Computer memory printed onto paper

July 29, 2014

Taiwanese researchers have been able to print computer memory onto paper.

Credit: CITEWorld

Credit: CITEWorld

CITEWorld reported on the research by Dr. Der-Hsien Lien and his team, who demonstrated printing “the kind of memory computers read” onto paper, with the aim that with printable transistors, this could “spawn a host of easy-to-make connected paper-based products” such as “do-it-yourself RFID tags”.

Noting that “there’s something deliciously ironic about printing memory onto paper [as] paper has held memories for thousands of years”, the site adds that this development can jump on the back of 3D printing to offer “home-printable objects” that can talk to “each other with home-printable computer components”.

With paper being “cheap, flexible and widespread”, it is a “good candidate as a substrate”, with the issue of absorption and “being porous and uneven” previously an “unwanted quality” when constructing electronics. Dr. Lien and his team coated paper in carbon to “make a type of resistive random access memory” that would apply voltage across the insulator layer with an electrode, so that each “bit” on the paper would be an insulator sandwiched between two electrodes.

The insulator in this case was “the right kind of ink”, which was titanium oxide printed with a modified inkjet printer, and a silver solution was used to print 50 µm dots as the electrodes. This meant that one A4 piece of paper would hold one megabyte of memory, with Lien adding that the memory “maintains its state for about eight minutes” after power is switched off, and holds up “if you bend and fold the paper”.

With much more research to be done, Lien adds that “in the future you [could] make a functional device in your home”, with initial uses including shopkeepers printing “labels for goods with an embedded list of all the goods in certain boxes”, and whilst read and write speeds are “not fast enough for complicated tasks yet”, the technology is “suitable enough for low level jobs”.

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Ricoh releases Google printing app

July 29, 2014

The Ricoh App for Google Cloud Print will enable users to print from Google devices.ricohc401-578-80

TechRadar stated that the application is “designed to enable businesses to print directly from devices without the need for pre-established print servers”, and ties Google’s Cloud Print and Docs applications to printers “via laptop, tablet or smartphone”.

The application’s connection between the two services from Google enables users in turn to “print documents, through a cloud-based connection, without having to connect the device to the printer”. In turn, Ricoh are said to be “specifically targeting non-profits, government agencies and schools” with the new application, which can be purchased directly from the OEM and be installed “remotely” by a technician.

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EPEAT comes into force in India

July 28, 2014

The environmental rating system is now available to manufacturers in the country.epeat

EE Herald reported on EPEAT’s official launch in India at an event in Delhi, hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CESD) and the Green Electronics Council. EPEAT is now available to electronics manufacturers and users to “validate [the] environmental impact of electronic products”, with India becoming the 43rd country to introduce it.

The event saw attendees discuss how EPEAT “can support and reinforce Indian efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of electronics”, with manufacturers still needing to register products with EPEAT on a “country-by-country” basis in order to qualify for the rating system worldwide. The Recycler reported in February 2013 that the imaging equipment category, including printers and cartridges, had been launched.

EPEAT stands for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, and rates each product on a lifecycle basis for the “elimination of toxic substances, the use of recycled and recyclable materials, product design for recycling, product longevity, energy efficiency, corporate performance and packaging attributes”, in addition to requiring manufacturers be responsible for both collection and “responsible recycling” of devices registered under the system.

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Xerox reports second quarter results

July 28, 2014

Total revenue fell by three percent, but OEM maintains the quarter “demonstrates progress”.nr_Xerox_Square_Building_with_New_Logo_2008Jan7-prv

The results for 2Q2014 saw total revenue of $5.3 billion (€3.9 billion), a three percent fall, though its services business, which makes up 57 percent of the total revenue, saw a growth of two percent to $3 billion (€2.2 billion), whilst in turn its document technology business, representing 40 percent of revenue, fell seven percent to $2.1 billion (€1.5 billion).

