This Week in Imaging: The "Big Copier" Alternative Trend; LDI Joins with Mohegan Tribe to Sell Copier/Printers; More

purple flowers

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Along with the trend of smart MFPs that integrate with software solutions to make typical business processes (such as processing invoices and new employees) faster and less paper-intensive , we’re also continuing to see a trend of alternatives to “big copier” A3 MFPs. This week, for instance, OKI Data Americas was showing its ES8473 A3 color MFP at a BTA show being held in the Mid-West. OKI, like several other vendors, is laying out an alternative “big copier” A3 strategy with smaller, more easier-to-service, and less expensive A3 MFPs that can serve as alternatives to much larger, more expensive, and less easier to service “big copier” A3 MFPs. OKI says it can deliver this because of its toner-based LED-printing technology, which it says offers several advantages: the LED engine takes up less room, so you have a smaller footprint, and LED printing has fewer and simpler parts – there are no rotating lenses and mirrors as with laser – which it says results in greater reliability.

That fewer moving parts thing might not seem like a big deal, but actually it is, as shown by two graphics from OKI showing the difference between laser and LED printing:

For many budget- and space-constrained customers, these “big-copier” A3 alternatives may be just the ticket and worth it for any dealer to investigate, especially since many have extended warranties – three years for the OKI ES8473 – and five years for COREFIDO-eligible OKI MFPs (under which OKI provides 60 months of free on-site repairs).

This week also had some interesting supplies’ news, with several news items about toner and ink – the lifeblood of our industry: Konica Minolta U.S. partners with a toner-cartridge remanufacturer Clover; Brother introduces an INKvestment line of All-in-Ones with 1¢ (black)/5¢ cost per page; and Samsung loses a toner-cartridge patent-infringement case.

Also of note is Epson’s latest healthy financial results bolstered by revenue from its office- and high-capacity ink-tank inkjets and their ink consumables. What is really surprising is that the ISO cost per page for Epson ink is very low for its popular line of “L” series CISS printers (that are tellingly not available in the United States), and competitively low for its WorkForce line of printers. How low? With the “L” series models that we’ve tested, black/color ISO ink cost per page is 0.25¢/0.71¢ respectively. With the WorkForce Pro WF-4630 that’s currently under test, black/color ISO ink cost per page is 1.6¢/8.1¢.

Our “Sharp watch” continues, with Bloomberg News reporting that “persons familiar with the matter” say that Sharp Corporation of Japan is reportedly seeking assistance from the government-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan to form a subsidiary that will make LCD panels to be used in smartphones and tablet PCs. While Sharp Corporation as a whole has seen its ups-and-down in the last several years, financial results for its global office-imaging group have generally been profitable.

Office-Dealer News

  • Tod Pike is New President of LDI Color Toolbox Joint Venture with Mohegan Tribe – Read more here.
  • OKI Showing ES8473 A3 Color MFP at BTA Mid-America District Event – Read more here.
  • Sharp’s 2015 Dealer ‘Road Show’ Will Feature Training, Dealer Panels – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • Konica Minolta Expands Partnership with Toner-Cartridge Manufacturer Clover – Read more here.
  • New Brother INKvestment All-in-Ones MFC J5920DW and MFC-J6925DW Ship with Super High-Yield Ink Carts – Read more here.
  • 28 Toshiba MFPs Certified for Mopria Android Mobile Printing – Read more here.

Financial News

  • Bolstered by Inkjet Revenue, Epson Reports Robust Financial Results – Read more here.
  • Sharp Said to Be Seeking Financial Assistance from Government-Backed Fund – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

  • Carolina Wholesale Group to Distribute 3D Systems’ Consumer 3D Printers – Read more here.

Legal Briefs

  • Samsung Loses Appeal in 123Inkt.nl Toner-Cartridge Patent-Infringement Case – Read more here.

People News

  • Bruce Jones is New Group President of Xerox’s Financial Services Business – Read more here.
  • New Management Changes at OKI Data Americas – Read more here.

Commercial and Production-Printing News

  • More than 100 Billion Pages Printed with HP’s Inkjet Web Platform – Read more here.

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