US remanufacturer to operate four-day week

July 23, 2014

IJR has stated it will return to four-day working week.

IJR's facility in Arizona

IJR’s facility in Arizona

The company said in a press release that it previously adopted a four-day week from Monday to Thursday during “the last fuel crisis” in order to “reduce the burden on our employees who often commute fairly long distances”. The four-day week in turn allowed the company to “reduce our costs” and help maintain “our low, competitive pricing”, with “lengthened hours” over the four-day week seeing staff start at 7am and finish at 5pm.

Now, IJR has found that “production actually increased overall” during the adoption of the four-day week, and that it was “easily able to keep up with orders and shipments in a timely fashion despite the change”. As a result, and in light of other “private and public” businesses adopting a similar model, the company has decided to “return to our four-day work week” from 28 July.

Currently based in Phoenix Arizona, IJR was founded in 1978 in Santa Ana, California, specialising in products for the imaging supplies market such as plotter pens, industrial markers and speciality inks. However, since the rise of inkjet technology in the 1990s, the company shifted focus to remanufacturing and recycling inkjet cartridges.

IJR moved to Arizona in 1996, and claims it was the first company worldwide to recycle inkjet cartridges. The company reported on its 35th year of business last year.

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Canon recognised for environmental efforts

July 23, 2014

environmentOEM ranked highly in two green business lists following “environmental and sustainable efforts”.

Virtual Strategy reported that Canon has been placed at number 26 out of 50 companies in Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Green Brands, and at number 125 out of 500 in Newsweek’s 2014 Green Rankings.

Both of the lists are based on publically available data and take a number of factors into consideration “from quantitative environmental performance figures like energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, to more subjective information like market perception and reputation”.

Interbrand’s Best Global Brands involves the examination of 100 companies included in Interbrand’s report, with each qualifying brand assessed on “both market perception and actual environmental performance across six pillars – governance, stakeholder engagement, operations, supply chain, transportation and logistics, and products and services”. Customer perceptions on the companies’ “green activities and reputation” are also collected via a survey of more than 10,000 consumers.

Meanwhile Newsweek’s 2014 Green Rankings are compiled using “insightful data from industry experts and the research firm Corporate Knights Capital”, evaluating the environmental performance of “the 500 largest global publically-traded companies” based on “energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and use of recycling”. The reputation of companies for sustainability, the link between executive compensation and achievement of environmental targets, and the presence of a sustainability committee are also taken into account.

Among Canon’s environmental efforts have been the implementation of an office equipment recycling programme and toner cartridge recycling programme that has resulted in 240,000 tons of empty cartridges being collected worldwide; with the OEM also partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its ENERGY STAR programme and qualifying for a Gold rating in EPEAT’s imaging equipment category.

Joe Adachi, Chairman and CEO of Canon USA, said: “For companies that manufacture and ship products worldwide, environmentally conscious operations are especially challenging, which is why Canon is honoured to be included in both Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands and Newsweek’s Green Rankings. Canon is committed to the environment through our resource conservation efforts, from research and development to sales and distribution.”

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Second UK inkjet workshop announced

July 22, 2014

iFormulate Ltd. to host second one-day training workshop in Runcorn, UK.ink

UK-based formulation technology consultancy, iFormulate Ltd., announced that the second of its two separate one-day training workshops covering the essential of formulation for inkjet applications will take place on 25 September 2014, and will focus on “textiles, solvents and UV” inkjets.

The workshops are designed for scientists and technologies involved in inkjet formulation as well as in the digital printing supply chain. “Intermediate Inkjet Formulation” follows the first meeting in June, which The Recycler reported on earlier this year. Expert speakers include industry consultants Dr. John Provost, Terence Kenneth, Bill Fern and Mark Holbrook.

The second workshop will see attendees learn about “the formulation of solvent inks for continuous and drop-on-demand printers, UV inkjet inks and UV curing”, as well as “textile inks and application processes for digital textile printing”. The session will also “cover the optimisation of inks for specific printheads and ink-substrate interactions” for printing on paper.

