Memjet terminates Australian partnership

October 30, 2014

Memjet Logo with Lockup v2OEM unexpectedly cancels agreement with firm regarding narrow-web inkjet label presses.

WhatTheyThink reported on the “shock, seemingly arbitrary” move by US private equity owners to terminate Memjet’s OEM partner agreement with Rapid Packaging Servicesfor the development and manufacture of narrow-web inkjet label presses, despite the agreement being scheduled to run until 2017.

While Memjet reportedly “refused to say” why the agreement was terminated due to “commercial confidentiality”, a spokesperson from Rapid claimed they “have not been given a legitimate reason why” and have not been able to negotiate with Memjet management, which simply referred them to their lawyers.

The article added thatBruce Mansell, Founder of Rapid, asserted there had “absolutely not” been any outstanding commercial liabilities between the companies, adding that Rapid “have been paying in advance for print engines, heads, and ink. We have not been given any legitimate reason why Memjet is cutting us off after years of pioneering work deploying their technology in the digital label printing sector”.

Meanwhile, Memjet spokesperson Kim Beswick confirmed the termination of Rapid’s license to sell and service the company’s technology, but refused to give a reason; although she reportedly added that “there were ongoing negotiations”.

Commenting on the impact the decision may have on Rapid’s 250 Memjet customers, Beswick said she would find out how they could get in touch with Memjet and its resellers, but added that “those who need to know, know” and asserted that “no one would be left behind or stranded”. She said: “Although we regret that Rapid Labels is no longer an authorised Memjet partner, Memjet has over 30 OEM partners worldwide. It is only natural that there is some ebb and flow in our business relationships.”

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HP reveals 3D printing technology

October 30, 2014

The OEM revealed the Multi Jet Fusion technology alongside an “immersive computing platform”.

HP's 3D printing unit

HP’s 3D printing unit

In its press release regarding the new technology, the announcement of which was reported yesterday, HP stated that the new technology would “set standards in quality, performance and speed”, whilst its computing platform Sprout would “redefine how creation and technology come together”.

The two releases come under a “blended reality ecosystem” that is “designed to break down the barriers between the digital and physical worlds”, with the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology “engineered to resolve critical gaps” in the market concerning “speed, quality and cost”, whilst the Sprout platform would help “create a foundation for future immersive technologies”.

The 3D printing technology is built on HP’s thermal inkjet technology, and uses a “unique synchronous architecture” to image surface areas of objects “at least 10 times faster than the fastest technology in the market today”. It also uses a proprietary multi-agent process through the thermal inkjet to “simultaneously apply multiple liquid agents” for “greater accuracy, resiliency and uniform part strength”.

Other features include improved accuracy and detail as well as “break-through economics” utilised by “unif[ying] and integrat[ing] various steps” of the printing process to reduce costs, time, energy usage and waste. The technology is available today, but wider distribution of the system will begin in 2016, and the OEM is “inviting open collaboration” with customers to improve the technology over the next few years.

The Sprout technology meanwhile uses an “immersive” user interface for a “new computing experience”, combining a scanner, depth sensor, high-resolution camera and projector into one device to “take physical items and seamlessly merge them into a digital workspace”. An application marketplace has also been produced to allow collaboration and “take advantage” of the platform.

Dion Weisler, Executive Vice President of HP’s Printing & Personal Systems (PPS), and future CEo of HP Inc., commented: “We are on the cusp of a transformative era in computing and printing. Our ability to deliver blended reality technologies will reduce the barriers between the digital and physical worlds, enabling us to express ourselves at the speed of thought – without filters, without limitations. This ecosystem opens up new market categories that can define the future, empowering people to create, interact and inspire like never before.”

Stephen Nigro, Senior Vice President of HP’s Inkjet and Graphic Solutions, added: “As we examined the existing 3D print market, we saw a great deal of potential but also saw major gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost. HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to transform manufacturing across industries by delivering on the full potential of 3D printing with better quality, increased productivity, and break-through economics.”

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HP set to make 3D printing announcement

October 29, 2014

Dion Weisler, CEO of HP Inc.

Dion Weisler, CEO of HP Inc.

The OEM has scheduled an announcement today in New York, which is rumoured to concern 3D printing.

Forbes reported on HP’s announcement, set to take place later today in New York City, which asks those attending to “reimagine the possibilities of creativity”, with speculation surmising that the OEM will launch its plans for a 3D printer, an announcement that was set to be made in June but which did not come to light.

