October 29, 2012
It’s hanging in the wind
The inclusion of an emissions test in the latest version of the Nordic White Swan has been complicated and has divided the industry. For each voice speaking in protest and dissent, there is another in support and reverence and each equally passionate in their prospective perspectives.
I am very fond of the Nordic Swan: I think their work is important and relevant, and clearly many in the industry share this judgement. Ove Jansson is a common presence at aftermarket events and has never shied from engaging with the industry. Nor is he choosing inaction over the volume of complaints, and has already outlined three prospective outcomes of the ecolabel’s discussions over the matter.
Any standard that is voluntary, like Nordic Swan, requires a consensus across the user and producer group. The test and measurement regime has to be understood and capable of being replicated consistently by in house QA/QC teams and by other independent test houses. An emissions test is a valid criterion to include in Nordic Swan, but as the test currently stands, it is impossible to replicate. This forces companies that want to achieve Nordic Swann to use the LGA for their testing, thereby creating a monopoly. Not something that fits easily with the free market we are striving for.
Nordic Swan should include emissions testing, but the test procedure has to be capable of being performed by internal and external test houses quickly and efficiently. Otherwise Nordic Swan may slip off the environmental radar.
Pelikan’s trading results are disappointing, but like a supertanker, they are slowly turning, but maybe not fast enough for the Malaysian owners. The Recycler understands from someone familiar with the situation (editor-speak for someone on the inside who cannot be named) that talks are at an advanced stage in the possible sale of Pelikan Production in Switzerland to an Asia-based company. The Recycler understands that if a sale is completed it is likely to see the transfer of Pelikan’s extensive IP collection and equipment to Asia and the subsequent closure of Pelikan Production’s Swiss base. The Recycler understands that no decisions have yet been taken about Pelikan’s Czech and Scottish production facilities.
If a sale does go ahead in the coming months it will be a real blow to the employees and a loss to the European market. The Pelikan brand has been around for over a hundred years and has a deep brand acceptance in the German-speaking markets. Should this relocation happen, as seems likely, then there may well be an impact on the brand value as it translates into a global brand with its manufacturing base firmly placed in Asia.
Not so fit to print
They used to be called text-quality cartridges; take a virgin OEM cartridge that passed the incoming print inspection: clean, seal, fill and pack it and sell it cheap into a price sensitive market. Then along came the clone and “text-quality” cartridges were replaced with clones in price sensitive markets. So no wonder Clover stopped producing their “Fit to Print” cartridges.
Anyone with a modicum of knowledge in this industry knows you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, and you can’t make a remanufactured cartridge for eight euros and expect it to work for a guaranteed 2,000 pages. Even price-sensitive consumers understand that. But then maybe they didn’t because the marketing was in English, not Serbian?
It was good to see so many people attend the recent UKCRA networking meeting hosted by Static Control. While time is precious and opportunities infrequent, it is important to take the time to meet and network to find out what is going on, share opinions and generally catch up on the issues of the day.
UKCRA, like any similar organisation, is a focal point for its membership to promote its values and ideas. As a member you can be as active as you wish, but you can only ever get out of it what you put in. Over the years UKCRA has achieved much for its members and the industry at large, and I would encourage as many of you as possible to join and take an active role. See you again on 5 December.
In the last week I have been to two Memjet launches: one in Germany and one in the UK. What is clear to see is that Memjet is here and will make a significant impact on the printer market in the coming years. Lomond has some innovative routes to market that will stand the traditional OEMs on their heads as they try to compete.
With over 500 million laser printers installed around the world it won’t be hard for Memjet to capture a small percentage of this market. If it achieves one percent in the first five years it will sell five million printers, generating a €4 billion ($5.24 billion) channel for printer sales and the same amount in consumables sales. If you sold five printers a week from the figures I have seen, you could make over €2,000 ($2,621) a month in printer sales. Then of course there are the consumables and servicing opportunities. Read all about it in the next issue of The Recycler.
I wouldn’t normally try to tell someone how to suck eggs, but I recently saw that Print-Rite had also got a patent on their drum gear and they chose to call it the “No-Twist” gear. I think the “Print-Rite Gear” says it all more effectively.
Categories : Davids Blog
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