Friday, December 7, 2012

Copier Company Gives 100 Non-Profit Organizations a Free Copier

'Tis the season to be giving, especially if what you are giving is copiers. According to a recent report, Copiers Copiers, which sells brand-name copiers like Canon, Ricoh and Konica Minolta, is planning on giving away 100 used copiers absolutely and totally free this holiday season. The recipients of these free copiers? Well, they're non-profit groups that operate on limited budgets that rarely make possible the purchase of the new office equipment.

The only thing a qualifying non-profit has to do to receive a free copier is to take care of shipping and the copier is all theirs. President of Copiers Copiers Alexander Oliver stated that his company has a surplus inventory of used machines that would only be recycled or used for parts. Oliver wants these machines to be put to good use by community non-profit groups instead of being thrown away. According to Oliver, "There are so many worthy organizations that run on shoestring budgets. If we can help some of them with this offer, we're glad to do it."

In addition to that, Oliver also says that non-profit and charitable organizations are often unable to afford to take funds away from the good work they do to pay for office expenses like photocopying. With this special offer, however, 100 groups won't have to do that. Many of the copiers being given away retailed between $5,000 and $10,000 when they were new and all units are toner-based copiers that have all the important features and capabilities that brand new copiers have. 

Oliver also stated that organizations that are interested in taking part in the special offer should send an email to The email should give some background about their organization and outline why they would particularly benefit from receiving a refurbished copier or used copier. This email should also include all pertinent contact information for the organization. 

Source: Midland Daily News - Copiers Copiers Gives Away 100 Used Copiers to Non-profit Groups

Friday, November 23, 2012

New Mobile Printing App Release by Canon

Canon just announced its new Canon Mobile Printing App for the iPhone and iPad, an app that extends the company's already vast support for mobile office users and consumers. The Canon Mobile Printing App allows users in homes and offices to send print jobs directly from their iPhone and iPad to a compatible Canon output device, literally allowing them to print from anywhere in the house or office.

In addition to that, the Canon Mobile Printing App is compatible with select Canon imageCLASS desktop laser printers and multifunction printers, including the recently launched MF4000 models. The app is also compatible with Canon's recently released next-generation imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5200, 6200 and 8200 enterprise multifunction office systems.

Moreover, the app also supports most imageRUNNER and imageRUNNER ADVANCE enterprise multifunction office systems along with imageRUNNER LBP printers. Users are able to print Microsoft Office files, iWorkd files, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG, TIFF and PDF files, photographs and even web pages directly through the app's user-friendly interface. Supported file types include: doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt and pptx for Microsoft Office and Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iWork.

According to Vice President and General Manager of Marketing, Business Imaging Solutions Group for Canon U.S.A. Sam Yoshida, "With today's mobile workforce, being able to print on-the-go is becoming an increasingly valuable asset. The new Canon Mobile Printing App provides ease of use and places the traditional print functionality at the fingertips of today's mobile worker."

Source: Canon U.S.A. Announces Mobile Printing App for Home and Office Users

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toshiba Tec's Loops Copier System Erases Printed Paper, Allows You to Reuse Paper

Toshiba Tec recently debuted a new eco-friendly copy machine that allows users to erase printed documents and reuse them as blank sheets of paper, reducing the carbon footprint in the process. This is actually a brilliant idea because, if you're like me, you always end up having a lot of papers you've printed off that you can't use anymore. Sure you can throw them away or recycle them, but this allows you to reuse them, not only making for a greener experience but also saving you tons of money on paper.

Known as the Loops Copier System, this device is the first of its kind and combines two separate machines: a special toner that uses erasable ink and a machine that applies heat to wipe the paper clean. The system also has the capability to erase as many as 30 sheets per minute, cutting down on the amount of paper used by nearly 80% compared to standard copiers. As soon as the documents are erased, the machine sorts through all the printouts and eliminates damage paper from the system. In addition to that, each sheet can be reused up to five times.

Loops is a part of a larger push by Toshiba Tec to produce eco-friendly products that drastically reduce a company's carbon footprint by using less energy and making efficient use of resources. What's more is that the copier system alone slashes carbon dioxide emissions of standard machines by almost 60%, according to Toshiba Tec. The Loops Copier System is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in February 2013 for an estimated retail price of ¥1.41 million, or over $17,000. Toshiba Tec plans to sell the green system in other countries under a different name starting in May of 2013. Source: ABC News - Eco-Friendly Copier Erases Printouts

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kodak Ends Inkjet Printer Sales, Continues to Sell Ink

Kodak recently announced that it was discontinuing the sales of its inkjet printers, which left many customers worried that the company may discontinue the sale of the ink for these printers as well. Many people bought inkjet printers from Kodak for one simple reason, that being the fact that the ink for these printers was pretty cheap in comparison to others. The good news is that even though the company won't sell any more inkjet printers, it will still continue to sell the ink to customers who have these printers.

Krista Gleason, spokeswoman for Kodak, recently stressed, "Kodak will continue to sell ink to its customers, honor all product warranties, and provide technical support and service. Customer service remains a priority." However, that raises the question of how long this will go on. According to Gleason, "The expected lifetime of the printers," which is three to four years based on industry average.

Kodak added that it anticipates supporting inkjet sales beyond that, as long as consumer demand remains strong. The same thing was said last month when Lexmark announced that it was exiting the inkjet printer business. Even though both companies get some credit for not leaving customers high and dry, this isn't all about customer service.

The real profit for printer and copier companies comes from ink and toner sales. This announcement from Kodak clearly stated that it would continue to sell the ink in an effort to crawl out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. "Kodak has continued to manage its Consumer Inkjet business for profitability, and starting in 2013, it will focus that business on the sale of ink to its installed base," the company said.

