Print in the Channel - issue #15


Issue #15

The Significance of Asset Tracking and Labelling Solutions Page 32


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Staying one step ahead Cybercrime continues to rise, and small- to medium-sized businesses are firmly in the criminals’ crosshairs, which means that all networked devices, including printers, need to be made as secure as possible – which is where resellers come in.

Working from home has become the norm for people in various sectors in recent years, and criminals are no exception – many now prefer to use their laptops to break into a business’ systems and steal their data and/ or confidential documents, rather than going to the effort of physically breaking in and

sector in various ways, including improving predictive maintenance and the depth of analysis of data, and this influence is only going to grow in the coming months and years. Find out more on p28. AI is also changing how educational organisations work, and this is something print resellers need to be alive to. It is also indicative of a wider embracing of technology by educational

Dan Parton

taking equipment or documents. But for businesses of all sizes, the threat from cybercrime is no joking matter. Cybersecurity has been a priority for businesses for some years, and, as more devices are

organisations – although they are looking to do it on a budget, which is where managed print solutions and the like come in, and where resellers have a key role to play. Read more on p41.

networked, then it means they need to be secured

as well, including printers. But this is still something that can be neglected,

Also of growing influence in the print sector is

especially by smaller businesses, who may not have much in the way of in-house tech expertise.

sustainability – and a key part of that is reducing energy usage. This is something

printer manufacturers have responded to and, while the amount of power they consume is important, energy efficiency goes far beyond the device itself. Find out more on p14. These features highlight some of the exciting developments going on in the print channel currently, which is making it an exciting time for resellers, and, crucially, providing plenty of opportunities for selling. As always, I hope you enjoy the issue. If there is any topic you would like to see us cover in a future issue of Print in the Channel – or you would like to get involved in editorial by sending an op-ed or story – please get in touch with me at

Indeed, Quocirca’s SMB Attitudes to Print Security 2024 Report revealed that 63% of SMBs experiencing a costly print-related data breach in the past year. Despite this, only 20% said they were concerned about print security. This is where resellers have an important role – they need to inform their customers about the risks they face and advise them on the right solutions they need for their business. Read more on p34. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another potential threat to security if used by cybercriminals, but it has the potential to be a much more positive force for office technology, including printers. It is already impacting on the


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00 03


News You should know p6 Energy Efficient Printers Powering down p14 Product Review Bixolon BK5-31 p17 Product Launch Epson AM-C400 & AM-C550 p19

Epson – p22

Product Launch: Ricoh – p39

Sign and display specialists will enjoy greater flexibility with the Flora X20 UV Hybrid printer powered by Ricoh – the first printer to be co-developed by Flora and Ricoh.

Nick Taylor has just taken over as Epson’s head of sales for office print for UK and Ireland, and he is confident that with the manufacturer’s heat-free inkjet printers and exclusively channel sales model, the company can continue to deliver what customers want.

Epson Continuing to deliver p22

AI in Print – p28

Artificial intelligence is changing office technology in many ways, from generating reports to personalised assistants and print is no exception.

AI in Print Intelligent design p28 SMB Print Security Keeping it safe p34 Product Launch Lexmark 9-series p38 Product Launch Ricoh Flora X20 p39 Education Sector Learning Curve p41

Product Launch: Epson – p19

SMB Print Security – p34

With cybercrime continuing to rise, making sure a printer fleet is fully secure is becoming increasingly vital for small- and medium-sized businesses. But with the threats ever-evolving, resellers need to help ensure their customers remain safe from the cybercriminals.

People News On the move p48

Epson has launched its AM-C400 and AM-C550 models, which provide the latest evolution in heat-free line inkjet printing and aim to bring improved performance and sustainability advantages to the A4 print market.

Food Supply Chain Efficiency ‘ Farm to fork’ p50



Energy Efficient Printers – p14

With sustainability high on many business’ agenda today, reducing energy usage is a key consideration, which means demand for energy efficient printers is increasing – and OEMs have responded to this.

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 elliot@ Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of Print in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2024 In the Channel Media Ltd.

