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Epson launches RIPS machines in the USA

January 22, 2015

The machines released include three new devices, including two MFPs and one single-function printer.epsonrips

The OEM, which previously announced the technology alongside devices including the WorkForce Pro WF-R5690DWF and WF-5190DW in March last year, has released three machines utilising the replaceable ink pack system (RIPS) in the US market, adding that the machines “enabl[e] hassle-free business printing” as well as “exceptional” return-on-investment (ROI) with “uncompromised print quality”.

The WF-R5690 and WF-5190 are included in this range (not as DWF or DW machines) alongside the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 printer, with each of the three devices said by Epson to be able to deliver up to 75,000 black and colour pages “before the ink needs to be replaced”, allowing users to “print high-impact colour documents with low operating costs and intervention rates”. The WF-R8590 and WF-R5690 are MFPs, while the WF-R5190 is a single-function machine.

The WF-R8590 in turn is Epson’s “fastest business colour printing solution” with speeds of 24 ISO ppm in black and colour alongside a 1,830-sheet capacity and A3 media support, while the WF-R5690 and WF-R5190 can reach speeds of 20 ISO ppm in black and colour and feature a 580-sheet capacity, with a slightly lower yield of 50,000 pages before replacement ink is needed.

Other features of the printers include USB, Ethernet and wireless connectivity, compatibility with Epson’s Wi-Fi Direct mobile printing application, remote and cloud printing, and “support for popular security protocols” as well as “remote setup and custom settings”.

Larry Trevarthen, Epson America’s Director of Business Imaging, commented: “Epson’s revolutionary approach transforms office printing by allowing businesses to focus on running their business, not on managing printer supplies. Epson’s new printing solutions allow IT managers to bring affordable colour printing to remote offices and workgroups while reducing the hassles normally associated with printer management.”

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Toshiba releases new A4 machines

January 22, 2015

Toshiba's e-STUDIO305CS

Toshiba’s e-STUDIO305CS

The OEM released five new printers, including two MFPs and three single-function devices.

The five A4 printers include two colour and three monochrome machines, with the OEM noting that the new range of printers are “extremely reliable and create high-quality documents”, as well as being “very intuitive to use”, making them “ideal for businesses seeking to enhance business efficiencies”. All five printers feature duplexing as standard as well as energy-saving modes, with Toshiba stating that it “constantly strives to optimise the use of natural resources to protect the environment”.

The two colour machines are the e-STUDIO305CP and e-STUDIO305CS – a single-function and MFP respectively – with print speeds of 30ppm and a maximum capacity of 1,450 sheets, and Toshiba notes that this “ensures continuous productivity even for larger print jobs”. Two of the three monochrome devices are the single-function e-STUDIO385P (which will be released in spring) and the e-STUDIO385S MFP, with both of these “slightly faster” than the colours but with the “same impressive document output”.

The last machine released is the e-STUDIO525P monochrome single-function printer, which offers “super-high productivity” with a “large number of output options” alongside print speeds of 52ppm and a capacity for 4,400 sheets, delivering “superior performance”. Each of the five machines features Toshiba’s e-BRIDGE printer driver, which “increases the ease-of-use” for customers, alongside a “large choice of free software solutions” and “embedded integration” to software.

Chris Mills, Toshiba TEC’s Product Marketing Manager, commented: “With the launch of these five new products we have expanded our A4 portfolio to give our customers an even larger choice of systems. We understand the different needs of companies and want to offer our customers advanced printing solutions that exceed their expectations.”

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Designer introduces “build-it-yourself” 3D printer

January 20, 2015

Vector 3Magazine will provide parts to build 3D printer over 90 weekly issues, appealing to those put off by upfront costs.

The Guardian interviewed UK-based designer Sebastian Conran, who has been focusing on 3D printing and designed a “build-it-yourself” 3D printer for “people who are keen to experiment with 3D printing, but have balked at the upfront price of existing models”; with the Vector 3 able to be built step-by-step using parts provided by new magazine 3D Create & Print over 90 weekly issues.