Kodak's printers have been considered slower than most of the other ones on the market. Even though picture quality on Kodak devices was very good, other features and capabilities seemed underwhelming for office use. To make things worse, Kodak put these devices up against a ton of new and better devices from companies like Brother, Canon, Epson and HP. Aside from printing photos, Kodak's printers weren't fast enough to be of any real use in an office setting.

IDC's Keith Kmetz stated, "Kodak's market share never achieved the levels the company hoped for, and Kodak's financial struggles made the company's consumer inkjet effort very difficult." These problems sound a lot like the ones faced by Lexmark, where both companies wanted to sell ink and toner for printers and copiers that were mediocre and best.

Source: PCWorld - Kodak printers are gone, but the ink sells on

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lexmark Ditches Inkjet Printer Market, Focuses on Laser Printing Instead

Lexmark semi-recently announced that it was leaving the inkjet printing market altogether, which doesn't mean too much considering the company was never a top contender in the market anyhow. Regardless, the company did announce that it was phasing out its consumer and SOHO inkjet businesses as well as canceling its business inkjet line. With this news, some people are wondering if the world of inkjet printing is dead and therefore the era of laser printers is upon us.

The  good news here, at least for existing Lexmark inkjet customers, is that Lexmark Executive Vice President and President of Imaging Solutions and Services Mark Canning stated that even though the company will no longer be making new inkjet printers, it is not abandoning its current inkjet customers. According to Canning, "We will continue to provide the customers all of the supplies, support, maintenance and technical support. It's not our intention in any way to cut short the value that our customers have purchased from us."

On the other hand, Lexmark's laser printing business is doing well. Despite the company's tough financial times in its two main markets, the laser printing business for Lexmark is growing in both hardware purchases and supplies usage. This brings up the question of whether or not consumers' shift to online is hurting Lexmark's printer business. "Every time things go online, there's more to print," Canning added. "We have a lot of activity around mobile printing, cloud printing, print anywhere, print and release, and managed print services. While these things are shifting online, the volume is increasing content."

Lexmark may not be the only company planning on ditching the inkjet manufacturing business, though they are currently the only ones that have actually come out and said it. Some business analysts believe that Lexmark is making the right decision by ditching this particular industry. In addition to that, a recent increase in Lexmark's stock price is yet another positive indicator that stockholders still have faith in the company.

Source: PC World - Lexmark: Inkjet Printers Are Dead, Long Live Laser Printers
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple Files 2 New "Shake to Print" Patents for iOS Devices

Yay! New patent filings from Apple! Just what you always wanted! Unless you're Samsung, that is. Anyway, there are a new pair of patent filings from the company that would allow users to select custom settings for printing by moving or interacting with an iPhone or an iPad in different, unique ways.

The filings were recently published this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and are entitled Systems and Methods for Defining Print Settings Using Device Movements and Systems and Methods for Defining Print Settings Using an Input Interface.

One example of how the applications could be used described how a user could shake their iPhone back and forth in order to enable a print settings mode. In addition to that, the patents gave an example of a user shaking their iPad to cancel a print job. This isn't exactly new tech for the company, as Apple already has a system-wide feature that allows users to shake their device to undo things as well as a shake option that shuffles music on devices.

This new concept, however, could allow users to change settings, like print orientation, by rotating or moving an iOS device. One example included in the patent stated that viewing a photo in portrait mode could then send the picture to a printer with the same layout.

The patent application also presents new ways that a user could interact with an iPad to select printer settings. Users could select an array of pages to print from a document, while the template selector would show a user how their content would appear on various paper sizes.

Whenever viewing multiple pages of a document at one time on a touchscreen device, a user could also use their finger to draw across the pages and signify the order in which the pages should be printed. Whether or not this technology actually makes it on to future Apple devices remains to be seen, though the ideas are definitely interesting.

Source: AppleInsider - Apple's 'shake to print' concept would add custom printing options to iOS devices
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Friday, September 28, 2012

Kodak Steps Away from the Printer Industry

After only recently putting hundreds of millions of dollars into creating a new line of business in desktop inkjet printers, Kodak has already decided to scrap the project. The company announced recently that it is planning to shift its focus in 2013 from ink sales to printers it has sold, which is the most profitable part of that particular business. The company also announced that it would stop selling printers, an area where competition is leaving little room for Kodak.

The news only gets worse from there as the company also announced that it would be asking Federal bankruptcy court for more time to put together a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan. Plans like this would spell out how a reorganized company will operate after bankruptcy and the steps that company will take in order to make creditors as whole as possible.

Kodak has made a plethora of big changes ever since filing for bankruptcy back in January in attempts to raise money and cut costs. These measures have included shutting down its digital camera business and selling its online Kodak Gallery operations. Kodak currently has a few other businesses that are also up for sale, including document scanners and still camera film.

Kodak has talked about profits in desktop inkjet printers for a while now, with the company stating that the main profits are found in consumables like the ink itself. According to a recent statement from the company, getting out of the printer business "will significantly improve cash flow in the U.S. beginning in the first half of 2013."

Source: USA Today - Kodak quits printers, wants new deadline
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

A 7% Increase in Printer and Copier Market Discovered in Q2 2012

According to the research firm Gartner, the combined serial inkjet and page printers, copiers and multifunction products market in the United States totaled 7,150,202 units in the second quarter of 2012, a 6.8% increase over the same period last year. The total end-user spending reached $208.1 million USD, an increase of 35% from the same period last year as well.

According to Gartner Research Analyst Amrita Choudhury, "The MFP market growth here has been driven by the banking, financial services and insurance, education and government sectors." Choudhury went on to say that the market also gained some traction in the high speed segment, often used by large publishing houses or organizations to print their outbound communications. 

