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Bright New Horizons for Memjet DuraLink Integrators

Pat McGrew
Sep 6, 2017

Pat McGrew & Bob Leahey

It’s here! We’ve been waiting for it and now it’s here – Memjet pigment ink and second generation print heads. This introduction starts the path to new generations of Memjet-enabled devices arriving in the market.

There were some interesting changes to the Memjet go-to-market that emerged from the announcement of DuraLink technology at the Memjet Analyst Day in August. DuraLink, the second-generation print platform from Memjet, supports aqueous pigment inks through newly designed print bars that form part of an integration kit. Memjet General Manager for Commercial Presses Eric Owen compared the new platform to a Blue Apron Box, where integrators take the modules they need to integrate the technology into their platform, as opposed to the first generation VersaPass which was delivered as a self-contained print engine supporting dye-based inks. The new technology uses pigmented inks, new heating technology, and 70,400 nozzles that enable up to 1600 x 1585dpi printing up to 2.5 meters wide. DuraLink joins the first generation dye-based technology which is now branded as VersaPass. The addition of the DuraLink solutions gives existing and future OEMs an important new option for print engines.


DuraLink Technical Specs

  • Configurable up to 100.9 in / 2.5 m wide
  • Up to 1600 x 1585 dpi resolution
  • Up to 668 fpm / 203 mpm
  • Print heads 8.77in/222.8mm width
  • Aqueous pigment inks
  • Sold as components to be integrated

For existing OEMs that want to replace VersaPass heads with DuraLink heads, Duralink is expected to take nine to 12 months to integrate. For new OEMs the Memjet team expects it to take 1-2 years to do the needed Mechanical Engineering. Memjet expects the first DuraLink-based products to enter the market in 2019.

DuraLink - Images

Printhead Maintenance Module Ink Supply Waste Ink Management Aerosol Management Print Engine Supervisor Print Bar Interface Dongle Dock

An important claim for Duralink is the reliability of the print heads. According to Memjet, with Duralink printheads and inks, nozzle-out conditions will go unnoticed due to the 5X nozzle redundancy of the new head design. The new 2.2 pl drop weight aqueous pigmented ink with its more limited dot gain is also expected to provide crisper images. Memjet also makes important assertions about the DuraLink’s pigmented inks, that they are water-fast, fade resistant and environmentally friendly.

The inks’ gamut is broader than GRACoL for coated papers, compared to Memjet’s dye based inks, with noticeably smaller ranges on plain papers. There is still testing to do on a broader range of substrates to codify the best substrates for the new technology, but over time OEMs should have the tools they need to target a broad base of applications, from transaction and commercial to labels and packaging.


Resolution Meters per Minute Feet per Minute Inches per Second

1600 x 1585 74.5 m/min 244.5 fpm 48.9 ips

1600 x 1260 93.7 m/min 307.5 fpm 61.5 ips

1600 x 790 149.5 m/min 490.5 fpm 98.1 ips

1600 x 580 203.6 m/min 668.1 fpm 133.6 ips


What does it mean?

While the technical details of the technology are interesting, the challenges that face Memjet and their integrators are also worth mentioning. The first generation of Memjet heads, VersaPass, was dye-based and found acceptance in transaction printing, office products, tabletop and high-speed label printers, and some wide format applications. With the pigmented inks and the new head technology, Memjet says that DuraLink is designed both for simplicity and for greater utility. Memjet’s management expects OEMs to take the new DuraLink technology into a wider range of applications, expanding in wide format, growing in transaction and commercial printing, and adding packaging applications over time. Much of where the technology goes will depend on Memjet’s OEMs. In the Memjet business model, the OEMs are responsible for all warranties, head life claims, and customer engagement, not to mention their marketing skill and overall support.

We know from watching other inkjet manufacturers that there is often a disconnect between the capabilities of the technology and the training provided by the vendor who directly engages with the end customer. The Memjet DuraLink technology will be capable of excellent print quality under the right circumstances with the right preparation, right substrate selection, and right decisions about print speeds and drying methods. The burden is on the OEMs to build a value proposition, match capabilities to markets, and deliver on the promise of a new generation of Memjet technology.

