Category: Imaging Industry

Remanexpo 2016

Andy Carroll
Feb 18, 2016

Between January 30th- February 2nd the aftermarket industry came together again as part of the annual PaperWorld trade show in Frankfurt.  Hosted for the second consecutive year in Hall 6.0, this years Remanexpo show saw a noticeable shift in the mix of exhibitors, with the larger domestic European remanufacturers taking a much reduced share of the floor space, with brands such as Clover and DCI returning with a smaller footprint focused on interacting with existing customers.  Indeed some of the previous years largest exhibitors, such as KMP and Armor, decided against exhibiting but were present to take advantage of the newly introduced “Business Lounge” facility, which offered dedicated meeting rooms on the show floor to cater to the evolving needs to both exhibitors and attendees, therefore allowing industry players to meet with their customers without having to invest quite so much in their own stand presence.
However, whilst some vendors had reduced their footprint this gave the opportunity for others to become more prominent, particularly domestic German brands such as Pedro Scholler Printservice and WTA, who received the award for Remanufacturer of the Year during the show.

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Ninestar’s stand was indicative of the trend for prioritising meeting space over product display.

One common theme across the majority of stands at the show though was how little actual product was on display, reinforcing the trend that many vendors see the show primarily as a venue for cementing business relationships with existing customers rather than generating significant new opportunities.  In fact even the leading Asian brands such as Ninestar and Print-Rite had a much smaller share of their stands dedicated to showcasing their cartridges, with meeting space the clear priority. Perhaps as a result of this trend, or as a consequence of the hard work the industry has put in over recent years to promote respect for intellectual property, there was only a single incident involving German authorities seizing potentially infringing products.

Evolution was also a key theme across much of the event, with signs that the aftermarket is increasingly looking towards opportunities outside of the printer & copier market in order to maintain or grow their businesses.  The trend was most evident through the increased presence of 3D printing devices on display, which themselves continue to evolve in capability.  Print-Rite had first shown off their own 3D printers at last years show, but their ‘Colido’ range has already developed substantially since then to include more than five distinct models, from entry level through to industrial prototyping, and even a 3D printing pen.

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The Polaroid branded 3D Printer produced by EBP

However, perhaps the most impressive display of 3D print came via Environmental Business Products (EBP), a UK based inkjet remanufacturer, who have seen their traditional market begin to shrink as a result of the decline in the consumer inkjet category.  EBP have taken an intelligent approach to 3D print, developing the hardware in house but choosing to licence the Polaroid brand in order to give their products a recognizable name around which they can go to market.
Large brand names have been absent, to date, from the consumer/prosumer end of the emerging 3D print market, and EBP’s approach could help the market begin to reach a more mainstream audience. In addition to their branding strategy EBP have also been innovative their consumables offering, with a one time use sheet on the print area allowing for much easier removal of the final printed structure, and also the ability to print using both PLA and a wood based material.

Features such as a Wi-Fi enabled camera, SD card support and an easy to use print interface also contribute towards presenting a more consumer focused product, and while the size of the unit, and it’s initial price point, will unlikely allow for dramatic uptake in the home environment, it could provide an example for the wider industry of what is required to reach a larger audience.

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Apex are looking towards the smart home as the next application for their chip technology

The Internet of Things (IOT) could also be a target for some parts of the imaging aftermarket. Apex and Static Control held a joint stand for the first time, although still very much maintaining the presence of both brands individually.  Apex’s focus on their chip technology was no longer limited to applications in printer cartridges, with smart home devices such as light bulbs, door locks and environmental controls looking like a major area of potential expansion for the company.

The knowledge and expertise built up by the aftermarket, as a result of trying to keep pace with the technological innovations employed by the OEMs to restrict third party cartridge use, clearly now has applications that are much wider than the printer consumables market.

Overall the feedback from those attending the show was heavily positive, something that hadn’t necessarily been the case in recent years, and it is clear that, much like its participants, the show itself is evolving to meet the changing demands of its user base. It will be interesting to see to what extent wider opportunities take a share of focus as complimentary markets emerge, and whether that will create gaps within the printer aftermarket for other players to exploit.

 

Annual Camera Wrap-Up – Mirrorless Models March In

Carrie Sylvester
Dec 14, 2015

For the last three years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to take a look back on what features and technologies vendors have chosen to feature in their products.

Although there were many, 72, cameras introduced this year, the number pales in comparison to years past. That number of models, although impressive, is over 20% lower than the 98 models introduced in 2014. Just a few years ago in 2012, there were 146 models introduced almost double the number of cameras introduced this year (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker). Just because there were fewer cameras released doesn’t mean there weren’t some great new cameras.

We have broken out some of the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity and mirrorless. Read more »

Survey Says… Smartphone winning for photo taking – traditional cameras cling to special occasions

Carrie Sylvester
Nov 17, 2015

When thinking about taking photos, in year’s past the first thing to come to mind was using a camera. But today since almost every mobile device has a camera, the traditional camera isn’t the first thing people actually pick-up when looking to take a photo. For many years InfoTrends has been conducting an annual mobile imaging survey to understand what camera people turn to when taking pictures in various scenarios –overall, every day, and special occasions.

