Thursday, September 15, 2011

Digital Press Certifications; Konica Minolta, Xerox, Canon - Interesting Developments...

Now here we are a month and a half later and we find that the Konica Minolta is not the only Digital Press that is certified by IDEAlliance. Even thought Konica Minolta was the first to be certified.


The press release was issued August 15th, which was about 2 weeks behind the official date that IDEAlliance issued the actual certification. IDEAlliance issued Konica Minolta's Digital Press Certification on August 1st, 2011.


The Digital Press Certification program is broken into two parts: Part 1 is for Commercial Production (xerographic & ink jet) Devices. Part 2 is for Wide Format and Grand Format Ink Jet Devices. The program consists of testing and certification in areas of color, press sheet properties and print production.

In the certification process, a series of test forms are provided, suppliers print these forms according to a given criteria, the forms are sent to the IDEAlliance designated Evaluation Contractor where they are measured and compared against pre-determined tolerances. Systems that pass all tests are awarded certification, the supplier system details are published on an IDEAlliance web site and the supplier is able to display the certification logo on their product collateral.

This is great news for potential digital press buyers as they will be able to immediately recognize the logo and know that they are considering a product that is already certified. There has been a lot of press surrounding these certifications. The framework for the digital press certification is based on upcoming international standards ISO 12647-8, 15311, and 15339.

Now customers have a way to find their way through an always growing field of Digital Press Products. As of 9/15/2011 The following presses have been certified under the following conditions.

8/1/2011 Konica Minolta Business Solutions got the Bizhub PRESS C8000 with the Creo IC-307/Version 1.0 using the GRACol Print Condition on Sterling Ultra Digital 80# Gloss Cover
 
8/26/2011 EFI got the Canon imagePRESS C7010VP/C6010VP/C6010 with the Fiery A1200/A2200/A3200 using the GRACol Print Condition on EFI Laser Proof XF130 Semi matt 130 gsm
 
9/1/2011 Xerox got the iGen4 Matte Dry Ink Press with the FreeFlow Print Server V8 using the GRACol Print Condition on Xerox Digital Color Elite Silk 140gsm
 
9/6/2011 EFI got the Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 with the Fiery IC-306/IC-3600 using the GRACol Print Condition on EFI Laser Proof Paper XF130 Semi matt 130gsm
 
Konica Minolta not only has their equipment being certified a quick look at IDEAlliance's website and you will find that 17 Konica Minolta employees are now certified G7 Experts!
 
Konica Minolta has put a tremendous effort in not only producing top of the line affordable digital presses but also in investing in having color experts to help commercial printers and in plant printing operations get their shop certified as a G7 Master Printer using the G7 methodology. Originally when I looked Xerox had like 8 and Kodak had like 7 G7 Experts worldwide. HP did not have 1 certified G7 Expert and neither did Canon, IKON or Ricoh. I have been informed that the first batch of RiKON professionals have now been certified.
 
It is not enough to just make good equipment, but to have the support structure to enable those that purchase the equipment to be successful. The race is on!
 
Pirate Mike
 
For those that would like to keep up with the lastest certifications go to IDEAlliance's Website!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Konica Minolta's Flagship Color Digital Press becomes First in the Industry to Meet Production Requirements of GRACoL Color Specifications

Ramsey, N.J. - August 15, 2011 - Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta), a leading provider of advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, today announced that the bizhub® PRESS C8000 is the first digital press to receive the IDEAlliance® Digital Press Certification.


The IDEAlliance Digital Press Certification program validates that digital presses can consistently meet the production requirements of IDEAlliance's GRACoL® color reproduction specifications. Other aspects validated in the certification process include uniformity, rub resistance, color gradations, text quality and color registration. Additionally, designated Konica Minolta production print technicians earned G7 Expert status, thereby permitting the bizhub PRESS C8000 to earn Digital Press Certification. Due to the overall successful efforts, the Customer Engagement Center at the Konica Minolta Headquarters in Ramsey, N.J. has earned G7 Master Status.



"Our industry benefits greatly from independent system verification and certification. Digital press technologies that meet industry specifications and standards have crossed a new milestone and we thank Konica Minolta for their leadership in supporting this exciting program," said David Steinhardt, President and CEO, IDEAlliance. "Konica Minolta's participation in obtaining a Digital Press System Certification will go a long way in helping the industry enhance its understanding and application of digital printing."



