This Week in Imaging: Is the Ink/Toner and Gasoline Analogy Correct?

Sharp’s Albregts Promoted to President and CEO of Sharp Electronics

Sharp Corporation today announced that it’s appointed Doug Albregts president and chief executive officer of Sharp Electronics Corporation (SEC), Sharp’s subsidiary that manages Sharp’s Americas business. As part of Sharp Corporation’s recent strategic alliance with Hon Hai Precision Industry, Albregts will succeed Toshiyuki Osawa, who previously held the position. This new role is in addition to Albregts’ existing position as president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA), which manages Sharp’s business-to-business operations. Read more here.

Kyocera’s New A4 Printers and MFPs Feature WiFi Direct, Mobile Printing, Tiered Color Print Billing, More

On October 7th, KYOCERA Document Solutions America introduced the ECOSYS M5526cdw and ECOSYS P5026cdw color MFPs and printers. The firm says the four new models expand its product line in the low-volume segment, and that the new models provide many of the same advanced features found in its higher-speed products. Read more here.

Square 9 Connector for Enterprise Content Management Now Available for Kyocera HyPAS-enabled Copier/MFPs

KYOCERA Document Solutions America today reported that partner Square 9‘s Connector business-process management solution is now available for use with HyPAS-enabled or capable Kyocera MFPs to serve as a portal to the Square 9 GlobalSearch Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system. Read more here.

European Ink/Toner Remanufacturers Association May File ‘Anti-Competitive’ Complaints Against HP, Canon

The European Toner and Ink Remanufacturing Association (ETIRA) is said to be considering filing two complaints concerning alleged “anti-competitive behaviour” on the part of HP Inc. and Canon Inc., according to The Recycler. Read more here.

HP Releases Firmware Update that Unblocks Use of Third-Party Ink Cartridge

As promised HP Inc. has released a firmware update that unblocks use of non-HP, third-party ink cartridges. Read more here.

New OKI Europe ‘Smart Printer’ Color Printers for Desktop to Enterprise

OKI Europe, a a division of OKI Data Corporation, reports that it’s launching new “smart printer” color printers and copier/MFPs for “businesses of every size – from home and small offices to large enterprises,” all of which are based on OKI’s toner-based LED-printing technology. The new models consists of the C332dn printer, MC363dn MFP, C542dn printer, MC573dn MFP, C612dn printer, and C712dn printer, and three A3 printers, the the C823/833/843, for printing on up to 11″ x 17″ media. Read more here.

New Canon Oce PlotWave 550 Printer for Large-Format Technical-Document Workflows

Canon U.S.A. reports that it’s launching its new Océ PlotWave 550 large-format monochrome printing system for the AEC (architecture, engineering, construction), manufacturing, CAD (computer assisted design), and print-service provider markets. It says this latest addition to its wide-format lineup was developed to meet the needs of larger workgroups and copy shops looking “to efficiently handle bigger sets of technical documents during routine and peak periods.” Read more here.

Aquisitions 

Marco Acquires Business IT-Services Company Infinity Technology

Marco Technologies, which is based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and markets copier/MFPs, printers, managed print services (MPS), and business IT services, reports that it’s purchased Infinity Technology, a business IT-services company located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for an undisclosed sum. Infinity Technology’s 19 employees have joined the Marco employee team. Read more here.

3D-Printing 

Gartner: Worldwide Shipments of 3D Printers to Grow 108 Percent in 2016

Market-research firm Gartner reports that worldwide shipments of 3D printers will reach 455,772 units in 2016, which is more than double the 219,168 units shipped in 2015, according to Gartner’s latest market forecast. Despite slowing growth rates after the market’s initial growth spurt, the increase in 3D-printer shipments over the next four years will see the number of units shipped in 2020 total more than 6.7 million. Read more here.

Other News 

New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office Looking at Fuji Xerox New Zealand Operations

In the wake of reporting a pre-tax loss of some $50 million for its fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2016, New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office is reportedly investigating Fuji Xerox New Zealand, a subsidiary of Fuji Xerox of Japan. Read more here.

Xerox Wins 10-Year, $110 Million Contract with U.S. Department of Agriculture

As Xerox prepares to split into two companies by the end of this year, today it encouragingly reported that it had won a 10-year managed print services (MPS) contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) worth $110 million. Read more here.

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September 2016

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3 Responses

  1. Silviu C. says:

    Here’s a better analogy. It’s like a coffee machine maker would force its customers to only buy their brand of coffee (either beans, ground coffee or various kinds of coffee pods). There’s one notable case of such a thing actually happening. The company that did this is called Keurig. They tried to make their machines only accept their own, DRM-ed coffee cups. It did not go well for them as it did not go well for HP.

    A lot of the arguments you used to present a view from the machine maker’s side can be used for Keurig too. Coffee is not just coffee. They formulate their recipes too. Like how many varieties of robusta coffee will they use in their blend, how many varieties of arabica and in what quantities… But you know what? So does every other company in the business of roasting and selling coffee. Why should Keurig get to decide which coffee brand I get to enjoy on the machine I bought from them?

    Sure, with coffee machines you don’t risk to damage the actual machine with crappy coffee, however, people should be free to decide what sort of cartridges/ink they use with their printer. This is not and should never be the decision of the printer maker. The law in my country, for example, does not force a company like HP to replace or fix, free of charge, a printer or any other item that was improperly used. If a set of “compatible” cartridges broke the printer, that’s on the user. It also does not reflect badly on the company that made the printer, it reflects the poor choice a user made.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that what they did was wrong.

    There’s also no doubt in my mind that original consumables are going to be defect free and will allow for a larger amount of printed pages. What should set apart companies like HP from the others is good customer service. DRM is never good customer service.

    PS: Printer companies have surely taken the hint that there’s a huge market for cheap printing. DIY CISS kits have been around for a long time but installing them was a PITA. Epson, Brother, Canon and even HP now have offerings of printers with CISS systems out of the box. And they work. And they’re not a royal PITA to run or install. Bam. They have a new market. They can sell cheap ink and their printers can be sold for a profit, not as a loss leader.

    • Terry Wirth says:

      You make good points and we respect your opinion, but feel that this is a misplaced analogy. Kuerig wants to have its cake and eat it too by charging four-times more for a proprietary coffee machine AND for a cup of coffee. You can buy a coffee machine for $15 dollars and use any ground coffee product, whereas printers are designed around specific ink formulations, and can be damaged beyond repair from the use of improperly formulated ink.

      We still recommend that cost-conscious users who have eligible printers subscribe to the HP Instant Ink Program (if available in their country), or invest in one of the latest generation printers with factory equipped CISS.

  2. Kathleen Wirth says:

    Also keep in mind that 1) all printer and copier/MFP OEMs want their customers to use OEM ink and toner, not just HP, and 2) some inkjet printers are designed to work with pigment inks or dye-based inks, or a combination of both. Using pigment or dye inks incorrectly will certainly cause problems with image quality and reliability.

    Overall, as you state, OEMs seem to be moving away from the razors-and-blades business model (take a loss on the sale of the product, but make up for it with sales of supplies, such as blades or ink). Keep in mind that that means they will have to charge significantly more for the printer in order to provide lower-cost ink. That means the customer should be sure that their monthly print volume justifies purchase of a higher-priced inkjet printer that can, however, be supplied with much lower-priced ink.

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