Product Review: Bixolon– p17

Bixolon has launched its latest kiosk printer in Europe, which can print tickets, wristbands and labels in a range of widths, and is aimed primarily at the transport, hospitality and government sectors.

Food Supply Chain Efficiency – p50

With the ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK, farmers and fresh produce suppliers are under pressure to work more effectively with supermarkets to improve efficiency.

Education Sector – p41

Lexmark has launched its 9-Series of eight A3 colour printers and MFPs, based on the company’s established A4 technology. Product Review: Lexmark – p38

Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:

Artificial intelligence is changing how the education sector works, including how staff use document management and print solutions in the workplace – and this is something resellers need to be alert to.



Switching to MPS saves five-figure sum for businesses, analysis finds

Switching to managed print services (MPS) could represent a five-figure saving over three years, when compared with traditional printer ownership, according to new analysis from Brother UK. Brother UK’s new total cost of ownership calculator revealed how an organisation using five Brother MFC-L9570CDW professional all- in-one colour laser printers, as part of an MPS agreement, could save £16,535 over a three- year period. Customers could also benefit from additional services including automatic ink and toner ordering and installation and maintenance support. The calculator found that a typical small business using Brother’s MFC-L8690CDW multifunction printer could save £1,569 over 36 months. The calculations compare the cost of owning and running the printers over a 36-month period with using an MPS deal for the same duration and volume of printing. The analysis follows the launch of Brother UK’s new MPS proposition. Last year, it launched three managed print solutions – MPS Essential, MPS Professional and MPS

Enterprise – designed for the needs of businesses, from small organisations with a single office through to complex multi-site corporations. Brother has made it simpler for reseller partners to sell contract printing by tailoring the offers to the typical needs of these distinct customer groups. “MPS offers the opportunity for channel partners to help their customers to save significant sums of money,” said Greig Millar, chief revenue officer at Brother UK. “Along with the financial savings, users get the benefit of extra support including automatic re-ordering of supplies and technical support both during the initial setup and ongoing. Plus, at the end of the deal, users have the option to upgrade their printer instead of being committed to the model they have purchased.” Brother UK has seen rising demand for MPS as businesses seek cost-efficient printing. Pages printed via the vendor’s MPS agreements and its devices on contract rose by 23% and 32% respectively over the financial year ending March 31, 2023.

Greig Millar chief revenue officer

Kodak Alaris releases next-generation intelligent document processing software

Kodak Alaris has released an updated version of its intelligent document processing (IDP) software, KODAK Info Input Solution. The IDP platform automates and simplifies the journey from document arrival to usage in business processes – quickly, accurately and reliably. The latest release, Info Input 7, introduces several new platform enhancements, including expanded document AI services for unstructured documents, simplified no-code and low-code workflow automation tasks, and industry- leading human-in-the-loop volume capabilities. Other developments include embedded IDP in everyday applications like Salesforce, a new interactive script editor, and the ability to ingest, process and deliver real-time feedback on documents from the INfuse Smart Connected Scanning Solution from Kodak Alaris. Info Input Solution is built around Kodak Alaris’ Open Intelligence™ design, in which pre-built document AI models are immediately

deployed within a workflow process. The advanced IDP solution uses machine learning and integrations with industry-leading AI tools to deliver remarkably reliable data accuracy and sustainable productivity gains. Info Input 7 makes it easier to fully automate document workflows, from classification and separation to data extraction, indexing and validation. The solution enables customers to easily leverage the most advanced and powerful document AI technology from leaders such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon, right out of the box. “Kodak Alaris has long been a leader in image quality, and we continue to grow our capabilities in IDP,” said Jim Forger, VP of Business Solutions at Kodak Alaris. “The combination of award-winning IDP software and document scanners from Kodak Alaris transforms operational efficiency for our customers and partners and helps them realize greater business value at speed and scale.”

Jim Forger VP, Business Solutions




uniFLOW Online has been developed from the ground up to enhance cloud technology’s benefits and meet the needs of businesses who do not want to invest in, or manage, local servers but still wish to control the printing process and benefit from flexible scan workflows. uniFLOW Online is built on Microsoft Azure’s cutting-edge cloud environment technology; servers are not needed, businesses are ready for the future. It brings enterprise security standards and provides high scalability to react immediately to changing demands.

