Memjet and Toshiba announce partnership to develop office MFPs

Christine Dunne
May 4, 2012

Yesterday at drupa Memjet announced a partnership with Toshiba Tech Corporation to develop office multifunction peripherals (MFPs) with Memjet technology. The devices will have a scanner, photocopier, and printer that can print up to 60 color pages per minute. The powerful machines will incorporate Memjet’s page-wide printhead, which allows printers to deliver more than 700 million drops of ink per second on a page.

In the press release announcing the partnership, Memjet CEO Len Lauer states that the partnership will accelerate productivity and savings for businesses seeking an edge. Memjet Home and Office division president Bill McGlynn added that the collaboration is a powerful step forward in the commercialization of Memjet technology.

The press release also mentions that the partnership will allow Toshiba Tec Corporation to evaluate other Memjet integration scenarios, including industrial and commercial applications. The article does not state when or where the MFPs will be launched.

InfoTrends’ opinion

This announcement is a significant development for Memjet. Toshiba is the first mainstream office equipment vendor that has decided to partner with Memjet. Previously, Memjet has collaborated with electronics companies such as Lenovo and LG Electronics in Asia Pacific, and Lomond—a consumables company—in Western Europe, Central Europe, and Russia.

By joining forces with Toshiba, Memjet technology will have access to a more established office equipment sales channel. In conjunction with the Canon/Océ partnership, also announced at drupa, Memjet has gained significant document industry credibility. This must certainly be welcome news after the headlines of recent weeks and may also prompt other established players to consider and perhaps reconsider Memjet as a partner.

If Toshiba does come to market with a 60-ppm inkjet office MFP it would be a first. To date all Memjet-powered office devices have been printers. A high-speed MFP, should it incorporate the functionality of the Toshiba e-Studio range and support workflow and solutions integration, could address a major weakness for Memjet technology. Without these capabilities it has been difficult to envisage Memjet making meaningful inroads into the Managed Print and Solutions driven engagements that customers in advanced markets increasingly favour.

As of today there are many unknowns but with the right type of product at the right price point, as well as an appropriate supplies model, this development has the potential for further disruption.

Article written by the Digital Peripherals Solutions/Digital Peripherals Solutions Europe team.

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