is faster.
  • Copy image quality: According to Canon’s Michael Duffett, one of customers’ complaints about business-inkjet systems is that copy image quality isn’t good. To solve this, he says Canon borrowed technology from its office imageRUNNER MFP family to substantially improve copy quality.
  • Faster first print out times – First print out time is about 7 seconds, versus first print out times as slow as 90 seconds.

New Canon Dual Resistant High Density Pigment Ink

All of the models use Canon’s newly developed Dual Resistant High Density pigment ink, which Canon says provides superior water- and marker-resistance.  Canon’s Michael Duffett also notes that the new ink provides greater durability. For instance, Duffett says ink doesn’t flake off when printed pages are folded over. “We did a lot of work on ink to ensure scratch-and-fold resistance, (as) this is particularly important for customers,” explained Duffett. “We also improved the ink’s optical density.” (Improved optical density, in the case of black ink, results in darker black ink, and text that’s easier to read. In contrast, low optical density for black results in an undesirable gray cast and lighter text that’s harder to read.)

The MAXIFY systems use four black, cyan, magenta, and yellow ink cartridges. The high-yield XL black ink cartridge yields 2,500 pages, while each cyan, magenta, and yellow ink cartridge yields 1,400 pages.

 Flagship MAXIFY MB5320

The flagship MAXIFY MB5320 (23/15 ppm print speed)  is the highest-priced model in the series ($399.99 estimated selling price) and has the most advanced features, including maximum monthly volume of 30,000 pages; 500-sheet paper capacity with two trays, each with a 250-sheet paper capacity; and 50-sheet automatic document feeder. The flagship MB530’s 50-sheet automatic document feeder features single-pass scanning, as the scanner scans both sides of the original simultaneously for much faster duplexing productivity – a first for under $1,000 All-in-Ones. There’s also scan to email and network folder, and fax to folder.

Canon Research for MAXIFY

Before designing the MAXIFY family, Canon says it undertook extensive research to find out what SOHO customers are looking for in business inkjet. Some interesting findings include:

  • A universal perception that laser is superior to inkjet. This is a misconception in both our opinion and Canon’s opinion, as business-inkjet devices have made significant leaps forward in terms of print speed and image quality, and now offer very competitive – if not more competitive – Cost per Page and Total Cost of Ownership.
  • SOHO customers use both laser and inkjet in their offices for different purposes.
  • SOHO customers say scanning is very important.
  • Customer service is critical.
  • Unlike their corporate counterparts, most SOHO customers are not purchasing until the need arises.
  • Buying in store is as important as making a purchase online

CarePAK MAXIFY and CarePAK MAXIFY Priority Extended Service

One key criteria for SOHO users – who typically don’t have extensive in-house IT staff – is service and support, and in the United States, U.S.-based support. Canon says it’s addressed these concerns with  24/7-U.S. based service and support for U.S. MAXIFY customers. It’ll also be adding Spanish-language support, and recently bolstered its U.S. support services with a new support center located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

CarePAK MAXIFY extended-warranty plans also provide several “extras” to address the needs of SOHO users: a $10 print voucher that can be redeemed at a local print-for-pay shop, such as a FedEx store, in the event of product failure; hardware coverage of all mechanical and electrical parts; and free return shipping.

The Future for MAXIFY

This is only the beginning of the MAXIFY line. (Canon, by the way, will continue with its PIXMA color inkjet family, which will remained designed for home and creative applications). Canon’s Michael Duffett notes that with MAXIFY, “These are our first steps…we’ll continue to develop new products, including those for larger workgroups.” (The current MAXIFY line is intended for workgroups of from one to 20 users, with a target of one to nine users.)

For the MAXIFY family in the future, there’s likely to be a new cloud-based portal and an expansion of cloud-connectivity. Canon is also looking to work with partners to develop business-application workflows for MAXIFY. Over time, MAXIFY models will also likely support Mopria mobile-printing (Canon is one of the founding members of the Mopria non-profit alliance created to provide easier mobile printing).

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