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Interesting Times Ahead- How Will New Inkjet Devices Impact the Service Department

challenges in our industry industry trends inkjet service department Nov 15, 2019
Inkjet technology makes an impact on the market.

This article originally appeared in ENX Magazine

An old curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” The idea being that boring times were times of security and peace and interesting times more associated with trouble and danger. In our industry, I am concerned that interesting times lie in our near future.

Portents of the Coming Change

I have had the opportunity to visit both GraphExpo and the BTA meeting in Asheville recently, and I walked away amazed at the things I saw and heard. At GraphExpo, it seemed that several of the manufacturers devoted more booth space to devices outside of the traditional production print environment. There was also a significant shift toward inkjet devices both in the high-end industrial printing environment as well as toward specialty devices like wide format.

At the BTA meeting, one recurrent topic was Managed Network Services (MNS). Both during the dealer roundtable discussion and during presentations this subject was addressed as an important opportunity to diversify the revenue stream for dealers and as a way to secure the dealer client relationship. Also at the event, Epson was showing off their WorkForce Pro series inkjet devices.

Cause for Concern

This leads to my concern for the future. With print heads that print the width of the page and the changes in ink quality, we face the possible end of the toner-based machines in the near future. The major copier manufacturers are bringing this technology from the top down, and the traditional printer manufacturers are bringing it from the bottom up.

The page costs on some of the devices from Epson and HP on the low end are comparable to or cheaper than that of toner-based systems. Both HP and Epson are reporting page costs under .01 for b/w and as low as .028 for color. These devices have duty cycles and throughput speeds comparable to MFPs, lacking only the finishing options.

Read the full article in the free membership area, or you can read it in the archives of ENX Magazine.

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