Top News for the Week of 10/20/2014 – HP 3D Printer on the Way? Wasting Time at the ‘Copier’? More

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

We know it’s been coming, but it seems October 29th may be the day that HP introduces its first HP-developed 3D printer (HP had at one time been selling 3D printers, but they were sourced from another vendor). We’re just speculating at this point, but HP CEO Meg Whitman has cited slow 3D print speed as a major failing of current 3D printing, so we might expect faster print speed to be a key differentiator for the new 3D printer. Increasing print speed was a similar strategy HP used in to gain traction in the business inkjet market Also note that previous comments from HP’s Whitman suggest that it’ll be geared to business, prototyping, and design, not home use.

New A4 mono SFP/MFP from Ricoh signal a trend by vendors with worldwide market presence  to ride the waves of regional market needs. In order to do so, product lines need to augment high-cost A3 color devices with lower-cost models, such as A4 mono, that appeal to more cost-conscious customers in emerging economies. Hence, based on current market needs and economic conditions we predict a growing wave of low-cost but highly functional A4 monochrome units.

If you have a chance, check out the survey reported by Brother International that indicates that A3 copier/MFP located remotely from employees may contribute to a lot of wasted time on the part of employees. How much this is true is certainly debatable, but we can probably expect more of this line of reasoning from A4 vendors in the future.

And, with more A4 vendors offering print management, managed print services, and cost-accounting software for their networked A4 printers and MFPs it’s no longer true – as we used to argue in the old days – that anyone has to put up with a fleet of unaccounted-for and unmanaged USB-connected A4 printers often used for personal printing. These same A4 vendors also offer what we’d call “supplementary” A3 units for the accountants, engineers, etc. who actually do require 11″x17″. Their overall strategy is to advise customers to deploy mostly A4 units, but A3 units only when required. On the other hand, a fleet of low-volume desktop printers obviously isn’t going to suffice in high-volume printing environments. But as office-print volumes by all accounts appear to be declining in a gradual way, it’s wise to plan for when those high-volume office printing environments become few and far between.

Among those planning for this are Konica Minolta with its managed IT services. This week, Ricoh also stepped up its IT-services strategy, announcing it was expanding its partnership with Fujitisu to offer Ricoh customers Fujitsu network storage, servers, and notebooks and tablets.

Feature Stories

  • HP May Be Set to Reveal its First 3D Printer October 29th in New York – Read more here.

New Products and Solutions

  • New A4 Mono Printer and All-in-One from Ricoh with WiFi Protected Setup – Read more here.
  • Xerox Adds MICR Printing and Coating Options to CiPress Production-Printing Systems – Read more here.
  • New Kyocera CentraQ Solutions Provide Secure Print-Release, Device Monitoring, and User Controls – Read more here.
  • Konica Minolta’s All Covered Now Offering Network-Security Services – Read more here.

Other News

  • Brother: Big MFP/Copiers are Now the Water Cooler for Employees to Gather ‘Round and Waste Time – Read more here.
  • Ricoh Expands Fujitsu Offerings to Include Network Storage, Servers, Tablets and Notebooks – Read more here.
  • HP Officejet Pro X476dw Earns Best in Class Award for Business-Class A4 Color MFP  – Read more here.
  • Former Sharp Executive Ed McLaughlin Joins IT Firm Continuum – Read more here.

Financial News

  • EFI Reports Record Revenue of $198 Million for Third-Quarter 2014 – Read more here.
  • Mixed Third-Quarter for Xerox; Printer/MFP Revenue Down Six Percent – Read more here.
  • Strong Quarter for Lexmark: MPS and Perceptive Software Revenue Forecast to Reach $1 Billion – Read more here.

The Third Dimension

Wasp’s 3D Printers Produce Low-Cost Houses Made from Mud

3D Systems’ Share Price Plunges After Profit Warning

Best Buy to Display 3D-Printing Technology in Select Stores

Get a ‘Pocketable’ Folding 3D Printer for $299


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