Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MFP Industry Updates for 9/29/08


The following is a quick review of copier/MFP industry news from industry publications.

Getting college professors to go “green” is a challenge, according to Dr. Sam Levy, Vice President of Information Resources & Technology at University of St. Thomas, MN. Apparently, many professors still judge their students essay paper by the number of sheets of paper they turn in, rather than the amount of pages that are typed. In other words, some are forcing students to print single sided, instead of duplexed, thus wasting paper and energy.

Ricoh fired its Senior Vice President of printing solutions, Ann Moser. She joined the company in 2001, and implemented a managed services program, as well as launched several new desktop models. Under her tenure, she increased the amount of dealers carrying Ricoh printers by 30%, and increased Ricoh’s market share. Ms. Moser also won numerous awards, such as:

  • Everything Channel’s Chief

  • Everything Channel Most Powerful Woman of the Channel
Ricoh announced it will spend a huge sum on advertising for its new Aficio PRO C900 production color device. The slogan it will use is “Think Production. Think Ricoh”. This will include advertising that customers can service this product themselves, using TCRU technology (trained customer replaceable units)

Information Week magazine announced it placed Ricoh on its Top 500 list for users of information technology. Ricoh won the recognition when it successfully implemented wireless dispatch systems to its 1,800 technicians in the U.S. that work for its branches.

Pitney Bowes had a court throw out a lawsuit filed against it by Ricoh. The copier maker made the claim that Pitney Bowes had infringed on 5 patents it had related to mailing systems. The U.S. Court of Appeals found that the patents did not apply. (Was Ricoh going to use the money it hoped to win from PB to help pay for IKON?)

Oce’ introduced a new desktop color laser MFP, called the cx2100 offering:

  • Not made by Oce’, actual manufacturer unknown

  • 17ppm color
  • 21ppm b/w

  • 4 tandem OPC drum designo A4 model, meaning letter/legal size paper only Copy/scan/fax/print

  • Optional extended warranties do not include supplies
Contex of Denmark, maker of large format scanners (usually bundled with a large format color inkjet printer) announced it has purchased one of its distributors in the U.S. Ideal Scanners & Systems of the U.S., will be folded into Contex, and the company will now use only Tekgraf to distribute its products to dealers.

MWAi’s CEO, Mike Stramaglio, announced expansion in a recent interview:

  • is now a premier partner with Sharp, meaning its technology can be embedded into Sharp MFPs.

  • provides remote asset management and remote service solutions.

  • Ramiro Trevino is Senior VP of Engineering and Engineering Engagements.

  • Opened an office in Tokyo, Japan to be closer to copier makers.

  • Also opened office in the Netherlands for more global reach.

  • Is considering making acquisitions to expand business.

  • Is dismissing rumors that ECi (provider of OMD, Lacross & NextGen software for copier dealers) is considering buying the company.

  • Claims that it helped a dealer on the East Coast win a 10,000 unit bid.
In an effort to grow its business in Europe, Samsung hired an HP executive, Graham Long, and made him Director of European MFP & Printer Sales. Mr. Long has built a team of 43, by hiring from other vendors like Canon, Xerox, Lexmark & Epson. The company hopes to grow its business 52%.

The first duplicator was invented in the late 19th century by David Gestetner. His technology used wax paper as a master, where a stylus broke through the paper, and ink seeped through the paper to create the image. Current duplicator technology was modernized by Riso, Inc. in the 1980s. Gestetner Corp. also got into the copier business, and was later acquired by Ricoh Corp.

Canon won the latest round of a legal battle in its tussle with a Texas company over its plans to enter the HDTV market. Nano Proprietary Inc. may now take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in its attempt to thwart Canon’s effort to launch SED technology (surface conduction electron emitter display). Canon apparently is betting billions that it can succeed in this market, and would reduce its dependence on office equipment revenue.

Canon also now shipping the imagePRESS C6000, a 60ppm production color system.

  • unlike the imagePRESS C6000VP and imagePRESS C7000VP, this model only has one fuser section, so it slows down when running thicker stocks.

  • according to Canon’s general manager of business imaging solutions group, it has duty cycle of 50,000 to 150,000 impressions per month, roughly half that of the C7000VP.

Canon announced it has acquired one of its own copier dealers in the San Francisco area, named NewCal Industries. This may the first of a long list of acquisitions by Canon, as it looks to diminish the impact of its largest distributor, IKON, selling out to Ricoh.

Details on NewCal:

  • Founded by former Kodak copier technicians, Steve Tarpley & Ken Wilkens in 1991.

  • Won award from Canon for service excellence in western region.

  • also sold and serviced computer networks.

  • Ha FM division.
  • According to one industry author, Canon may consider buying Oce’ to make up for the impending loss of IKON.

    Media Sciences Inc.(maker of generic color wax and toner that works in Xerox printers and MFPs) admitted in its recent financial statement that it has spent $1.6 million so far to defend itself against patent infringement lawsuit filed against it by Xerox.