HP remained on top in the markets for printers, copiers and multifunction printers, accounting for 51.4% of shipments. Canon pulled in the number 2 spot with 23%, while Samsung and Epson rounded out the leaders with 8.3% and 8.1%, respectively. In the A4 MFP segment, HP was the market leader as well with a 48.2% market share, followed by Samsung with 22.7% and Canon with 13.7%. The A3 flatbed copier MFP segment saw Canon leading the pack with a 28.9% market share. Konica Minolta took the number 2 spot with 19.7% and Ricoh commanded 12.8% of the market. 

Not everything was positive, however, with the inkjet printer market declining 7.2% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year. HP, which accounted for 50.8% of the total sales in the segment, also saw a decline of 23.6%. Epson held a market share of 30% and also had a shipment decline of 8.8%. Canon also improved shipments in the inkjet division by increasing by 136% compared to the second quarter of 2011, contributing 18.8% of market share.

Source: NDTV Gadgets - Printers and copiers market grows 7%: Gartner

Friday, September 14, 2012

Canon Updates Dedicated Photo-Printing Products

Canon recently updated its photo-printing products, the Pro10 and the Pro-100, to follow the same design as the high-end Pixma Pro-1 which was released nearly one year ago. These devices now offer WiFi/AirPrint and Ethernet connectivity as well as a new plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop.

The Pro-10, which sells for $699, uses the Lucia pigment inks, supplemented with the same Chroma Optimizer as the Pro-1, minimizing gloss differential and bronzing of black inks whenever you print on glossy paper. In addition to that, Canon reformulated the yellow ink and claims that there is now increased coverage in the red/magenta/yellow area of the color gamut.

If you are a fan of dyes, then the Pixma Pro-100 is what you will be interested in. This $499 device uses a reconfigured ChromaLife 100+ ink set, dropping the red and green primaries to add gray and light gray. Canon also incorporated a reformulated magenta which, according to the company, "delivers better reds for improved black and shadow reproduction."

Both of these printers have also received increases to print speeds while the drivers also ship with a new Pro mode, designed to deliver more accurate automated color matching. Both printers are expected to be released this October. These devices seem to be optimized for photographers and photo enthusiasts as they have a lot of features that help with the production of pictures. 

Source: CNET - Canon updates prosumer photo printer line
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Friday, August 31, 2012

New Fast and Efficient Light Production Series of Copiers and Printers Released by Xerox

Xerox recently launched its newest light production series of devices at the Africa Print Expo in Sandton. The new devices include the Xerox D95/D110/D125 Copier/Printer and the D110/D125 Printer, both of which are capable of delivering sharp black-and-white image quality with speed and efficiency.

In addition to that, these devices were designed to meet the demands of print-intensive environments and make it easy for people like educators to create things like curriculum materials, student directories, course packs and bound materials. Productivity can also be increased with archiving and stamping software, allowing legal, insurance and healthcare users to store documents electronically and guarantee their authenticity with numerical markings.

Commercial, quick and franchise printers are capable of meeting tight turnaround times in the print-for-pay market and can also offer more applications and services, like newsletters, on-demand book publishing and customized catalogues. These new copier/printer models are available in speeds of 95, 110 and 125pp, while the D110/D125 Printers are available in speeds of 110 and 125ppm, which is perfect for the transactional print environment.

There are also a lot of key customer benefits with these new models, including things like fast and easy operation, advanced workflow tools and multipurpose finishing options, making them perfect for a variety of settings and operations.

According to Marketing and Product Manager for Bytes Document Solutions PSG Paul Haglich, "The faster scanner, expanded robust inline finishing options and simplified graphical user interface should make these new products popular in light production environments where ease of use and affordable productivity are key. This range of highly productive digital printers are ideally suited to quick/franchise or enterprise in-plant printers, legal, insurance and healthcare companies and the educational market."

Source: Graphic Repro - Xerox SA launches fast, efficient light production series

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sharp Considering Selling Copier Business

Sharp Corporation is mulling over a decision to sell its copier and air-conditioner businesses according to Japanese media, which includes the Nikkei business daily. The reason for the decision could be shrinking finances, causing the company to consider restructuring any and all non-core assets.

Sharp, which also makes screens for Apple's iPad and iPhone, is in desperate need of a refinancing, as much as ¥360 billion, which translates into approximately $4.45 billion USD, of short-term commercial paper and will also need an additional ¥200 billion in September of next year to cover a maturing convertible bond.

Sharp, which is desperate for funds to refinance looming debt rollovers, is seeking more than ¥100 billion for its key solar panel plant, which is located in Sakai, Western Japan, as part of an asset sale, local media reported. In addition to that, Sharp may sell its buildings in Tokyo as well as television assembly plants in Poland, Malaysia and Mexico, according to a company source.

Kyocera Corporation, Daiwa House Industry Company and Daikin Industries Limited are just a few of the companies that have reportedly shown an interest in buying the copier and air-conditioner businesses according to reports from the Nikkei. Sharp also signed contracts with two overseas consulting firms to help it determine which assets to sell.

Sharp, which also makes Aquos televisions, will also sell its 0.6% stake in Japanese camera maker Olympus Corporation and is also leaning towards disposing of its 9.8% interest in lithium ion battery joint venture Eliiy Power Company, the Nikkei reported. Sharp said in a recent statement that it is considering a plethora of options to improve operations, though refused to comment further on the reports.

Source: Reuters - Sharp may sell copier, air conditioner businesses
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lantonix's xPrintServer Allows You to Print Directly from Your iPhone or iPad

Plug-n-play devices don't usually live up to their names, which is unfortunate. What usually happens is you plug it in, fail, look at the instructions, get confused, re-read the instructions, get more confused, call customer service, get put on hold, hang up, get no helpful information, look on Google or YouTube for an answer and then throw everything in frustration. However, the one exception to that rule is the xPrintServer from Lantonix. Well, it may be the exception...