"By being the first in the industry to earn Digital Press Certification from IDEAlliance, the bizhub PRESS C8000 is setting the standard for excellence that will come to be expected by customers looking for the highest quality and superior performance from their digital presses," said Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "Having G7 Experts in house and certifying our industry-leading digital presses is just another reason print professionals can count on Konica Minolta to ensure that our technology is not only innovative, but also leading the industry in superior performance certification."



IDEAlliance certifies that Digital Press Certified systems meet or exceed established industry tolerances for excellence in the areas of Colorimetric Accuracy, Uniformity, Repeatability, Durability, and Registration. The certification program is similar to what GRACoL and SWOP is for inkjet proofing, and the framework is based on upcoming international standards ISO 12647-8, 15311, and 15339.



Witness firsthand the bizhub PRESS C8000 at GRAPH EXPO 2011, the year's largest graphic communications exhibition and educational conference, which runs September 11-14 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. To schedule a personal tour of the Konica Minolta Booth (#2227) and/or an executive interview, please contact James Norberto at JNorberto@kmbs.konicaminolta.us.



ABOUT IDEAlliance

IDEAlliance® (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) is a global community of content and media creators, and their service providers, material suppliers, and technology partners. Our association identifies best practices for efficient end-to-end digital media workflows - from content creation through distribution. Through our active committees, educational conferences, webinars, training and certification programs, we provide members the forum for the exchange of information that results in the creation of our industry's most valued standards. More information at www.idealliance.org.



About the IDEAlliance Digital Press Certification Program

IDEAlliance® Digital Press Certification Program certifies the capabilities of commercial production xerographic and inkjet devices to meet specific print standards. The program consists of testing and certification in areas of color, print properties and print production. The program considers the entire press system, including the digital front-end, print engine, and paper. Program details can be found at www.idealliance.org/certifications/digital-press or by contacting Joe Fazzi at jfazzi@idealliance.org or calling 913.839.9623.



About Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop. Konica Minolta has been named Supplier of the Year by both the Allegra Network and the National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP), as well as received the Sales Support Award from Mail Boxes Etc., Inc. For more information, please visit www.CountOnKonicaMinolta.com and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.



IDEAlliance Contact

Steve Bonoff

IDEAlliance

+1 952.500.8889

sbonoff@idealliance.org



Konica Minolta Contact

James Norberto

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.

+1 201.825.4000

PR@kmbs.konicaminolta.us


Konica Minolta is a registered trademark of Konica Minolta Holdings, Inc. bizhub is a registered trademark of Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.





Monday, August 1, 2011

Konica Minolta's environmental commitment is tested!

The Miami-Dade branch of Konica Minolta is now committed to use certified

paper from sustainable forests instead of regular paper. They have also established a system to recycle their paper waste instead of throwing it away in the landfill.

Recent results from the International Deinking Industry Association (INGEDE) have revealed that five Konica Minolta printers are eco-friendly.

The key process in today's paper recycling procedure is called deinking, which measures how easy it is to remove toner and ink from recovered documents.
Results from INGEDE's tests revealed that Konica Minolta's bizhub Pro C6000, C7000 and its Press C6000, C7000 and C8000 devices showed excellent deinking properties.

Just another tidbit for those of you that are interested in working with sustainable companies that make environmentally concious products!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Move over MPS for the new OPS, the BPO that is automated and doesn't have a 30% uplift!

Funny I would write about OPS but in this world of outsourced business processes there is always a "better mouse trap." and in the world of MPS WE DON'T hear about automating and "lean" practices in it. In fact I would contend that MPS is to printers what FM is to big iron heavy, loaded with overhead and full of mystery.

In the world of business and technology solutions we talk about "where there is mystery there is margin. And that is what I feel about MPS.

Who asked for MPS anyway? Was it the companies that said "we are inefficient at managing our printers?" Or what it the industry that said "look over hear at this shiny bright object?"

Yes it is true all of the statistical data of help desk calls and the clutter and cost that these little objects cause pain and mayhem for the enterprise. But my contention is that by using lean concepts we would never throw people at the solution.

People are inherently the cause of inefficiency and over spending in this world! The death of a copier said it well "MPS is dying; let's kill it!"

