Peach launches replacement Canon inkjets

February 8, 2016

The company has produced “saving packs” for Canon’s PGI-570 and CLI-571 originals.

Peach's alternatives for the Canon PGI-570

Peach’s alternatives for the Canon PGI-570

Peach stated that the “affordable and environmentally-friendly” packs offer the “first alternative solution” for Canon’s newer Pixma machines, with the alternative inkjets designed to replace the PGI-70 and CLI-571 originals. The saving packs include four cartridges, one for each colour, and one “lifetime” chip that “can be easily transferred to the next full cartridge”, which “saves money and avoids unnecessary electronic scrap”.

There are six saving packs available, with cartridge colours including black, photo black, grey, cyan, magenta and yellow, and all of these are “XL” size, with 13ml ink for all except the black, which features 23ml. Compatible printers include: the Pixma MG 5750; 5751; 5752; 5753; 6850; 6851; 6852; 6853; 7750; 7751; 7752; and 7753, and Peach stated that the product meets WEEE requirements, as well as the “usual high quality” ‘Made in Switzerland’ mark.

Peach added that the alternative solution features the “plug-in system” for the lifetime chip, with one of the four cartridges in each savings pack containing an “original chip with holder, which can be raised and removed easily with [a] fingernail”, and this chip-exchange “can be carried out for the lifespan of the device”. The company added that “from a disposable product which causes electronic scrap with each use, Peach has a sustainable solution for the period of use of the printer”.

Costs for the packs include VAT (value-added tax), and consist of €21.20 ($23.64) for the colours, and €26.70 ($29.78) for the black.

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Epson sells over one million InkTanks in India

February 8, 2016

Epson ink tanksThe OEM revealed the figures and said that it is “now the number one inkjet printer brand in India”.

In a press release, Epson stated that it had sold over one million of the InkTank inkjet printers in India, according to analysts Cyber Media Research (CMR), who found that the inkjet printer market in India “has been growing rapidly at eight percent per annum for the last three years”. Epson also added that the “revolutionary and hugely successful” InkTanks have “catapaulted” it into the “number one spot” for inkjet printers in the market.

The inkjet market in India, CMR also found, is expected to see around 1.48 million units shipped in the 2015 financial year, with this “largely on the back of massive demand” for the InkTanks. For Epson in particular, 422,000 inkjets were sold in the previous financial year, which gave the OEM a market share of 51 percent, with the InkTank machines launched in India in 2011.

The OEM noted that prior to launching the InkTank range in India, its focus “was on creating excellent products that they believed consumers would accept […] without truly understanding what consumers really wanted”. After realising “this approach needed to be modified”, understanding consumer needs “is now the starting point for any new product development”, with research in India and other emerging markets finding “consumers here are quite distinct”.

In particular, the “value proposition” is what “must make sense to them above all else”, including the “freedom to print […] without having to worry about high ink costs [or] the inconvenience of replacing cartridges and the environmental impact of lasers”. Using the Micro Piezo printheads, Epson designed the InkTanks, which “did away with expensive and inconvenient cartridges” and provided “printers that could be refilled with ink simply, quickly and at an unbelievable low cost”.

Epson stated that this has “brought down the cost of printing” in India to eight paisa (0.001 US cents/0.001 euro cents) in monochrome and 28 paisa (0.004 US cents/0.004 euro cents) in colour, with each refill ensuring a minimum of 4,000 pages in monochrome and 6,500 pages in colour. It also believes that the printers are “challenging the perception that laser printers, which are hugely popular in India, offer the most economic solution”, with this migration “only expected to gather speed going forward”.

Siva Kumar K, Epson India’s Deputy General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Inkjet, commented: “A continuous focus on creating customer value has helped Epson gain huge market acceptance within a short period, culminating in market leadership in the inkjet printer category. Epson with our unique and highly reliable Micro Piezo technology were the pioneers, and the first to launch InkTank printers in India. We have a built a huge amount of trust and faith in this product, and the very fact that we have sold over one million InkTank printers in India is a testimony to that fact.”

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HP Inc’s inkjet cartridge testing discussed

February 3, 2016

A reporter was able to tour its Irish facility to report on inkjet cartridge manufacturing and testing.HPInstantInk2

The writer, for Alphr, discussed how HP Inc “tests ink cartridges” and builds them, at the OEM’s Dublin-based inkjet cartridge manufacturing and testing facility. The piece outlines that the cartridges are exposed to temperature extremes of -40 degrees Celcius and 60 degrees Celcius, as well as being “subjected to the same conditions as air freight at 38,000 feet”. Each cartridge design “must go through” the testing “before it’s considered ready”, while the testing lab includes humidity ovens, x-ray machines and vacuum chambers.

