Governments and businesses working towards circular economy

September 11, 2014

A number of manufacturers have begun to take a lead in working towards a circular economy.RecycleItStand

Marketing Week reported on the moves towards implementing a circular economy model through governments and businesses, with some brands “pushed towards” rethinking manufacturing, and governments promoting the idea that “recycling is about to get serious”.

The site notes that with the world’s population set to increase to nine billion by 2050, the “strain on natural resources is ever-tighter”, with the circular economy the “latest buzz phrase” to describe an “ideal economic system in which all products and industrial activities are recyclable”. It adds that the idea is “a direct challenge to marketers to devise alternative strategies” to products having a defined lifecycle, meaning they would need to consider eco-design from the outset.

One manufacturer seeking to “take a lead” is Philips, which has “set up a circular economy team to focus on innovation”, with ideas including “repurposing old components in its healthcare equipment business to build new products”, and a target of “using 3,500 tonnes of recycled plastics in its consumer electronics division in 2015”.

The idea of going beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) was also addressed, with the site noting that “sustainability should permeate every aspect of a company’s activity, from the products it makes to the energy it uses […] undertaking these kinds of process improvements will create savings across [businesses] that will ultimately benefit the bottom line”, with management consultants McKinsey & Company claiming businesses “could derive” over $1 trillion (€773 billion) of value each year “from materials that are presently deemed to be waste”.

Marketing Week points out that many governments are implementing or investigating the circular economy, with the European Commission’s Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe report published in July with the aim to develop “new business models, eco-design and industrial symbiosis [that] can move us towards zero-waste”, alongside pledges to increase packaging waste recycling to 80 percent and lower food waste by 30 percent by 2030.

One recent example is the French government’s move in August to “compel electronics retailers in the country to make space in their shops so that consumers can drop off old devices such as mobile phones, toasters and kettles for recycling”. UK MP Laura Sandys also proclaimed the circular economy model in July, as The Recycler previously reported.

Whilst Marketing Week’s article notes that “such reports are unlikely to herald a sudden regulatory overhaul […] they do, however, show that the circular economy has become part of the mainstream political discourse, and is likely to prompt a gradual creep of measure that brands must adapt to”.

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CBR/CRTechnologies relocation benefits business

September 8, 2014

CBR/CRTechnologies' new location in Frenkendorf.

CBR/CRTechnologies’ new location in Frenkendorf.

Refill machine manufacturer moves to a more accessible location in Frenkendorf, 12 kilometres south of Basel.

Switzerland-based manufacturer of cartridge refill machines, CBR/CRTechnologies, moved premises at the start of July; with Fredy Gass explaining that the main reason for moving was due to the long commute employees faced every day at their previous location: “In the past, almost everyone wasted time – at least 30 minutes per day – in the daily traffic.”

The new location, Gass said, has “great accessibility by car” and so “all eight employees are happy”. He added that the new location is also “just beside several shopping centres and other shops, on the first floor of a busy business centre where several other companies have their offices. This has allowed us to activate a customer counter in our refill business, THINKshop.ch, and we have already had additional business from walk-in customers”.

The companies’ new address is: CBR Engineering AG / CRTechnologies AG, Parkstrasse 6, 4402 Frenkendorf, Switzerland.

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Pelikan awarded inkjet cartridge patent

September 5, 2014

An image from Pelikan's granted patent

An image from Pelikan’s granted patent

The company was granted a European patent for an inkjet cartridge.

The patent, EP 2 483 080 B1, was awarded to Pelikan Hardcopy in Europe, and refers to an inkjet cartridge featuring “filled-level detection” on the front or “forward-facing side” of the cartridge itself. The patent discusses in detail the flow of information between the cartridge and the printer through the “light-beam deflecting surfaces” dotted around the cartridge itself.

The document goes on to give more information about the “light-transmitting component[s]” of the cartridge, with the inference that the cartridge would feature technology that would allow users to know when it is filled, or alternatively to understand when the cartridge is nearly empty. The patent’s supporting image in turn presents the outer construction of the inkjet cartridge along with the different outer components.

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UK manufacturing at slowest rate for 14 months

September 2, 2014

manufacturingPMI falls to 52.5 in August – the lowest level since June 2013 – due to a fall in new orders.

The Guardian reported that the UK manufacturing sector hit a 14-moth low in August, with a PMI level of 52.5 – down from 54.8 in July and below previous forecasts in a Reuters poll.

