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OKI recovers from disasters, launches new devices

May 29, 2012

The Japanese tsunami and earthquake saw many Japanese companies suffer factory damage and supply issues

OKI Data back to manufacturing printers at full capacity following year of devastation, with new models announced in the UK.

The OEM’s President Takao Hiramoto told iTWire that the company has recovered well from the Japan earthquake and Thai floods last year, which both affected the business dramatically.

Despite recovering its engineering and production operations, supply chain issues for the company continued for several months following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which hit Japan in March 2011. However, it was the Thai floods that affected the company the most, with one of its two main production facilities becoming submerged under “four to five metres” of flood water last November.

Whilst some production was transferred to facilities in China, Japan and northern Thailand, the water took six weeks to subside enough for the company to retrieve the dyes used in the manufacturing of its printers, with production at the main Thailand facility not resuming until the start of 2012.

However, the facility’s production “has doubled since March […] and has now reached 140 percent of the 2011 capacity”, with new offices and a demonstration centre recently opening at Sydney’s Macquarie Park and the company planning to reinvest in its sales and marketing.

In addition, OKI Systems UK has recently announced a major expansion of its printer and MFP portfolio, including products tailored to the needs of businesses of all sizes. Hiramoto announced the product expansion programme at the company’s recent Smart Business Conference in Barcelona, detailing how the portfolio aims to combine innovative new models with the enhancement of existing products to offer business customers products that are both affordable and reliable.

Micro and small businesses are expected to benefit from new models including OKI’s B401 mono printer, which lowers the entry price for a professional quality duplex capable device; and the “ultra compact” C822 series A3 colour printer. The company’s new C300 colour range of printers, along with a choice of mono MFPs are also deemed to be good value “providing top performance […] at a price point previously only delivering basic functionality.”

OKI's B401 printer

Products aimed at SMBs include the C500 Series colour printers and the C831 compact colour printer, which all offer enhanced performance compared to previous models, with the C831 boosting output performance to 35ppm. Products such as the new MB491 have been approved by the company for larger businesses as the model offers “superior performance with efficiency improving features” including encrypted secure print and the ability to forward incoming faxes to an email address or folder on the network.

Graham Lowes, Marketing Director at OKI Systems UK Ltd, stated: “We looked hard at the market requirements, together with customer feedback, and have developed the new models to be easier to use and to have low power consumption. They offer affordability for those on limited budgets, together with low total cost of ownership for the larger business.”

OKI also sees itself as “leading the way” in reducing energy usage and carbon emissions by including energy saving features such as ‘Deep Sleep’ mode and ‘Auto Power Off’ technology in its products.

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