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The Dell-EMC Deal

Brendan Morse
Oct 20, 2015

The Deal
Though a little sticker-shock—to the order of $67 billion—is certainly in order, we should not be entirely surprised that Dell acquired EMC and its 81% stake in VMware. After all, it was an open secret that EMC was actively seeking buyers after the recent struggles with shareholders, and the failure to conclude a deal with HP. Though the acquisition includes a 60-day ‘go-shop’ provision that allows EMC to seek other bids with minimal penalty, competing bids seem unlikely. Dell has offered a substantial bid, and the number of other companies that would be seriously interested in acquiring EMC’s business is limited. Under the terms of the deal, EMC will go private as part of Dell, and VMware will remain a publically traded company.

Read more »

Point & Shoot Cameras Appealing to Future Buyers….Even the Younger Ones

Carrie Sylvester
Jul 9, 2015

It’s hard to not see an article these days – online or print – that talks about how the mobile camera is taking over as the everyday camera, some go as far to say that mobile phones are killing the traditional camera. The iPhone “Shot on iPhone” marketing campaigns are even promoting that their camera phone photos are good enough to turn into huge outdoor billboards, I’ve seen a few along the Boston city highways recently. But it’s not all doom and gloom for the future for traditional cameras just because everyone is using a camera phone doesn’t mean they have forgotten all about the camera. Read more »

Funai Japan Launches New Inkjet Printer with up to 50% Savings on Ink

Barbara Richards
Jun 19, 2015

Funai Electric, the worldwide licensee for Kodak Consumer and SOHO Inkjet Printers, announced earlier this week it is launching its first Kodak-branded product this month. Funai has a long history of manufacturing inkjet and laser printers for a number of brands around the world. They have built more than 130 million inkjet printers over the last 16 years. According to Kiyoshi Chinzei, Funai Electric’s General Manager, Office Solutions, the KODAK Verité 55 is the first in a line of new and innovative printing products from the company.

Kodak Verité 55 All-in-One Inkjet Printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Features

According to Funai, the new inkjet printer provides end-users with up to 50% savings on their printing costs with standard large capacity (XL) color and black cartridges that doubles the print yield. The XL cartridges will print 360 color pages and 400 black pages.  Funai is offering $50 worth of large capacity ink cartridges included in the box compared to standard size ink cartridges from other leading manufacturer’s printers priced below $100.

Kodak Verite XL Ink Cartridges


 

 

 

 

 

The printer has built-in wireless connectivity for printing, scanning and copying.  Users can scan or print from a smartphone or tablet in a single swipe using Flick Print with the Kodak Verite Printer App, available

for Apple and Android devices.  It also features wireless direct and local Wi-Fi connectivity to enable wireless printing from mobile devises through Kodak’s Verite Printer App with support for Apple AirPrint and Google CloudPrint.  The new printer has a recommended duty cycle of 1,000 pages and print up to 10ppm in monochrome and 4.2ppm in color with a draft print speed of 20ppm and 15ppm respectively.  Scanning to multiple file formats is available from Windows, MAC and Mobile Apps.  According to Funai, the printers, will be available in North America initially through Wal-Mart stores then Tesco in the U.K. later this year.  The Kodak Verite 55 All-in-One Inkjet Printer has a suggested retail price of $79.47.

 

 

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Mobile printing hot topic in September

Christine Dunne
Oct 1, 2014

In September, several vendors made announcements related to mobile printing, or with implications for printing from mobile devices.

Epson America announced that its latest inkjet devices are its first Mopria-certified printers. The company also launched the Epson Connect Solutions Finder to “help mobile users make sense of the numerous mobile printing solutions and apps currently available.

Screenshot from Epson Connect Solutions Finder webpage

Samsung has acquired mobile cloud printing solution provider PrinterOn. According to Samsung, the purchase is expected to reinforce Samsung’s expansive mobile ecosystem especially for the company’s B2B customers. PrinterOn then announced a new version of its enterprise software with several additions, including wide area network iOS printing, IPP print server and Oracle compatibility, as well as support for Fuji Xerox MFP-based reporting when using Equitrac. Read more »

Printer vendors post strong quarter

Christine Dunne
Sep 10, 2014

In August, a variety of printer manufacturers announced their latest quarterly earnings. The table below includes percent changes in revenue and operating profit from last year (for the respective print business units), as well as key drivers for the shifts.

Latest vendor quarterly earnings


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Amazon attempts to set “Fire” to the smartphone market

Carrie Sylvester
Jun 24, 2014

Amazon Fire Phone

June 18th marked the introduction of the Amazon Fire phone, Amazon’s first entrance into the smartphone market. The Fire phone features a 13 MP (front facing) camera with an f/2.0 lens and optical image stabilization. The base model features 32GB of storage and comes with free unlimited Cloud storage through Amazon’s Cloud Drive. The handset itself has a 4.7-inch display featuring Gorilla Glass, aluminum buttons, and a rubberized grip area. Performance wise the handset features a Quad-core Snapdragon 2.2 GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus for a virtual surround sound experience.

Read more »

Kodak Alaris Introduces Two New Scanners

Anne Valaitis
Jun 16, 2014

On June 4th, Kodak Alaris announced the addition of two new scanners to their product portfolio. The KODAK SCANMATE i1150 and KODAK SCANMATE i1180 are positioned as transaction based scanning devices. Each device is positioned uniquely to capture and then facilitate a business process. As paper usage within business matures and transitions, the time to capture valuable content from remaining pages increases. Kodak Alaris has worked with customers to identify and observe specific needs for scan and capture in these specific business environments. Read more »

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