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Monday, June 27, 2011

HP Ups Prices on Designjet Inkjet Cartridges and Print Heads

HP Printer CartridgesSome distributors are reporting that HP has announced that it will increase prices for older model Designjet inkjet cartridges and print head by approximately 10 percent as of July 1. A table listing the SKUs for which HP is increasing pricing, plus old and new list prices, appears here. The OEM’s note to its distributors attributes the increase to “rising production and supply chain costs.”

While it is possible that some of the upward price pressure is due to raw material shortages stemming form the earthquake in Japan, this is certainly not the only contributing factor. Printer OEMs have been facing rising production and raw material costs for some time now, well before the earthquake occurred. One reason is volatility in the price of oil. Oil prices are down a bit this month, but the price of crude oil is up about 20 percent compared with last year. Cartridge casings, carbon black, and other key components in both ink and toner cartridges are petro-chemical based, so higher oil prices put pressure on OEMs to raise supplies prices. The industry saw most printer OEMs and even some remanufacturers raise supplies prices in late 2008 and early 2009 when oil prices reached record highs.

HP is not alone in feeling the need to protect its margins by increasing pricing. Recently, The Recycler reported that Sun Chemical has raised prices for some ink prices, citing increases in raw material costs. The company issued separate announcements increasing prices in North America on June 3 and in Europe on June 16. Sun cited “an unrelenting elevation of costs on raw materials,” stemming from reduced capacity and increased demand. Sun Chemical also raised prices in February of this year citing similar factors.

It will be interesting to see if this is the extent of the price increases for HP or if it is a harbinger of more prices increases to come. Supplies price increases might prove devastating for an industry looking to drive print volumes again following a recession and the increased popularity of the many electronic alternatives to traditional print media.

Original Source: HP Ups Prices on Designjet Inkjet Cartridges and Print Heads

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Monday, June 20, 2011

20,000 Lexmark workgroup printers to be deployed at U.S. VA locations

Lexmark Printer SuppliesLexmark International, Inc. recently became the manufacturer of choice for a national workgroup and color laser printer bid sourced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The contract calls for the potential placement of more than 20,000 Lexmark E, T and C Series workgroup monochrome and color laser printers throughout 260 VA locations, including outpatient clinics in the U.S., within the next 90 to 120 days. The contract is expected to help the VA achieve more than $15 million in savings in relation to standard purchasing costs.

The award is the first national printer bid sourced by the VA. Previously, the VA sourced its printers regionally with awards made independently by each specific Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN), Region, or Medical Center.

This national award will help standardize the entire agency with Lexmark, eliminating the challenges associated with deploying, managing and maintaining a multi-vendor fleet of printing devices. The national award also meets the VA's need for workgroup monochrome and color laser printers that align with its strategic goals of reducing costs and environmental impact. The contract also supports the VA's need to ensure the accuracy and completeness of its information resources, reduce the complexity of its IT infrastructure, and optimize the efficiency of its business processes.

The winning VA bid was awarded directly to Alvarez & Associates, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based information technology and executive management services company. Alvarez & Associates is a Lexmark partner and a 100 percent Service Disabled Veteran Owned /Small Business (SDVO/SB) that provides intellect, analysis, technology and counsel to government agencies.

Supporting Quotes:

"Lexmark is proud to support the vital mission of Veterans Affairs," said Marty Canning, Lexmark executive vice president and president of Imaging Solutions and Services. "Lexmark Government Solutions provides products, services and solutions that enable agencies to manage their data and documents more efficiently and securely while lowering costs and better meeting their output needs.

"Lexmark's wide range of laser printers deployed across these locations will help support the critical care services that are delivered to our military veterans and their families," added Canning.

"The joint efforts of the Alvarez and Lexmark teams and the quality Lexmark printers that meet the specific needs of the VA were the key components in achieving this important contract," stated Kirk Hanson, executive vice president and general manager for Alvarez & Associates.

Original Source: 20,000 Lexmark workgroup printers to be deployed at U.S. VA locations

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Epson Aims To Become Inkjet-Only Outfit

Epson Printer Cartridges Epson's long term strategy in the printing market is to provide a complete range of inkjet solutions to cover all the five major segments, potentially replacing lasers in the process, ITProPortal can exclusively reveal.

Rob Clark, Executive Director of Marketing at Epson Europe, told that Epson is pushing for inkjets to gradually move up the market towards the small & medium enterprise segments and ultimately invading the corporate sector.

This however, he conceded, is going to be a very long term endeavour and partly explains why Epson is ploughing seven per cent of its annual revenue into research and development.

Clark said that Epson will capitalise on its proprietary piezoelectric inkjet technology which is radically different from other inkjet printing technologies and which the company believes can help it deliver a complete portfolio of products to match market demands.

A little known fact is that Epson, like some of its competitors, doesn't own the IP to the fundamental parts of a laser printer. Instead it uses third party technology for its laser printers which prevents it from differentiating itself fully from the rest of the market. Becoming an inkjet-only manufacturer would provide the printing industry with a compelling alternative to laser at the upper end of the spectrum.

Owning the technology is critical for Epson which is why Clark confirmed that Epson UK will stick to its current range of products - projectors, printers and scanners. No cameras, tablets, netbooks, computers and smartphones coming our way.

Epson introduced its first piezoelectric printer back in 1993 with the Epson MJ500 followed by the Stylus Color and with the latest range of Epson printers - the Workforce Pro - being launched in September 2011, Epson will hope that it helps push its printer range to the next level.

Targeting both micro and small businesses, the Workforce Pro uses the same base unit and printer engine and adds different functionalities (scanning, Wi-Fi, a touchscreen display, duplex printing, faxing & copying) to suit the diverse demands of the market.

In addition, Epson's printer designers have been very attentive to details. Workforce Pro printers for the small businesses will be white which, we were told, reduces lighting requirements (and associated costs) in an office environment. The Workforce Pro products are built to look like laser printers; big, solid, sturdy and reassuringly heavy with massive cartridges that, Epson says, will help halve the cost of printing per page.

Original Source: Exclusive: Epson Aims To Become Inkjet-Only Outfit

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Since 1999 we have been a major supplier of original brand (OEM), compatible replacement and remanufactured Premium Quality inkjet cartridges, laser toner cartridges and other printer supplies. Our customers range in size and include the United States Government, small and large businesses, schools and individuals. Each of our customers is equally important to us and is treated with the same friendly professionalism. Visit us at Price Less Inkjet Cartridge Co.