This Week in Imaging: Epson Lays Down the Gauntlet with ‘Workforce Enterprise’ A3 MFPs; Toshiba Tec on the Block?

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

One of the most interesting things we came upon this week was from Epson Japan, which is readying for launch in Japan new high-speed WorkForce Enterprise color inkjet copier/MFPs. Equipped with page-wide PrecisionCore print heads, Epson rates the new enterprise-level inkjet MFPs at 100-ppm and 75-ppm respectively, and sees a lot of upside with inkjet for the office. So of course does principle rival HP Inc., with its high-speed inkjet PageWide MFPs and printers for the office (and also for commercial and technical printing).

On the one hand, Epson’s WorkForce Enterprise LX-10000 is rated faster (100 ppm) than HP’s PageWide Pro office models. But on the other hand, HP’s PageWide Pros boasts optional workflows, and Jetdirect connectivity with Web Jetadmin capabilities that provide superior security and management. Epson appears to have quite a bit of catching-up to do in these areas, but it says it’s working on it.

Last, while HP with its LaserJet portfolio (and soon to be acquired Samsung laser portfolio) can’t state that it intends to replace laser printing, or criticize laser too much, Epson, which doesn’t sell laser, is free to criticize laser and toner as much as it likes. The battle lines are certainly drawn, and it’ll be interesting to see which company – if either – is able to significantly displace laser in the office with inkjet.

In the world of Japanese copier vendors, several familiar trends appeared this week.

There is talk that Toshiba, which is having troubles on multiple fronts these days (an accounting scandal, the sell-off of its failing nuclear-power business, and poor performances in its television, home appliance, and personal computer businesses, etc.) may now be considering selling off its “copier” group, Toshiba Tec. While this speculation is a bit unnerving, it’s not surprising, as in the last decade we’ve witnessed Japanese giants Sharp sell itself off to Taiwan’s Foxconn, and Panasonic get out of the copier business altogether.

Speaking of Sharp and Foxconn, Sharp’s financials were on a downward trend for about two years before suddenly going positive only several months after being acquired by Foxconn. What’s unusual is that even though copier sales sagged in its last quarter, Sharp still reported positive overall financials. What does this tell us about the Foxconn influence?

Financial News

  • Sharp Posts Profit for First Time in Two Years, but Copier/MFP Profit, Sales Decline – Read more here.
  • Toshiba May be Considering Selling Toshiba Tec – Read more here.

Loss for Nuance’s First Quarter, But Bookings up 23 Percent – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • Epson Launching 100-PPM WorkForce Enterprise LX-10000F, 75-PPM LX-7000F A3 Color Inkjet MFPs – Read more here.
  • HP Shutting Down Ink-Cartridge Plant in Ireland; ‘Not Related’ to Change in U.S. Administration – Read more here.
  • Ninestar Discusses Lexmark Acquisition; Aims to be ‘One Stop Provider’ for Printer Industry – Read more here.
  • Brother Survey Indicates Small Businesses Open to Cloud, Mobile Technologies – But Still Printing – Read more here.
  • New Epson ‘Supertank’ Inkjet All-in-Ones Feature up to Two Years Worth of Ink – Read more here.
  • Konica Minolta to Launch AiLingual Service Business Solution for Enabling Job-Manual Creation and Translation into 20 Languages – Read more here.
  • 150,000 Printers and MFPs Said to Have Been Hacked – Read more here.
  • New Square 9 ECM Software Now Available for Canon Document Scanners – Read more here.

Executive-Management News

  • Office Depot Appoints Lenovo Executive Smith as New CEO – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

  • Canon Unveils New Deep Matte Media for DreamLabo 5000 Color Inkjet Production Photo Printer – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

  • Ricoh USA and UL to Provide Training in 3D Printing for Manufacturing – Read more here.

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December 2016

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