Category: Inkjet

Print17 – First Take

Pat McGrew
Sep 21, 2017

by Marc Mascara and Pat McGrew

PRINT 17 made timely return to Chicago as multiple hurricanes impacted the southern United States. Roughly 20,000 attendees had the chance to learn from this year’s display of innovation and technology from over 450 exhibitors. The top five vendors remained the same, with only slight changes in booth sizes and rankings, but there was a renewed excitement with more hands-on equipment demonstrations and theatre presentations.

Print 17 Size Table

While PRINT is not a packaging, label, or wide format show, all major vendors were talking about these applications alongside solutions for enterprise and commercial print. It is a big decision to bring hardware to a show, yet a significant number of presses, toner and inkjet, along with finishing solutions were on the show floor.

A focus on print quality resonated throughout the show floor with announcements of new and improved inks, color management and automated calibration systems. Exhibitors such as SCREEN and Xerox are bringing to market ink formulations that enable offset-like quality on standard paper stocks, broadening the debate regarding pre-treatment of paper for InkJet presses. The emergence of inksets and priming solutions for offset stock continues to grow causing end users take note of potential lower costs that give them alternative paths to the print quality their customers demand. While not yet a trend, it will be interesting how ink and priming options play out as a factor in the overall equipment purchasing decision.

Read more »

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.

 

Read more »

Dealers Seeking Growth Opportunities at ITEX

Steve Pearl
Apr 20, 2017

A number of Keypoint Intelligence analysts are covering ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. Here’s a mid-event account from Steve Pearl, Associate Director, Solutions & Services:

The pioneers traveled westward to find their future; the same is true for many dealers attending ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas. Dealers here can connect with leaders in the industry on the topic of managed IT services, cloud solutions, managed print, supplies management, service automation, financing, data analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and much more.

Nearly 300 people attended the keynote session, and dealers visiting the exhibits are eager to learn how to expand their businesses. Unlike the original pioneers, though, dealers don’t have to take arrows in the process of securing their future. They can simply take advantage of all the expertise around them. More to come…

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes' keynote

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes’ keynote.

Reasons for growing revenue was on everyone's minds. That's why they are here.

Revenue growth is on everyone’s mind.

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

HP is very prominent at this show.

HP is very prominent at this show.

Epson Acquires Robustelli to Secure its Position in the Production Digital Textile Printing Market

James Hanlon and Ron Gilboa
Jun 27, 2016

Epson Group and Epson Italia S.p.A. announced that they agreed with the Robustelli family to acquire 100% of the capital of Fratelli Robustelli S.r.l. (“Robustelli”). This agreement aims to help Epson and Robustelli gain share in the fast-growing digital textile printing market.

Robustelli was one of the early innovators that used Epson’s printhead technology to develop the Monna Lisa product line. These products are considered the standard for high-quality digital textile printing. Located in Como, Italy, Robustelli had 25 employees and an annual turnover of over €12 million in 2015. The company’s heritage is in the textile machinery industry, developing, manufacturing, and selling Monna Lisa inkjet textile printers. Epson will deploy its worldwide sales and service network to sell Robustelli’s high-end printing systems in more countries and regions around the world, expanding its current footprint and reaching emerging digital markets.

Read more »

HP Printing Reinvented Event – 8th March 2016

Andy Carroll
Mar 11, 2016

This week saw HP host a large event in Lisbon, Portugal to announce their Spring 2016 product launches, themed around “reinvention”.
The primary focus of the event was the launch of the PageWide Business brand within their office lineup, but there were also significant updates announced for the OfficeJet Pro range, along with further refreshes of their LaserJet line, with more devices based upon the JetIntelligence engines that made their debut last year.

3-HP PageWide Enterprise Color Flow MFP 586z Printer

The HP PageWide Enterprise Color Flow MFP 586 (Image courtesy of HP Inc)

Whilst the OfficeJet ProX/EnterpriseX range shared the same printhead technology used in HP’s high speed Web Press devices, it now also shares the same branding. HP PageWide Business devices build on the platform established by the X range, but improvements to the ink formulation have allowed both higher speeds (now up to 75ppm) and increased page yields (up to 20,000 pages from a black cartridge). In addition the PageWide Enterprise range now shares the same security features that were introduced on the LaserJet Enterprise devices last year, so features like SureStart and whitelisting are now available to customers no matter which printing technology they choose to employ. The PageWide Business portfolio is expanded further still by the addition of specific products designed for managed environments, which employ cartridges that are both unique to the managed products and offer even higher page yields. It is expected that the use of derivative products for managed environments will be an increasingly common strategy, as it allows the channel more flexibility when costing out managed contract.
The next stage of the PageWide platform was also mentioned, with a very brief teaser of an A3 device offered only as “coming in 2017”.