The only problem is how to print from your iPad or iPhone. If you've already purchased a printer with AirPrint capabilities then this should be easy for you to accomplish because, well, that's what it's made for. Though, if you are like most other people in the world and hold onto your printer way longer than you should, then you have limited options.

One of those options is to add a printing app to your iPad or iPhone. Unfortunately, those apps are generally tied to specific models of printers, which makes finding the right one hard. However, if the printer upgrades its drivers then you may have a problem.

The xPrintServer simplifies this. Essentially, the xPrintServer is a box that attaches to your router and to your printer. Once that's done, you can print from your iPad and iPhone, no matter where you are in your house or office. All is not perfect with the xPrintServer. Signs of stubbornness abound and connecting to a wireless printer via WiFi without the USB cable can be difficult and unresponsive.

Pricewise, the xPrintServer runs $100, which is a lot, especially when compared with an app that does the exact same thing for $5. The first thing you need to do, if you decide to go with the xPrintServer, is see if you have an AirPrint compatible printer and then check if there is an i-device app specifically for your printer. After that, consider how much you value simplicity. If the answer is worth $100 then you should give the xPrintSever a try.

Source: The New York Times - Printing From Your iPhone, at a Price
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Friday, August 3, 2012

Zebra Technologies Releases New 4" Desktop Printer Series

Zebra Technologies Corporation has just announced the release of the GC420 desktop printers in EMEA. The GC420 series are compact printers that allow businesses, both big and small, to see more and do more by enabling track-and-trace capabilities for numerous applications.

Like I said, the GC420 series is capable of performing a lot of different applications, including:

  • Manufacturing - light industrial work-in-process, product and shipping labeling.
  • Transportation and Logistics - boarding tickets, bag tags and parking passes. 
  • Retail - price labeling, shelf marking and receipt printing. 
  • Healthcare - laboratory specimen and blood bank labeling. 
  • Post - electronic stamping and address labeling. 
According to EMEA Product Manager for Zebra Technologies Mark Togher, "Zebra prides itself on not only being innovative, but also being able to meet the unique needs of our customers globally. The GC420, like all of our printers, provides flexibility and high performance for increased productivity. In addition, our EMEA customers also appreciate that the printers offer excellent value, providing features and performance at a very competitive price, and making it easier to adopt bar code technology."

The new GC420 printers offer productivity enhancements that are essential for small to mid-size manufacturers, transportation and logistics businesses in addition to retail, healthcare and post. These compact printers also provide excellent value performance based on customer-proven mechanical design. They also offer flexibility to print in either thermal transfer or direct thermal mode. What's more is that they also offer powerful performance and throughput with a 32-bit processor, co-resident EPL and  ZPL programming languages and triple connectivity. Other features include:

  • Large 8MB memory with support for large fonts and graphics. 
  • Peel/Dispenser (optional). 
  • Energy Star compliance. 
  • Odometer for print length tracking and supplies management. 
  • Unicode for global character printing. 
  • ZBI 2.0 for integration, adaptation and handling of data peripherals.
In addition to that, the GC420 printers are easy to load and operate and are also backward compatible with select Zebra 4" printers. These low-maintenance and durable printers also reduce training requirements and operating costs and are built to withstand rough handling in busy work environments with their dual-walled construction.

Source: Market Watch - Zebra Technologies Introduces new 4-Inch Desktop Printer

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Xerox Seeks to Increase Business with Digital Services Model

Xerox isn't having much luck in terms of share worth these days as the company's shares have failed to break $8 per share since falling below that point in the beginning of May. The company's stock fell dramatically last August from $10.45 per share to $7.70.

Digital commerce and communication have been identified as threats to Xerox's traditional core business of photocopiers and printing. As a result, diversification spread into other services. Xerox acquired Affiliated Computer Services back in 2009, which also slightly turned the business model away from printing and more towards things like add-on services, though the branching out has proved to be fruitful for Xerox.

According to a statement from Morningstar's Michael Holt, "These services aren't tied to printing, but instead stem from IT outsourcing and processing Medicaid claims, which account for half of Xerox's revenue." Holt also stated that printing is cyclical, which exposes Xerox to headwinds. However, as our economy transitions its business model to services, Holt expects greater stability of operating results.

Tablets and smartphones have not been kind to consumer printing, though Xerox has had less exposure to this than some of its competitors like HP and Lexmark. According to Keith Bachman, analyst for BMO Capital Markets, "Xerox is in better shape, since Lexmark has a residual inkjet business and HP has a very meaningful inkjet business - this is positive for Xerox given the trends over the next five years."

The remnants of Xerox's printing business focuses on business and commercial printing, which is also dying at a slower rate than consumer printing. According to Bachman, "There are trends at the corporate level where companies are consolidating four or five laser jets into one in an attempt to lower the cost of printing." In addition to that, Bachman mentioned how Xerox, Cannon and other business printing manufacturers are managing companies' print services by putting printers on office floors that are located away from offices in an attempt to deter employees from printing, though they are still close enough to keep employees from complaining.

However, Xerox's shift to a services business model is one of the clearest signs that the days of a thriving printing industry are well in the past. The consensus analyst estimate for Xerox is $0.26 per share on sales of $5.6 billion. Xerox shares were recently trading at $7.25 and have dropped 12% year-to-date. Lexmark and HP, two of Xerox's biggest rivals, were also trading negative.

Source: Forbes - Xerox Works To Duplicate Copier Glory In Digital Services Model

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stocks for Printer Makers Drop Significantly

Laser and inkjet printer maker shares fell recently after Lexmark joined a whole host of other technology companies warning of falling sales in Europe. Lexmark's stock dropped as much as 17%, making it one of the biggest losses on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to that, Lexmark's drop dragged down Xerox and HP, two rivals of the company.

