Katun launches marketplace website

December 9, 2016

The industry supplier has launched Katun Marketplace, a web portal for buying and selling equipment.

A screenshot of the new marketplace site

A screenshot of the new marketplace site

In a press release, Katun stated that the Katun Marketplace site – now live at www.katunmarketplace.com – “enables imaging industry professionals to buy and sell new, used and refurbished equipment”, and is “dedicated” to helping these users “connect with office equipment dealers and distributors around the world”. The site is available in English and French, and will be available in “other languages in subsequent weeks”.

Cornelis Alderlieste, Marketing Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East at Katun, stated: “We’re constantly trying to figure out ways to help our customers become more successful. We have a huge international customer base, and many of them are interested in either selling or buying used copier and printer hardware.

“This new Katun Marketplace platform is an easy and efficient way to bring buyers and sellers together to buy and sell equipment, but also to explore new business opportunities. Being part of the Katun family is rewarding beyond just our offering of attractively-priced imaging supplies that provide great performance and value. This new platform is an excellent example of that.”

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MakeShaper launches 3D products

December 8, 2016

makeshaper_box_spool_samples-1024x682The Static Control subsidiary has launched “several new products to cap off 2016”.

The company stated in a press release that the new products include a “first-to-market” alternative PLA filament for MakerBot Gen 5 printers, including the MakerBot Replicator Mini, Replicator (fifth generation), Replicator z18, Replicator 2 and the Replicator+, with two spool sizes available “in a dozen colours”.

In addition, it released PLA/PHA filament for the same devices, which is a “blend of polylactic acid and polyhrdroxyalkanoate, with MakeShaper stating that “this filament will satisfy consumers looking for a material that prints like PLA but is more durable and less brittle”. Another new filament launched was PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol-modified), which “has the benefits of ABS filaments” such as strength, temperature resistance and durability.

The filament also “has good layer adhesion and produces prints with less warping and shrinking”, with both the PLA/PHA and PETG filaments 1.75mm and “available in a wide assortment of colours and spool sizes”. Finally, it released 2.85mm ABS and PLA filament sticks for 3D pens, which are “available in a range of colours”. It had previously launched new filament in July earlier this year.

For more information, visit www.makeshaper.com.

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CIG website adds “dealer-focused enhancements”

December 6, 2016

Clover Imaging Group (CIG) stated that the updates will “enhance and streamline the website user experience for our valued customers”.

CIG's new website

CIG’s new website

The company stated that the updates to the site – www.cloverimaging.com – included a “highlight” in the “freshly-launched video centre”, which features “product, marketing, and solution content with easy-to-share social media functionality”. The video centre is “contained within the new partner centre, featured prominently on the main navigation bar of the website”, and “makes it easy to access videos by topic or audience and enables users to share informative videos on social media”.

In turn, “additional” enhancements included “detailed access to order history for dealers” and “robust additions to the product and technical support section”, with the user dashboard including updates “to make it more intuitive and streamlined for dealers to access pertinent account information as well as new product announcements”.

Users are also now able to “view all of their orders and invoices online, print invoices, and track shipments regardless of how they placed the order”, while the new partner centre’s options allow dealers to “find valuable resources such as updated product and technical support and the robust new video centre”. CIG launched its new website in February, and discussed its customised promotional videos for dealers in June.

Mike Posch, Senior Vice President of E-Commerce, Product Management and Merchandising for Clover Technologies Group, commented: “The new enhancements we recently launched reflect our two-pronged approach of both soliciting user feedback and deeply studying website analytics and user behaviors to gain key insights into how our customers are actually using cloverimaging.com.

“We will continue with this disciplined approach as we seek out new and innovative tools and functionality to streamline the purchasing process and give our valued dealers the most effective tools in the industry.”

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Ink circuitry pen released

December 2, 2016

iWorld Australia Inks has achieved a distribution agreement for Australia and New Zealand for the Circuit Scribe, a pen that can draw circuits.circuitscribe_banner_1

In a press release, iWorld Australia announced that it has an exclusive agreement with Electroninks to distribute the maker’s Circuit Scribe, which is a “rollerball pen that is filled with specially-formulated conductive ink” and enables anyone to “draw circuits on everyday materials”. There are also supplementary electronic components that have been developed by Electroninks for the Circuit Scribe, and together these products are said to have a diverse amount of uses in science, technology electronics and mathematics (STEM) education as well as DIY enthusiasts.