If you have stories to share reach out to me! @PatMcGrew on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or Pat.McGrew@KeypointIntelligence.com all reach me.

 

 

 

 

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. Announces Acquisition of Muratec America, Inc.

Barbara Richards
Aug 3, 2017

KMlogo

NewMuratecLogo

Muratec has more than forty years in the industry entering the U.S. market in 1982 as Muratec Business Systems to sell fax machines through private-label agreements with multiple U.S. companies. The company changed its name in 1992 to Muratec and realigned to focus sales and distribution exclusively through a national business-to-business dealer channel.  They are typically seen as a strong tier-two player and have a loyal dealer network.

According to Rick Taylor, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., “Historically, we’ve had a mutual and complementary product lineup with Muartec making this acquisition a great platform to create new synergies together.” Taylor further added “The fundamentals of both of these companies align and we both strive to be the best in every region, makes this a perfect fit.” In fact, KM has been supplying Muratec with their A3 MFP engines for some time. The Muratec MFX-Series business-class MFPs are just the latest example of that long standing OEM relationship.

Muratec MFX-Series Business Class MFPs

muratecMFXseries

In addition to their A4 and A3 MFPs, Muratec also sells and services industrial label presses both inkjet and toner based technology. These digital label presses are designed for short run, high-definition digital color labels.

Muratec Precision Label Series (toner-based) Models

Muratectonerbaseddigitalpresses

 

Muratec Digital Label Presses & Packaging Printers (Ink-based) Models

MuratecInklablepresses

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Epson Announces Partnership with Nuance and showcases new products at “Prism of Possibilities” NYC Event

Barbara Richards
Jul 27, 2017

epsonlogo nuancelogo

Epson and Nuance form Strategic Partnership

On July 25th, Nuance Communications, Inc., and Seiko Epson Corporation announced a worldwide strategic partnership to enhance the Epson customer experience by providing Nuance document imaging solutions through Epson distributors and resellers. According to Epson, this new partnership brings together the low running costs, reduced intervention and environmental impact as well as the high reliability of their printers, with the ability to securely control and manage print and capture to enhance productivity, while reducing operating expenses for their customers. 

Under the new partnership, Epson will sell and distribute Nuance eCopy ShareScan and Equitrac Office/Express software on their family of inkjet MFPs including the high-speed WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 (launched in Spring 2017)http://client.keypointintelligence.com/bliQ/InfoCenter/Document/Item/52413605-84e7-47cd-9f6a-a5e10fb45b1d and LX -10000/7000 series of linehead technology for SMB and corporate workgroups.

In addition, Epson will also integrate the Nuance Omnipage SDK and Epson scanning applications for better OCR accuracy within document workflows and will bundle Nuance’s Power PDF software with a select line of Epson document scanners.

Nuance Solutions to be made available to Epson include:

Epson products Nuance products Nuance products Nuance products
WorkForce Enterprise/Pro Printers Equitrac Office Express Equitrac Express eCopy ShareScan
Document Scanners OmniPage Capture SDK PowerPDF

New DS-410 Document Scanner

At the event, Epson also announced a new commercial document scanner, the DS-410, complete with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder, duplex scanning and 26ppm/52 ipm scan speeds. It offers support for ISIS and TWAIN drivers for seamless integration into most document management software along with a three year limited warranty. According to Mark Pickard, Senior Product Manager of Scanners, the DS-410 is ideal for environments that require a fast and flexible document scanning solution that provides paper-intensive businesses an affordable solution to save, store and protect critical documents. The DS-410 is available today through select resellers and distributors nationwide at a MSRP of $379.

Figure 1- Epson DS-410 Document Scanner

EpsonDS410

 

In addition to the new scanner and partnership announcement, Epson also showcased products from their commercial and enterprise divisions as well as new wearable technologies that will be available later this year.

 

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DSCOOP EMEA 2017 – setting the benchmark for user groups

Ralf Schlozer
Jul 10, 2017

From June 7th to 9th Dscoop EMEA went into its 6th round at the Centre de Congres in Lyon. About 1,300 attendees from more than 45 countries joined the event.