Deteriorating economic conditions in Europe and a stronger dollar have led to grim forecasts from several American technology companies, including Advanced Micro Devices and Applied Materials. HP shares decreased by 3% to $18.77, the lowest in over a year, while Xerox saw stocks decrease as much as 3% as well. Japanese rival companies Canon and Ricoh both closed down on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as well.

Michael Holt, an analyst for Morningstar, stated that printing, which is always one of the most dispensable parts of a company's budget, is always the first target of cost-cutting measures. According to Holt, "When you see times of macro economic distress, printing is one of the areas most susceptible to changes in demand. Even if we have long term negative trends in printing, they can be exaggerated in the short run by economic conditions."

Lexmark derives nearly 40% of its sales from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, though it recently cut its profit outlook on Thursday and said second quarter revenue would decrease by nearly 12%, a number greater than what was initially anticipated. Lexmark also stated that it would be hurt by a strong dollar in the second quarter as well. The euro has shed 5.5% against the U.S. dollar this year alone.

Unlike Lexmark, HP has other business ventures that it can fall back on, including its Personal Systems Group, which is currently being merged with its printing group. HP derives nearly 20% of its revenue from its Imaging and Printing Group, which the company considers a steady cash flow due to recurring sales of printer cartridges. According to Holt, "Lexmark is focused on mainly business printing but HP has exposure to both businesses and consumers. We see consumer printing as declining much more rapidly than business."

Source: Reuters - Lexmark's outlook warning pulls down printer makers

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Washington State Reimbursed $4 Million from Ricoh for Overcharges

Washington state government agencies will be receiving a $4 million windfall thanks to a settlement deal that was recently announced, requiring Ricoh Americas Corporation to pay back overcharges on copier services. The company has a $17 million per year contract with the state of Washington for supply of copiers and services, which is set to expire next April.

The review of the charges was ordered after an anonymous note gave the tip to the Washington Attorney General's Office back in 2009. The announcement was made by the State Department of Enterprise Services, which also announced the agreement with a news release on its website.

The $4 million settlement is based on samples of contract sales conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in response. In addition to that, it covers charges dating back to 2007 by Ricoh's subsidiary IKON Office Solutions, according to DES spokesman Steve Valandra. Ricoh purchased IKON and, according to Valandra, "stepped up and did the right thing" once the charges were noticed.

The $4 million will ultimately go back to state agencies and local governments that participated in the state's contract for copier services and were overcharged. According to Valandra, "What we will do over the next few months is see what agencies and local governments used the contract and how they were affected - and direct the money back to them."

Joyce Turner, Director of Enterprise Services, also stated, "We worked diligently to address the concerns and are pleased with the settlement agreement ... These negotiations and the process taken to bring this to resolution provide a model for government and industry working together to ensure that the taxpayers of Washington are best served."

Source: The Olympian - Ricoh to reimburse state $4M for copier overcharges
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Xerox Trying to Revitalize India Operations

Xerox recently hired a local to the top position at its Indian subsidiary, which broke an eight year trend of expat CEOs leading operations at the printer and copier juggernaut. In addition to that, the change made it clear that the $22.6 billion company's intent to kick-start growth and regain lost ground in India with an influx of hiring, an overhaul of the top management and a restructuring of the portfolio for a sharper focus is still on track.

Rajat Jain was named the Managing Director for Xerox in India back in February and was given a clear mandate to accelerate growth in the country. Local professionals have also replaced expats in four senior positions with only the finance function currently headed by an expat. It has also been noted that nearly 100 professionals have been hired to spur new creativity.

Xerox's urgency is definitely noticeable due to the fact that the company is currently developing India-specific products to enter newer segments, like consumers and small businesses. Xerox India also wants to focus on services, which have become a large revenue generator for its parent company. This renewed growth mindset has come as competitors like Canon, HP, Epson and Ricoh have been gaining ground over the years in key markets like A4 multifunction printers and A3 copier multifunction printers. Canon also grabbed Xerox's leadership position in the Indian copier market five years ago.

Xerox jumped into the India market back in 1983 as Modi Xerox. Back then, the company was a joint venture with ModiCorp, which is now the Spice Group. In 2002 the company got wrapped up in a nasty bribery scandal as well as corporate governance issues. Since then, Xerox has increased its stake in the joint venture while ModiCorp has moved on. 

According to Jain, who joined Xerox India from Mobile2win India and was formerly MD of Walt Disney India, "The fresh appointment of so many senior professionals shows the parent's recommitment and faith in the Indian operations." 

Source: The Economic Times - Xerox Corp hires 100 key professionals to kickstart growth
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Toshiba Wants to Know If You Will Take the National No-Print Day Challenge?

Toshiba is taking green printing and copying to the next level by asking you to use less paper. In addition to that, the company is even sponsoring National No-Print Day on October 23, 2012, a day when Toshiba hopes paperless offices become more of a reality, for at least one day, that is.

Now it may seem a bit ironic that a printer and copier company would sponsor a day that has people not using its products, and that point isn't lost on Toshiba, which addresses the issue on its official website for National No-Print Day. On the site the company states, "We're people. People who breath the same air, swim in the same water, and play fetch in the same parks as everyone else. We're people who recognize the earth is an irreplaceable asset."

In addition to that statement, the website features a video starring "Tree", a bearded cubicle-dweller in a tree costume who dutifully works to remind his coworkers about saving paper. Tree gets to take a much deserved break on National No-Print Day and uses that time to skateboard, play basketball, shoot pool, sunbathe and have pillow fights with beautiful women (I swear all of that happens in the video).