Despite the PMI being above 50, indicating that the sector is still seeing growth, it was reported that “the onus will fall on consumers to keep driving the UK’s economic upturn” in the final half of the year; with the slower rate attributed to the new orders component dropping to its lowest level since April last year at 52.9 – down from 56.8 in July. This was reportedly the “biggest one-month drop for two years”, with factories hiring staff “at the slowest pace” since June 2013.

The UK’s PMI level reflected that of Eurozone manufacturers, which also indicated that growth had “eased more than expected”; while the EEF – the UK’s main manufacturing trade body – cutting its growth forecast for 2014 following members reporting “a big drop in export orders”.

Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit, commented: “It is becoming increasingly evident that UK industry is not immune to the impacts of rising geopolitical and global market uncertainty […] that’s especially true when they affect economic growth and business confidence in our largest trading partner, the Eurozone.”

However, Dobson noted that the pace of the UK manufacturing sector’s expansion “remained slightly above its long-term average” despite “consumer, intermediate and investment goods producers” seeing a “slowdown”.

Markit noted that employment within the UK manufacturing sector “increased overall, mainly due to hiring from small to medium-sized manufacturers”, but “staffing levels fell at big firms”; while “price pressures continued to look muted” as the MPI showed that “factory gate prices grew at the weakest pace since March”.

The Recycler reported that the UK manufacturing sector ended 2013 with strong growth, as output growth was set to reach over one percent for the final quarter of the year. It was also reported that November 2013 saw the highest PMI level recorded for three years, reaching 58.1.

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Delacamp announces participation at Remanexpo@Paperworld 2015

September 1, 2014

Volker Kappius

Volker Kappius

The company has confirmed its attendance at the event next year.

Delacamp stated that its booth will be B21 in Hall 6.0, and its announcement follows the news last month that the event is already three-quarters full, with an “extended complementary programme” of seminars and an awards ceremony planned. The event is set to take place from 31 January to 3 February at Messe Frankfurt Showgrounds in Frankfurt, Germany.

Volker Kappius, COO of Delacamp, commented: “As the quality leader in the EMEA Region, we need to have a presence at the show. With more companies looking to procure parts and supplies in China and surrounding countries, and thus sacrificing quality, it is our obligation to be the exhibitor of choice at the show for those who want to pursue the quality route.”

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€7 billion per year lost to “inefficient” printers

August 29, 2014

An Epson study has found that each of five major EU nations lose around €7 billion a year alone to “improper management of printers” or a “poor choice” of technology.mps

La Stampa reported on the study’s findings, which state that “incorrect handling and inadequate technologies” concerning printer management and technology are among the root cause for losses of around €7 billion ($9.2 billion) per year for the five major European nations: Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK.

The five nations lose around €24 billion ($31.6 billion) each year “due to the inadequacy and inefficiency of technologies”, but the previously-mentioned €7 billion is down to printing alone, with Epson noting that this in turn has “negative influences on competitiveness and work”. The research was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research, which contacted 1,250 IT decision makers in the financial and retail industries whose companies have over 50 employees.

The “frustration of employees” is also mentioned “in addition to the losses”, with interruptions, paper jams and maintenance issues said by the survey to be “the main elements of frustration and dissatisfaction for employees when it comes to hardware and IT systems”. The three main issues in printing are paper jams, low printing speeds and “centralised location[s]” of printers, with workers “force[d] to leave their desks to retrieve” printouts.

The survey also asked what the main frustrations are “related to printing technology from a business point of view”, with results showing that “the situation changes” and costs and reliability “leap into the foreground” – 46 percent of companies saw the cost of consumables as the main problem, whilst 43 percent saw reliability as the biggest issue, as well as 33 percent naming print quality.

Each worker was said to lose around 14.7 minutes a day due to outdated or ineffectual technology, which Epson noted “may reduce the reliability of the product”, whilst “any faults or interruptions are expensive to companies.

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African HCP market has “growth potential”

August 28, 2014

ichartDespite slight decline in 2Q2014, IDC states that the market’s growth potential “remains largely intact”.

Second quarter results showed that the African hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market experienced year-on-year declines of 1.6 percent in volume and 2.8 percent in value after posting strong quarterly results in 1Q2014; although IDC noted that the region’s growth potential “remains largely intact”.

The analyst noted that “unofficial channels” are continuing to impact the market, with Ashwin Venkatachari, Senior Programme Manager for Imaging, Printing and Document Solutions at IDC Middle East, commenting that this is particularly the case “in markets with less developed channels” despite efforts by vendors “to offer competitive prices”.

However, he added that “IDC believes that despite the small decline seen in Q2 2014, Africa will continue to offer strong growth potential across all hardcopy technologies going forward. HCP shipments will initially be driven by the implementation of large infrastructure projects across the continent and will be further boosted by the growing SMB segment”.