The OEM’s operating profit for the quarter came in at $514 million (€382 million), a growth of one percent, whilst $325 million (€241 million) of cash flow was generated from operations in the quarter, meaning $611 million (€454 million) was generated in the first half of the year. Xerox also repurchased $204 million (€151 million) in stock in the quarter, totalling $479 million (€356 million) purchased in the first half of the year.

Acquisitions cost the OEM $227 million (€168 million) for the quarter and $281 million (€209 million) for the half year, though Xerox noted that the expenditure “strengthen[ed] our services portfolio”.

Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox, commented: “The second quarter demonstrates progress in executing on our strategy. In our services business, revenue growth and margin are trending well in commercial services, document outsourcing and internationally. Services segment margin improvement was muted by continued pressure in our government healthcare business including unplanned impairment charges.

“Our document technology business continues to deliver strong profitability through a disciplined and effective approach to operations. As we enter the second half of the year, we are focused on improving on our progress and capitalising on opportunities that will shape the success of our business. Our business continues to deliver strong cash flow that gives us the flexibility to invest in growth, build shareholder value now and in the future, and positions us well to deliver on our expectations.”

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Jadi set for “better days ahead”

July 28, 2014

BIZD_MM_2607_p5b_32p

Jadi’s headquarters (Credit: The Star)

The Malaysian toner manufacturer spoke with a news outlet about its plans for the future.

The Star spoke to Jadi’s CEO and Executive Chairman KS. Liew about the company’s future, as well as the toner manufacturing industry. The Star pointed out that Jadi is a company “that attracted a fair bit of attention when it was first listed” on the stock exchange, but “disappeared off the radar” potentially due to its high capital expenditure.

At its peak of investor interest, Jadi had seen shares become worth 47.5 sen ($0.15/€0.11), but at the moment shares are at 18.5 sen ($0.05/€0.04), with Liew stating that “if the stock is performing, everybody chases it”, and that “once it’s quiet, everyone stays away”. He controls 32.2 percent of the company, and added that it has been “busy focusing” on growing its business, spending over RM100 million ($31.5 million/€23.4 million) in the past four to five years on expansion.

Liew maintains that “several projects” have been invested in that the company hopes to see succeed, adding that “we expect to see some form of results” in the next year. Among the investments are RM20 million ($6.3 million/€4.6 million) on producing its own resin for toner production, which Jadi aims to sell to third parties by 2015, and the plan to “venture into chemically-produced toners” has “been on the plate for some time”, with Jadi believing these will “fetch higher margins”.

Liew stated that Jadi had “been experiencing some hiccups” with the chemically-produced toner”, but that “Japanese expertise” to “fine-tune things” would help get it “on track”, and mergers strategies have been planned, with several “strategic” investors lined up. Other areas of expansion are said to include commercial packaging, with Liew adding that “we are going through a few phases of expansion”.

The company’s facilities are, at present, only running at 60 percent utilisation rate, with a production capacity of 8,000 tonnes a year for a global aftermarket share of two percent. Liew adds that “there remains a lot of potential”, as in 2006 the company only had one factory, but now it has four “including one in Suzhou, China”, and Liew says that Jadi “has no competitor in Malaysia; our competitors are mainly from China and Taiwan”.

Adding that most of Jadi’s toners are exported, with only two percent of sales local business, Liew sees the Asia-Pacific as Jadi’s most important market now, but adds that South America and Eastern Europe are “getting to be important. We hope to look at more developed markets which will have demand for higher -value products.

“In a business like ours, the biggest challenge is always in research and development as original equipment manufacturers keep introducing new models of machines and for every machine, there is a different (toner) formulation needed”.

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Ricoh releases low-cost GelJet printer

July 28, 2014

Ricoh's SG 2100N

Ricoh’s SG 2100N

The SG 2100N is aimed at small businesses and is its lowest-priced GelJet printer.

