|Founder||Lodewijk van der Grinten|
|Anton Schaaf (CEO), Peter Elverding (Chairman of the supervisory board)|
|Products||Printers, scanners, plotters, copiers, printing software, consulting services|
|Revenue||€780 million (2015)|
|-€16.0 million (2015)|
Number of employees
|3,900 (FTE, 2015)|
Océ, a Canon company, is a Netherlands-based company that develops, manufactures and sells printing and copying hardware and related software. The offering includes office printing and copying systems; production printers and wide format printing systems for both technical documentation and color display graphics. The company was founded in 1877. With headquarters in Venlo, the Netherlands, Océ is active in over 100 countries and employs more than 20,000 people worldwide.
The company has research and development and production facilities in the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Germany, France, Japan, the Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary and the United States.
In 2010 Océ was acquired by Canon Inc. of Japan.
Océ started in 1877 as a family business manufacturing machines for coloring butter and margarine. The company’s founder, chemist Lodewijk van der Grinten, supplied this coloring to farmers and then this was supplied to the margarine factories of Jurgens and Van den Bergh. In 1930, the margarine factories of Jurgens and Van den Bergh and the English Lever Brothers merged to become Unilever. From 1877 to 1972, Unilever used only the coloring produced by the Venlo factory in its margarine.
In 1919 the grandson of Lodewijk, Louis van der Grinten, became interested in the blueprint process used for producing wide-format technical drawings. At that time, blueprint paper was extremely light-sensitive, and had a very short shelf life. Louis invented a coating that made blueprint paper last up to a year. This is considered the company’s first step into providing document solutions.
- 1919: Louis van der Grinten conducted research into blueprint materials and entered the copier market. The breakthrough was the development of a paper superior to the former light-sensitive coated blueprint paper that had short shelf lives.
- 1927: Louis van der Grinten invents an ammonia-free, diazo-copying process for technical drawings. In contrast to the earlier paper, the new paper had no so-called azo components. To emphasize this user-friendly aspect compared with the competitors, Van der Grinten called the paper O.C. (Ohne Componente).
- 1927: Because the local stock exchange required three letter abbreviations, the company was renamed in 1927 as Océ, based on the initials O.C. for "Ohne Componente" (without components).[clarification needed]This product name became the brand name and was registered as a trademark in 1930.
- 1930s: Introduction of the "Combine", a machine that combines two functions of the copying process – developing and drying. Before the development of the Combine, two separated machines were needed for copying: an exposure machine and a developer.
- 1956: Jan van Susante was the first person from outside the Van der Grinten family who joined the Océ board in 1956. He took Océ onto the Stock Exchange and ensured further expansion with acquisitions throughout Europe.
- 1957: Andeno was set up. This company was a 100 percent Océ subsidiary and developed diazo chemicals for Océ, but also chemicals for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. In later times, Océ’s interest in Diazo disappeared and Océ sold the company to the Dutch chemical concern DSM in 1986.
- 1958: The first foreign operating company was opened in Germany, Müllheim. In 1964, the enterprise took over the activities of its Belgian licensee Jobé. This was followed by acquisitions in Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Italy and France. As a result, Océ set up operating companies in all these countries.
- 1966: Océ 4800 automat was launched. This high-speed machine gave Océ access to a new segment of the office market. The equipment produced 4,800 A4 copies per hour and could be used by shipping agents and forwarders, that had to copy numerous import and export documents in a short time.
- 1966: The acquisition of company ‘Photasia’ increased the size of the group by roughly 60 percent. In relative terms, this was one of the two largest acquisitions in Océ's history.
- 1967: The company entered the office printing market with an electro-photographic process for copying documents using special, chemically-treated paper. It also started up a factory to build its own equipment.
- 1969: Switch from electrofax technology to electro photographic technology for office market.
- 1970: The company changed ‘Océ-van der Grinten N.V.'.
- 1973: Launch of the Océ 1700, the first plain paper copier. Instead of a drum, the Océ 1700 used a zigzag folded, endless master belt. The so-called 'copy press' technology in this machine, differs from true xerographic reproduction in that it does not use developer, utilizes fewer electro-static charges in the printing engine, maintains a lower fusing temperature, and supposedly minimizes ozone emission. Soon after, the company also developed an application for wide-format printing.
- 1978: Acquisition of UK-based Ozalid Group Holdings Ltd., developer of the Ozalid process of reproduction, and Océ’s biggest rival in the diazo printing market. With this acquisition of a company almost the size of Océ, Océ became the world leader in printing products for the engineering market.
- 1984: Launch of first large format copier.
- 1990: Start of recovery activities for parts of machines within an assembly department in Venlo. Components were removed and installed in other machines, after the parts were thoroughly cleaned.