The introduction of PageWide could have threatened to overshadow the long standing OfficeJet Pro range, but that has also received a significant refresh, with some significant improvements clearly inspired by developments made in the LaserJet family.

2-HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 All-in-One Printer

HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 (Image courtesy of HP Inc)

The paper path has been tuned so that two pages can be handled simultaneously, allowing for duplex speeds that get close to simplex, especially when printing longer documents. Single sided pages now also exit the device face down, and collect on an contained paper tray, as opposed to hanging outside the main unit as has been the case for most previous desktop inkjet devices. The input tray has been integrated more closely within the device body, aimed at reducing the risk of parts being exposed to damage under daily exposure to bumps and knocks, and supports up to legal sized paper.

The OfficeJet Pro 8730 also has the dual scanning heads present in more recent Laserjet MFPs, which allow for single pass scanning of both sides of a page, and also gains the option for an additional paper tray to double the input capacity. Finally, the user interface is presented on a much larger screen (5 inches) and features swipe and tap functionality that should be intuitive to smartphone and tablet users. The overall effect is that the newer OfficeJet Pro devices present a more robust appearance, with design cues that appear to make it less distinguishable from laser devices.

In his introduction, David Ryan described the current portfolio as HP’s “best lineup in decades” and it’s easy to see why he holds that view. The last 12 months has seen some real innovation from HP on areas such as security and energy consumption, which play well in an Enterprise environment , but equally on user facing improvements like first page out times, duplexing speeds and single pass scanning. In a highly commoditized category these are real areas of potential differentiation from other OEMs, and with A3 devices now confirmed as part of next years plans it gives other industry players a lot to think about. HP may not have reinvented printing per se, but they may well have reinvigorated their position in the category.

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.

IMGP7651

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.

IMGP7634

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.

IMGP7632

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.

 

New Epson EcoTank Printers “Loaded & Ready With Up to 2 year of Ink”

Barbara Richards
Aug 4, 2015

On August 4th Epson unveiled five new EcoTank™ inkjet printers for the North America market. The new all-in-one printers feature large ink reservoirs or what Epson defines as “Supertanks” that come loaded and ready for up to two years of print without replacing the ink. According to Epson, compared with traditional printers, the ink included in the EcoTank is equivalent to about 20 sets of ink cartridges or more. Furthermore Epson claims about ninety percent of the pages printed in the U.S. today are printed in black and white not color.

Figure 1: New Epson EcoTank™ Printers

In the past, the major barrier to color prints has been the high cost of ink replacements with Epson’s new EcoTank printers, the cost is as low as $12.99 per bottle or $52 per set of bottles. Epson claims a standard home printer requires approximately 20 sets of cartridges to print the same number of pages included with the equivalent EcoTank printers.  The new EcoTank printers combined the latest in Epson’s advanced Micro Piezo print head technology with a large ink reservoir to create an entirely new printing system. The new models are ideally suited for the home and SMB (small-to-medium size business) environments. They all offer a two-year limited warranty and have built in Ethernet and wireless printing support through a variety of operating systems as well as through Epson Connect™ (Epson’s cloud print and scan service). The new models will be available in the September timeframe through major computer stores, mass merchants and office superstores.

Read more »

Russia’s weak economy speaks disaster

Deborah Hawkins
Jun 24, 2015

InfoTrends latest analysis shows the market for SF & MF Printers in Russia contracted 8.5% in 2014 versus the year prior. That equates to more than 330k placements. The highest decline was in office laser placements (-9% yoy) suggesting that the weak economy is hindering investment for the majority of companies. Added to that is the continued depreciation of the Ruble which financial analysts suggest fell more than 90% against the USD in the Calendar year 2014. Blamed as the reason why businesses are not investing, it is now also a reason not to invest. The fall-out of the Ruble is mostly attributed to the conflict in Ukraine and the resulting Western Sanctions as well as the low oil price. 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.

 

 

Read more »

The Inkjet Revival

Deborah Hawkins
Apr 20, 2015

Placements of inkjet printing devices for consumer and office use were positive in Western Europe in 2014. After years of downward spiraling, the 3.5% YOY growth in 2014 to 14.6 million devices provide a welcome break for the industry players. At a country level, the highest placements increase by country was in the Netherlands with 21% YOY increase. The UK, traditionally a strong country for inkjet technology, also experienced strong growth of 11.6% YOY likely linked to a stable economic situation. In addition, there have been significant developments in inkjet technology, particularly around page-wide technology in recent years that have aided this upward turn. Read more »

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux