MetroMail to install first Océ ColorStream 3000Z in Europe as part of ambitious growth in digital print

LONDON, 02 MARCH 2015 – MetroMail, one of the UK’s leading mailing houses, has invested more than €8 million in Canon technology in a major overhaul of its digital production environment. The progressive mailing house, based in Seaham, Durham, has replaced its existing presses with a range of continuous feed, cut-sheet and multi-function devices from Canon as it seeks to strengthen its position in the direct mail and transactional print markets.

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As part of the transformation, MetroMail has become the first European installation site for the Océ ColorStream 3900Zs twin line continuous feed printer, part of the new CS3000Z range. The machine – which is integrated with a Hunkeler roll-to-cut sheet stacker and dynamic perforator – possesses a 33 per cent smaller footprint than the ColorStream 3900, but delivers the same high quality and productivity, meaning floor space can be maximised without compromising on business-critical efficiencies. 

Founded in 1988, and operating from a purpose built 43,000 square metre factory in the North East of England, MetroMail has invested over €17.5 million in capital equipment over the last eight years. 

“As a business we are not afraid to take on new challenges,” said Alan Purvis, Managing Director, MetroMail. “I firmly believe that if you do things the way you always have, you will only ever achieve mediocre results. We aspire to far more than that, and we believe our partnership with Canon is another step forward in our goal of becoming the most efficient and profitable business in our industry.” 

To complement the two Océ ColorStream 3900Z twin line machines, and with a view to capitalising on market demand for digital colour print and, importantly, more targeted and valuable print, MetroMail has selected a range of other Canon technologies including:

  • Continuous feed: 1 x Océ VarioStream 8760 with twin lines and roll-to-roll
  • Black and white cut sheet production: 4 x Océ VarioPrint 6320, 2 x Océ VarioPrint 6160 and 1 x Océ VarioPrint 6250
  • Colour cut sheet production: 2 x Canon imagePRESS C7011
  • Multi-function devices (MFD): 4 x Canon imageRUNNER 5250 
  • Software: Océ PRISMA architecture, including Trueproof software for pre-press, and MyMail Hybrid mail solution 


The drive behind MetroMail’s investment, explains Purvis, is more than just identifying the right equipment and workflow. It’s about finding a partner who shares the company vision and understands the culture and DNA of the business to help it move to the next level.

“Anyone can buy technology,” said Purvis. “But what makes the technology successful is the people behind it – from the supplier and installation teams to the everyday operators and support engineers. If you don’t have the right mix of people, the desired outcome is that much harder to reach. What led us to Canon was the level of engagement and understanding from every level of the business, from the sales team and consultants right up to the head of Canon’s Commercial Print Group.”

“With the speed, quality, production and investment costs of digital inkjet now at the right levels, it is the perfect time to take the next step to enhance our production processes and operate even more profitably,” said Purvis. “Moreover, the strength and flexibility of the PRISMA workflow will be an important factor in achieving enhanced efficiencies – complementing our own in-house-written MIS and workflow system.”  

“When we set out to transform our processes and gear up for further growth we didn’t simply draw up a shopping list of technologies to take to the market. We had a vision of where we wanted to take the business and left it to suppliers to demonstrate how we could achieve it with their arsenal of equipment. 

“Canon was streets ahead in its understanding of our business and has supported us unfalteringly. We were able to continue with ‘business as usual’ during the installation phase and firmly believe that everyone we have been dealing with at Canon not only shares the same vision for where MetroMail is heading as a business, but also shares the excitement. I don’t think we could ask for more in the grounding for such an important partnership,” he added.

Peter Wolff, European Director, Commercial Printing Business Group, Canon Europe, comments: “We’re thrilled that MetroMail has chosen to grow its business with Canon.  It is a huge project that clearly reflects what the modern forward-thinking print service provider wants from a supplier – a business partner who can supply an end to end solution, from technologies and services to support and business development.”

“MetroMail’s message of growth is clear and it is a privilege to be part of that journey.” 

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