This Week in Imaging: A Closer Look at OKI’s ‘Eye-Popping’ Neon Color Printer; Big Shakeup at Ricoh; More

Photo credit: Kathleen Wirth

As far as toner-based printing is concerned, OKI is as innovative as they come. Not long ago, OKI introduced the innovative C900 Series commercial printers with five-station toner configuration that entailed cyan, magenta, yellow, and black toners, plus white or clear toner in the fifth position. This groundbreaking product provided unrivaled print-for-pay capabilities with the ability to create eye-popping output on up to 360 gsm extra-thick card stock, as well as on polyester and magnetic media ranging in sizes from 3″ x 5″ index cards up to 13″ x 52″ banners, at speeds up to 50 ppm in color. Moreover, OKI also offers a range of toner-based textile-transfer printers, envelope printers, and label printers that can handle both rolls and cut-sheets.

On the downside, in spite of the ability to produce elaborate printed collaterals, the consumables for the C900 were expensive and prep time could be lengthy, which led to complaints about the cost of operation, both on our Web site and on our YouTube channel. However, we feel that the real issue was largely due to inability/unwillingness of the print-for-pay vendor to quote a price that was worthy of such high-quality output versus what the customer was willing to pay for it. We also cannot believe that a customer could find a better price for short runs with such potential quality from virtually any other source.

In summary, we feel that it all boiled down to the lack of education and marketing prowess. That is, selling the value of the quality of the output and challenging the customer to find better quality for less elsewhere – a difficult prospect especially for short runs of placards, personalized wedding invitations, signage, business cards, brochures, product labels, etc.

That all being said, this week OKI introduced yet another innovative toner-based product, the Pro6410 NeonColor with Neon Toner Technology – this latest OKI innovation in toner-based LED digital color printing promises even more eye-popping print possibilities starting at a list price $2,695.

The ProQ can print on media as large as 8.5″ x 14″ (US Legal) size, and banners up to 52″ in length on media as thick as 250gsm. It can also print transfers for fluorescent neon designs on ceramic, plastic and metal, control panels and gauges, window stickers, number plates and car-dealer stickers.

This time OKI promises low set-up costs when compared with direct-to-garment or conventional screen printing, and all-in-one toner/image drums for simplified consumable replacements. This reduces the number of consumables, especially when compared to the C900 series, as well as potentially reducing the cost of handling and storage.

We’ll see what happens once the rubber meets the road (or the transfer meets the T-shirt). Meanwhile, we’ll continue to root for our friends at OKI and hope that this innovative new initiative becomes a fruitful one.

Executive News

  • New CEO and President at Ricoh as Company Seeks to ‘Tackle Decline in Office Printing’ – Read more here.

Legal News

  • EFF Urges Supreme Court to Rule for Impression Products in Lexmark Toner-Cartridge Refilling Case – Read more here.
  • Arrest of Samsung Head for Bribery Denied, but Investigation Continues – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • ABBYY Releases Version 14 of Fine Reader OCR and Document-Capture Software – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

  • Groundbreaking OKI Pro6410 Printer that Prints in Neon Colors Now Available in North America – Read more here.

Acquisitions

  • OpenText Acquires Dell’s Enterprise Information Management Business for $1.62 Billion – Read more here.
  • Chinese Firm Oceanwide, IDG Capital, Purchase Market-Research Firm IDC – Read more here.
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