Each issue will cost £6.99 ($10.59/€9.14), allowing people to buy their 3D printer “one bit at a time” and construct it themselves, with Conran explaining that this process will allow people to learn about the product and “what they can do with it as they go along”.

Conran also hopes the Vector 3 will generate a desire in people “without formal design training” to be creative as it is “meant to be engaging from a learning point of view” and will allow people to customise existing products and parts; for example creating furniture for dolls’ houses or making your own Scalextric track. He said: “Downloading a file and printing it out will be interesting for a while. It will get you going. But after that you’ll want to make a special one and learn more about it. This is the new Meccano or the new Lego! Or, I suppose, more like a cross between them.”

The device has been given a simple design to fit in with the average household, and is described as being “quieter” than other models, as well as featuring a “safety enclosure”. Conran explained: “We wanted it to actually look like a domestic accessory. We chose a vaguely kitchen-appliance look in terms of the visual language, with white and grey so that it doesn’t look toy-like […] we don’t want it to look like a Toys R Us product: we want it to look serious. You’ll be plugging your Apple computer into it, so we wanted to get that look of smartphones and computers these days: the styling is played down, but the detailing is very thoughtful.”

Looking ahead, Conran noted how the “younger generation may take to the technology like ducks to water” as many are taught how to use CAD (computer-aided design) packages in school. “There’s no reason why the next generation can’t put things together and create things in the way that you or I might go to B&Q, buy a packet of screws, some sheets of material and then cut the bits up and put them together,” said Conran.

The designer is also working with a team at the University of Sheffield on research into “high-speed sintering [HSS] which involves using powdered plastic, heat-sensitive ink and infra-red lamps”; with Conran commenting that “it works very fast, you haven’t got lasers shooting all over the place, and it’s a lot less expensive. You can do several items at once, which is difficult in a conventional 3D printer […] this technique is probably going to be the next technique that will come into the home, and the products that come out will be much better”.

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Inkjet technology continues growth

January 20, 2015

1416836124_AVM091B-0The technology’s use in industry will see it expand greatly by 2019.

BCC Research, a market analyst for the industrial inkjet printing industry, announced a new report, Emerging Inkjet Printing Technologies, Applications and Global Markets, which points out that the technologies are “paving their way to other industries”, with a predicted value in 2019 of over $8.8 billion (€6.9 billion), alongside a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.1 percent.

The report’s writer, Andrew McWilliams, noted that “although the term ‘inkjet printing’ reflects the earliest commercial applications of inkjet technology” – in other words, printing on paper – the term is now used “in a growing number of applications that have little to do with printing or the graphic arts”. This market, the “industrial” inkjet printing sector, includes hardware and consumables, and was worth around $2.5 billion (€2.1 billion) in 2013 and $3 billion (€2.5 billion) in 2014.

The report adds that although inkjet technology is “beginning to have an impact on various types of applications”, including “flood flavourings and fragrances, chemicals and optics”, the demand for hardware and consumables in such segments “is too small to estimate reliably”, with the consequence that they are “likely to have little impact on overall sales” until 2019.

The report’s brief acknowledges that it analyses the “key drivers and constraints” for the market until 2019, including a focus on “disruptive” technologies as opposed to “refinements of existing” technologies such as consumer inkjet. Other sectors include product decoration, electronics, medicine, life sciences, 3D printing and energy, with the first including textiles, ceramics, glass, wall and floor coverings and food accounting for the majority of the market – 79 percent in 2013, decreasing to 72 percent in 2019.

Electronics meanwhile comes second, with an 11 percent share in 2013 projected to grow to 18 percent in 2019, while 3D printing is third with a projected six percent share in 2019.

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US IT business diversifies for success

January 19, 2015

KAPLET-logo-vertical-232x300Indiana-based company provides computer services and printer cartridges through partnership with Cartridge World; as well as launching new fiber-optic programme.

Indiana Gazette reported on the success of Kaplet Technology Solutions Inc., which was bought by local businessman Allen Seymour five years ago in partnership with Cartridge World and consists of three enterprises; covering “everything from ink and toner sales through their Cartridge World partnership to computer retail and virus removal at Kaplet”.