Dr Jim Bullock, Director at iFormulate, commented: “We were delighted by the positive reaction of delegates to the first workshop. In fact several delegates signed up for the September workshop because of their good experience in June. Inkjet formulation is a big topic, so in the second workshop we are able build on some of the important topics which we couldn’t cover in detail the first time around.”

Information and registration details can be found here, or by emailing info@iformulate.biz.

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Epson increases PrecisionCore production capacity

July 22, 2014

precisioncoreOEM will invest ¥10 billion from fiscal 2014 through the 2015 fiscal year in PrecisionCore print head production lines in Japan.

Epson announced that it will increase the production capacity of its PrecisionCore inkjet print heads by investing approximately ¥10 billion ($98.4 million/€73 million) in production lines at its Suwa Minami and Tohoku sites; with the company stating that investment will total roughly ¥40 billion ($394 million/€292 million) by fiscal 2015, including R&D spending and capital investment over the past decade.

The OEM’s PrecisionCore inkjet print heads are described as offering “blazing fast print speeds and stunning image quality”, and are predominantly used in office, commercial and industrial inkjet printers. The PrecisionCore technology was developed by Epson following breakthroughs in piezo material by combining its core inkjet technology with “advanced micreoelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology”; with the print heads first produced in June 2013 at the two plants.

The print heads feature “individually controlled nozzles, each of which is capable of firing up to 50,000 precise ink droplets per second”, and are produced on “fully-automated production lines”.

Epson stated that the increased production capacity “will enable Epson to achieve its business goal of strengthening its position and expanding its footprint in the inkjet printer domain”, helping to “further enhance competitiveness and drive business growth”.

The Recycler reported in April of Epson UK’s plans to become the “number one player” in production print, with more than 10 new inkjet printers featuring PrecisionCore print heads set to be launched by 2016.

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Brother launches new affordable inkjet printer

July 22, 2014

The MFC-J4420DW is aimed at the SOHO (Small Office Home Office) market.

Brother's MFC-J4420DW

Brother’s MFC-J4420DW

CePro reported on the launch of the printer by the OEM, which noted that the machine features “cost-competitive features and print rates” alongside compatibility with iOS, Android, Microsoft and Kindle Fire tablets and phones for mobile printing.

The MFC-J4420DW is part of Brother’s Business Smart product line, and offers a “higher level of performance than previous generations” due to improved print speeds of 20ppm in monochrome and 18ppm in colour, alongside a 2.7-inch colour touchscreen and 11-inch by 17-inch paper printing options.

The device also features the OEM’s Super High-Yield inkjet cartridges, which can print approximately 1,200 monochrome and colour pages , which Brother notes “helps to reduce per page print costs, which can help save money in higher volume print environments”. Mobile printing applications that the machine can sync with include AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Cortado Workplace and iPrint & Scan.

Eric Dahl, Director of Marketing for SoHo Products for Brother, commented: “With the expansion and improved pricing of our award-winning Business Smart Series, it’s easier than ever for a customer to find the ideal colour inkjet all-in-one for the home office or small office.

“By committing to low-cost printing, mobile device connectivity, and versatile paper handling, we’re making owning an innovative, hard-working Brother Inkjet all-in-one accessible to SOHO customers who are keeping a careful eye on their budget.”

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Proton announces summer closing dates

July 21, 2014

proton - CopyThe company will close for the summer on 1 August.

Proton has stated that it will close down for the summer on 1 August, and will reopen on 17August, adding that “requests and orders will be treated on/after 18 August”.

If your company is closing down for the summer, and you’d like us to help spread the word, email us at news@therecycler.com.

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Samsung releases A3 machines in Jordan

July 21, 2014

The OEM launched its MultiXpress series in the Middle Eastern nation.

Samsung's MultiXpress K2200

Samsung’s MultiXpress K2200

MENAFN reported on the launch by Samsung’s subsidiary, Samsung Electronics Levant, of the MultiXpress A3 laser range in Jordan. The printers will be sold by official distributor The National Office System Co., and are aimed at enterprises as well as private, public and banking sectors.