- 1991: Acquisition of AM International's Bruning Division of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Bruning was a wide format (engineering graphics) competitor based in the United States where Océ had been making footholds with its own similar equipment. Bruning employees were retained and eventually trained on Océ equipment. For short transition period, both the Océ and Bruning names appeared on machine nameplates, eventually being changed to Océ-USA.
- 1994: Introduction of Océ Image Logic©,. a system that scans and converts hard copy information into a digital format.
- 1996: Acquisition of Siemens-Nixdorf continuous feed printing division in Poing, near Munich – Germany.
- 1997: Company name changed into 'Océ N.V.'
- 2003: The first Océ Arizona UV flatbed printer.
- 2005: Acquisition of U.S.-based Imagistics International, Inc., a reseller of office copiers and multifunctionals. Océ made its largest transaction to date when it acquired Imagistics International Inc., formerly Pitney Bowes Office Systems (PBOS), an organization specializing in direct-sales of faxes and copiers. In late 2006, Imagistics became the Oce Digital Document Solutions (DDS) division, and later, the Document Printing Systems division. Based out of Trumbull, Connecticut, this division focuses on providing photocopiers, fax machines and associated document management software for companies of all sizes. Its North American operation currently makes up a significant portion of Océ's annual sales revenue.Page text.
- 2006': The first cutsheet printer to feature Océ Gemini Instant Duplex technology was introduced. With the help of this technology, it is possible to print simultaneously both sides of a sheet while maintaining 100% accurate registration and offset-like quality.
- 2007: Celebration of 130 years of being in business with a symposium in Venlo, the Netherlands, where the company’s main headquarters is situated. The company’s business partners congratulated the company with an advertisement in the American business paper, the Wall Street Journal.
- 2008: Introduction of the Océ CrystalPoint technology. The Océ CrystalPoint process converts color Océ TonerPearls™ toner into a gel. This toner-gel is then jetted and crystallized onto any type of paper, producing crisp, waterfast high quality images with extremely accurate dot placement.
- 2009: Canon and Océ announced on 16 November 2009 that they had reached a conditional agreement to combine their printing activities through a fully self-funded, public cash offer by Canon for all the shares of Océ. Canon and Océ together have the goal of creating the largest digital-printing presence in the industry. The combined history of the two firms encompasses global-scale operations, extensive research innovations, and well-regarded client servicing. On 4 March 2010 the offer was declared unconditional and Océ and Canon joined forces.
Products and organization
Océ has three Strategic Business Units: Digital Document Systems (small format), Wide Format Printing Systems (wide format) and Océ Business Services.
Small format (up to A3 size)
- Cutsheet equipment that can be used by all kind of organizations to print documents such as presentations, letters and reports which are printed as part of the daily office practice. Examples of Océ cutsheet printers are the Océ VarioPrint 6000 series and the Océ CS 1x3 series.
- Printing devices to print large quantities of transaction statements (e.g. invoices, bank statements) marketing material, books and newspapers. Within this segment there are two different types: (1)High-volume cutsheet equipment that prints on separate sheets like the Océ VarioPrint 6000 series and the Océ CS665; (2) Continuous feed equipment that prints on rolls of paper like the Océ ColorStream series and the Océ JetStream series.
Wide format (larger than A3 size)
- Equipment printing mainly on paper can be used to print technical documents. The target group of these printers (Océ PlotWave 300 and the Océ ColorWave 600) are for instance architects, engineering offices, construction companies, telecom and utilities businesses.
- Equipment printing on many different media such as paper, vinyl, textile, glass and tiles. Think about output like full-color advertising material and signage. This output can be interesting to organizations that print signage materials and organizations that print wide format advertising material for their customers (print-for-pay) or for own use (print-for-use). Examples of printers in this segment are the Océ Arizona series; Océ CS 9xxx series and Océ ColorWave 600.
These operational services can be divided into three different activities. At first there are the basic document services such as mail and print room management, scanning, archiving and desk top publishing services. Furthermore, there are value added services such as printer fleet management, digital mailroom, printing-on-demand, creative services and document management in litigations. At last document process outsourcing such as insurance policy process management can be offered.
Acquisitions and collaborations/partnerships
Over the last few decades, Océ has made numerous acquisitions.
- In 1978, Océ acquired UK-based Ozalid Group Holdings Ltd., developer of the Ozalid process of reproduction, and Océ’s biggest rival in the diazo printing market. With this acquisition of a company almost the size of Océ, Océ became the world leader in printing products for the engineering market.
- In 1989, it bought the plotter business of French company Schlumberger. With this acquisition, important developments in colour printing, both for wide and narrow format, occurred for Océ.