More recently, the company has been focusing on “fibre-optic structural health monitoring” to ensure the safety of “perimeters, fences and bridges”, helping the state Department of Transportation to “monitor the stableness of bridges in the area and keep an eye on deterioration over a long period of time”.

Primarily serving SMBs in Indiana County, the company employs seven members of staff, which according to COO Tom Kiral makes it “the largest-staffed information technology support company in the area”. Smaller businesses lacking their own technician benefit from Kaplet as it provides them with its own technicians that “make appointments with customers or offer in-house consulting”.

Kiral said: “We had another record year […] we’ve had continued growth since Allen bought the company five years ago.” He added that the company has seen an average growth rate of 20 percent each year, attributing the majority of revenue to the Cartridge World franchise and Kaplet computer services. It is the company’s objective to continue growing by 20 percent this year, as well as seeing the fibre-optic programme become a success.

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New ink launched for printing on plastics

January 16, 2015

linx inkLinx’s Black PE Ink 1130 is designed to “meet the specific challenges of effective printing” on materials for food packaging, cosmetics and cabling.

Linx Printing Technologies announced the release of the Black PE Ink 1130, which it said “offers excellent adhesion” to both polyethylene (PE) and “most” polypropylene (PP) applications, including “non-contact food packaging” as well as “pharmaceutical, cosmetics and personal care, automotive, cable and wire” applications.

The ink is also in-line with Swiss Ordinance 817.023.021, the European reference for inks used in food packaging, and can be used on other substrate materials including ABS, acrylic, aluminium, glass, HDPE, LDPE, PET and varnished card, with the “flexibility to retain a single ink, rather than multiple types” on-site at a manufacturer for “use across all their package and product coding requirements”.

The ink, Linx adds, can be used with its own 5900 and 7900 printers that incorporate Midi and Ultima printheads, and “provides excellent print quality” and “fast drying” to “deliver clear, readable codes in even the harshest of production environments”.

Ndidi Ihekwaba, Product Specialist for Inks at Linx Printing Technologies, commented: “PE and PP are traditionally challenging substrates to adhere to, due to their low surface energies. Linx Black PE Ink 1130 is able to overcome this challenge and creates excellent adhesion to these substrates, ensuring a quality code each time.”

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“Rewritable” paper technology revealed

January 16, 2015

The paper “prints with light, not ink” and “could eliminate tonnes of landfill waste”.

An example of the new technology (Credit: Society for Science)

An example of the new technology (Credit: Society for Science)

Society for Science reported on the invention from chemists at the University of California, Riverside, which “can be used and reused up to 20 times” as it “doesn’t require any ink”, due to utilisation of a “special dye embedded in the paper” that makes it “printable and rewritable” thanks to chemical reactions. The discovery was outlined by Chemist Yadong Yin and his team in the December 2014 edition of Nature Communication.

The dye “goes from dark to clear and back” when chemical reactions in the paper “move electrons around”, with the colour-change chemical undergoing redox reactions (short for reduction and oxidation). The oxidisation of the dye makes it appear blue, red or green, while the reduction of the dye causes the colour to disappear, meaning that “controlling these two reactions makes it possible to print on, erase and reuse” the paper.

All of the dye is oxidised to start with, and nano-scale crystals of titanium oxide cover the paper, with the user then covering the paper or base “with words or an image printed on a see-through base”, like a stencil, before exposing the masked surface with UV light, which “triggers [the] reduction reaction” on the unshaded areas, removing the colour and leaving the oxidised parts covered by the stencil.

The “starting base” was a clear plastic, which allowed the researchers to “show how the paper works”, but the technology could be used with “glass or conventional paper” as long as the base “contains the redox dyes and the other chemically-active components”. The researchers noted that the “writing is done chemically, using light”, with the electrons “kicked out” after the UV light is shone on the base.