The launch was held at the Intercontinental Jordan Hotel at a seminar for customers from the different market sectors, with a workshop also held by The National Office System to demonstrate the printers. The devices include the K2200 and K2200ND, which are MFPs featuring “high quality printing output”, a 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution, high-capacity toner cartridges and RECP technology, which “enhances the printing quality for text and images […] while reduc[ing] the cost to businesses by reducing printing costs per page”.

Mr. Chung, Head of Samsung Electronics Levant’s Enterprise Business Group, stated: “In this evolving lifetime, enterprises’ needs are developing and changing constantly, and to meet owners’ and professional’s expectations, we at Samsung deliver innovative products and solutions based on these needs and expectations.

“With diverse usage, enterprises will experience a more powerful and professional performance with flexible and easy-to-use technologies, accompanied by simplified setup, printing and maintenance methods, to give the users the optimal experience.”

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UK MP backs circular economy

July 18, 2014

Lrecycleaura Sandys organised a meeting to discuss developing a circular economy in the UK.

The meeting at the UK’s House of Commons, organised by Sandys, the Green Alliance and circular economy conference and exhibition company Resource, was said by Resource to “agree steps towards development of a modern, resource-efficient economy”, with Sandys said to intend to “shake up the waste industry” and introduce a circular economy.

The event saw 100 figures from the waste industry attending “in support of the growth of a circular economy in the UK”, with Sandys stating that “dramatic changes are needed to shift the mindset from ‘waste’ to ‘resource’”, and adding her point of view that “much of [the] government lacks the modern policies we need in a resource-constrained economy”.

Resource added that the meeting was intending to “collat[e] suggestions for how legislation could support and help” circular economy models, and it also helped launch the Green Alliance’s second report on the circular economy, titled Wasted opportunities: Smarter systems for resource recovery. The report suggests “shifting” the government’s weekly bin collection support package, worth £250 million ($426 million/€315.6 million) to a fund which would “support circular economy infrastructure”.

The Green Alliance’s Dustin Benton stated that there was too much “false separation of commercial and domestic waste”, making it “inefficien[t]”, whilst the Alliance’s Matthew Spencer stated this was down to “lazy thinking on localism”. Food recycling formed a large part of discussions, but economic drivers were questioned as perhaps not “large enough yet for businesses to think circular”.

Gev Eduljee, Director of External Affairs at SITA UK, added that legislation and incentivisation “through taxation” would be the “most effective method for government to support a circular economy”, whilst IPPR Research Fellow Mark Rowney noted that “producer responsibility [is] a key missing link”, with the need to “look harder” at the ownership of materials in the cycle.

In the UK government, Sandys noted that resource security “is not a political issue”, meaning that the different political parties share a “consensus” view, with two key areas of focus decided at the meeting: plastics and WEEE waste.

Stephen Gee, Director for Resource, who organised the event, commented: “We were delighted to be able to host this meeting of advocates of a modern economy. It’s clear that [the] government must be active in incentivising companies to do more and in requiring them to collect and recover materials.

 

“A working circular economy requires unilateral agreement and action, so it was great to witness government engagement in order to understand how legislation can support businesses to become more circular.”

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Océ advises on purchasing wide-format printers

July 18, 2014

The OEM has discussed the factors to consider when buying a wide-format device.Océ Arizona 6100 Series

ITWeb shared Océ South Africa’s perspective on purchasing wide-format printers, with the OEM’s Product Manager of its Wide Format Printing Systems Division, Chris Paulet, talking about the different factors to consider when thinking about buying a machine.

The factors include: colour and or black and white; cost; performance and speed; and image quality. Paulet added that buyers should also look at “ease of use, security, product options, floor space [and] environmental concerns” if possible as well. In terms of colour and or black and white, Paulet notes that this depends on the sort of print jobs that would be done on the machines, and adds that “when scrutinising the print costs”, consumers should pay attention to this and the amount of printing to be done.

