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HP Inc discusses “the birth of the smart printer”

October 26, 2016

The OEM has spoke about a “smarter kind of printer” that might mean “more uptime and less downtime”.hpcopiers

In an article for ITPro, the OEM questioned whether users want a printer “to diagnose itself and order the spare parts it needs”, as “we’ve all met our share of stupid printers”, which “cause misery, fury and frustration […] shaking fists, hissed threats and grumpy frowns”. It pointed out that if there was “a smarter kind of printer” that “somehow ‘knew’ what was going on inside it and could play an active role in keeping itself monitored, managed and maintained”, this could mean “more uptime and less downtime” and be more reliant.

It claims that its new A3 MFPs are “exactly” this, with the 16 new devices aimed towards working with MPS, and that the new MFPs “have the smarts to replace both your office lasers and your copiers too” for “robust, reliable and secure printing and copying without any drama”. On building such printers, it notes that this requires “a combination of […] smart sensors inside the supplies and core components, capturing data on heat and performance that can be used to highlight potential faults”, as well as “smart monitoring features inside the printer”.

These help to “aggregate and analyse the data”, connect to HP Inc’s management services in the cloud, and create “the final parts of the puzzle, giving end-users or their MPS partners real-time, proactive information on the state of the supplies and the core components, to the extent of delivering proactive warnings that a part might malfunction before it does”.

It believes it is in a “unique position” as “few companies would have the expertise” to provide such technology, as it has “technology and experience in developing and using embedded sensors” that are already used in its printers and JetIntelligence toner cartridges to “measure how many times the components have rotated, the amount of toner used, how much that toner has worn down and various environmental conditions that might affect the cartridge and its lifespan”.

It claims that it has “unmatched experience in developing software, firmware and web-based services”, and as such proclaims “is it any wonder that the first truly smart printers should come from HP?” The new machines are designed to be part of “an MPS solution”, with MPS a sector where “reliability is crucial”, and the user trusts the provider “to ensure that everything just works”, and it is “in both parties’ interests to maximise uptime, minimise downtime and reduce the need for service calls”.

Smart printers can help as the “sensor-based, data-driven” machines can “intelligently modify performance” to keep components working until a replacement is delivered, so “the provider fixes the issue before it even becomes an issue” and “without the time and expense involved”. The OEM claims this is a “world away” from the “standard story of the ‘dumb’ office printer” or its “even dumber cousin, the office copier”.

It concludes that this approach to “predictive management” is what it sees as a “key differentiator in its new assault on the A3 office printing market”, with David Ryan, General Manager of the EMEA Print Business Group at HP Inc, commenting that the technology can “enable the channel partner to be able to service its printers more efficiently and visit them no more than they have to, but also ensure that the end customer using the device has that device running more of the time, delivering the right quality printing, copying and scanning – in fact, all the things they want”.

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