To restart the process, oxygen pulls electons from the “unprinted areas” of the base, turning it back into a single coloured base as at the start, and special cellulose in the base “slows” the erasure, so that printing can “remain visible for two days or so”. Quicker reuse can be ensured by heating, which “speeds” the erasure time within five minutes. At this time, only blue, green or red dye are possible, but the cost and environmental savings could be “enormous” if the technology is developed.

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Cartridge People revamps mobile website

January 12, 2015

cp-mobile-previewPrinter consumables supplier reacts to modern day consumer habits with improved website for mobile device users.

Channel Islands-based Cartridge People announced the launch of its newly revamped mobile website for 2015, with the site aiming to offer enhanced customer experience and appeal to the growing trend of consumer shopping “on-the-go”.

Noting that “more and more people” are now using smartphones and other mobile devices to purchase products, the company explained that it knew it needed to respond to mobile shoppers, with a Cartridge People spokesperson commenting: “We looked at a number of mobile app interfaces and Google’s Material Design guidelines and extracted some concepts to make our website more usable.

“As a result, we brought in changes such as the slide-in menu, the navigation bar which maintains a fixed position as you scroll, and the ‘add to basket’ actions animation. Among other changes, we’ve also shortened our product listing pages by condensing the amount of product information into a shorter representation and shifting the focus of product information from the listing page to the detail page, to reduce user effort in comparing products as well as data usage.”

They added: “We’ve observed a progressive uptrend in the number of mobile visitors we’ve been receiving over the past couple of years and felt that our mobile user experience offering needed some improvements.”

The company stated that the new mobile website is “the first of a number of measures” it plans to introduce this year “as part of a relentless campaign to ensure they provide the best customer experience possible”.

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Inventor of dot-matrix printers passes away

January 9, 2015

Robert Howard (Credit: NewHampshire.com)

Robert Howard (Credit: NewHampshire.com)

Robert Howard created the device in the 1960s, and passed away at the age of 91.

New Hampshire.com reported on Howard’s passing on 19 December 2014, and his production of the first dot-matrix printer, which the site states “helped fuel sales of personal computers” after its creation at his company Centronics Data Computer Corporation.

Centronics then “commercialised the printer” after its introduction in 1968, and Howard grew the company from seven employees in Hudson to 6,000 worldwide, with 3,000 of these in New Hampshire. He also worked alongside An Wang, who founded Wang Laboratories, to develop an “anti-skimming computer system for casino chips”, which led Howard to the ideas that would become the dot-matrix printer.

His stepson noted the invention of the dot-matrix printer “probably ranked top” in his father’s list of achievements, as “it was really the first real high speed computer printer that was out there, and I think that’s what he was most proud of”.

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“World’s smallest, lightest” AIO printer announced

January 9, 2015

The Primera Trio weighs just over a kilogram and is “the size of a hardcover book”.

The Primera Trio (Credit: Erick Mack/Gizmag.com)

The Primera Trio (Credit: Erick Mack/Gizmag.com)

Gizmag reported on the launch of the machine at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month, with OEM Primera Technology stating that its Trio printer is “the world’s smallest and lightest all-in-one printer”, weighing 1.2 kilograms (2.7 pounds) and “the size of a hardcover book” with the ability to use an “optional battery pack” for power.

The inkjet device takes colour or monochrome cartridges, and can print on A4 paper at a resolution of 4,800dpi, with a 10-sheet feeder, while “postcards, invitations and photos” can be printed from a secondary feed measuring 10 by 15 centimetres (four by six inches) at the rear of the device. The printer’s dimensions are 29 by 4.8 by 16.51 centimetres (11.4 by 1.8 by 6.5 inches), which makes it bigger than Brother’s PocketJet 6, but that is a single-function as opposed to this AIO.

The Trio also scans in full colour or monochrome at 600 x 600dpi, with the additional optional battery pack giving up to 100 extra pages on one charge, and Primera has also produced an “optional vehicle mounting bracket” alongside a 12-volt and USB power cord for “in-vehicle printing”. The Trio can also be personalised with optional silver, white, pink and blue top covers.

Primera noted that the machine is available for pre-order “in selected stores” worldwide now, with an estimated shipping date of February and a price of $399.95 (€338.63).

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