The pen is said to make “learning electronics fun”, and revolutionises children’s education as just simple doodling on paper, and then “connecting the magnetic components” which will “snap right into [the] circuit”. Different modules can be added like LED lights, fans, switches, sensors, transistors, resistors and buzzers.

The ink is non-toxic and water-based but conductive, and so it enables the user to “see how the circuit works and adds a whole art dimension” to projects. Users learn by creating and can use the pen with other electronic programmes. The Circuit Scribe comes in kits and bundles, which range from basic to advanced, but users can create their own kit to bring paper to life in any form. The kits start from AU$19.95 (US$14/€13) or classroom kits from AU$699 (US$518/€486).


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UK government tech tenders down

November 29, 2016

brexittenderA technology solutions provider claims tenders are down by 20 percent after the Brexit vote in June.

In a press release, hSo stated that “uncertainty around Brexit has caused a slowdown in the number of government tenders to the technology sector”, as in the “run-up to the Brexit vote in June, government tenders were steadily being issued”, but since the vote “there has been a slowdown”. Prior to the vote, there had been 815 tenders per month “on average”, but in the five months since, there have “been only” 652 per month, a decline of 20 percent.

The company added that “there remains a strong pipeline of government tenders being issued to private sector firms in a bid to drive efficiencies and cost savings”, but that “the evidence suggests that the uncertainty caused by Brexit is the reason for the marked slowdown, stalling the good progress that had been made in the run-up to the referendum when many more competitive tenders were being issued”.

Additionally, hSo stated that “up until this summer the process has helped government departments cut costs” on procurement for technology “by overhauling their internal infrastructures and using alternative IT and network solutions that are more cost-effective than better-known household names”.

Chris Evans, Managing Director of hSo, said: “There is plenty of economic data and evidence suggesting that the UK economy has been resilient in the face of the Brexit vote. We were particularly encouraged by the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement with the focus on investment in infrastructure and improving productivity, which will give rise to many more opportunities for hSo in the private sector as companies find ways of becoming more efficient and keeping costs down.

“However, in respect to public sector government tenders issued, there has been a slowdown since the EU referendum. It’s understandable, given we have recently had the appointment of a new Prime Minister that the new administration is accustoming itself and looking to make its mark. However, this shouldn’t prevent them from maintaining the momentum that was evident earlier in the year ahead of the Brexit vote.

“We saw important infrastructure projects such as Hinkley Point temporarily put on hold straight after the referendum, but we remain optimistic that the news flow around these large scale national infrastructure projects will not impact the government’s tendering process into the New Year. However, with the recent political uncertainty presented by Trump’s victory in the US, there are potentially more reasons for inertia to set in at a time when the UK economy needs as much help and stimulus as possible.

“Before the Brexit vote there was clearly a big push by private and public sector SMEs to reign in their IT and network infrastructure spend, but since then as economic activity has slowed there’s now even greater reason for businesses to look at more cost efficient network, telephony and hosting solutions. Just as the political, financial and services sector landscapes are being disrupted, hSo is disrupting the technology space by challenging the more established traditional providers of choice.”

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Color Imaging launches compatible cartridges

November 28, 2016

The company has launched compatible toner cartridges for use in a wide range of Konica Minolta machines.colorimaging

The colour cartridges, in cyan, magenta and yellow, are designed for use in: the Konica Minolta bizhub C227; C287; C387; C258; C308; C368; C2454; C554; C458; C558; and C658. The company added that it has been “manufacturing OEM and aftermarket toner products in the USA since 1989”, with other products available for Canon, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Sharp, Toshiba and “other OEMs”.

For more information visit www.colorimaging.com

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PrinterAide discusses toner emissions

November 28, 2016

The company noted its belief that laser printer OEMs “should integrate hardware-corrective measures to eliminate the release of nanoparticles during printing”.

