Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ricoh GelSprinter Technology Secures 2010 Canadian Olympics

Three years ago, when the  Vancouver Organization Committee (VANOC) considered a secure, sustainable, cost  effective method for producing Accreditation Badges for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Ricoh Canada Inc. was there with the solution.

For the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Vancouver Organization Committee (VANOC) had to issue approximately 90,000 badges to the entire Olympic Family including athletes, sponsors, officials, workers, volunteers and the media. Since these badges ultimately serve as visas into the host country, the accreditation process required extensive security and immigration verification. While tight control was undoubtedly a critical concern, the expense and waste formerly associated with production of secure badges had proven problematic.

Prior to the 2010 Games, the International Olympic Committee had produced plastic badges with embedded security codes, an expensive and slow process, not to mention environmentally unsound. However, while plastic was not desirable, neither was printing on paper  with ink that could easily be manipulated. That’s when Mike Fast, VP Technical & Professional Services, Ricoh Canada, recommended the ideal solution. Mike had initiated contact with the Organization Committee and had played a major role in securing the bid in which Ricoh Canada was named exclusive provider of document solution equipment for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games. Ricoh’s role as an Official Supporter of the XXI Winter Olympics had given Mike the understanding and insight to address the Committee’s needs and meet their goals.

The RICOH® Solution

Mike determined that there was only one type of technology
that could meet this highly specialized accreditation application – the RICOH
® Aficio® GX5050N GelSprinter was the answer.
It not only offers high quality at an affordable price, but employs a completely unique way of printing on paper. While the standard inkjet printer lacks the high resolution needed to print all of the secure data codes and is limited by choice of stocks, the typical laser printer is also unacceptable because the ink can be easily scraped off, thus the data can be modified.

The solution was the Ricoh Aficio GX5050N, combining the best qualities of inkjet and laser printing, with the added value of Ricoh’s exclusive viscous ink technology – perfect, permanent, high res and low cost. The GelSprinter technology delivers crisp, quick drying, photo-like images without bleeding, smudging, or blurring.

Additionally, its one-of-a-kind ink adheres to almost any kind of stock, a feature that makes the
GX5050N ideal since the paper specified by the Olympic Committee is a high security stock produced by the Canadian Bank Note company. The imaging ability of this paper/ink combination had to meet strict security testing before it was validated by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

Another important factor in VANOC’s choice of the GX5050N was its compliance with the Committee’s stringent sustainability objective to host the greenest Olympics ever held. Of course, Ricoh technology plays a crucial role in meeting this goal. The Ricoh  GX5050N insures maximum productivity with a minimum of waste, requires a smaller footprint, and consumes a fraction of the electricity required by most  laser printers. And, its Level Color Mode controls supply usage without affecting quality, a benefit that will be very important once the GX5050Ns are repurposed after the Olympics.

Approximately 52 GX5050N units havebeen placed since the fall to tackle the accreditation process; the bulk of the badges (60,000 - 70,000) are printed a few weeks prior to the start of the games.

However, there is also a high demand for on-site printing during the games, making good use of the unit’s remarkable speed and reliability. That’s when the Committee will really test the long
lasting print cartridges, the wide print heads that speed up the printing process, and the networking flexibility. In keeping with its commitment to sustainability, these GelSprinter units will be deployed to schools and other  charitable organizations once the 2010 Winter Olympics are over.
Need Specs and links?  Take a trip here GelSprinter Technology Secures 2010 Canadian Olympics

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