While Africa’s biggest IT markets – South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria – reported strong recovery in shipments compared to the same period in 2013, the region’s remaining markets experienced “considerable inventory pressure” following a strong first quarter. The main drivers for growth in South Africa and Nigeria were “tender activities within the government sector” along with “growth in the SMB segment”.

A decline of 0.7 percent year-on-year was recorded for inkjet shipments, which totalled 280,000 units, although the value of those shipments increased 4.9 percent to $27 million (€20.5 million), driven by devices priced above $400 (€303) as they continued to post strong growth due to HP’s Officejet Pro X series and Brother’s MFC- J6910DW. The most popular inkjet devices were those priced below $100 (€76), posting growth in both volume and value. However, this was “outweighed” by a decline in demand for mid-range devices

Monochrome laser shipments meanwhile declined 4.6 percent to almost 265,000 units, while the value also decreased 2.6 percent to $132.5 million (€100.4 million). The overall decline in the mono laser market was attributed to a decline in the one to 20 ppm segment, as all other speed segments showed year-on-year growth.

Colour laser shipments bucked the trend as they saw an increase of 12.5 percent, with just under 48,000 units shipped. However, the value of the market declined 6.4 percent to $68.8 million (€52.1 million) due to increased competition forcing a decrease in prices – a trend IDC expects to continue as the colour market grows. Serial dot matrix shipments remained flat at just over 11,000 units, with a five percent decline in value to $6.5 million (€5 million) due to “ongoing migration to newer, more efficient technologies”.

The Recycler has recently reported on the second quarter results of both the worldwide HCP market and the Middle East HCP market, with the former seeing decline for the first time in three quarters but the latter showing strong growth.

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Middle East HCP market sees strong growth

August 27, 2014

PrintersSecond quarter results show overall hardcopy peripherals (HCP) market in Middle East grew 9.4 percent in volume and seven percent in value.

IDC released the 2Q2014 results for the Middle East HCP market, which showed “strong” year-on-year growth despite a downturn in Turkey due to presidential elections, which had caused firms to postpone their purchases as they awaited the outcome.

Other than Turkey, most of the region’s other key markets recorded “significant” double-digit growth, with “robust domestic infrastructure investments” in Saudi Arabia and the UAE having a particularly positive impact on HCP demand.

While inkjet shipments in the region declined by two percent year-on-year to 315,000 units, the inkjet market’s value actually increased by 15 percent to over $34 million (€25.8 million) due to “strong performance in the $400+ (€303+) category” due to increasing popularity in high-speed inkjet models aimed at businesses.

Meanwhile mono laser shipments grew 11.8 percent to more than 457,000 units, with the market’s value also increasing 11.2 percent to reach $196 million (€148.6 million) and all segments of the mono laser market experiencing strong growth.

Colour laser shipments also saw a huge increase of 47.3 percent to reach more than 112,000 units, although the market’s value decreased 1.9 percent to $99 million (€75 million) “as increasing competition continued to drive prices down across all segments”.

Finally, dot matrix shipments showed “relatively flat” year-on-year shipment growth of 1.7 percent during the quarter, while the market’s value dropped 11.8 percent to $12.4 million (€9.4 million). IDC noted that “the downward pressure on prices remains strong as end users continue to transition to newer, more efficient technologies”.

Commenting on the second quarter results, Ashwin Venkatchari, Senior Program Manager for Imaging, Printing, and Document Solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, said: “The colour laser market continues to register the region’s most impressive volume and value growth rates, but we are also seeing strong shipment growth across most speed segments of the mono laser market.

“The focus of vendors on pushing entry-level mono laser devices into the region has had a significant impact on shipment growth in most of the major Middle East markets. And despite the volatile political climate seen in certain parts of the region, the ongoing reliance on hardcopy documents by businesses is continuing to drive considerable demand for HCP devices.”

The Recycler reported yesterday that the worldwide HCP market declined in 2Q2014 for the first time in three previous quarters, with 25.5 million units shipped worldwide.

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Autonomy reseller deals brought into question by HP

August 26, 2014

hpDeals between the software company and “middlemen” prior to its acquisition by HP in 2011 said to be “questionable”, although Autonomy founder asserts the deals were signed off by auditor.

The Guardian reported on documents leaked by HP regarding several deals made by UK software company Autonomy with resellers of its software, whereby the resellers “bought the Autonomy products on credit in order to sell them on to a named user”, with the documents referring to deals with blue-chip companies Kraft, Eli Lilly and KPMG.

