Toner Ink News: OEM Market Share, Xerox Restructuring and Canon’s Fight
Latest OEM Market Share
According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, the worldwide hardcopy peripherals market declined 4.8% to 26.7 million units in Q4 compared to the same period a year earlier. Overall, HP still had the largest shipment share with 39.6%, followed by Canon (22.3%), Epson (17.7%), Brother (7.7%) and Kyocera (2%). Color laser printers experienced growth in units over 20 ppm with Canon being the leader in that range.
This month Xerox announced that it will reorganize and become a unit of a holding company by mid-2019. The new structure provides tax and business flexibility as well as the ability to separate legal liabilities from the parent, such as those that might arise from the Fuji suit against Xerox. Another advantage could be the ability of the parent to break up or sell off a subsidiary.
Canon’s Bid to Stop the Aftermarket
The aftermarket toner industry has been plagued by patent lawsuits –many of which were probably justified because of flagrant violations. One issue which that has been of great concern relates to replacement toner cartridges for Canon- designed laser printers such as many used in HP LaserJet printers. A particular issue has been the coupling (frequently referred to as the dongle gear) between the toner cartridge and printer drive system. Canon patented the gear and used that as a basis for obtaining injunctions for many replacement cartridges. Aftermarket component suppliers such as Static Control Components, Ninestar and Print-Rite devised non-infringing solutions using a non-tilting coupling. Canon then attempted to extend the original patents by filing “continuation” patent applications covering any type of moving dongle gear solution. An Administrative law Judge has now ordered that Canon must define its claim more narrowly and reportedly the SCC solution will not infringe valid Canon patents. This is probably not the end of the story as Canon is appealing to Federal Courts and possibly the USITC. Now the International Trade Commission has granted a summary determination of non-infringement by Aster, Ninestar, and Print-Rite and has terminated its investigation regarding patent infringement of the Canon patents.
Can Carbon Black be Used for Toner?
Monolith is a new company developing carbon black based on natural gas instead of oil and its air pollution by-products. The start-up company was formed by two Stanford U. mechanical engineers with technology initially begun in Norway and a French University. The initial San Francisco pilot operation has now been shifted to a production facility in Nebraska and operates in conjunction with the Nebraska Public Power District. The Monolith plant will burn natural gas with hydrogen produced as a by-product. The power plant is being converted to burn the hydrogen –with no carbon dioxide. The main intended product would be for reinforcement of tires and we do not know if the carbon will be suitable for toner or inkjet use.
A recent article “The hazards and risks of inhaled poorly soluble particles –where do we stand after 30 years of research?” explored the current situation for carbon black, titanium dioxide, and also mentioned toner. The article was based on interviews with 23 regulatory, industry and academic experts as to how to classify poorly soluble micro and nano size particles, especially for lung cancer. In 2017 the European Chemical Agency’s Committee for Risk Assessment concluded that inhalation of titanium dioxide posed a potential cancer risk and should meet their Class 2 as a suspected carcinogen. However, the authors noted that epidemiological evidence of workers in coal, carbon black and titanium dioxide workers showed no excess of lung cancers. There was no reported evidence that toner caused any increased risk.
And also in the news:
- Ricoh will be introducing the new MH5320/5340/5320 industrial inkjet printhead with smaller 5 pl drop size, improved accuracy and better UV and solvent resistance. With aqueous inks the new head can show up to twice the service life.
- Canon has announced new A3 mid to high-speed inkjet printers. The WG7500 Series is based on a new print head that provides smoother images and print speeds up to 80 ppm
- Hewlett–Packard has just updated much of its OfficeJet Pro series with the Pro 8025, 8035, 9015, 9025 and Premier units. The new units are up to 39% smaller than previous units and the 8000 series comes in a choice of three colors. The printers automatically order new ink when it runs low. Prices range from $169 to $399
- Kyocera has announced six new multifunction TASKalfa color devices and three new multifunction TASKalfa black and white units. The color A4 units range in speeds of 20 ppm up to 60 ppm black /65 color for the 6053ci unit. The 2553ci unit has A3 capability of 12 ppm. Monochrome unit speeds range from 40 to 60 ppm.
- Ricoh has used FESPA to introduce the Ri 1000 Direct to Garment Printer with 1200×1200 dpi and white ink capability. The printer also introduces a new pretreatment liquid for substrates ranging from polyester to cotton
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