Alphr points out that “the technology behind inkjets has evolved into something incredibly sophisticated” over the last 30 years, and it “takes only the slightest problem for the whole delicate symphony of physics, chemistry and electronics to go wrong”, which could be something “as simple as microscopic particles blocking the entry to the heating chamber”. This is why there is an “astounding amount of testing” undertaken at the centre, as “the last thing HP wants is to release a design that has inherent problems”.

The first test seen “as you walk through the door” is the drop weight tester, which is used to “measure the precise weight of the drops”, and HP Inc weighs each ink after 200,000 drops “have been ejected onto a container on very sensitive scales”, while there are also “drop velocity testers” where it “measures the speed of the drops as they’re ejected”.

HP Inc’s engineers call inkjet cartridges “pens”, and take the results of testing to see what adjustments should be made. This is so that designers can “change the velocity of the drop” through adapting the design, and is also done after manufacture “to ensure that cartridges are behaving the same way in the real world”. Around 60 percent of time is spent developing new cartridges, and engineers “simulate how they will perform months and years after leaving the manufacturing plant”.

Ovens are used to subject designs to a “changing pattern” of hot and cold for stress testing, and around a month “at certain settings is roughly equivalent to a year in a harsh environment”, while altitude tests subject cartridges to “the same atmospheric pressures and temperature fluctuations they would experience when flown around the world”, to spot any designs that “could lead to leaking”.

In turn, life tests use the cartridges “until they’re empty, to make sure they work as they should”, with “fleets of inkjet printers” in the lab “mimicking the usage patterns of the consumers and businesses that buy them”. All printed output is scanned and verified for “optimum designs, and then fed back to designers, with the x-ray machines – one 2D and one 3D – checking insides of cartridges for faults.

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Epson to triple PrecisionCore production capacity

January 20, 2016

Epson's Hirooka Office base in Shiojori, Japan

Epson’s Hirooka Office base in Shiojori, Japan

The OEM is to invest ¥20 billion ($171 million/€156 million) in a new factory in Japan, where the PrecisionCore printheads will be manufactured.

In a press release, Epson announced it would be investing in the new factory at Hirooka Office in order to “triple inkjet printhead production capacity” for its PrecisionCore line. The site, in Shiojori, is part of the OEM’s plans for its inkjet business, and will feature a research and development unit alongside 49,000 square metres of floor space, with construction scheduled to begin this summer.

Operations are set to commence in the first half of the 2018 financial year, and Epson said it will “conduct R&D and drive advances in production engineering and other areas” at the site, with the ultimate aim of “roughly” tripling its current printhead production. The Hirooka Office site currently “works closely” with Epson’s other global production sites, serving as an R&D and production location, passing on “advanced production technology” to other bases “to help maximise manufacturing capabilities”.

Additionally, Epson highlighted that the new site will “handle the front-end manufacturing process” for the PrecisionCore printheads”, which are used in its business inkjet machines, high-capacity ink tank printers and commercial and industrial devices. The OEM stated that it is “committed to continuously enhancing its original technologies and leveraging its original core devices to delight customers with products and services that exceed their expectations”.

Earlier this month, Epson reported it was looking to expand printer production at the Cikarang, West Java plant in Indonesia, and “plans to spend” around $3 million (€2.7 million) on making the site the OEM’s “biggest production base” compared to its sites in the Philippines and China. Also, last November it hinted that it might build a manufacturing facility in India.

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OCP appoints new General Manager

January 14, 2016

Werner Rüegger, previously Vice President of OCP USA Inc, has taken over from Michael Pohlschmidt.

Werner Rüegger, OCP's new General Manager/CEO

Werner Rüegger, OCP’s new General Manager/CEO

The appointment, which was effective as of 1 January 2016, sees Rüegger take on the General Manager/CEO role at the German ink manufacturer, after spending eight years as Vice President of OCP’s US subsidiary, OCP USA Inc. Rüegger, according to OCP, oversaw its “North American business and has guided OCP USA through a period of changes in the North American market”.