HP is using the documents in its attempt to prove that it had been misled by “serious accounting improprieties, disclosure failures and outright misrepresentations”  made by Autonomy prior to its acquisition; although Autonomy founder Mike Lynch and his team have denied all allegations, blaming “bad management by HP” and “differences between British and American accounting standards”.

The Guardian reported that “a source with knowledge of the matter” had said that HP believed “dozens” of Autonomy’s contracts with resellers from January 2009 onwards were questionable. However, Autonomy said that during that period it signed 15,000 deals, with Lynch asserting that the company’s auditor, Deloitte, had been aware of and approved every transaction, including those that had been brought into question by HP, and that it had approved of the company’s accounting method.

The deals in question involved contracts with resellers “to buy software on credit and with little or no money changing hands up front”, with the contracts naming an end user “to whom the reseller intended to sell the software”. Autonomy, under UK accounting standards, “could count such promises as real revenues as long as the reseller signed a legally binding agreement stopping it from returning the software if it couldn’t find a buyer”.

However, the documents reportedly suggest that the resellers “were not always able to sell the software to the named end customer”, with the purchase from Autonomy cancelled in some cases and “at least one reseller” receiving financial compensation from Autonomy.

A reseller called Capax placed a $4 million (€3 million) order with Autonomy for software it intended to sell to confectionary company Kraft, making a $400,000 (€303,000) downpayment on the deal. However, Kraft arranged to buy directly from Autonomy, resulting in the software maker cancelling its sale to Capax but paying it $400,000 in compensation; with Capax’s original downpayment carried over to a new deal for software it intended to sell to Eli Lilly.

However, Eli Lilly also decided to purchase directly from Autonomy, but Capax “was made party to the contract, invoiced Eli Lilly for the software, and remained liable to pay Autonomy for it”.

Lynch defended the deals, accusing HP of conducting “selective disclosure” as “they have partially leaked details around a few deals, out of over ten thousand that took place, which were all reviewed and cleared by the auditors, including any fees, and recorded as such at the time. They were noted as extremely rare cases and the cash was received for all of them. In short they were handled correctly. HP needs to explain where the $5bn write-off came from, not run a smear campaign of selective facts and spin.”

Lynch added: “They want to destroy us through spin before the facts are tabled. If this was a multibillion-dollar fraud why were people paying us? There would have to be an enormous cash hole and there isn’t. If you have got cash coming in year after year, that’s a sustainable business.”

A source reportedly claimed that “HP and its advisers did not have access to the Deloitte audits or work papers during the due diligence process”; although Lynch’s spokesman said that “HP’s due diligence team was entitled to inspect all documents, and if there were documents they did not see, it was only because they were not asked for”.

Lynch, whom HP has accused of fraud, reportedly plans to sue HP for damages over the allegations, stating: “Autonomy was set up to change the software industry, it wasn’t just another application […] what is sad now is that dream will never come true.”

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Coates Toners partners with NAND ipl on toner

August 22, 2014

coatestonerslogoThe two toner manufacturers have worked together to produce an HP toner, and John Marshall has led research and development for both companies.

Coates Toners announced that a new “high performance” line of chemically-produced colour HP toners has been made available, with the toner developed between Coates Toners and NAND ipl and combining Coates’ “unique blending knowledge [and] technical expertise” with NAND’s nanoparticle technology.

Coates added that the partnership has “allowed both companies to optimize their strengths to produce one of the highest quality, consistent chemically-produced toner products available to the aftermarket industry”. The partnership utilised NAND ipl’s John Marshall, who led the “extensive product development and research effort” focusing on the “reformulation” of NAND’s original toner.

Coates will be responsible for global distribution of the toners, and has also announced Biuromax will be its “primary distribution partner” for Europe, with Coates distributing NAND’s Bestone toner in North and South America. The toner will be available in 10 kilogram bags.

Larry Berti, CMO of Coates Toners, stated: “John Marshall, former Senior R&D Toner Manager for Coates, has the perfect knowledge base to merge the technologies from COATES TONERS and NAND ipl.”nandlogo

In turn, John Myers, Vice President of Sales for Coates Toners, added: “We are extremely excited about these new products that meet all of our quality needs while also achieving Nordic White Swan certification.”

Finally, Dr. A. Kumar Srivastava, CEO of NAND ipl, commented: “We are ecstatic with the outcome of the reformulation. NAND’s cutting edge nanotechnology is among the most sophisticated in the industry: when combined with Coates Toners’ blend formulas and process control, superior product performance is achieved.”

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