By Cassandra Balentine
Part 2 of 2
While light production devices are well suited for several low-volume print environments, those with fewer output needs and more digitization may want to look the way of multifunction products that offer monthly duty cycles between 70,000 and 100,000 impressions—or entry-level production multifunction products (MFPs).
Bill Hall, product marketing manager, and Lisa Salerno, product marketing manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., suggest that many manufacturers have refreshed their MFP products in the past 12 to 24 months. This new generation of products incorporates faster scan speeds, robust finishing options, larger paper supply, and new and improved user customizable control panels.
Industry trends influence the adoption of entry-level production presses. Kent J. Villarreal, senior manager, product planning and marketing, Sharp, says this is due to the increased trickle down of print volume from higher class digital presses and traditional offset presses being brought in house to the lower segment of high-speed MFPs as these solutions become more capable of producing high-quality results.
Canon supports this space with products within its Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE C5500 Series. These color MFPs are designed as reliable, durable products that integrate with Canon’s holistic business Solutions with a strong emphasis placed on ease of use, outstanding image quality, fast color in a compact size, and a focus on authentication.
For this space, Konica Minolta features the B&W bizhub PRO 958 and the color bizhub PRO c754e. “These machines are commonly installed in high office production environments for short runs to produce newsletters, flyers, and presentations,” share Hall and Salerno.
Features that set Konica Minolta’s devices in this segment apart from the competition include a new single-pass duplex document feeder, which is capable of scanning up to 240 impressions per minute in duplex mode. This increases productivity as it brings information into the workflow process faster. “With our robust finishing options, users can produce 80-page booklets with center-, half-, and tri-folds as well as Z folds and the 958 is also capable of banner printing up to 47.25 inches,” comment Hall and Salerno.
Sharp is seeing a horizontal segment that spans across multiple verticals. “This is due to the ease of use of those more capable high-speed color MFPs as well as the high image quality and consistency they provide,” says Villarreal. For Sharp, some of the most common verticals are K-12, non profits, professional services, healthcare, real estate, local and state governments, and manufacturing. “The common threat throughout these verticals for these devices are the CRD, in plants, and copy rooms these organizations share,” he offers.
Sharp presents the MX-6580N/758N models, with speeds of 75 and 65 ppm, respectively. “These models are arguably the most versatile in Sharp’s lineup. Inspired by the latest application and imaging technologies, these new models offer a rugged design and user-friendly experience that appeals to environments such as high-volume offices, smaller CRDs and copy rooms,” says Villarreal.
For color-critical environments and those that want to personalize their print with variable data, Sharp also offers the latest Fiery technology provided with the optional Fiery MX-PE12 Print Server.
As output devices become more connected, software development options are increasingly critical.
Konica Minolta works with customers to understand their businesses and work through pain points. Both the bizhub PRO 958 and bizhub PRO c754e devices support third-party solutions including web-based systems. The company’s open API allows for early application development of customized solutions by third parties.
Data security is an important issue, which is even more critical in certain segments including healthcare and legal.
Konica Minolta offers open AIP, which allows for easy application development of customized solutions by third parties. “To protect against a range of security risks we offer an advanced set of security features called bizhub SECURE,” point out Hall and Salerno.
Models that support bizhub SECURE feature a standard web browser, which serves as the platform for solutions connectivity, with a fully customizable user interface to automate workflow processes and customize. The company recently launched a new and enhanced version of its bizhub MarketPlace platform to accommodate the global market.
Sharp’s MX-6580N/758N models feature the latest version of Sharp OSA technology for easy integration with network applications and cloud services.
It has features designed to fit in any environment with a variety of finishing, paper, and print server options.
Entry-level production MFPs offer features attractive to many high-volume office-type environments with the need for added features like security, connectivity, and finishing.
Nov2017, DPS Magazine