And that is exactly what Konica Minolta is doing with OPS. Optimized Print Services is what JDF is to the printing world. Optimizing the fleet and automating the processes surrounding the printers and allied print services.

MPS will die but not because people will give up their printers; no in fact we see that even with the push of the MFD grouping and clustering of assets printers are alive and well in our "paperless offices."

Letting people keep their printers and bundling them with their MFDs and automating the processes surrounding the management and implantation of an enterprise fleet is what OPS is about.

Someday I will be replaced to when people can automate their high volume, high quality production of their transactional and one to one marketing communications, but not in my lifetime!

Long live production print and the fools that follow this insane career path!

Pirate Mike


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Xerox rebounds slower than expected; shuts down wide format and enters another era of layoffs…


2011 may be known as the “Year of the Rabbit” for some but not the great Xerox. Goliath is falling and I’m not sure who can catch his fall. The first 6 months of 2011 may be part of the rebuilding of American economics but for Xerox it has been nothing but a nightmare.


6 Month Stock History for Xerox (courtesy of Yahoo Finance)

Going into a new age Xerox’s CEO Ursula Burns moves full steam ahead having to announce some very difficult decisions at the end of the 4th quarter of 2010 that they would be moving ahead with a plan to lay off 2500 employees. Then early on in 2011 Xerox announced or rather whispered quietly that they were going to discontinue their wide format business in North America.

In an article named, “How Will Xerox’s Decision to Discontinue “Wide-Format” Impact Reprographers, Xerox Wide-Format Dealers, and Other Wide-Format Manufacturers? “ The writer gives an interesting view about the effects industry wide on this decision. None the less it was a difficult decision to arrive at and an even more difficult one to announce to their employees that have heard nothing but bad news for a long time. In an article written by Anthony Bianco and Pamela L. Moore back in 2001 for Business Week named, “Xerox; the downfall” the writers talk about the many rough decisions made over the years by Xerox executives and the timeline associated with those decisions.

So what’s next? How will Xerox reorganize knowing that they will be 2500 people light in the coming months? Who will they lean on? Where will the work load go? Well for months I have been hearing rumors on a big announcement coming from Global – Xerox’s rogue warrior.

I have talked about this subject on many occasions only to get my hand slapped by my presumptions. Although many of my predictions did in fact come true, some were slightly off the mark. But as anyone vested in my industry knows I have opinions based on what I see and hear on a local and national level and we are all subject to rumors.

Well the rumor on the street is that as Xerox makes good on its promise to lay off workers it is also going to restructure how they distribute the workload. What does this mean do you ask? Well I think in the short term Xerox customers are going to get a visit from their first cousins at Global saying, “Hi my name is Bob from Global Imaging Systems, a Xerox company I am just stopping by to introduce myself as your new rep.”

My assumption is that very shortly Xerox will be unloading assets sold by Xerox sales reps themselves only to find out that they are no longer with a job and that their assets have been given to a Global rep to manage as Xerox tries to cut the fat from their organization. This “live long enough to see a better day” strategy will have some interesting implications for their customers that signed up for “an elite manufacturer direct experience,” not a close imitation.

The other assumption is that many of these assets will be production print devices and not just workgroup systems. This also creates some interesting situations as not all Global offices have dedicated or specialty trained production teams. This puts a lot pressure on a workforce that is less disciplined as Xerox’s own. Global has been allowed to run a bit unrefined and now it will be dealing with an even greater share of Xerox’s business; business that Xerox itself sold.

So how will customers react to this news? Well it will depend on how they hear it and really it is a people business so it largely will depend on the rep that shows up to the door and the resources that he or she has at their disposal which will depend on the local branches culture and strength. Many of Global’s offices have or were very strong dealerships prior to the acquisition.

Does this leave opportunity for everyone else? Why of course with another great competitor in transition and weak it means that thousands of customers, potentially a 100 million dollars of assets will be up for grabs to those who are willing to bring to light the new risks associated with being a Xerox customer.

What used to be said, “No one ever got fired for buying a Xerox,” could now change to “No one wants to be the one to pull the trigger on Xerox as it could get them fired.” Only time will tell if any of this comes to fruition but one thing is certain. It is a dangerous time to choose the wrong vendor for your infrastructure as it is getting harder to choose a company that is solid.