Some naysayers may see National No-Print Day as a cheap gimmick by Toshiba to grab some publicity, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't actually consider the idea. Some eye-opening stats come up in the video as well, including the fact that the average office worker uses over 10,000 pages of copy paper every year and wastes over 1,400 prints annually, which is the equivalent to 1.2 trees.

According to a statement from Toshiba America Executive Bill Melo, "We know that approximately 336,000,000 sheets of paper are wasted daily -- that's more than 40,000 trees discarded every day in America. We as individuals and companies are failing to make the link between printing waste and its negative impacts on our landfills, natural resources and the environment."

Toshiba also promises to plant a lot of trees, around 1.5 million by 2025, as long as users take the following pledge:

"Being of sound ink and toner, I honor the sacrifices made by Tree and his leafy colleagues, and do hereby give them the day off on National No-Print Day, the 23rd day of October, 2012, a day on which I will steadfastly refrain from printing, copying and otherwise causing hardworking trees to lose their pulp."
Toshiba wants to know...will you take the pledge?

Source: PC World - National No-Print Day: Will You Take the Pledge?
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

New App Transforms Your iPad into A Scanner, Copier and Fax Machine

With things becoming increasingly more digital these days, the need for things like printers, scanners and copiers is decreasing. However, there are still those times when you absolutely need to use one or more of these devices. The problem is that these things are expensive and not many people want to fork over the money if they are only going to use the device a handful of times a year. Fortunately, there is a new app out for the iPad that is drastically cheaper than buying one of these devices and gives you the same benefits.

The Scanner Pro app, which sells for $6.99, uses your iPad or iPhone camera to take a high-res picture of documents and other things. Naturally, the larger screen of the iPad makes things easier but if all you have is an iPhone then you can use that too. Once you take a picture of the document you can send it to the cloud via Evernote, DropBox, Google Docs, etc... to store it. Your scanned document can then be printed at any printer that supports Air Print, turning your iPad or iPhone into an inexpensive portable printer/copier.

In addition to that, documents can be sent directly to any computer via local WiFi network, which makes getting PDFs into a computer faster and simpler. Scanned documents can also be faxed over the web for $0.99, which is just like making an in-app purchase. You can manually enter the fax recipient or you can pick one from a list of contacts and the fax is then sent in a few seconds once the payment transaction goes through.

When you take a picture of a document with the app, which also supports multiple pages, the app automatically determines the document borders before saving. Each page is clearly marked on the document and can be easily moved by touch, which is an important feature, as it provides you with a nice way to limit a copy/fax to only some of the scanned pages if need be.

The app itself can save pages as JPEG images or PDF documents and it is also possible to open the scanned image in an appropriate app for handling the selected document type from directly within Scanner Pro. This allows you to further tweak the pages and documents whenever you need to. If you occasionally need to scan, copy or fax something and you don't really feel the need to have an actual copier around gathering dust, the Scanner Pro app is definitely something you should check out. For $6.99 you really can't go wrong.

Source: ZDNet - Turn your iPad into a scanner, copier, and fax with Scanner Pro
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Kofax Sets Up Complete Capture Solution for U.S. Military

Kofax plc has just announced that a branch of the United States Military has selected the company for its capture solutions, setting up a contract worth more than $300,000. The military branch will implement Kofax Capture, Kofax Transformation Modules, Kofax VRS Elite and Kofax Monitor to automate the capture and processing of 1,000,000 personnel health forms, medical lab reports, EKG results and other medical documents that it receives every year. Kofax's solution will allow the branch to route the resulting images and data to a Microsoft SharePoint app, allowing for easy access by employees.

According to Executive Vice President of Field Operations for Kofax Alan Kerr, "Kofax solutions enable government organizations to leverage the secure, automated, capture enabled processing of documents to reduce costs and paper, improve service and become more efficient."

Kofax Capture provides scan-to-archive capabilities by scanning documents and forms in order to create digital images, extracting index data for retrieval purposes and delivering those images and associated data to a plethora of different repositories and applications. By doing things this way, customers of Kofax can greatly reduce the cost of retrieval while also improving upon regulatory and compliance efforts. Kofax Capture is also very flexible and scalable, allowing customers to determine where and how images are captured and indexed.

Kofax VirtualReScan Elite, or VRS, is the patented image enhancement and perfection software used by the company. This software reduces the time it takes for manual document preparation while also enhancing the quality of scanned images. This drastically improves manual scanning productivity as well as the efficiency of document capture processes. High quality images are vital because they can greatly impact the success of downstream data extraction and retrieval needs.

The Kofax Transformation Modules add things like classification, page separation, data extraction and validation capabilities to the Kofax Capture. All of this is incorporated to run diverse capture-to-process applications. Kofax Transformation Modules are able to significantly reduce labor costs, improve information quality and accelerate business processes by automating tasks that are usually labor intensive, error prone and time consuming.

The last piece of the contract includes Kofax Monitor, which provides real time monitoring and performance capabilities. This ensures the operational health of Kofax Capture and advanced recognition and communication systems. In addition to that, it monitors the systems' components, which includes scanners supporting Kofax VRS and its business service viability. This provides real time access to operational information, which also allows for immediate corrective action to be taken.

The name of the exact branch of the United States Military that is incorporating this system from Kofax plc has yet to be released, though whichever branch it is, they sure are getting quite the setup from Kofax. However, Kofax isn't exactly lacking in the deal either; $300,000 for a single contract sounds pretty good to me.

Source: Office Product News - Branch of U.S. Military Selects Kofax For Its Capture Solution

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New HP Printer Manufacturing Plant to Go Up in China

HP recently signed an agreement to start up a new printer manufacturing facility in Chongqing, China, which is expected to produce 60 million inkjet and laser printers every year after completion.