The news outlet noted that today’s conference is part of a “blitz of announcements this week”, and is “likely to include a push into 3D printing”, referencing the fact that HP CEO Meg Whitman has “said several times this year” that HP “intends to make a full-fledged launch of its plans for 3D printing before the end of its fiscal year”, which will be Friday 31 October. Additionally, 3D printing news outlets including 3Dprint.com believe today will “officially put” these plans “on the map”.

Forbes stated in turn that “many analysts think HP is stuck in stagnant or shrinking markets”, and the recently-announced split will allow HP Inc. – the division focusing on printing and to be run by Dion Wiesler – “to prove the sceptics wrong”, especially as it will “be an industrial giant” with revenues expected to reach around $55 billion (€43 billion) a year.

Weisler “isn’t talking publicly yet about specific product roll-outs”, but “spelled out his determination to develop new growth prospects” for printing and PCs, tablets, phones and “other devices”, with his game plan calling for HP Inc. to spend around 70 percent of its efforts “on making the most of existing business”, with a “second wave” of activity “in markets that are well-understood but not yet a part of HP’s business”, followed by a “third wave” in new markets.

He stated: “We have to show we can operate across all three waves. If you stop only at the first wave, eventually you run out of tricks. Operate a big company as if you’re a cook in a small kitchen.”

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HP cartridge achieves record-breaking print-out

October 28, 2014

Credit: Numberphile

Credit: Numberphile

One million digits of mathematical constant Pi printed using just one HP eight millilitre ink cartridge.

PIworld.com reported that a record was broken after YouTube channel Numberphile partnered with HP Specialty Printing Systems’ Denmark-based OEM customer HAS Systems in a print project, which saw one million digits of the mathematical constant Pi printed on a single roll of brown 70gsm Kraft paper using only one HP Durable Black ink cartridge.

The print was “powered by HP Thermal Inkjet 2.5 technology”, with the digits printed at HAS Systems’ facility in Denmark in eight-point Courier New font. The digits took just over 48 minutes to print, and once completed, the print-out was rolled-out at a UK airfield, measuring 1.052 miles or 1.69 kilometres.

Brady Haran, filmmaker and video journalist at Numberphile, said: “HP ink withstood challenging UK weather conditions like wind, rain and mist, and the last digit was printed as clear as the first one […] this is a remarkable proof point for the reliability, consistency and efficiency of original HP inks.”

The article states that the project has been “rated as a world record by an independent mathematical professor”, and has submitted an application for the Guinness Book of World Records.

You can watch a video of the project below.

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Printer creates “self-destructing” paper

October 28, 2014

Credit: Diego Pisanty

Credit: Diego Pisanty

Device coats paper in chemicals, causing it to ignite in 60 seconds.

Daily Mail reported on the development of a £4,000 ($6,400/€5,100) printer that prints documents which will then self-destruct a minute after being printed, with the device created by UK-based photographer Diego Pisanty as part of a project called ‘This Tape Will Self Destruct’.

The printer coats one part of the paper with potassium salts and layers another section with glycerol gel. These two sections are pressed together by the printer once the print is finished, triggering a chemical reaction which causes the paper to “ignite in 60 seconds”, allowing the reader just one minute to read the printed document before it catches fire.

Pasanty, who spent a year building the printer, likens the self-destructing paper to scenes from the 1966 spy series Mission: Impossible; explaining that the recent NSA and Wikileaks scandals “reminded me of 1960s spy novels […] it was this blurring of fiction and reality that made me want to take something from a spy thriller and make a real, functioning object”.

However, he admitted that the device may not be useful in today’s digital world: “I don’t think the security agencies will be using this technology any time soon. They’re more interested in encryption for digital files. There isn’t much need for the destruction of hard-copy documents any more.”

The device was debuted in September in Mexico’s San Pedro Museum in Puebla, but has since been put into storage “having been deemed a major fire hazard if operated without supervision”.

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Man dies in probable toner explosion

October 27, 2014

map_of_meerut30-year-old man killed in Meerut after being caught in an explosion thought to have been triggered by burning toner cartridges.

The Times of India reported on the explosion at the Durga Complex in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, which resulted in the death of 30-year-old Pawan Kumar; with an investigation into the explosion suggesting that it was likely to have been triggered by burning toner cartridges in one of the complex’s shops.

