By providing printing services based on a “cyber-physical” approach that integrates
hardware and software components, Canon is helping customers to realize advanced,
efficient operations and save labor in an age of digital transformation (DX).
Competitive advantages of the
- Ownership of electrophotography and
inkjet technologies for digital printing
- Breadth of product range, from
consumer products to equipment for
office and commercial printing;
globally developed sales and customer
- Mass production capabilities for
standard and high-performance
printers that constitute many parts,
based on organized intra-Group
collaboration and ability to make
production machinery in-house
Basic Rationale on Value Creation
Printing has been an integral part of people’s lives
and societal development. Printing is essential to
cultured living beyond the basic needs such as
clothing, food and shelter; today, it would be difficult
to achieve economic development, cultural inheritance
and scientific progress without print. Printers are
necessities in use throughout the world.
Advances in IT are driving the shift to paperless
offices, and the use of digital displays over printed
paper is expected to continue going forward. Canon,
however, sees social value in printing because it
helps people collaborate more efficiently and be
creative, supports deep thinking, and can simply be
fun to have. We will continue to create products
that deliver such value.
Canon’s history is closely tied to the evolution of
copiers and printers. We developed electrophotography
and inkjet printing technology from scratch, and
have succeeded in helping to foster the global,
widespread use of copying and printing. We have
continued to create new value with the incorporation
of new technologies to meet the changing needs of
the time. For example, during the shift to digital
over the past 20 years, we have brought new benefit
by leveraging digital technology to enable instant
reproduction and distribution of data.
The society of the future is likely to be based on
cloud computing as ICT continues to evolve.
Developing on-demand printing services that take
advantage of such infrastructure, Canon’s aim is to
provide on-demand printing of user-designated
contents. The keys to realizing this will be print
security and contents-on-demand technologies.
Our products will become more “advanced and usercentric”
and will have functional simplicity, stability
and ease of use combined in one package, while also
having the ability to access a range of services in a
connected environment. Remote access to systems
and software turns devices into cyber-physical systems
in which the hardware and software are integrated.
Canon hopes to serve our customers in the areas of
efficiency and reduction of labor by providing digital
printing services based on such systems.
Canon’s value creation and other activities in this
field contribute mainly to the achievement of SDG 9
(Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
Phase V Review
The three businesses targeting the consumer, office
and commercial printing markets (which includes
inkjet printers, multifunction printers and production
printers) were integrated into a single digital printing
business. This allowed us to rapidly assess any
printing-related opportunities and risks based on
centralized information, and to formulate a
comprehensive strategy for the next-generation
printing market. The revised set-up also supported
new business development.
We expanded the product line-up with models for
commercial printing, including continuous feed digital
presses for the graphic arts market. In terms of office
equipment, we developed the imageRUNNER
ADVANCE Gen3 series with color-shift and integrated
In 2020, lockdown in response to the pandemic
forced many people to working from home, which
significantly depressed the demand for office
equipment. However, demand has since recovered as
economies re-opened. Meanwhile the sales of homeoffice
printers and consumables rose sharply.
Integration of the three businesses enabled us to
respond quickly to such developments.
Business Strategy in Phase VI
- Demand for new printing/document solutions brought
about by advances in IT
- Need for new printing services that cater to diverse
work styles such as remote work
- Growth of digital printing markets in commercial and
industrial printing sectors
- Delay in development of digital services that meet the
- Acceleration of declining office print volume trend due
to impact of COVID-19 pandemic
In digital commercial printing, an area expected to
grow, we will harness the collective resources of the
Canon Group to create new products offering high
image quality, productivity and reliability. We will also
focus on accommodating an expanded range of print
media, notably the printing of labels and packages.
Based on this approach, Canon aims to provide a
range of hardware that can address all types of
printing: those done at homes and offices, commercial
and industrial printing and prints made in vertical
markets. Canon will also offer print systems that can
deliver cloud-based on-demand printing services to
the home and office, commercial and industrial
facilities, and commercial/industrial print providers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown an
impact on customer workflows; the capability to print
was not necessarily available to all working in
different environments prior to COVID. We are
focused on providing new solutions for the Digital
Transformation (DX) era based on the print
management technology we have developed for
office environments. We see this approach will lead to
higher earnings as well.
In emerging markets, instead of going through a
gradual development process, things can skip or jump
to the next phase, bringing a whole new set of needs
and demands. We aim to expand our business by first
conducting detailed research on each national and
regional market to determine the precise needs.
We are also looking for new business possibilities
such as applying thermal inkjet technology to other
industrial sectors. We are also committed to the
environment, and based on various technological
innovations related to sustainability we have developed
to date, we intend to invest more for this cause.