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2012

Editors Desk

Not too long ago, both Kodak and Lexmark made public their plans to leave the inkjet market; HP went the other direction in late October, announcing its PageWide inkjet technology, which  promises to bring the best of laser and ink to business users.  HP claims the new Officejet Pro X series printers and MFPs (scheduled for Spring 2013 availability) will deliver speeds of  up to 70 ppm (in General Office mode; up to 42 ppm in Professional mode) at about half the cost per page for supplies of competitive color lasers. Can HP deliver on these promises and how will these products fit into business environments? Though the products won’t be on the market for months, BLI saw the products in action at a recent analyst event and has taken a closer look at the technology and what it could mean to the office printing market.

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12/11/2012

Over 700 attendees gathered at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on November 13 and 14 for Toshiba America Business Solutions’ (TABS) 2012 conference. This was the second year that Toshiba coupled its national dealer meeting with an end-user conference, allowing dealers to invite clients (or potential clients) to the show to attend educational seminars, visit the product fair and enjoy the festivities. In addition to furthering business relationships, extending the invitation to customers at last year’s conference helped to increase sales, noted TABS President and CEO Mark Mathews.

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12/03/2012

At the 2012 Graph Expo held recently, the majority of vendors sharpened their focus on solutions and services, as well as new finishing options and other accessories to existing engines. Indeed, a common theme was that while hardware will always be extremely important, commercial printers  must continue to migrate not only to digital printing versus offset, but also focus on becoming a true partner  and full-fledged marketing providers to their customers. There were some major engine announcements, though, including Konica Minolta’s sneak-peek at an upcoming color inkjet cut-sheet press. Developed in conjunction with Komori, the KM-1 Inkjet Press offers speeds up to 3,300 sheets per hour in simplex and 1,650 sheets per hour in duplex. Xerox also unveiled the latest additions to its Nuvera product line, with the launch of the Nuvera 157 EA and Nuvera 314 EA Production Systems, the latter of which features Xerox’s dual-engine architecture to output at speeds up to 314 duplexed images per minute.

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11/14/2012

At Graph Expo last month, Canon U.S.A., Inc. added five models to its product line, which, thanks to the Océ acquisition, is the broadest in the industry. One is the 60-inch 8-color imagePROGRAF iPF9400S, designed for production-level commercial photography and retail signage applications. The other models, which use a 12-color LUCIA ink set, are the 24-inch imagePROGRAF iPF6400 and iPF6450, the 44-inch imagePROGRAF iPF8400 and the 60-inch imagePROGRAF iPF9400, each designed for photographers, fine art printing and proofing applications.

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11/02/2012

We recently spoke to Mike Marusic, senior vice president of marketing and the Business Solutions Group for Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA) to get an update on what it’s doing to combat the since-refuted speculation published by Japanese online publication Nikkei late this summer that the company might sell its copier and appliance businesses (See below for what we’ve learned about the back story on Sharp’s financial troubles.) Sharp Corporation in Japan issued a statement the very next day in Japan categorically denying the rumor and SIICA immediately sent out  a letter explaining that to all of its dealers. 

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11/01/2012

Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) recently announced the expansion of its core business with the launch of Toshiba Managed Business Services (TMBS) unit. The new organization, which will be self-sufficient, will look to strengthen the company’s present business services offerings in managed print services (MPS), managed document solutions (MDS), document security, workflow/capture and barcode printing systems. In addition, TMBS will look to establish a Toshiba U.S. market presence in the retail kiosks and digital signage business. Its primary focus will be on the financial, healthcare, education and retail markets.

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10/10/2012