HP went to great lengths to present the latest printing technology live and running to the attendees with four Indigo B2 devices printing at the site (two 12000, one 20000 and 30000), as well as the latest label presses shown in action – including an Indigo 8000 Digital Press. In addition HP shared some installation data, with currently 6,000 Indigo presses installed worldwide in commercial print and another 1,750 presses in label and packaging printing. This includes about 570 B2 engines. Large format latex printer installations amount to about 45,000 by June 2017, outnumbered by one million large format Deskjet devices installed. HP shared some information on the uptake of PrintOS as well and reported 5,560 registered users at 2,400 companies, with 1,700 of them using PrintOS weekly.

At the event HP announced some improvements to PrintOS: notably PrintBeat has a mobile edition now, which allows monitoring and benchmarking press performance from mobile devices. High definition imaging was presented at the event again and although it is set to go into field testing later this year, with general availability planned for 2018. Available now are several new screening options that will help in photo printing and high contrast images.

While pink fluorescent ElectroInk was introduced half a year ago, fluorescent yellow just became available to Indigo users. Fluorescent green and orange were shown at the event and are currently being field tested. Another new ElectroInk just introduced is “Light Light Black”, which is especially intended for smooth gradations in photo printing, underscoring that HP Indigo remains committed to be the leader in specialty colour choice. At drupa 2016 HP showcased more than a dozen of other specialty ElectroInks to gauge user interest – at Dscoop Lyon HP Indigo previewed some of these inks again: thermochromic ink (changes colour depending on temperature), heat seal (the glue is activated at high temperature) and release inks (e.g. for scratch cards), which are apparently moving closer to commercialisation. Additionally metallic ElectroInk was shown again, which should garner the biggest interest, but is likely to get a launch not sooner than 2018.

HP Technology Fair - with new EletroInk types

HP Technology Fair – with new EletroInk types

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Around the World in 50 Billion Customer Communications

Will Morgan
Jun 26, 2017

Some might call it overkill. We just call it being thorough.

When we set out to interview 50 key stakeholders in the customer communications space, most of our peers thought we were being too ambitious. Well, 60 interviews (and 250+ pages of notes) later, we had managed to gather insight from customer communications service providers and other stakeholders who represented over 50 billion printed, electronic, and mobile communications delivered in 2016.

Highlighted in a press release today to announce its publication, the resulting report, entitled Enterprise Customer Communications—Trends and Strategies from Around the Globe, includes perspective from some of the largest players in the customer communications market, as well as important smaller providers with deep vertical and regional insights.

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This 43-page analysis examines in detail the top ten trends driving enterprise expectations and aspirations for customer communications. Here is some insight into three of them:

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How OpenText Is Improving Customer Experience With Intelligent Forms Automation

David Stabel
Jun 14, 2017

It has been almost one year since OpenText announced its intention to acquire HP LiquidOffice, HP TeleForm, HP Exstream, and HP Output Management for a total transaction value of $315 million. Today, these products are housed within OpenText’s Customer Experience Management (CEM) Suite, which was recently updated with the Release 16 Enhancement Pack 2 (EP2). On the LiquidOffice and TeleForm side, OpenText has completed a wealth of additional integrations with OpenText Content Server, OpenText RightFax, and MS SharePoint.

Image

In a recent interview with Mark Jackson, Senior Product Manager, and Bob Murphy, Sales Director for OpenText LiquidOffice and TeleForm, we learned more about today’s market for enterprise forms solutions and the dynamics driving increased demand. Before diving into our discussion with Mark and Bob, here’s some background on OpenText LiquidOffice and TeleForm.