He will take over from Michael Pohlschmidt, who will leave OCP at the end of April, and in his new role Rüegger will “oversee the global OCP manufacturing and distribution operations”. Pohlschmidt joined OCP as General Manager two years ago, after working in the banking sector, and Horst Edelmeier, Chairman of the OCP Supervisory Board added that “the board would like to thank Michael for all of his efforts in successfully consolidating the company following the retirements of the OCP founders”.

Pohlschmidt added: “Following the retirement of the founders, Dr. Siegfried Koch and Horst-Gerh. Edelmeier at the end of 2013 my challenge, as far as the financial and balance management was concerned, was to consolidate and to refocus the company. I think that this job is done now and I am happy to start a new challenge in the field of private equity. I wish Werner and the OCP team every success.”

You can contact Rüegger at [email protected].

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New 3D printer uses paper and inkjet

January 7, 2016

The Mcor machine creates models from paper, colours them with inkjet and cuts them with razors before using glue to stick them together.

A model printed by the Mcor Arke 3D printer

A model printed by the Mcor Arke 3D printer

BBC reported on the new machine, the Arke, which “uses paper, ink and glue to create highly-detailed objects”, and is manufactured by Mcor, which demonstrated the device at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas, USA. The company claimed that this is “the first time such technology had become available in a machine suitable for classrooms and offices”.

The Arke device creates models in colours at a resolution of 4,800 x 2,400dpi, in “higher detail than many 2D printers”, and does so by “using razors to cut plain paper into shape”, before “inkjets [are used] to colour it”, before the model is glued to “join all the layers together” and laminate it. Mcro believes that using normal paper “gives it an edge over rivals”, with the device set to go on sale before July this year, costing $5,995 (€5,528), “about half the price” Mcor charges for a larger model.

Mcor also noted that “because paper is used with other non-toxic materials, no special ventilation or disposal systems are needed, just an ordinary recycle bin [and none of] the messy powders or melting plastics used by other 3D printers”. BBC also reported on TCT Magazine’s Daniel O’Connor who claimed that “nobody can match Mcor’s resolution in terms of colour. This printer’s resolution is twice that of any industrial machine, and those industrial machines typically cost over $50,000 (€46,112)”.

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New inkjet technology prints dual images

January 5, 2016

The technique “hides one image behind the other”, and could be used for security purposes.

An image of a print utilising the new technology

An image of a print utilising the new technology

Engadget reported on the technology created by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, which uses metallic cards to print “two images together”, with the second image visible by rotating or tilting the card. The technique currently only works through an inkjet printer and on a metallic sheet, with potential for use in security through printing elements for “passports, ID cards or paper bills”.

The researchers achieved this by utilising the “halftoning” technique used in printing to “spray ink as tiny dots into precise patterns”, producing a “wide range of colours”, and when the halftone is printing “along lines onto metallic sheets”, the “resulting colour depends on the viewing angle”. Because incoming light “cast[s] shadows onto the metallic surface”, the ink lines “perpendicular” to the light “create a large shadow”, appearing as stronger colours.

In turn, the ink lines “parallel” to the light don’t create a shadow, appearing as weaker colours, and so when rotating the image, strong colours become weak and vice versa. Engadget commented that the technology is similar to “holographic cards that give off different colours when you tilt them a certain way”, but is “much, much cooler”. Last November, The Recycler reported on a holographic ink created for use in inkjet printers, with the same security-based intention.

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World’s smallest inkjet print achieved

December 18, 2015

smallestinkjetpictureResearchers in Switzerland used quantum dot technology to print the image of tropical clown fish.

BBC reported on the image, which is “classed as the world’s smallest inkjet-printed picture”, and which measured 0.08mm by 0.115mm (0.003 inches by 0.005 inches), which is “about as wide as a piece of photocopy paper is thick”. The image, of a number of tropical clown fish, was achieved through “quantum dot” technology, which is used in newer, high-end televisions and is a form of nanotechnology.

The researchers commented that their achievement had been verified by the Guinness World Records body, with the fish in the image 3,333 times smaller than the real-life equivalent. The image was printed at a resolution of 25,000dpi, and comes after a toner technology development that is said to offer 127,000dpi was revealed recently.

Between each dot on each of the “three colour layers deposited” – in this case, red, green and blue – there is around 500 nanometres (0.0005mm) of space, and rather than using inkjet ink, the “quantum dots” were utilised instead. The dots are small particles which “emit a different colour of light according to their size”, with smaller dots appearing blue, medium-sized dots green and larger dots red.