- In 1990 Océ bought the US based Bruning Company. Bruning was at that time the largest supplier of blueprinting equipment and paper in the USA. Bruning became the core of what is nowadays Océ-USA.
- In 1995, the company entered the very high speed, high volume printing market when it acquired Siemens’ High Performance Printing Division of German computer company Siemens-Nixdorf. This division manufactures printers capable of producing over 1000 prints a minute. The applications are documents like telephone bills and bank statements. Also at this time, the Océ company started to bring digital printers/copiers to market.
- In 1998 Océ acquired Cleveland, Ohio based Groupware Technology, a software company specializing in Electronic Document Management software to form Oce Groupware Technology. 
- In 2000 Océ acquired Espace Graphique, a French distributor of large-format display graphics equipment.
- In 2001, it acquired the Professional Imaging Division of Swiss-based Gretag Imaging Group, Inc., a maker of large-format display printing equipment.
- In 2005, it bought US-based Imagistics International, Inc., a reseller of office copiers and multifunctionals. Océ made its largest transaction to date when it acquired Imagistics International Inc., formerly Pitney Bowes Office Systems (PBOS), an organization specializing in direct-sales of faxes and copiers. In late 2006, Imagistics became the Oce Digital Document Solutions (DDS) division, and later, the Document Printing Systems division. Based in Trumbull, Connecticut, this division focuses on providing photocopiers, fax machines and associated document management software for companies of all sizes. Its North American operation currently makes up a significant portion of Océ's annual sales revenue.
- In 2006, it bought US-based CaseData, a leading provider of electronic discovery and litigation support services to US law firms and corporations.
- In 2007, Océ formed a partnership with Fujifilm, which will sell an OEM version of the Océ Arizona 250 GT flatbed printer in Japan.
- In 2007, the partnership between Océ and Prism Software Corporation expanded.
- In 2007, Océ and Videk were reported to announce a new collaboration to “bring state-of-the-art verification systems” to transaction document printing.
- In 2008, Océ and Konica Minolta entered a "basic partnership" agreement, covering technology exchange and a shared sales program.
- In 2009, Canon and Océ announced that they had reached conditional agreement to combine their printing activities through a fully self-funded, public cash offer by Canon for all the Shares of Océ. On 9 March 2010 the offer was declared unconditional and Océ and Canon joined forces.
- Chamber of Commerce – Océ Financial Statements, Retrieved on 21 March 2017.
- Océ Careers – About Océ, Retrieved on 16 March 2017.
- Lexdon Business Library. 'Océ Business Services to Acquire CaseData Inc., E-Discovery and Litigation Support Pioneer', 6 October 2006. Retrieved on 18 March 2007.
- Jan van der Velden. Océ – Innovative by Nature. Pictures Publishers. ISBN 978-90-73187-60-3.
- Océ history timeline Archived 2014-12-09 at the Wayback Machine., Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
- Océ Sustainability Prémia Class, Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
- Image Logic©, Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
- "Océ Arizona T220 Flatbed Ink Jet Printer Wins Two DIMA Awards". PR Newswire Association LLC. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "Canon's Océ Arizona Series Wins Three SGIA 2014 "Product of the Year" Awards". GlobeNewswire. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Helmut Hetzel, Börsen-Zeitung newspaper, Frankfurt. ‘Wir bauen den Mercedes unter den Printern’ (‘We build the Mercedes of the printer world’), 19 July 2006.
- The Investors Advisor (‘De Beleggers Adviseur’ in Dutch). 'Océ announces actions to capitalize on the opportunities provided by the Imagistics', 1 December 2005. Retrieved on 18 March 2007.
- Acquisition Imagistics, Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
- Océ Gemini Instant Duplex Technology, Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
- Output Links. 'Océ 130 Year Jubilee', 30 October 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
- Link text, Océ CrystalPoint technology.
- CANON AND OCÉ TO CREATE GLOBAL LEADER IN PRINTING INDUSTRY, Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
- "Océ acquires Gretag Professional Imaging Division". OutputLinks Communications Group. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- Reuters. ‘Fujifilm to enter commercial ink jet printer market’, 6 April 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
- Printingtalk.com ‘Océ and Fujifilm deal promotes UV flatbed printer’, 5 April 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
- Recharger Magazine. ‘Océ to resell Prism Software products’, 7 August 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
- BERTL. 'Océ and Videk join forces to provide inline total document quality and security monitoring', 1 November 2007. Retrieved on 1 December 2007.
- Konica Minolta News Release 'Konica Minolta Enters into Basic Partnership Agreement with Oce', 14 January 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2008.