An intelligence official reportedly explained that “around 1,000 such cartridges were stacked a shop, as per an estimate” and that “the burning of the cartridge could have led to oxidisation of toner ink contained therein, resulting in formation of gas”. This became a problem as “the shop in question had no ventilation” meaning that “the building in pressure could have resulted in the blast”. The official said: “The blast was on horizontal lines because of this […] If an improvised explosive device (IED) were used then invariably a crater would have formed.”

This view was supported by both Inspector General of Police Alok Sharma and Sehdev Singh of the Bomb Disposal Squad, who explained that “besides using various devices, we also deployed a dog squad, which found no sign of an explosive device in the building. Thus, the blast was accidental”.

The explosion, which occurred at 1.30am local time on 24 October, has affected a number of traders whose shops were nearby, with some demanding compensation of Rs 50 lakh ($81,600/€64,000) along with a government job for relatives of Kumar and Rs 25 lakh ($40,800/€32,000) for each of the affected shop owners. Brijesh Rana, a trader whose shop was “gutted” by the explosion, said: “It is for the police to decide whether it (the blast) was a terrorist activity or an accident, but our loss is massive. The blast has taken away our livelihood. The administration is displaying a callous attitude towards us. No government representative or police personnel tried to empathise with what we are going through.”

However, district magistrate Pankaj Yadav reportedly “assured all possible help to those affected by the blast”, asking them to file a police report and to draft a letter outlining their demands “for consideration by the administration”.

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Little change for Canon in third quarter

October 27, 2014

CanonThe OEM reported falls in sales and profit, but printer sales continued at previous levels.

The third quarter results saw demand for MFPs and laser printers “maintain steady growth”, while inkjet printers “decreased slightly” compared to 2013’s results. Third-quarter net sales fell by 4.5 percent year-on-year to ¥872 billion ($8 billion/€6.3 billion), while net sales for the first three quarters in total came to ¥2.6 trillion ($24 billion/€18 billion), a one percent decline over the same results last year.

In turn, “group-wide efforts to thoroughly reduce spending” at Canon saw operating expenses increase by only 0.9 percent, to ¥359 billion ($3.2 billion/€2.6 billion), and so operating profit for the quarter fell by 20.7 percent year-on-year to ¥71.8 billion ($659 million/€519 million). Additionally, net income fell by one percent to ¥58.2 billion ($534 million/€421 million).

The Office Business Unit, which contains Canon’s MFP, laser and inkjet businesses, saw total sales volume remain “at the same level as the previous year”, mostly due to “sluggish demand for monochrome models”, and despite “sales of colour office [MFPs] increase[ing] significantly” and “healthy growth” for the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5200 series.

The OEM’s high-speed continuous feed printers, in particular the Océ ColorStream 3000 series, “enjoyed solid sales”, but laser printer sales volumes decreased “slightly” due to the aforementioned decline in monochrome sales, and consumables sales declined as well. Inkjet sales volumes “remained at the same level”, whilst consumables sales increased, with the unit’s sales in total falling 2.4 percent to ¥482 billion ($4.4 billion/€3.4 billion), and its operating profit falling 13.7 percent to ¥57.9 billion ($531 million/€418 million).

Canon stated that in future, it believes “demand for [MFPs] is projected to continue to expand moderately”, specifically in colour models, and laser printer demand “is expected to remain at the same level as the previous year”, whilst inkjet demand is “expected to contract from last year’s level due to the delayed recovery of the global economy”.

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Paperworld China sees 12 percent growth in visitors

October 24, 2014

The event in China also saw special show areas succeed.

The Shanghai New International Expo Centre

The Shanghai New International Expo Centre

The 10th show in Shanghai took place from 18 to 20 September at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, with 22,357 visitors attending to provide a 12 percent increase in numbers from the 2013 event, and “positive feedback” was given from both exhibitors and visitors to organisers Messe Frankfurt.

Visitors attended the event from over 63 different countries, with the top nations and regions represented at the show consisting of: Korea; Hong Kong, Taiwan; Japan; Indonesia; Germany; the USA; Thailand; Russia; and India. Messe Frankfurt added that “spotlights” of the event included the DIY (do it yourself) studio and Oriental Culture areas within the show floor, the first of which “caught much attention from visitors” because “DIY […] is already mature in overseas markets”.