The toner catcher on top of a printer

The toner catcher on top of a printer

The company invented and launched a filter for toner printers earlier this year, with the A4M1 model was unveiled after two years of testing. The filter, which fits to the printer, is capable of catching 92 percent of toner emissions, with the product patented and the company looking for distributors. Roger Teng, who used to work for TSICtec and GreenRich, told The Recycler that “recently, people are more concerned about the toner and VOC emissions from laser printers”, citing two research reports that outlined “toner emission could be the source of indoor air pollution”.

As a result, Teng developed the toner “catcher”, which he explained was a “filter on the top output bin of a printer”, with the product already granted a US patent. Teng said “there is more concern about air quality in work spaces and those in the laser printer manufacturing business need to take this seriously”, and according to TIME, an Australian study said that waiting at the printer is bad for your health, stating that “printers are just one of the many things we’re exposed to during the day that are potentially harmful”.

Teng has now discussed the contrasts between inkjet and laser printers in terms of emissions, noting that “according to IDC”, Epson “is now in the third place” in terms of market share, having introduced “new inkjet printers with supersized ink tanks and precision technologies which can produce high laser-quality, high speed and low-cost printing”.

Comparing the two types of printers, he noted that “inkjet printers don’t have ozone or toner emission (fine particles) issues”, and that HP Inc “follow[s] the same idea to develop new inkjet printers”, with both HP Inc and Epson promoting “their supersized ink tank inkjet printers and refillable cartridges aggressively in the global market”. He added that “not only laser printer manufacturers but also recyclers (both inkjet and laser) are facing a big challenge”.

He then referred back to the 2015 report by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology, which “assessed 11 common laser printers to see if they emitted nanoparticles during use, and whether these particles are harmful or not”. Because toners “aren’t listed in the presence of nanoparticles on the product labels, the first step was to confirm that they were indeed presented in formulations currently on the market”.

After tests proved positive, researchers “hit ‘print; and measured what came out”, with Teng noting that “results were surprising [as] they discovered that some printers release particles at concentrations comparable to highly-polluted highways”. He added that printer-emitted particles (PEPs) “caused significant” issues in terms of human health, including “cytotoxicity, membrane integrity damage, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, pro-inflammatory cytokine release [and] angiogenesis”.

Other problems included “actin remodeling, gap cell junctions and epigenetic changes in cells at doses comparable to those from real-world exposure scenarios representative of inhalation exposures in the range of one to 200 hours”. Laser printer-emitted engineered nanoparticles, he stated, “can be deleterious to lung cells and may cause persistent genetic modifications that could translate to pulmonary disorders”.

PrinterAide developed the filter, he pointed out, as it can “effectively catch the fine particle emissions when they come out from the top output bin with paper simultaneously”, and he concluded by noting “we believe laser printer manufacturers should integrate hardware corrective measures to eliminate the release of nanoparticles during printings”.

You can contact Teng at [email protected].

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Firmware attacks discussed

November 25, 2016

shiuAn article discusses security from firmware.

PCRonline reported that HP Labs said “more can be done to ensure that devices can be securely updated” and Simon Shiu, Head of Security Lab at HP Labs, said that there are a “fast growing area of attacks on devices” according to Intel McAfee Labs’ Threat Prediction report 2016, where it highlights these attacks.

The article said that “firmware, which resides in a non-volatile memory device on a PC or printer circuit board, is typically the first code to execute on a device when it is turned on” and this is the reason why they are “difficult to detect”, which means the attackers gain control, accessing all hardware and resources allowing attackers to “monitor and remotely control all activities” in secrecy. Often they can override the user’s security, and can sometimes be “impossible to remove without a system board replacement”.

Shiu noted that “HP researches and provides state-of-the-art below OS security”, an example being the PC BIOS security solution Sure Start, which is an ”independent chip [which] is capable of detecting firmware intrusion in PC BIOS and repairing it instantly without any action required from the user or the administrator of a device”.

The programme “validates the integrity of the firmware image before it is executed at boot”, and if this fails “a protected and cryptographically verified ‘Golden Copy’ of the firmware is used to repair the device” – then, the “Golden Copy is stored in private isolated Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) that no third-party firmware or software can access”.

HP Inc has made printers more secure as well, and its LaserJet models offer the “most advanced security for their BIOS and the rest of their firmware image”, allowing the printer to “recover quickly to a functional state in case of attack for uninterrupted productivity and work flow”.

