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Touchstone elevates Océ Arizona print to a new level

Océ Australia has launched its new Touchstone elevated printing technology for the Océ Arizona Series of large-format UV flatbed printers – and visitors to this month’s Visual Impact show in Sydney will be able to ‘see, touch and feel’ how it could help build their business.

 Garry Muratore, Product Manager – Graphic Arts for Océ Australia, says the new workflow software creates new high-value, high-margin products using what Océ terms ‘2.5D’ print.

“We’re all aware of the advantages of normal, 2D print and it’s been interesting to see the buzz around 3D in recent years, although the ability of print service providers to integrate those technologies profitably into their business has given it limited relevance for our industry,” says Muratore. 

“With Océ Touchstone, Arizona printers can take advantage of dimensional print in the form of commercially viable and profitable ‘2.5D’ applications, creating layered, textured prints that command significantly higher margins, without the need to invest in any additional hardware.”

Oce Touchstone samples
Océ Touchstone samples.

Citing recent research, Muratore says print buyers expect to pay a premium for tactile prints, creating genuine opportunities to add value and improve margins for print service providers who can find a cost-effective and efficient way to deliver.

“In any business, profitability is the key to success. Improving efficiency and reducing costs can help, but the real key is leveraging new technologies to establish a genuine competitive advantage. Touchstone provides the solution with a suite of new productivity tools that make it easy to achieve high quality, repeatable results with an exciting sensory dimension.”

Touchstone uses extensions to the Adobe toolset to allow designers to build dimensional features into print jobs at the design stage. “The design tools are free to use, but production does require Océ’s patented ALPS technology, which sits within the Onyx Thrive/ Océ Arizona ecosystem, speciality Océ IJC257 inks and, of course, an Océ Arizona printer,” says Muratore.

The system offers two categories of dimensional print: Alto provides opaque elevation plus colour in depths of up to 1mm, while Brila offers a lower profile up to 0.5mm, with colour and varnish, opening the door to applications like metallic effects, achieved by printing on reflective media like foil.

Océ’s ALPS technology ensures every pixel of the final ‘top layer’ – or image layer – is printed at the optimum height, exactly as if it were a 2D job, achieving outstanding quality with no softening of the image in valley.

The quality, versatility and tactile appeal of Touchstone prints makes it easy to appreciate how it could enhance a range of applications from wallpapers and interior products, short-run or personalised marketing, limited edition packaging, POP and signage, prototypes and moulds, according to Muratore.

“We think Touchstone will appeal particularly to PSPs with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset, who understand that creating a point of difference can really help them stay ahead of the game, and also to those who service ‘bespoke’ markets where print is only one component of the finished item.

“Importantly, Touchstone makes it easy for printers to achieve these dimensional enhancements, with straightforward, intuitive operation, simplified ‘real-world’ design dimensions and a high level of automation. There are no complex iterations required in the design phase and, in terms of production, it’s pretty much ‘set and forget’.”

Those keen to “feel the difference” will have the opportunity at Visual Impact, where Océ Australia will have an entire ‘Touchstone Wall’ on display on Stand D17. If you can’t be in Sydney, but still want a preview, you can contact your local Océ business development manager to book a demo. The company has also introduced trial licenses of up to 12 months for existing Arizona users who are keen to dip a toe in the dimensional print market.

Océ Australia