Monday, October 27, 2008

MFP Weekend Notes from 10-26-08

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

Kodak’s print controller division, Creo, announced that it will produce a Japanese version of its products to expand its reach worldwide. The first product it will launch in Japan is a controller for the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C65XX series, even though it also partners with HP & Xerox as well.

Xerox announced that it will fire 3,000 employees to cut costs.

Hopes the reduction in headcount will reduce costs by $200 million
No sales positions were affected the company has eliminated 8,800 positions since 2005 for the last quarter financials:
$258 million net income up 1.6%Profit of 26 cents per share
Gross margins dropped to 39.2% from 40.1%
Will take a $400 million restructuring charge to pay for employee layoffs
Revenue up 2% to $4.4 billion (including benefit of weak dollar of 2%)
Equipment sales down 4%
Production print revenue down 1%
Production b/w systems down 11%
Printer sales down 2.7%
B/W MFPs up 15%
Color MFPs up 23%
Color revenue up 5%
Color pages were up 27%
FM revenue up 6%
Total machines in field up 6%
Supplies revenue up 3%
Will still employ 57,000 workers

Xerox announced it will resell Elixir Vitesse VDP software as an option for its production color systems.

Xerox launched a new option to assist print shop owners sell output from their production color systems, called “Mail Shop in a Box”:
web-based sales training
webinars seven step guide to success
interactive CD-ROM
walks print shop owners through developing strategic marketing plan
how to purchase postal certified software
how to develop mail piece design
how to acquire mailroom equipment demo videos
MSRP not announced.

Xerox announced new finishing options for its Nuvera production b/w systems:
In-line tape binder for bound books up to 125 sheets
Basic Finishing Module Direct Connect provides staple/sort, and a connection to third party finishing devices.
CP Bourg PowerSquare Booklet Maker combines saddle stitching, foldering, spine formatting and trimming to produce up to 200 page booklets
Lasermax Roll Systems DocuSheeter NV-R holds 50” diameter paper rolls and cuts into single sheets
CEM DocuConverter cuts, slits and stacks oversized printed sheets with multiple images and delivered on a conveyor

More details on the new Xerox 700 Digital Color Press (which Xerox positions as competition for the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6500):
Monthly print volume range of 20,000 to 75,000 per month recommended by Xerox
Xerox states that product is designed for average monthly print volume of only 35K/month, and at this volume customer would expect to place a service call every 5 weeks
Optional Light Production C Finisher will make booklets with up to 25 sheets of paper, up to 80gsm paper weight
End user can not use Bi-fold or Booklet mode in Copy Mode
Optional Professional Finisher offers maximum of 15 sheet booklets
Paper larger than 11”x17” can not be offset sorted
Maximum paper size of 13”x19.2”
Maximum image area of 12.48”x18.9”
On all paper sizes, there is a void area of at least 4mm
150 second warm up time from exiting sleep mode
Advertised as offering 2400dpi (actual is 600dpi, but divides pixel into quadrants)(does not offer true 8 bits per pixel)
Color consistency of DeltaE 7
Front to back registration during duplex of 1mm for drawers, up to 3mm for stack sheet bypass
Skew registration of 1mm
Xerox tells end users that they may have to turn off unit every 20,000 prints to reset
When unit needs hole punch tray or staple waste tray to be emptied, machine mistakenly tells end user to place service call
Can auto duplex coated stocks from the three internal paper drawers
End user is warned that when closing one of the three main internal paper drawers, that paper guides may slip and cause paper size mismatch error
Internal paper drawers hold up to 220gsm maximum paper weight only
Up to 300gsm in the bypass or optional paper feed unit (unit slows down when running thick or coated stocks, as slow as ½ speed)
Auto duplex supports up to 220gsm only
Supply yields published:
Unit holds two black toner cartridges at one time, each with a yield of 20,000 pages based on 5% coverage per page
Cyan and yellow yield 22,000
Magenta yield of 21,000
Black OPC drum yield of 354,000
Cyan, yellow & magenta
OPC drum yield of 156,000 each
Toner waste bottle of 33,000
Charge corotron yield of 175,000
Fuser yield of 200,000
Main engine weighs 583lbs.

October 22nd was the 70th anniversary of the invention of the world’s first toner based copier by Chester Carlson. This was after 4 years of tinkering in his mother-in-law’s beauty salon. The first toner was made from waxy moss spores. This invention led to the first Xerox copier in 1949, and the first successful model, the Xerox 914, was launched in 1959. Mr. Carlson died in 1968, while walking the streets of New York, after earning $150 million from his invention.

