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DIGITAL digest

September 2008
Ricoh Revs Up For Graph Expo

CHICAGO—More than one year after announcing the formation of its Production Printing Business Group (PPBG) and the development of a high-end, digital color printer, Graph Expo 2008, being held here next month, will mark the official launch and commercial availability of Ricoh Americas’ Pro C900 series.

Capable of printing 90 color or black-and-white pages per minute (ppm) with 1,200x1,200 dpi image quality, the Pro C900 is aimed at the commercial and quick printing, copy shop and in-plant environments, as well as service bureaus and direct mailers.

With a paper capacity of 11,000 sheets, the device can handle heavy stocks up to 110-lb. cover/165-lb. index without slowing down. Operators can load paper and toner on-the-fly without pausing the job in progress.

Controlled by an EFI Fiery RIP, the printer accommodates up to a 13x19.2˝ sheet. The system can also be fitted with several in-line finishing options for stapling and punching, bookletmaking and saddlestitching, as well as ring and perfect binding.

In late July, Ricoh PPBG executives held a press and analyst briefing in New York to discuss their product strategy. “Our vision is to be a leading force in the production printing environment by 2010,” said Tim Vellek, vice president, noting that the business unit has already been ramped up to 200 people in the United States, largely by hiring industry pros in the production space.

One of the group’s first employees is PPBG Vice President of Marketing Carl Joachim, a former vice president at Océ who also worked for several years at Xerox. He provided an update on Ricoh’s evolution into the color digital production printing space, including its existing relationship with Kodak that allows Ricoh’s 90 direct salespeople to sell Nexpress series digital color presses.

In addition, one year into Ricoh’s joint venture with IBM, he said that Ricoh and InfoPrint Solutions are currently looking at co-marketing opportunities such as trade shows, developing a lead sharing program and exploring product development synergies.

Joachim also revealed that five beta sites for the Pro C900 have been in place since this spring, and that Ricoh has partnered with InfoTrends to develop a “Build Your Business” Website. He described the new production printer as an affordable alternative for those first getting into production color, as well as for establishments with underutilized iGen and Indigo digital color presses.

John Fulena, director of product marketing and sales development, said the Pro C900’s cost per page (single click, 11x17˝ sheet printed simplex) is 17 cents for color and about 1 cent black-and-white. The Pro C900S model, featuring a color scanner unit, will also become available in late 2008, he added.
 

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