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Canon U.S.A. and EFI Strengthen Alliance, Tighten Focus on High-End Commercial Print Market.

CHICAGO -- Canon U.S.A., the market share leader in digital color printing systems(i), and EFI, the world leader in digital controllers, superwide format printers and inks, and print management solutions, today announced their strengthened strategic alliance specifically focused on the needs of commercial print customers. Joint efforts include: collaborated sales efforts leveraging the extensive knowledge and respective areas of expertise of EFI's and Canon's sales teams; expanded professional services to help commercial printers incorporate EFI/Canon solutions into existing workflows; and create customized hybrid offset/digital environments that enable commercial printers to meet their customers' demands.

"In order for commercial printers to fully enjoy digital color printing at profitable operation, workflow integration will be key for success. To provide much faster turnaround time and value added operation to our customers, EFI is a great partner for us. EFI's broader high-end color production solutions, such as Fiery(TM) servers, including the Production Printing Package, the JDF Connector, Digital StoreFront(TM), and Print Management Information Systems (MIS) technology, will guide commercial printers to much more profitable operation by integrating them with Canon's new high-end color production engine, the imagePRESS C7000VP," said Sam Yoshida, director and general manager, Product Marketing, Imaging Systems Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon is leveraging EFI's deep commercial print technology knowledge both in the development of the imagePRESS servers as well as the integration into those commercial print workflows. As the world's largest supplier of Print MIS solutions, EFI is expert in industry-specific data collection, costing, estimating, job ticketing and accounting functionality. Combining the MIS solution with industry-proven Fiery production color technologies, Digital Store Front web-to-print platform, and the JDF Connector has made EFI the leading digital workflow solution provider in the commercial printing industry.

Powerful Fiery options optimize the full capabilities of the new imagePRESS Digital Printing Systems to address the 'extreme' needs of Canon customers in commercial print environments and immediately integrate into their high-end workflow systems: the Fiery Production Printing Package option helps ensure the fastest output in the most demanding print production; and a high-end graphic arts Fiery option enables graphic arts professionals to produce the highest quality color from their Canon imagePRESS systems. Via EFI's JDF Connector, Fiery-driven Canon engines integrate with EFI Print MIS Solutions and prepress solutions, providing commercial printers with a more accurate, more efficient production workflow - from capturing the designer's original intent to real-time estimating, accounting and billing, to producing brilliant digital output.

"With as much as 90 percent of printing costs being associated with the processes involved in commercial printing, identifying where enhancements can be made to production processes can equate to major savings - in both time and money - for our customers and potential customers," said Mehran Farimani, senior vice president and general manager, Fiery Products, EFI. "We're meeting with customers jointly with Canon to ensure that we're delivering solutions to help commercial printers capitalize on new revenue stream opportunities and increase profitability. Extending the long-standing, successful EFI-Canon collaboration means that customers will benefit from the powerful combination of the Canon digital color quality in a production engine and state-of-the-art Fiery technology, its seamless integration with EFI Print MIS solutions and on demand workflow, and connectivity to prepress application to increase productivity and profitability, and grow their print business."

Canon offers the Fiery-driven imagePRESS Server A3000 and imagePRESS A2000 server options for its imagePRESS C7000VP digital press, which is expected to deliver consistent print speed at 70 pages-per-minute (ppm) for letter-sized output in both color and black-and-white. The imagePRESS C7000VP will maintain the various rated engine speeds for Letter, Ledger, 12-inches X 18-inches, 13-inches X 19.2-inches media sizes regardless of media weight or coverage. Using new toner technology from Canon, the digital press will print consistent color at resolutions up to 1200 dpi. The company's new finer grain toner coupled with the elimination of fusing oil results in the "look and feel" of offset printing. Along with the new toner, a new advanced-fusing technology allows for Gloss Optimization, a technology that helps match the gloss of the toner to the gloss of the paper. The effect is spectacular output that challenges the quality from offset.

The Canon-EFI relationship will be prominently featured in the Canon GRAPH EXPO booth (#1253), with an integrated JDF workflow that highlights alliances with third-party prepress workflow providers and includes the Canon imagePRESS C7000VP driven by the imagePRESS Server A3000 (a collaboration between EFI and Canon Inc.), integrated with: EFI Balance(TM) , EFI's production color and black-and-white production management and sophisticated make-ready solution; Digital StoreFront, EFI's web-to-print platform that provides a customer onramp into the commercial printer's digital production workflow and the printer's business management tools; and EFI Logic SQL, which combines end-to-end integration of the print production process with a powerful set of data collection tools with applications covering every business function form estimating to billing, order entry to shipping, purchasing, inventory control, finished goods, accounting and more.

About EFI

EFI (Nasdaq:EFII) (www.efi.com) is the world leader in digital controllers, superwide format printers and inks, and commercial and enterprise print management solutions. EFI's award-winning solutions, integrated from creation to print, deliver increased performance, cost savings and productivity. The company's robust product portfolio includes Fiery color print servers; superwide digital inkjet printers, UV and solvent inks; print production workflow and management information software; and corporate printing solutions. EFI maintains 23 offices worldwide.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. The Company is listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America and is rated #35 on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent holder of technology, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2005, with global revenues of $31.8 billion. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

(i) Source - Gartner Dataquest, May 2006
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 15, 2006
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