Shiu commented that “both our PCs and printer firmware security solutions have been designed with cyber-resilience in mind, which is the ability to protect to the best capacity, detect if protection fails, and recover quickly and seamlessly to a safe functional state. At HP it is important to be humble and accept that occasionally attacks will go through. Therefore, it is key to know how to recover with as little disruption to a workplace as is possible”.





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Cartridge World releases Sonar

November 25, 2016

cartridgeworldlogoCartridge World Sonar uses data to save businesses money by showing up printing habits.

The franchise announced the launch of its “intelligent analytics and replenishment solution” Cartridge World Sonar, which is a tool to help business to save money on printing.

The app gives up-to-date information about the status of the printer network, and shows whether devices are being over or underused through one centralised dashboard. Sonar also acts as a “replenishment tool” allowing planning for purchases and negotiation with suppliers.

Performance issues can be easily managed, and the app accurately measures ink and toner levels, meaning that customers have a better control over ordering. There is also the choice of outsourcing this function to Cartridge World, who will remotely manage the Sonar dashboard with its consultancy service.

Andy Leech, Director of Cartridge World Sheffield, said: “Since adopting the Sonar app, our customers have seen that the technology has immediately started to add value. In the case of one particular customer, we were able to identify some printing devices that despite being used frequently couldn’t previously be identified or located.

 “This discovery enabled the customer to get greater control of their printing spend, and we were able to offer savings on the consumables they required for those devices. Sonar allows us to use data intelligently to present customers with a range of options that not only reduce costs, but that are also tailored to their company’s specific printing needs.”

There was also a comment from Paul Callow, CEO of Cartridge World UK and Ireland, who said: “Businesses often don’t know how much they’re spending on printing or what they should be spending. And this isn’t helped by the fact that devices often present inaccurate data. To make matters worse, in many instances, there are multiple people within an organisation ordering supplies, unbeknown to each other. It goes without saying that this is an incredibly costly way of working and can often lead to more working capital being tied up in consumables, sat idle in a storeroom.

 “With the Sonar supply forecast and analytics solution, we can provide businesses a level of insight and expertise that many don’t always have the time to focus on, helping them to identify bad printing habits, how printing devices are used and the cost-saving opportunities available to them.”


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Printix MPS solution added to app store

November 25, 2016

The Danish company’s cloud print management software is now available on Microsoft’s AppSource app store

A screenshot of the Printix programme


Printix added that the programme “provides simplicity in implementation, operation and support of print environments”, including “automatically installing print drivers and print queues”; “printing anywhere from any device to any printer”; “follow-me secure printing of confidential documents”; “simplifying print infrastructure and eliminating printer servers”; “centrally managing printers and users in real-time”; and “deploying a print setup in less than five minutes”.

Additionally, all of the Microsoft cloud services including Office 365 “use Azure AD as their identity provider”, with Printix “seamlessly integrated […] to manage user access and enable single sign-on (SSO)”, as well as being able to “be automatically deployed with Microsoft Intune”. The Print Management solution can also help companies “drive business innovation, by adopting cloud technology advantages of enterprise print management, without the complexity and cost”.

Other areas in which it can help include: that it can “increase productivity through process automation, scalability and efficiency”; “organise a whole print environment in one place”; “reduce manual IT administration tasks and print-related help-desk support”; and “dramatically reduce the cost of office printing and print management”.

The service allows IT administrators to “manage services rather than servers and lets users print reliably, instead of having to deal with printing problems”, and “adopting a cloud strategy for print saves time and money, allows IT resources to focus on value-add activities and improves productivity as well as job satisfaction”.

Jesper Christiansen, CEO and Co-founder of Printix, stated: “With the introduction of Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform, Printix is proud to announce its cloud-based Print Management solution is available in the Microsoft AppSource. Azure allows businesses to be more efficient, and printing should be one of those business processes, maybe even the most basic business process, that should be simplified with the cloud. Now you can implement a true cloud-based workplace controlled in Azure AD and benefit from flexible, reliable and secure printing.”

Lars Ehlers Jensen, Senior Product Manager and Co-founder, added: :The main benefit of Printix, is that it drastically simplifies your print infrastructure, and flattens the administrative complexities involved in managing diverse hardware, software, computer operating systems and vendor-specific printer requirements.”




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