The dots are used in high-end televisions that utilise OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, as manufacturers have previously “struggled to produce” such screens affordably, which makes the dots “attractive” in that sense “for delivering colour-rich images”. One of the researchers, Dr. Patrick Galliker, commented that the technology could see screens printed on-demand, stating that “in a futuristic scenario, you could imagine having a plastic foil that goes into a printer and on the other side there is a display coming out.

“You’d have all the functionality of a screen, which has just been printed using nanomaterials that are in a liquid phase”. However, technology expert Chris Green at business consultancy Lewis told BBC that “this experiment was a very interesting gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless. But as a technical exercise to demonstrate the sheer versatility of what quantum dot technology can do with regards to imaging, it’s an absolutely fascinating demonstration of what can be achieved with what is not that expensive technology”.

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Sun Chemical launches new solvent inkjets

December 18, 2015

The ink manufacturer has produced the inks for use in Roland and Mimaki’s wide-format machines.sunchemicaladvanced-in-300x113

Graphic Arts Mag reported in the launch of the additions to the Streamline solvent-based wide-format inkjet inks in the North American market, with the “high-print-quality, low-odour” seven-colour ink sets also joined by another “low-odour” upgrade to the Streamline HPQ product line. The former are part of the ESL2 line of eco-solvents, which use Sun Chemical’s HPQ-LO (high print quality low odour) chemistry for printers “working in confined environments”.

Among the seven colours in the ESL2 range are CMYK and a “revised nickel-free” yellow, light cyan, light magenta and light black, with each colour-matched to Roland’s Eco Sol Max II series of inks. Sun Chemical pointed out that the inks “eliminate the need for re-profiling when converting from the original inks”, as well as offering “excellent outdoor durability” and intermixing with Roland’s originals “to allow for easy transition without any waste”.

The Streamline Ultima HPQ line meanwhile now includes LO (low-odour) inkjet inks designed for Mimaki’s eco-solvent printers, and combine “the highest print quality with low-odour properties” while “exceed[ing] OEM product performance in many cases”. The products have been “carefully matched to the original products for both colour shade and strength”, allowing users to “use all the existing settings”.

Penny Holland, Vice President of Marketing for Sun Chemical’s North American Inks, commented: “With this expansion of our portfolio of solvent-based inkjet inks to the North American market, our customers benefit from a more robust portfolio that provides the same level of quality, performance, and colour integrity quality printing as OEM inks, but at a lower cost.

“Our product upgrades are also beneficial to customers who, in many cases, now work in closer proximity to the printer and really need low-odour inkjet ink cartridges installed in the printer.”

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Canon launches new Pixma range

December 17, 2015

The OEM has produced the Home Advanced range for “faster setup” and with six inkjet pixma new

ITWire reported on the launch of the Pixma Home Advanced range of inkjet printers, which include the MG3660, 5760, 6860 and 7760, which each featuring “six individual ink tanks” including “improved red ink quality for vivid web prints”. The OEM stated that the printers have “superb quality image prints” alongside “fast print, copy and scan features”, while some automatically print from the photo-based social network Instagram.

The news site stated that it “does not usually mention low cost printers” when it covers releases, but noted that this new range is “interesting due to the six cartridges which should produce quality photos and borderless prints”. Other features include “simplified Wi-Fi and printhead alignment set-up”, so the average set-up time takes 26 minutes instead of 38 minutes, and wireless connectivity through the Wi-Fi Direct feature, which automatically pairs mobile devices or computers with the printer.

The aforementioned Instagram “integration” also comes alongside scan and remote print, so a document scanned on one Pixma can be printed from another, while the machines all include a flatbed scanner and are available in gold, red, white and black finishes. Cartridge-wise, the machines use the 670 and 671 series and their XL models, with the standard and high yields in A4 300 and 500 pages respectively, while colours include cyan, magenta, yellow, grey, black and “another black”.

ITWire worked out that the price for the standard and high-yield cartridges are respectively $20 (€18) and $34 (€31), so in total a full replacement set would cost either $120 (€110) or $204 (€188), working out at a cost per page of between five to 10 US cents (four to nine euro cents) and 50 to 60 US cents (46 to 55 euro cents) for a photo print. The machines are available now, with the MG7560 costing $199 (€183), the MG6860 $159 (€146), the MG5760 $99 (€91), and the MG3660 $89 (€82).

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