Oce’ announced that it will relabel the Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6501 and call it the Oce’ CS665.

Oce’ announced the new VarioPrint 4000 series of production b/w systems:
will replace the current 2000 series (2105, 2110, etc.)
Model# 4120 offers 120ppm
Model#4110 offers 110ppm
Units are made by Oce’
Up to 2.5 million per month duty cycles
Uses Oce’s patented CopyPress technology meaning that fuser uses primarily pressure instead of heat to get toner to stick to paper
Oce’ PRISMAsync print controller offers PostScript and PCL print drivers
4110 can be upgraded to a 4120
Pricing not announced

Oce’ announced the Media Enhancement Model (MEM) for the VarioPrint 6000 series which will allow these production b/w systems to now handle up to 350gsm paper weights, including coated stocks.

EFI announced it has sold one of its two buildings in Foster City, CA. The buyer is Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, which purchased the 163,000 square foot building and 30 acres of land for $137.5 million.

Ricoh announced that its Document Mall document management solution now offers connectivity to the CRM software, This also happens to be the CRM package that is used by Ricoh’s factory direct branches.

Ricoh announced a free universal PCL print driver that supposedly will work with almost any brand of printer or MFP. Unknown how compatible the driver is, or how it accesses features of non-Ricoh devices. (Xerox recently announced a similar driver, which was found to have limitations for non-Xerox devices).

The driver is a free download from

IKON announced its last quarters financials (possibly the last issued due to its impending acquisition by Ricoh) total revenue was $1.1 billion
operating income of $39.3 million
net income fell from $27.6 million to $21.8 million
interest expense of $13 million
no revenue growth
costs associated with pending acquisition trimmed $6.5 million from profits for the year, revenues declined $2 million
The European Commission approved the impending acquisition of IKON by Ricoh
The Brualdi Law Firm of New York is suing to try to stop the sale of IKON

John Bennett of England was sentenced to 7 years in prison and banned from ever owning a color copier after he was caught forging currency.

Konica Minolta purchased a Dutch copier dealer, Kopieersystemen Nederland BV. Purchase price not announced.
Konica Minolta announced it has opened a factory direct branch in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Robson Print announced that it has purchased a Canon imagePRESS C6000VP to produce variable data direct mail pieces.

Kodak announced that it will allow Oce’ to sell its NexPress production color systems in The Netherlands.

The Seybold Report claims that 90% of the color laser copies/prints sold by print for pay shops are just short-runs of the same image. This suggests that variable data direct mail jobs are still not strongly marketed by the print for pay industry. The authors of the report claim it is due to lack of education of the print shop owners, and their customers about the benefits of using VDP to increase company’s sales/revenue.

Toshiba Vice President Masakazu in an interview stated:
will invest $3.7 billion in its semiconductor division
expects loss of $650 millionf rom now until end of 2010
will spend a total of $10 billion in research & development of computer chips “Our aim is to be No. 1 in memory production”

More details on what Kyocera announced to its dealers during the recent national dealer meeting:
In December, will start a new TV ad campaign to promote the new “TASKalfa” brand name (to compete with Ricoh’s “Aficio”, Konica Minolta’s “bizhub”, Canon’s “imageRUNNER”, etc.)
Ads will feature a spinning color pinwheel, and an animated character named “Alfi”
Will launch Hybrid Platform for Advanced Solutions (HyPAS), or allowing software to be embedded into the control pane of the MFP
Uses both Java and Web services
First partner is Equitrac
ScanFlow Studio allows end users to customize the control panel and is a free download
New color laser MFPs are 500CI, 400CI, 300CI & 250CIMay offer 8 bit color
500CI offers 50ppm b/w and 40ppm color
Black toner yield up to 25,000 pages based on 5% coverage
Color toners yield up to 18,000 pages based on 5% coverage
Up to two 80GB hard drivesColor LCD touch screen control panel
Up to 11”x17” paper
Built-in print controller with PCL and PostScript (Peerless technology)