Black and white machines “generally perform faster” whilst colour machines can print a wider range of technical and photographic works, and costs depend on volume as well as “calculations” done in advance, which should also take into consideration the different printing modes on machines. Consumables and service costs should be considered, as well as automation, which Paulet notes “will help lower hidden costs”.

In terms of performance and speed, Paulet notes that “throughput speed is most important […] if you have a continuous flow of documents” whilst first print time is more important to consider “if the machine is used intermittently”. File-processing times should also be taken into account, and the best way to do this is “run test prints” to get an idea of the time files take to be printed.

Moving onto image quality, high resolution “does not necessarily offer the best quality”, and black and white machines offer “more or less the same” quality on any media, whilst different media used on colour machines will provide different quality levels. Again, Paulet implores users to print tests on a machine before buying it to see the quality levels for themselves.

He also notes that ease-of-use considerations should include looking at how you currently use machines, and that this also includes consumable replacements and installations as well as just the touchscreen and printing operations. If there are multiple users, consumers should “look for ways to automate print jobs”, and consumable replacements should be inquired about ahead of large print jobs.

Finding a secure machine that fits in the space provided for it, and which does not impact on the environment are other areas Paulet suggests users consider, in perhaps less importance than those previously mentioned. In terms of environmental concerns, he says that “the first thing that springs to mind” is cartridge disposal, adding that whilst recycling “plays an obvious role” in collection and disposal, the printer itself “can also be […] refurbished, reused or remanufactured”.

He concludes that “there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution”, as machine choices depend on “the number of people using the printer and the type of print, copy and scan jobs”, and by looking at the areas mentioned, consumers can “make an informed choice based on what you need”.

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Canon faces class actions over PIXMA printers

July 17, 2014

Canon's PIXMA MX892

Canon’s PIXMA MX892

The OEM is facing complaints about selling PIXMA machines with defects in the USA.

Actionable Intelligence (subscription required) reported on the cases, taken up at the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which are class-action complaints from consumers accusing Canon of “knowingly selling certain PIXMA inkjet all-in-ones with a printhead defect that renders the printer inoperable for printing, copying, scanning and faxing”.

The first class action was filed on 23 May on behalf of Sarah Barrett, whilst the second was filed on 10 July on behalf of Marcus Ho, with both complaints stating that “after limited use [or] well before the end of their useful lives”, some of the PIXMA machines display a “wrong or incorrect printhead error message”, U052, and refuse to print, scan, copy or fax thereafter.

Barrett’s complaint came after she bought a PIXMA MX892 in Virginia, and includes mentions of 16 other defective models that Canon allegedly continued to sell, including the MX892, MP600, MX860 and MX700, all of which use a “permanent thermal printhead rather than an integrated inkjet cartridge with a replaceable printhead”.

Part of Barrett’s complaint added that if the issue “cannot be resolved by trouble-shooting […] the printer must be returned to Canon for service”, but the OEM allegedly knew of the defect “because of the repairs it was asked to do”, and yet did not recall the machines. The complaint added that “Canon has refused to pay for labour or diagnostic expenses” for consumers affected a year after purchase (after warranty runs out), with repair costs said to “exceed the price” of buying a new machine.

Barrett’s complaint also stated: “By engaging in the above described conduct, Canon committed acts and omissions with actual malice and accompanied by a wanton and wilful disregard of persons, including Plaintiff and members of the Class, who foreseeably might by [sic] harmed by those acts and omissions.”

The complaint alleges Canon “violated the New York Consumer Protection Act and breached both expressed and implied warranties”, with “no fewer than tens of thousands of persons nationwide” said to be affected”, with Barrett seeking “restitution and disgorgement as a result of Canon’s unfair business practices”, as well as Canon “be ordered to inform the public about the printer defect”.

Ho’s complaint names additional machines such as the MG5320, MP530, MP960, MX850 and MX892, with Ho buying an MG5320 that also displayed the message, and Canon apparently refusing to “repair or replace the printer for free because it was outside its warranty period”. This complaint adds that the internet is full of “consumers [who] have complained of the exact same print defect”.

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