V3.co.uk reported on the launch of the GelJet Aficio SG 2100N, which will retail for only £60 ($101/€75) in the UK, and which features the OEM’s GelJet technology, a “hybrid of laser and inkjet” that uses viscous pigment inks “derived from soya”, making it “non-toxic and rapid drying”.

Adding that the machine offers “high-quality colour printing for small businesses and professionals at a low price point”, Ricoh stated that the SG 2100N also provides “reliability and low running costs”, with a print resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi as well as print speeds of 29ppm and a duty cycle of 10,000 prints per month. Ethernet and USB ports are also included in the machine.

The device is also constructed from recycled plastic and features an eco mode that uses “only 50 percent of the standard volume of ink”, in addition to an energy usage of only 27 watts when printing, which Ricoh says is “equivalent to a single light bulb”. The GelJet technology also means that paper is fed through “by a transfer belt”, so thicker media can be used in the machine.

Other features of the machine include a low cost per page of 14p ($0.23/€0.17) in colour and 7.5p ($0.12/€0.09) in eco mode, compatibility with mobile printing applications, and a two-year onsite warranty, meaning that users can have a technician “visit their site to fix any hardware malfunction” instead of replacing the printer.

Steven Hastings, IT Distribution Channel Director for Ricoh UK, noted that the OEM’s larger GelJet printers are “widely used in the public sector, but this model has been designed specifically to appeal to smaller companies and individuals. It’s intended to be ideal for the small office and home office, for small companies and the business person who often works from home”.

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LMI Solutions acquires Printersdirect

July 25, 2014

handshakeArizona-based cartridge remanufacturer announces “strategic acquisition” of Atlanta-based business printer remanufacturer.

The acquisition announced by LMI is said to “strengthen” the company’s “commitment to provide the imaging channel with a full line-card of OEM alternative consumables, hardware and related print solutions”; and follows another recent acquisition by the company as it consolidates both Printersdirect and Global Printer Services (GPS).

The three companies together aim to enable customers to “leverage a complete end-to-end strategy to grow recurring revenues and profitability with top-quality remanufactured printers, remanufactured toner and managed print infrastructure services”; with Printersdirect clients being “leading distributors” of imaging supplies and parts in North America and the company selling under the MPS Ready brand.

Commenting on the acquisition, Gary Willert, President and CEO of LMI Solutions, said: “We’re listening to our customers and responding with investments like this acquisition to give dealers, whether buying direct or through distribution, another advantage over their competition.

“The remanufactured printer hardware category has become increasingly important to dealers who rely upon remanufactured consumables as a profitable alternative to high priced OEM [consumables]. Many resellers have discovered after the fact that when customers ‘upgrade’ to new devices, they are also inadvertently returned to purchasing OEM cartridges. This causes the end users’ printing costs to dramatically increase and reseller profits to plummet.

“As a result, solution resellers are asking for an alternative to new devices – a device that has been engineered to perform as well as new, but which utilises affordable and sustainable cartridges. That solution is a high-quality remanufactured printer.”

On behalf of Printersdirect, Steve Francis, President of the company, commented: “We’re thrilled to position the team behind LMI’s ambitious strategy of providing the aftermarket with a full set of products and services that mirror the OEMs’. With the combined strengths of the three organisations, we are uniquely positioned to support our partners and are focused on delivering advances in product quality, programs and after sales service. This is a big win for any reseller interested in maintaining and increasing their market share while expanding their imaging offering.”

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Static Control appoints new Senior Sales Executive

July 25, 2014

Stephen Wall

Stephen Wall

Largest manufacturer of aftermarket imaging systems and components expands its UK sales team with appointment of Stephen Wall.

Announcing further developments to its UK and Scandinavia sales team, Static Control has appointed Stephen Wall as Senior Sales Executive, effective 14 July; with the company appointing a number of other sales team members in recent weeks, including Nick Bush as Unit Business Manager and David Gibbins as Junior Unit Business Manager.

