Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MFP Industry Notes 11-2-08

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

IKON, in a special meeting, approved the sale of the company to Ricoh Corp. for $1.6 billion. This means that shareholders will receive $17.25 per share. (now IKON sales reps await an announcement from Canon, as to the future of that relationship)

Former IKON executive, Bill Carpou, was hired as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Profit Recovery Partners, which is a national consulting organization for administrative cost reduction. (Ricoh had previously announced it would spend up to $18 million to keep IKON executives on staff)

If you are competing against the Ricoh Aficio C6000 color MFP (or its Lanier or Savin versions), important points to remember are:

Become a member of the P4PHotel (its FREE), then go to the Competition Lounge Forum to get the skinny on the Ricoh Aficio C6000

Ricoh announced details on it last quarter’s financials:
expects sales to drop for first time in 15 years
sales are estimated at 2.15 trillion yen, down 3.2%
operating profit down 17.4% & net profit down 18.3%

Ricoh announced it will spend $20 million to open two large factory direct branch showrooms.

Details: Will focus on production printingBe in Singapore and AustraliaBetween 6000 and 7500 square feet in size.

Another copier scandal.

This time it involves a public school district in Texas. District Attorney Fred Hernandez announced that all defendants were arrested and indictments returned. Arrests conducted by Texas Rangers. Involved the San Felipe/Del Rio Consolidated Independent School DistrictThose arrested included employees of Lone Star Copiers, a Xerox sales agent. People arrested are: Marjorie Thetford, former risk management supervisor of the school district. Keith Sutherland, Chief Financial Officer of school district. Mathew Stavely, owner of Lone Star Copiers. Gilbert Gene Ayala, of Lone Star Copiers. Violations apparently committed on 12/16/2002. Charge is that Lone Star Copiers convinced school district that they were buying off an existing state government contract, when in fact it was not contract pricing that was offered. Contract resulted in school district being over-billed by more than $1 million dollars. Possible sentence is 5 to 99 years in prison. Involved 22 copiers that were acquired, and also the removal of the previous vendor’s copiers which were then apparently resold by Lone Star Copiers.

When competing against the Xerox WorkCentre 7655 color MFP, remember these points:

Become a member of the P4PHotel (its FREE), then go to the Competition Lounge Forum to get the skinny on the Xerox WorkCentre 7633 color MFP.

Fuji Film of Japan (maker of most of Xerox copiers and printers) announced the following financial news:
Company is feeling effects of reduced Xerox equipment sales
Will fire 1,250 employees to cut costs, or 5% of its workforce
Restructuring costs of 8 billion yet ($81 million)
Stock shares went down 6.4%25% drop in profit
Will spend 35 billion buying back stock share to boost value

Metzgers Printing & Mailing of Ohio purchased a Xerox iGen4 production color system (MSRP is $640,000.00) CDS Global, a print for pay in Iowa, announced it will buy a second Xerox iGen3 production color system to produce the SmartMoney mailer. Xerox announced it will relabel a Samsung b/w laser MFP, and call it the WorkCentre 4260, running at 55ppm, but is A4.

Canon announced it will launch three new b/w production systems, the imagePRESS 1110, 1125 & 1135 offering: all made by Canon (unlike existing high end b/w Canon systems, the imageRUNNER Pro+ 7000 series, which are actually relabeled Kodak-made products)110ppm, 125ppm and 135ppm.
Designed to compete against similar products from Ricoh
All are driven by optional EFI Fiery print server

When competing against the Canon imageRUNNER C5185i color laser MFP:

Become a member of the P4PHotel (its FREE), then go to the Competition Lounge Forum to get the skinny on the Canon imageRUNNER C5185i color MFP.

Canon is now shipping the imagePRESS C1+, which replaces the imagePRESS C1. The new model features:
Base MSRP of $31,500

Top color speed of 14ppmTop b/w speed of 60ppm

Uses single OPC drum design

Offer Canon’s “V” toner (pulverized toner infused with wax, so no fuser oil)

1200x1200dpi (does not offer true 8 bits per pixel)

Multipass designUses 5 toners; cyan, magenta, yellow, black & clear

The clear toner allows engine to provide high gloss output

Can also be used for gloss watermarks, or spot gloss graphics

Print controllers choices include:

embedded EFI Fiery (relabeled as Canon imagePRESS Server T1v2)

external EFI Fiery (relabeled as Canon imagerPRESS Server Q2v2)

generic controller UFRII can handle thick, glossy and textured stocks (due to its slow print speed)

Canon reported its last quarter’s financials:

Predicts its first profit fall in 9 years

Profit dropped 26%

Net income fell 21%

Sales dropped 6.2%

Stock has dropped 54%

Will cut R&D spending by 20 billion yen

Will buy back $508 million of its own stock to boost value

Canon announced a new program to allow its customers to service their own imagePRESS C6000/C6000VP/C7000VP production color systems: Program is called; “Customer Productivity Program” Unknown if Canon dealers or branches will offer lower cpc pricing as a result.

Canon announced that one of its print for pay customers that owns an imagePRESS C7000VP, won an award for output from the production color system.

The Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation gave a 2008 Premier Print Benny Award to Peake DeLancey Printers, LLC. Of Maryland for a customer piece named; “The Yards Oversize Retail Brochure”.

Toshiba announced more financial news:

99% drop in profits

Will spend $1 billion to buy equipment from SanDisk, which is a joint venture in California that makes flash drivers, to keep company afloat

Will post operating loss of 150 billion yen

Stock shares are down 59%

Toshiba announced that one of its dealers won a bid to supply managed print services: For Offutt Nord, PLLC, a large firm with offices in West Virginia. Utilized PrintAudit software

Dealer was Aaron’s Products, Inc.

Will allow firm to increase billing by 200% in 4 month period

Cost of software captured in less than 2 months

Purchased 70 seats of PrintAudit

Replaced a Hecon system

The firm downloads data from PrintAudit in Microsoft Excel for billing clients

Toshiba announced it has authorized Collins Distributing Company to allow small copier dealers in the U.S. to acquire Toshiba MFPs for resale.

VistaPrint, a print for pay firm that specializes in selling full color variable data direct mail over the Internet, reported that its sales are up 44% to $114.2 million for last quarter.

Staples Corp., the office supply superstore chain, announced it has acquired a computer network services firm, Thrive Inc. of Concord, MA. Staples is using this acquisition to launch Staples Network Services across the U.S. (this follows Ricoh’s launch of a similar service from all their factory direct branches in the U.S.)

InfoTrends announced that only 2% of cut sheet paper is made by post-consumer recycled content in the U.S., and only 56% of paper consumed in the U.S. is recycled.

The Christian Science Monitor magazine has decided to cease producing the magazine in print, and instead will only offer content on-line.

Heidelberg of Germany (makers of offset presses) announced it may cut another 2,500 employees worldwide to cut costs due to declining sales.

Konica Minolta announced agreement to partner with Guided Therapeutics, Inc. to expand cancer detection technology using rapid and painless scanning methods.

More info on the new A4 color MFPs from Sharp, the “Frontier” series:

optional finisher can only staple up to 30 sheets maximum

Can not scan color to JPEG

Maximum of 38GB for document storage

Paper drawers can hold up to 28lb, paper only (no thick stock at all in drawers)

Can not auto duplex thick stock

Slow 11.5 second first color copy out time and 8.9 seconds for b/w

Main unit weighs only 107lbs. (is there any metal used at all?)

Has 19 different supply items

Top scan speed of only 35ipm

Looking for information on the level of data security for a competitor’s MFP? The best place to find this information is the JISEC website, which lists devices that have Common Criteria Certification. Go to http://www.ipa.go.jp/security/jisec/jisec_e/certified_products/certfy_list.html

For example:Sharp MFPs certifies only 5 functions at EAL2 Konica Minolta certifies 14 functions at EAL3 for

Konica Minolta bizhub C353EFI announced an updated version of its Digital StoreFront web to print software for print shops or CRDs. Version DSF 4.0 offers new features:

More powerful variable data printing features

Superwide format color inkjet options

Enhanced integration

Fulfillment module

EFI claims that DSF is being used in over 3,000 locations

Multi-record data list upload

PPML support

Tighter integration with print management solutions

Can store and modify usage of one or more records within data set for VDP job creation

Image galleries diplayed in single window as thumbnails

Supports FusionPro and XMPie variable data software

State of the art pricing engine

Xante’ of Alabama, announced a new product called the Illumina Digital Envelope Press+ featuring:

Can print up to 60 full color, #10 envelopes per minute

500 piece envelope tray

Can print on window envelopes

Can also print on up to 12”x18” paper

Auto duplex for paper

Includes built-in print controller with PostScript print driver

Based on Okidata-made color LED page printer

Top speed of 36ppm full color on paper

Optional extended warranties do not include consumer replaceable components (toner, drums, fuser, etc.)

Okidata launched a new desktop color LED page printer, the C830 series offering:

Up to 52” long banners

Up to 12” x18” paper size handling

Handles up to 220gsm paper weight

Base MSRP of $2199

Optional auto duplex

Built-in print controller

Optional network interface

Single paper drawer standard (can add second 530 sheet drawer)

Up to 30ppm color and 32ppm b/w speeds

1200x600dpi (does not offer true 8 bits per pixel)

Optional extended warranties do not include supplies

Lexmark announced it hired former Xerox executive, Robert Patton, as VP and General Counsel.

Oce’ announced it will relabel the Brother MFC-9840CDW desktop color laser MFP and call it the Oce’ cx2100.

NEC announced it will relabel the Konica Minolta bizhub C200 as the NEC ViVid Office 2020.

Kyocera announced that IKON will no longer sell its b/w laser MFPs.

According to industry author, John Dvorak, Dell Computer is considering acquiring Lexmark, so that combined, they could better compete against HP.

According to a recent industry magazine article, NewCal, a dealer in San Francisco area which sold out to Canon, was actually preparing to sell to Xerox (Global), but that Canon came in at the last minute and outbid Xerox by 20%.

Panasonic is entering negotiations to buy Sanyo. (Sanyo once made copiers in the 1980s)

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