Tuesday, April 21, 2009

MFP Weekend Industry Notes 4/20/09

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

Riso made the following announcements about executive appointments:
- Don Michelucci is VP of Direct Sales (responsible for direct branches in U.S.)(hired from Ricoh)
- Todd DuLuca is president and COO

Ricoh announced it is partnering with IBM to create software that monitors the electrical power usage of its copiers. No ship date of pricing announced.

Two OCR scanning software providers are battling in court. Abbyy USA (maker of FineReader OCR) and Nuance (maker of Unity, PaperPort, etc.) are both suing each other over patent infringement.

In an effort to cut costs, the Gila Vista school district in Yuma, AZ is restricting use of its copiers, and drastically limiting the amount of copier paper purchased. In response, teachers are requesting parents to have their children come to school with a ream of copy paper.

Hewlett Packard’s Amin Mortazavi said that company will stop making desktop color inkjet printers that sell for less than $30, and focus on higher end models.

Hewlett Packard announced it won a managed print services based bid from Novartis International AG:
- A $41.5 billion pharmaceutical company
- 97,000 employees
- 140 countries
- 12 production sites and over 50 locations
- Headquarters in Switzerland
- Originally had 45,000 devices
- Will be reduced down to 8000 devices
- 44% cost reduction
- 400 million pages per year

Fuji announced that its Chief Corporate Advisor, Yotaro Kobayashi, will retire. He is 75 years old. He started with the company is 1958.

Wade Fuger of Pocatello, Idaho was arrested by police for making fake $20 bills using a color copier. This apparently discovered when he attempted to use them to pay a speeding ticket.

Office Depot is under investigation for allegedly over-charging government customers for purchases made on its website. The state of California apparently has already reached a settlement of $2.5 million, with other states waiting, including Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Missouri and others.

Toshiba announced appointments to fill recent departure of executives from the company:
- Fred Berger was named president of Florida & Georgia branches. Previously was senior vice president over 16 Ricoh branches. Before Ricoh, was an executive with DANKA.
- Mark Downing was named president of California & Nevada branches
- Wayne Wilkinson is senior vice president and general manager of all branches

Toshiba hopes to beat its forecast of a large loss because of drastic cost cutting. Original estimate was 280 billion loss, but now is projected to be 250 billion yen ($2.52 billion). The company announced it would cut 3,900 workers. Last month it had laid off 4,500 workers.

Canon announced that, due to declining revenues, it will delay again the building of a new toner manufacturing plant in Japan. New planned opening is 3/2010.

The state of Kentucky approved up to $1 million in tax incentives to Lexmark, so the company can spend $16.5 million to upgrade its plants in the state.

Sharp posted a $1.3 billion loss, which was greater than expected. To cut costs it will:
- lay off 1,500 workers
- shut down some production lines
- CEO, Mikio Katayama, stated they are considering moving manufacturing out of Japan to cut costs

A Toshiba/HP dealer in Indiana wins a managed print services bid for Hammond Lubricant Works, replacing Lanier equipment. Advanced Imaging Systems claims it will cut the company’s imaging costs by 23%.

eCopy announced new options for its solution systems:
- Barcode Recognition Service – adds the power of bar codes
- Image Enhancement – improves the accuracy of its OCR (optical character recognition)

Some vendors try to convince customers that the DPI, or dots per inch, is more important than bit depth. Consider this:
- 600dpi = a dot that is roughly 42 microns in size
- 1200dpi = a dot that is roughly 21 microns in size
- 2400dpi = a dot that is roughly 10 microns in size
- The human eye can see particles as small as 40 microns
- A grain of salt is about 60 microns

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