The DIY Industry Promotion Council of Shanghai Creative Industry Association supported the zone, with its Secretary General Ping Xin stating that DIY is “still a new and emerging market in China”, but adding that the “traditional stationery and office supplies industry” in China is “gradually transforming […] due to changing consumer demand”, with the presence at the event allowing both the council and Messe Frankfurt to “maximise resources and channels”.

Fiona Chiew, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai), commented: “I am very pleased to see this year’s Paperworld China has attained such outstanding results, demonstrating its growing significance to the stationery and office supplies industry in the region over the years. Additionally, the show attracted 501 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions including Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the US.

“Our resounding success is greatly contributed to the support from our partners, trade associations and organisations. With their strong resources and connections, the show welcomed a number of local and overseas buying groups. It also featured pavilions from Taiwan, Ningbo and Wenzhou, as well as the DIY Studio and Oriental Culture.”

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Trouble “may be brewing” for Samsung

October 24, 2014

The OEM reported a 60 percent fall in profit, with analysts blaming “poor marketing”.SamsungLogo_AP_23April1

Nouse reported on speculation that Samsung is “ailing” amid a 60 percent fall in profits in its quarterly results, with analysts questioning whether “poor marketing [is] to blame” for the results, and warning that it “must not repeat [the] mistakes of Motorola and Blackberry in [the] volatile mobile market”.

The poor results came amid concerns from market analysts that “cheaper, and ever-improving, competitors are gaining ground” in the smartphone sector, with the OEM’s recent Galaxy S5 phone receiving “lukewarm [reviews] at best” as it lost first place to Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi in the Chinese mobile handset market.

Samsung spokespeople have blamed “marketing expenses related to aggressive promotions” for the profit falls, but Nouse believes that “herein the problem indeed lies”, as marketing “has never been the Korean company’s strong suit”, and it adds that market experts have interpreted the quarterly results as “indicative” of Samsung “entering the same cycle of decline” as previous mobile giants Ericsson, Motorola and Blackberry, noting “something has to be done to stop the rot”.

Analysts Market Mogul’s Calvin Williams stated that “clearly Samsung is caught in an awkward position in the market, with more and more buyers being enticed by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus’ bigger screens at the top end of the marketplace. At the same time, Samsung’s products are being undercut by cheaper and increasingly better rival players.

“As far as marketing is concerned, clearly their advertising does not resonate with young people as much as Apple’s does. Marketing is often an undervalued weapon – good marketing creates customer loyalty. Samsung often have a tendency to let their products do the talking, but it isn’t working at the moment”.

The site also suggests that even if marketing “isn’t on Samsung’s agenda”, one other option might be “streamlining”, suggesting HP’s recent split as a “similar” move. Samsung’s “shift” from the European laptop market is marked as evidence of the OEM’s moves to diversify, and the site believes that having been “fighting a war on so many fronts”, it makes sense that the company should “channel their energies into fewer products […] perhaps channelling energy into some more effective marketing campaigns would help too”.

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New dealer MPS solution launched

October 24, 2014

Norm McConkey

Norm McConkey

MPS Toolbox aims to “support office imaging dealerships […] to increase profits and revenue”.

The software, from Canadian company Tangent MTW, features “robust software tools” that help support print management programmes, and is designed for office imaging dealerships as a “unique solution […] architected to leverage existing MPS programme investments and infrastructure”, the company notes.

MPS Toolbox combines device information from a company’s remote monitoring and ERP (enterprise resource planning) software in order to “quickly deliver comprehensive assessments” as well as fleet optimisation, profit identification, proposal generation and analysis of supplies vendors for sales staff to use when looking at customer accounts.

The company also noted that MPS Toolbox “provides business optimisation” through the simplification of “data analysis processes”, and while the software is currently part of Parts Now’s R4 MPS programme, used by “dozens of dealerships within the industry”, it will be available as a software as a service (SaaS) release from $199 (€157) per month.

Norman McConkey, Principal of Tangent MTW and Creator of MPS Toolbox, commented: “There is an abundance of untapped revenue that dealers can access within their existing account base. From new hardware, less expensive service programs, and higher profit margins in their cost per page programs, MPS Toolbox is designed to show dealers how to capture this information and leverage it immediately.

“After years of struggling with flat or declining revenue and managed print programs that have yet to deliver on the cost reduction and revenue promises made, MPS Toolbox offers dealers in our industry something tangible to get excited about. Dealers already have all of the data they need within their remote monitoring systems. MPS Toolbox fits into the equation by answering the question: ‘you have data, now what?’ We’re the ‘now what.’”

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