With the holocaust in Japan leaving many manufacturers crippled both in their own capacity but also hindered in that their supply chain partners had suffered as well. This has left many deals wide open as “he who has the goods gets the deal.” As we have seen here in Houston Texas some decisions have been made to buy from people that “have inventory” without regard to who had the best price or gear.

This leaves one that is watching thinking that they have been watching day time soaps like “Days of our lives,” when in fact they were watching “As the copier turns.” It will be interesting to listen carefully to both Xerox and Global and see what they do in the near-term. It appears that big changes are coming and it is not good news for customers that invested in “Xerox dominance.”

Happy Selling…

Pirate Mike

Friday, January 21, 2011

Offset Press Manufacturers; the lines are being drawn...

As you know the offset world has been growing at a pace just slightly under inflation which shows that this technology although needed is dying. As we watch the big iron manufacturers like Heidelberg, Kamori, , KBA, MAN Rolland, Mitsubishi, Ryobi, Sakuri, Akiyama, Presstek (AB Dick) and others what we see is large layoffs and very cautious maneuvering to stay alive. (keep these names close to mind these represent all the most common presses you will find)

Shinohara just filed for bankruptcy (January 2011), and many others are not far behind. Hamada pulled out of North America last year and many others are very shy about spending money.

Just like the copier industry everyone is closing aligning themselves to survive and digital press manufacturers are "WHERE ITS AT" As you may remember OCE and MAN ROLAND just annouced their partnership leading the way for other "big Iron" makers down the path of survival.

http://global.oce.com/news/press-releases/2010/oce-and-manroland-announce-global-strategic-alliance.aspx

And what you may not know is that the most prestigious press manufacturer has been partnering with a well know digital press manufacturer for sometime now.

http://www.heidelberg.com/au/www/en/content/articles/recent_news/newsletter/gen_2010/gen_1004/s8_km

You should also know that Heidelberg announced that it will later this year 2011 announce who their "full time" digital press partner will be globally. I think you will agree that it makes sense for them to remain partners with us. Our relationship with Kodak keeps them arms length to "their own" technology that they abandoned 10 years ago and allows them to leverage both the "entry" level and "high end" digital press lines.

What we will see from this is a stronger commitment to automation (JDF and CIP4) and faster advancements in feeding and registration (mechanical feat advancements) which might take us years to accomplish on our own. The battle is tough but we are making progress! Don't let any small setbacks or individual battle losses get in the way of the big picture! Stay the course!

Big Iron Mike,

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Konica Minolta Wins an Award from Better Buys for Business for the bizhub PRESS C8000 Color Digital Press!

Konica Minolta Wins Multiple Awards from Better Buys for Business


Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc. has announced that Better Buys for Business has recognized the bizhub PRESS C8000 Color Digital Press and bizhub 423/363/283/223 Series of Monochrome MFPs for 2010 "Innovative Product of the Year" awards in the high-volume printer and office copier categories respectively. These awards are given to exceptional models and are based on rigorous analysis of all current competitive models.
Better Buys for Business also recognized Konica Minolta with the following awards:

• bizhub C280 as Editor's Choice in the 2011 Color Copier Guide
• bizhub C360 as Editor's Choice in the 2011 Color Copier Guide
• bizhub C452 as Editor's Choice in the 2011 Color Copier Guide
• bizhub C552DS as Editor's Choice in the 2011 Color Copier Guide
• bizhub C652DS as Editor's Choice in the 2011 Color Copier Guide
In addition to featuring award winners, each of the ten annual product guides from Better Buys for Business includes product features and technology; vendor profiles; full specifications; and pricing information.

"Konica Minolta keeps adding new features that make their machines ever more viable for high-end users who want to produce offset-quality print runs using sophisticated tools to produce very good color pages inexpensively," said Steve Hannaford, editor-in-chief, Better Buys for Business. "The bizhub PRESS C8000 looks to be an impressive new addition to its line."

"We are extremely excited to receive the 2010 Innovative Product of the Year Awards as it further validates our ability to deliver cutting edge technology, superior performance, and affordability," said Kevin Kern, senior vice president, marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA. "Our customers can count on Konica Minolta to continue providing them with award-winning solutions that meet all of their demanding digital printing requirements."