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Thoma Bravo buys Lexmark Enterprise Software

Steve Pearl
May 11, 2017

Logos

“So…what do you think about Hyland’s purchase of Kofax”?  That’s how conversations in the past few days usually start out. Which then lead to explanations of who Thoma Bravo is.  Some background and perspective is clearly in order…

The Facts

Hyland Software’s majority owner, Thoma Bravo, one of the largest private equity firms in the SW industry, announced a definitive agreement on May 3rd to buy Lexmark Enterprise Software (LES), consisting of Kofax, ReadSoft and Perceptive Software, for a reported amount of $1.5 billion. Read more »

Kodak Alaris Announces IN2 Ecosystem

Anne Valaitis

KAOn April 25th, Kodak Alaris introduced IN2 Ecosystem, a combination of scanners, software, and services along with partnerships intended to tackle the issues surrounding information content and “data chaos”. Kodak Alaris has a long history with capture technology spanning many years and includes hardware and software products that handle a variety of applications from compact distributed devices to high-volume sophisticated production engines and solutions.

This announcement is built of key pillars vital for the imaging provider; Right Fit, Right Experience and Right Results. Right Fit looks to make the best integration into the business environment, Right Experience builds on this with simple yet powerful features and processing and the Right Results look to deliver the deserved business outcomes. The pillars are then woven together through a partner and developer community that can ensure delivery and support.

As information and content, often in the form of paper, ebb and flow within a business environment, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage. In fact, the myth of the paperless office seems to be just that…a myth. In a recent Primary Research study conducted by Keypoint Intelligence InfoTrends, we found that only 15% of respondents felt that the paperless office “Was Realistic”, in addition when asked what percentage of business content still remains on paper, the result was more than 50% of company’s data is still paper-based. Information and data chaos is apparent as businesses look to automate processes to control regulations, compliance, and security and efficiency demands.

Kodak Alaris IN2 is a packaged answer to the demands of information and content. Working with their heritage and history of image capture, and further placing a greater emphasis on an ecosystem that will include strong partnerships, Kodak Alaris’s goal with the IN2 solution is to focus in key areas that can benefit most from a combination of capture hardware, software and services delivered by strategic partners. To support the partners, Alaris will provide materials and tools to provision and educate partners in an effort to simplify and reduce complications that could arise while penetrating new solutions markets whether horizontal or vertical.

Keypoint Intelligence feels that a balanced approach when addressing information and content mismanagement is best and Kodak Alaris with the announcement of it’s IN2 Ecosystem directly reflects the real need to create linkages and integrations for a solid information solution.

Solution Focus: RSA’s Vendor Neutral Options

Pat McGrew
May 9, 2017

Getting to an automated workflow requires the right tools and workplan. In some organizations the solution is to rely on the hardware vendor who brought the hardware in to recommend the most efficient workflow tools. In other organizations the policy is to do an independent search to find the tools that will work best. In either case, the burden is on the workflow team to understand what is available in the market and how it might improve their overall efficiency.

One approach is to look for vendor-neutral workflow options that support the major hardware vendors and open interfaces to share data and reporting. The same criteria will always apply: great user interface, easy-to-use tools to automate, and an organization that will back up the tools with great training and support.

Rochester Software Associates (RSA) meets the brief with products that provide the workflow infrastructure that an organization needs. And, while best known for supporting the in-plant and corporate print environments, digital print-for-pay companies will find that the combination of ReadyPrintTM for makeready and job submission and QDirectTM for output management provides an excellent infrastructure.

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Solution Focus: Ricoh ProcessDirector in the World of Workflow Automation

Pat McGrew
Apr 25, 2017

In another series of workflow blogs we have been walking through the path of auditing the current workflow in your environment and identifying ways to optimize through automation. It’s a long story that has been unfolding over many months. Along the way many have asked specific questions about some of the fine points of automation and what tools would be on the “must review” list.

The characteristics of the products you should review begin with the user interface. If you are going to add a tool to automate as much of the workflow as possible, the user interface – what you see when you are sitting at the computer screen – becomes a critical deciding factor. Does the layout of the screen make sense to you and the team? Does it provide access to the key pieces of information about each job coming through the production process?

How much automation does the tool allow? Automation that requires constant manual intervention is not really automation, but there is a delicate balance. Any automation scheme that allows for too much manipulation by the team on the shop floor eliminates the benefits that automation should bring.

Also consider the changing needs that will surround your workflow. We know from our research, including the most recent North American and European Software Investment surveys, that dealing with a high number of small jobs is the single largest headache in many shops. Looks for tools that make this easy.

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2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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