Wall joins Static Control with a background in retail sales management and printer cartridge sales, having previously worked as a Store Manager for Dixons Stores Group before becoming a Smart Cartridge franchisee in 2004. This franchise business he developed over 10 years, eventually owning and managing five retail stores. He was also appointed Smart Cartridge UK Franchise Trainer, with Static Control stating that he has a “comprehensive understanding of ink and toner remanufacturing, as well as retail sales and store management”.

Commenting on his new position at Static Control, Wall said: “It is an excellent opportunity for me to come on board with a company that values customer service as highly as Static Control. I hope that through integrating my industry experience I will play a vital role in the ongoing success of the team. “

Meanwhile, Jason Doran, Sales Manager for Western Europe at Static Control, said: “The UK and Scandinavia team goes from strength to strength, having already added the talents of David Gibbins and Nick Bush this year. I am wholly confident that Stephen will prove to be another asset, and we welcome the support his credentials in the remanufacturing industry will bring to our customers across the region.”

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Canon sees mixed 2Q2014 results

July 24, 2014

CanonLaser printers maintained “steady growth”, while inkjet printer sales decreased.

The OEM’s results saw MFD and laser printer sales continue to grow as the overall market for inkjet printers decreased, due to “the increase in consumption tax in Japan”.

Net sales fell by 4.1 percent to ¥926.8 billion ($9.176 billion/€6.812 billion) for the quarter, but increased 0.6 percent over the first half of the year to ¥1,795.1 billion ($17.773 billion/€13.198 billion). Efforts to reduce spending saw operating expenses fall by 1.6 percent to ¥373.0 billion ($3.693 billion/€2.721 billion), and operating profit grew by 12.4 percent to ¥110.5 billion ($1.095 billion/€806 million).

Other income grew by ¥5.9 billion ($59 million/€43 million) due to “foreign currency exchange gains”, and income before tax increased by 18.3 percent to ¥117.0 billion ($1.158 billion/€853 million). Additionally, operating profit for the first half of 2014 grew by 26.2 percent to ¥193.2 billion ($1.913 billion/€1.409 billion).

Sales of MFDs allowed the Office Business Unit’s sales to “remain the same level” as the year before, largely thanks to the imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5200 series, whilst high-speed continuous-feed printers and wide-format machines were boosted by “solid growth” thanks to sales of the Océ ColorStream 3000.

Laser printers saw monochrome remain “sluggish”, but colour grew, with sales for the quarter increasing 0.5 percent to ¥522.5 billion ($5.173 billion/€3.81 billion), and for the first six months of the year growing by 4.8 percent to ¥1,031.7 billion ($10.215 billion/€7.583 billion), while operating profit increased by 17.8 percent to ¥160.6 billion ($1.590 billion/€1.180 billion).

Inkjets meanwhile saw sales volumes fall thanks to “market contraction in Japan”, though consumable sales “remained at the same level”, meaning that overall inkjet sales fell by 13.9 percent to ¥332.4 billion ($3.291 billion/€2.443 billion), and operating profit fell 9.4 percent to ¥51.0 billion ($505 million/€374 million). For the half-year, sales fell 8.6 percent to ¥625.2 billion ($6.190 billion/€4.959 billion), and operating profit grew by 9.7 percent to ¥93.0 billion ($921 million/€683 million).

The OEM stated that demand for MFDs is “projected to expand moderately”, and mainly in colour, whilst laser printers are “expected to continue growing moderately” with an emphasis on MFPs. In turn, inkjet is expected to see “an end to dwindling demand”.

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ETIRA Secretariat holiday closure

July 24, 2014

ETIRARlogosmallAssociation’s Secretariat announces holiday closure from 25 July to 11 August.

Throughout the ETIRA Secretariat’s holiday closure, there will be “only very limited access to emails”. The telephone number for urgent matters only is + 31 6 414 614 63, where a voicemail message can be left.

ETIRA added: “We wish all our members a great holiday!”

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