    Another company is offering “free” Xerox color printers. Cartridges Plus promises a free desktop color laser or color wax printer, however, it also requires the end user to buy very expensive color supplies.

    Xerox Phaser 6360 program

     24 month lease
     End user must spend at least $189 per month in toner
     Printer offers letter/legal printing onlyo Xerox Phaser 8560 program
     24 month lease
     End user must spend at least $99 per month in wax sticks
     Printer offers letter/legal printing only
     both require a $50 application fee.

    Xerox launched a new line of recycled paper for its copiers that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Xerox claims that is uses half as many trees were used to make the new paper.

    Xerox launched the WorkCentre 4260 offering:

    made by Samsung of Korea
  • 55ppm b/w only.
  • Copy/print/scan/fax
  • A4 or letter/legal size only
  • Base MSRP of $2999.
  • Auto duplex

After a legal protest from Xerox, the Chatham City Council reversed its decision and awarded its copier bid to Xerox. While Xerox was originally the lowest bidder, the council gave the award to current vendor, and local business, Maple City Office Equipment. It made that decision to show loyalty to a local business, however, “We learned about the need to adhere absolutely to our RFP protocol” said Bill Weaver.

Xerox’s Mark Bernstein, head of its famous Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), detailed new projects his group is working on:

  • disappearing ink.
  • sticker that has computer chip embedded in it, which when placed on a box, can alert buyers if contents suffered damage due to concussive forces
  • content-centric networking, to allow a wireless user to stay connected to a website, even if connection is temporarily lost.
  • spiral concentrator technology to cheaply purify water

A chain of print shops, headquartered in Denver, sold out. Franchise Services, Inc. (Sir Speedy, PiP, Copies Now, etc.) has acquired Signal Graphics, which has 34 locations. Former founder and current president, Steve Morris, will retire.-

More details on the Detroit copier scam.

The City of Detroit began process to rescind a $10 million dollar contract:

Was originally awarded to Olive Delivery Service, owned by former Michigan state representative Ken Daniels.
Award given in June, 2007o Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, is a former colleague, and was sentenced on unrelated charges and removed from office.

  • Bid award was a six year contract for Kyocera products.
  • Olive Delivery Services is not a Kyocera dealer, and work was actually being performed by A-1 Leader Business Systems.
  • A-1 Leader Business Systems is a Canon & Kyocera dealer.
  • Unknown when city will go back out to bid.
  • Councilman Kwame Kenyatta stated; “This was a bogus contract from the very beginning”.
  • The toll-free number for service that Olive put on the copiers was disconnected.
  • The address listed by Olive is an unoccupied building.
EFI won a lawsuit against Leggett & Platt (L&P). The company claimed that EFI was infringing on its patent for ultra-violet light curing technology in regards to drying prints from large format color inkjet printers. EFI acquired this technology, when it bought VUTek, a large format printer maker.

Paul Rubillo announced he will put up for bid, the rights to the website; http://www.copies.com/. He hopes to sell it to a large firm, like Fedex Kinko’s, or a copier manufacturer. (the site http://www.computer.com/ sold for $2.1 million)
American Reprographics Company, which owns a chain of print for pay shops in the U.S., announced it is downgrading its revenue forecast for 2008 from $760 million to $700 million.

Kodak announced a new software option for its Creo print servers. The new software, called “Photo Touch-up”, allows end users to:o enhances content of images.
  • optimizing quality of photo books, calendars, yearbooks, postcards, etc.
  • automatically evaluates digital photos.
  • make adjustments only to precise areas within the image.
  • correction done in batches rather than one at a time.
Hewlett Packard, even though is not experiencing success with current 60ppm Edgeline color inkjet MFP, apparently plans to launch a 100ppm version.

Duplo announced a new duplicator, called the DX4640PD featuring:

  • prints on both sides of paper at same time
  • top speed of 240ppm
  • uses water based ink
  • (unknown how successful this product will be as auto duplexing with wet ink has proven in the past to be unreliable due to ink not drying fast enough).
After being fired from his job, 25 year old, Daniel Whetsell, was charged for breaking into a business, and destroying its $14,000 copier in West Virginia.-

Sharp is now shipping two new color laser MFPs, the MX-2600N and MX-3100N featuring:

  • Code-named “Pastel II” platformo A3 models (meaning handles 11”x17” paper).
  • Based on existing “Pastel” print engine used in other Sharp-made color copiers.
  • 26ppm and 31ppm speeds respectively for b/w or color.
  • Replaces the existing MX-2300N and MX-2700N models.
  • 4 bits per pixel imaging (does not offer 8 bits per pixel).
Base MSRPs of $11,595 and $13,195o Includes ability to embed software applications into its control panel via Sharp OSA.

 End user must buy $349 Application Integration Module and $349 Application Communication Module.

Later this year will launch a 31ppm and 40ppm versions, code-named “Frontier” platform.
Also will launch 41ppm and 50ppm color models, code-named “C-Jupiter II” platform,
Still uses pulverized toner (grinding method) infused with wax.