CEO for HP Meg Whitman was present during the signing ceremony and met with Chinese officials according to Chongqing's economic and information technology commission. Foxconn, the notable Taiwanese electronics manufacturer behind some of the biggest pieces of tech in the industry including Apple's iPad, is set to build the manufacturing facilities that HP is investing a currently unreleased amount in.

This new facility is expected to take two to three years to complete and will be completed in three stages. It is expected that, by 2015, the facility will produce 40 million inkjet printers every year, as well as 20 million laser printers and 150 million ink cartridges. The value of these products is also projected to produce $25 billion annually according to the commission.

HP, which ranks as the leading PC vendor in the world, already has facilities in Chongqing, which include a desktop and notebook manufacturing plant. HP announced last year that it would be expanding its manufacturing base in Shanghai while also building a regional China headquarters in the city as well. In addition to that, HP is looking to improve its enterprise business in China by investing more in delivering cloud computing products.

Other PC vendors, like Acer and Asus, also have manufacturing and operations facilities in Chongqing as well. Chongqing is also striving to become a major hub for technology in China. However, the city has recently become linked to a political scandal involving the city's former party secretary Bo Xilai, who has since been removed from his position. Zhang Dejiang, who replaced Bo Xilai, met with Whitman on Tuesday and welcomed HP's investment in Chongqing, noting that the new manufacturing operation was helping to develop China's western region.

Source: PC World - HP to Build New Printer Manufacturing Facility in China

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Toshiba Tec Develops Erasable Ink Copier

Toshiba Tec logoGoing green has been the song and dance of many a company over the past several years. With growing concerns about the environment and the planet, activists and celebrities have been relentlessly trying to get the world to cut down on pollution and wastefulness. Thankfully, many companies have adhered to this new way of thinking, challenging themselves to build better, more eco-friendly and efficient products.

One of the big things that can help with this is cutting down on paper usage. A lot of companies are reducing their physical paper usage, opting for digital documents instead. However, there are still times where physical paper is a necessity. That is why Toshiba Tec has designed a printer that makes use of a specially designed erasable toner. This special toner can be easily erased from the paper, allowing you to reuse the same paper over and over again in the same printer. The best part is that you don't need a special kind of paper either, traditional copier paper works just fine.

Basically, the special toner used by Toshiba Tec is of a specific design that loses its color when heat is applied. All you have to do is take your already printed paper and feed it into the copier. The copier will then heat up the paper to erase the ink, giving you a blank sheet of paper to reuse. Even though the ink is gone, however, the imprint of the printing process is still there, meaning you should avoid sticking anything sensitive or private into the copier.

You should know that only papers printed from this device will be able to be erased by this device. That means you can't reuse those annoying fliers you find on your windshield after coming out of the mall. You will also need to remember not to leave your documents in hot environments either because, obviously, heat makes the ink disappear. You can check out a video of the copier in action below, but tell us what you think. Is this something you would be interested in?

Source: Ubergizmo - Toshiba Tech copier system uses erasable ink
The Gadgeteer - Concept: Toshiba's Erasable Toner Copier

Short-throw projectors only require half the projection distance of traditional projectors. The projector can be placed just a foot or so from the screen. This is nice because it keeps the projector and screen near each other instead of having a long throw projector that people can accidentally block.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Xerox Debuts New Series of Light Production Devices

Xerox Light Production SeriesXerox has just unveiled its newest series of light production devices known as the Xerox D95/D110/D125 Copier/Printer and D110/D125 Printer. What's more is that Xerox is also touting these things as excellent office products capable of delivering sharp black and white image quality with both speed and efficiency.

All of these devices were built to handle very print-intensive environments and make it easy for people, like educators, to create curriculum materials, student directories, course packets and bound materials. In addition to that, productivity can be increased with archiving and stamping software, which also allows legal, insurance and healthcare customers to store documents electronically while guaranteeing authenticity with numerical markings.

Commercial, fast and franchise printers can meet tight turnaround times in the print-for-pay market and can also offer more applications and services, like newsletters, on-demand book publishing and customized dialogues. These new copier and printer models from Xerox are available in a variety of speeds, including 95, 110 and 125 pages per minute with the D110/D125 printers available in speeds of 110 and 125 ppm, perfect for the transactional print environment.

According to Group Director at InfoTrends Jim Hamilton, "The faster scanner and the simplified graphical user interface should make these new products popular in light production environments where ease of use and affordable productivity are key."

The Xerox D95/D110/D125 Copier/Printer and D110/D125 Printer are available now with list pricings ranging from $53,400 to $86,350.

Source: What They Think? - Xerox Launches Fast, Efficient Light Production Series

Short-throw projectors only require half the projection distance of traditional projectors. The projector can be placed just a foot or so from the screen. This is nice because it keeps the projector and screen near each other instead of having a long throw projector that people can accidentally block.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Canon Debuts New Technologies for the Healthcare Industry

healthcare industryCanon U.S.A Incorporated has a long history of providing copier and printer solutions for electronic medical and healthcare records needs. Well, Canon has just confirmed that it will be showcasing some new state-of-the-art products at the 2012 Healthcare Information Management Systems Society Conference (HIMSS), taking place at the Venetian Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

These new products, according to Canon, are specifically geared towards separate constituents within a healthcare office and the company's booth will display examples of how Canon's imageFORMULA document scanners and imageCLASS laser devices can address the unique needs of the different healthcare environments, such as billing, admissions, nurses' stations, back offices, physicians' offices and IT desks.

Attendees to the conference will also have the opportunity to experience a hands-on demonstration of the latest Canon interoperability and workflow solutions. Canon also plans on exhibiting successful interoperability with electronic health record applications at the Nuance booth, as well as in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, by sending scanned documents with an HL7 CDA from imageRUNNER Advance multifunction products using the embedded Nuance eCopy ShareScan v5 software.

