This Week in Imaging: Once More, A4; Supplies Testing; More

pink flowers in field

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

We’ve been beating the A4 (print and copy on up to 8.5″x14″) drum for years now, but it’s interesting to see an independent office-equipment dealer actually cite it as a reason for signing up to sell it – as this week, Midwest dealer Impact Technologies signed up as a Lexmark dealer. Impact Technologies didn’t just sign up to be a Lexmark dealer, but lauded Lexmark’s strength in A4, as well as the advantages of A4, which, according to Impact, include: “smaller printers with features similar to larger copiers, at a more affordable cost and smaller ecological footprint.” It’s increasingly clear that while 11″x17″ print and copy will always have a place in the office (as long as we continue to print in the office), A4 is becoming an essential in every OEMs and dealer’s arsenal, as customers are increasingly aware that they don’t always require 11″x17″, and that A4 offers price and space advantages.

Epson is determined to keep printing – if not on paper, than on other things, including textiles such as fashion products (T-shirts, dresses, etc.). This week, it acquired another Italian company that specializes in digital textile printers, Robustelli. Also continuing to expand in digital textile printing this week was Electronics for Imaging, which acquired Optitex.

On the testing front, we’ve been commissioned to test third-party “replacement” color toner print cartridges and compare them to the OEM print cartridges as benchmarks. While we can’t reveal the source or brands, we can say this: While the “replacement” print cartridges are significantly less expensive, their reliability and print-quality consistency is sub-par. Indeed, at the conclusion of testing, we found that a significant quantity of low-quality print cartridges were incapable of reliably producing prints with sufficient print quality for business and distribution purposes. Most likely, we’ll publish the full test report in the near future.

We’re also in the midst of another highly interesting commissioned test that compares five of the latest factory-equipped CISS (“ink-tank”) printers that are available on the market today. We imported Brother, Canon, Epson and HP printers from Singapore and testing is underway. Hopefully, we’ll publish the full test report in the next month or so. Stay tuned!

Office-Imaging News

HP Will Invest $285 Million to Reduce Printer-Supplies Inventory, Move to a “Pull” User-Demand Model – Read more here.

Xerox Integrating Dokmee Document-Capture Software into Scanners, DocuShare – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

Xerox Reports Strong Production-Inkjet Printer Sales at drupa Tradeshow – Read more here.

EFI Acquires Optitex in Bid to Extend Marketshare in Textile-Printing Industry – Read more here.

Epson, 3M Roll Out New Co-Branded UltraChrome GS3 Inks for Epson SureColor S-Series Wide-Format Printers – Read more here.

Epson Continues to Expand into Textile-Printing Market with Acquisition of Robustelli – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

HP: What Sets Our 3D Printers Apart from Competitors – Speed, Strength, and More – Read more here.

Acquisitions and Partnerships

Citing A4 MFP Advantages, Impact Networking Becomes Lexmark Dealer – Read more here.

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April 2016

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