 Black toner yield of 18,000 pages based on 5% coverage per page
 Color toners yield 15,000 pages each based on 5% coverage
 Black developer yield of 100,000 pages Color developers yield 60,000 pages each
 4 tandem OPC drum design, with each drum yielding 60,000 pages
 Uses two mylar film transfer belts, one with 200K yield, other with 300K yield Fuser yield of 400,000 pages (based on plain paper usage).

Document feeder holds up to 100 originals, and operates at top speed of 50opm for b/wo 13.5 second first color copy time.

Built-in retractable QWERTY style keyboard for data entry

 8.5” color LCD display shows thumbnail views of stored jobs.

New outside look includes textured off-white plastic with dark gray plastic around control panel, and dark grey plastic accent line down side of machine.

Optional $1295 fax board

 No second line option
 $549 for Internet faxo Document feeder holds up to 100 originals (unlike Sharp b/w models, this document feeder apparently does NOT scan both sides of original at same time).

Comes standard with 100 sheet stack bypass and two 500 sheet paper drawers
 500 sheet drawer for $845
 Dual 500 sheet drawers for $1075
 3,500 sheet paper deck for $1495
 Paper drawers can handle up to 110lb. index maximum
 Bypass can handle up to 140lb. index and 12”x18” paper.

Auto duplex standard, but only up to 110lb. index (can not auto duplex 10pt).

Finishing options include:
 $1795 for 50 sheet stapling
 $698 hole punch option
 $2895 for booklet maker finisher, up to 15 sheet booklets, but also requires $425 relay unit

Optional print controller
 Actual maker unknown (but most likely is Zoran)
 800MHz processor (Freescale PowerQUICC III)
 1GB RAM copier memory
 512MB RAM for print/scan operations
 80GB hard drive
 10/100/1000BaseT & USB ports
 HP PCL print driver standard
PostScript print driver is a $745 option
 Windows Vista support for $625 (plus must also buy $500 1GB RAM upgrade)
 Unlike other Sharp color models, you can NOT upgrade to an EFI Fiery print servero $595 for data security kito Scan to e-mail/FTP/SMB/TWAIN standard with LDAP.

Optional Sharpdesk PC OCR software ($233 for one user, $3650 for 100 users)

Dell launched a new desktop color laser MFP, called the 2135cn offering:

  • Actually made by Fuji of Japan
  • 16ppm b/w and 12ppm color speedo A4 model, meaning letter/legal size paper only.
  • Uses 4 tandem OPC drum design.
  • Xerox plans on launching their own version of this Fuji product.
  • Base MSRP of $599.
  • Weighs 66lbs.
  • Uses a 4-line LCD display (but it is not a touch screen)
  • 250 sheet paper drawer standard with single sheet bypass.
  • Auto duplex is not available.
  • Optional extended warranties do NOT include supplies:

 Uses polymerized toner technology
 Black toner yield of 2,500 pages for $70
 Color toners yield 1,000 pages for $60 each
 Max duty cycle of 40,000 pages per month.

Built-in print controller with 400MHz processor with 128MB RAM made by Zoran, has PCL print driver only.

Toshiba about to launch new high speed color workgroup MFPs, the eSTUDIO 5520C, 6520cand 6530C featuring:

  • 55ppm color and b/w speed for 5520C and 65ppm color and b/w speed for 6520Co 6530c offers 65ppm color and 75ppm b/w.
  • All three offer 77opm top scan speed.
  • Toshiba’s new “Hi Image” toner particles as small as 6.8 microns.
  • Uses pulverized (grinding) toner infused with wax.
  • Uses a four beam lasero 4 tandem OPC drum design.
  • Has two print modes, one is 600x600 dpi with 8 bits per pixel, the other is 1200x1200dpi with 4 bits per pixel. The 1200dpi mode only works with PostScript print drivero 10.4” full color LCD touch screen control panel on an armature.
  • The scanner and document feeder is not directly on top of the engine and paper drawers. Instead, it is shifted to the right, to make room for the control panel armature.
  • Optional fax board
Comes standard with four 540 sheet paper drawers and 100 sheet stack bypass
 Optional side-mounted 2,500 sheet large capacity paper deck (holds letter size paper only)
 Bypass can handle banner paper
 Paper drawers support up to 256gsm
 Bypass supports up to 300gsm
 System slows down when running thick stock
 Auto duplex supports up to 256gsmo Built-in eBRIDGE print controller
 Actual maker unknown (most likely Wind River)
 80GB hard drive (comes standard with data encryption)• Optional data overwrite enables
 1GB RAM main memory
 512MB RAM page memory
 PCL, XPS and PostScript print drivers
 GE-1170 PDF scan accelerator
 GS-1020 Open Platform option (to allow software to be embedded)

Finishing options include:
 MJ-1104 booklet maker finisher
 MJ-6002 hole punch unit
 MJ-7003 post process cover inserter
 MJ-1102 50 sheet stapling finisher
 KN-1102 guide rail for finishers (attached to bottom of finisher)

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