According to a statement from Vice President and General Manager of Marketing and Business Imaging Solutions Group for Canon U.S.A Sam Yoshida, "Canon is dedicated to providing efficient imaging technology that plays a key role across all departments within a healthcare organization. As a leader in digital imaging, Canon is uniquely positioned to offer a diverse portfolio of solutions to streamline separate healthcare workflows, which will inevitably generate cost savings and, most importantly, improve patient care."

Source: Market Watch - Canon U.S.A. Showcases Advanced Imaging Solutions for Healthcare Workflow and Interoperability at HIMSS12

DVD Video Projectors are exactly what they sound like, a combination unit that combines a DVD media player with a video projector, cutting out the need for multiple pieces of electronics and wiring.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Brand Keys Awards Kinoca Minolta MFP Office Copier of the Year

Konica Minolta logoKonica Minolta U.S.A. has just announced that it was recently awarded first place in the 2012 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index in the category of "MFP Office Copier". This marks the fifth consecutive year the company has won this award. Every year, Brand Keys publishes its Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, which surveys 49,000 Americans in order to determine how brands rank in customer loyalty. This year's index examined customers' relationships with 600 brands in a total of 83 categories.

Brand Keys' 2012 research accurately shows the category drivers that engage customers, engender loyalty and drive profits. The company's methodology, which considered a plethora of competitors, surveyed customers and asked them to characterize their perfect product in the MFP Office Copier category. This set the standard for excellence and identified Konica Minolta as a leading brand for customer loyalty in this category when measured against the "ideal" office copier.

According to a statement by Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Kevin Kern, "Being recognized by Brandy Keys for the fifth straight year is a great accomplishment and one that we value highly given the results are based on customer feedback. We strive to ensure that customers can always count on Konica Minolta for the innovative, advanced document management solutions they need, and earning this top ranking again confirms our commitment to this goal. Our award-winning product, solution and service lines consistently prove to be among the most distinguished in our industry and we look forward to continuing this success in 2012."

Robert Passikoff, Founder and President of Brand Keys, added, "Customer expectations continue to grow, particularly when it comes to technology. To compound the difficulty tech brands face, brand reputation has become a more vital differentiator when it comes to perceived brand value, reliability, and quality. Konica Minolta has managed to keep up with both the technology and consumers for the 5th straight year, which is how they continue to have the most loyal customers in the MFP Office Copier category."

Source: PR Web - Konica Celebrates Fifth Consecutive Year as Brand Keys' #1 Brand

Renting projectors for meetings, events, trade shows, and projectors is easy at! You can rent projectors for by the day, week, or month!

Monday, January 23, 2012

WonderFoil Business Cards Available from, a printer and online printing company out of New York, has just started an all new WonderFoil stickers printing service for its customers. This service basically gives customers really awesome color options for printing on high grade, durable paper that creates an interesting first impression and lasts a long time. also provides digital and offset printing for online printing, personalized label printing, postcard printing, online print services, poster printing, company signage printing and customer specific printing applications. provides vinyl decal printing, brochure leaflet printing, brochure printing and brochure tri-fold printing as well. has just begun offering WonderFoil stickers printing in UV-protected 16pt high-gloss label with sizes ranging from 2" x 3.5" and 4" x 6" to 5.5" x 8.5". All of these also come with the option of having the corners rounded or standard and customers are able to purchase quantities of 500 and 25,000 prints at a time.

According to a statement from Principal Taso Panagiotopoulos, "WonderFoil printing stands out like never before because WonderFoil gives you an unlimited range of color choices coupled with 16pt high-gloss UV coating for products that are simply irresistible to behold."

The high-gloss UV coating and nearly unlimited color range should prove to be very attractive to existing customers of as well as new and future customers too. The fact that you can order them online along with all of the other products has to offer just makes it that much more accessible.

Source: PR Web - Online Printing Business 4OVER4.COM Introduces New WonderFoil Stickers Printing Service for Businesses
Digital Journal - New York Printing Company 4OVER4.COM Introduces WonderFoil Business Cards Printing Services for Businesses

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Monday, January 9, 2012

USB Security on Lexmark Printers and MFPs

Lexmark printersGo out and buy a computer today and you will find that it is nearly impossible to find one that doesn't have at least one USB port. These ports allow you to pop in a flash drive or some other compatible technology, which opens up the possibilities for both you and your computer. However, USB drives are not solely restricted to computers. A lot of copiers, printers and multifunction devices have USB support as well. What you may not know is that in order to have USB support, you have to have a slight measure of security exposure because anything that can be used for good can also undoubtedly be used for bad.

A plethora of Lexmark laser printers and multifunction printers have support for USB drives so it is definitely necessary to look at all the potential security consequences that come with such support. A full whitepaper from Office Product News talks about all the security considerations that you should take into account if you are looking at a printer or MFP that has USB support. In addition to that, the whitepaper explains all the different protective measures that have been incorporated to address such concerns.

USB devices are used to connect an infinite amount of devices to different technologies and are able to perform a lot of different interactions once connected. Unfortunately, the USB ports that are found on Lexmark devices are a lot more limited than ones you would find on computers or laptops due to the amount of security risks that arise from putting USB support on a copier, printer or other multifunction device.

When you use the USB drives on Lexmark devices this happens:

The device finds and displays all the image files and flash files by name that are located on the flash drive when it is inserted into the Lexmark device.

If you select a flash file to print, the firmware in the printer will update as long as the firmware updates are allowed in the security settings.

Lexmark devices also allow you to scan data to the USB drive directly if the drive is available in a supported scan format.

This definitely gives you something to think about, especially if you have a printer with USB support. Internet and document safety is becoming more and more important, especially with the recent rise of hack attempts on big name corporations and government websites. If you want to check out the full whitepaper, you can do that here.

Source: Office Product News - Security and USB Ports on Lexmark Devices

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