Lexmark announced its financials for its third quarter:total revenue was down 5% to $1.13 billion will launch 38 new products this year has more than $1 billion in cash and marketable securities revenue from business class laser printers/MFPs up 4% to $760 million consumer product revenue down 21% to $371 million
gross profit margin of 32.5%
operating expenses increased 1.7%
the company repurchased $274 of its own stock to boost its value, including $100 million which was owned by Bank of America
total debt and liabilities of $2.28 billion
stock price dropped to $25.71
net income dropped fell to $36.6 million from $45.2 million
Lexmark announced details of some of its new models:
Model# X658 series of b/w laser MFPs
Floor standing A4 model
55ppm top speed
Most likely made by Fuji of Japan
Base MSRP of $3799.00
Optional fax board
80GB hard drive
Full color LCD control panel
Optional extended warranties do NOT include consumables
Comes standard with one paper drawer
Can add up to three more 550 sheet paper drawers
Optional internal stapling sorter
Comes standard with document feeder and auto duplex
Model# X656 series of b/w laser MFPs
Desktop A4 model
Base MSRP of $2749
Optional fax board
Comes standard with one paper drawer
Top speed of 55ppm
Most likely made by Fuji of Japan
Scans in color
9” full color LCD control panel (customer’s logo can be added to background)
Built-in print controller with 600MHz processor & 256MB RAM
Document feeder and auto duplex
Optional extended warranties do NOT include supplies
Handles up to 75gsm paper weights only
Toner cartridge yield of 36,000 pages based on 5% coverage per page
Model# X651 & X652 series
45ppm b/w MFPs
Scans up to 55opm
Base MSRP of $1599
Copy/print/scanOptional fax
7” color LCD control panel

Lexmark model# C540 series
A4 color laser printer
21ppm top speed
4 tandem OPC drum design
1200x1200dpi (not 8 bits per pixel)
Base MSRP of $349
C544 model offers 25ppm speed for $449
MFP version is the X540 with copy/print/scan for $599
Optional fax board
Optional extended warranties do NOT include supplies

Sharp began a very expensive TV ad campaign for its new Frontier series of color MFPs:
Ads running on cable news programs (i.e. Fox News, CNN, etc.)
New series features a brushed aluminum exterior
4 tandem OPC drum design
MX-C311 offers 31ppm b/w or color
MX-C401 offers 40ppm b/w or color
Both are A4 models (letter and legal size paper only)
Optional fax board
Optional internal finisher (unit has the “hole in the middle” design, and staple/sort mechanism can be placed in the middle so that it does not hang off the side for a smaller footprint)
8.5” HD full color LCD touch screen control panel
Can play flash video clips
Both scan color up to 35opm top speed
IEEE-2600-2008 security standard compliant
Supports IPv6 connectivity standard
Optional hard drive erase data security kit
Features OSA, meaning units can have software applications embedded into the control panel
Remote Front Panel allows someone at a computer workstation to see exactly what someone at the copier control panel is doing
Can remotely change copier settings
Help desk could remotely show end user how to perform a function

Will be advertised as allowing a copier dealer to reduce service calls
All PM parts are removable without tools including:
4 toner cartridges
4 OPC drums
Primary mylar film transfer belt
Secondary mylar film transfer belt
Paper feed rollers
Document feeder rollers

Advertised as allowing end users to perform some service on their own (similar to Xerox’s strategy)

Customers will have access to “” where they can view 50 different video clips to train them on usage of the product

Reminders when competing against the Sharp MX-6200N color laser MFP:While b/w speed is 62ppm, the color speed is ONLY 41ppm (making it slower than the Konica Minolta bizhub C451)

Since Sharp outsources their print controller development, their standard controller offers only PCL standard.
PostScript is an expensive option
Sharp can only handle up to 110lb. index (can not handle or auto duplex 10point)
Paper drawers can only hold up to 28lb.
Sharp does not offer a biometric security option
The optional Sharp fax board supports only 400dpi for fax resolution (compared to 600dpi with bizhub)
Fax memory is only 8MB (as compared with 128MB)
Sharp does not offer dual fax line option
Sharp uses pulverized toner infused with wax
Optional booklet maker can only make booklets up to 15 sheets
Sharp does not offer tri-fold option
Since Sharp uses old-style fusing section, unit takes up to 3 minutes to warmup
Color LCD control panel does not tilt
No help keyDoes not offer on-the-fly toner replacement
If end users owns the optional LCT, it must be removed in order to access some paper jams
Does not have paper size sensors in paper drawers
If customer buys the optional EFI Fiery, they can no longer use the standard print controller

The country’s largest trade show for print buyers, Print Oasis 2009, will be held at the J.W. Marriott in Phoenix, AZ on 5/17-19/2009.MFP

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