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Zebra Technologies Corporation has announced its collaboration with Google Cloud, Android and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to help enterprises deliver transformative customer experiences along with improved employee productivity and insights powered by generative AI. Zebra Technologies unveils new generative AI capabilities tuned, real-world models that can schedule and automate tasks, respond to requests, and give recommendations based on the context of a situation in a worker’s moment of need. “Employees now have a huge volume of knowledge derived from policies, procedures and product information in the palms of

The aim of this is to reduce the cognitive load on frontline employees and allow for better just-in-time decision-making with faster onboarding and training. It will further empower the frontline as labour availability and cost challenges persist and employees are required to be more multi-skilled than ever while increasing the quality of their engagement with customers. Employees will be able to leverage a chat experience from a handheld device to easily access information to answer questions and prompts like, “How do I open the store?” and “What type of wiring should a customer use for a 100-watt electrical panel?” The capabilities are powered by generative AI with domain specific knowledge through the processing and ingestion of documents such as standard operating procedures, policies, employee training materials and product knowledge. “We want to shift conversations around generative AI from ‘how’ it works to ‘what’ it can do to create new ways of working that make everyday life better for organisations, their employees and those they serve,” said Tom Bianculli, CTO, Zebra Technologies. “We now see the merging of planning and execution systems in the enterprise. Generative AI will accelerate that with finely

their hands – an ‘always-on’ digital assistant that can reduce the time to competency and ensure best practices are consistently leveraged. They are saving time, improving customer interactions, training staff more quickly and giving frontline workers more autonomy and satisfaction in their jobs.” These outcomes may soon be a reality across enterprises in retail, healthcare and transportation and logistics, with Zebra devices built on the Android operating system and powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ processors with on-device AI capabilities. Together with Google’s Gemini and open- source Gemma models, the full range of generative AI deployments is made possible, from on-device to on-premise, cloud and hybrid options. “Generative AI is fundamentally changing how many organisations operate and will fuel a new era of how both customers and employees will interact with businesses and brands,” said Rouzbeh Aminpour, global retail solution engineering manager, Google Cloud. “By utilising Google Cloud’s leading gen AI capabilities, Zebra can help companies across industries empower their employees with better tools and new capabilities, making their work more productive.”

Tom Bianculli CTO Zebra Technologies

Loftware unveils enhanced cloud labelling platform

Loftware has unveiled Loftware Cloud, a cloud-based labelling platform designed to help businesses conquer diverse supply chain complexities, ensure supplier compliance and improve traceability. The solution empowers organisations to adapt to changing demands across the global supply chain by providing users with the ability to easily design, manage and print millions of accurate labels per day. This level of standardisation and automation transforms legacy manual error-prone processes, facilitating high-performance supply chain label printing and enabling scale. Loftware Cloud is a robust and secure

platform designed to meet the needs of businesses no matter their size or industry focus. With fast deployment times, lower upfront costs, easy access, high availability, unmatched scalability and impressive flexibility, the innovative solution helps companies meet a range of business challenges including addressing increasing customer requirements and evolving regulatory compliance. “2024 marks a pivotal point for global supply chains as automation becomes increasingly prevalent,” said Michelle Northey, Loftware EVP Product. “Many organisations have historically struggled to keep up with this



pace of change, risking lost opportunities and revenue. However, for companies looking to transform their digital supply chain, Loftware Cloud offers a powerful, versatile, and cutting- edge solution that adheres to critical regulatory and customer standards while saving companies time, money and resources.” Using Loftware Cloud, suppliers and co- packers can seamlessly print labels using pre-approved templates and data. Businesses can regulate access to the platform, gaining a meticulous record of each label printed and guaranteeing that labels meet compliance and brand standards. By doing so, companies can eliminate relabelling, save time and reduce costs. Loftware Cloud also brings unprecedented visibility and transparency across the global supply chain network by supporting track

and trace and serialisation initiatives. The benefits are varied – from minimising costs and enhancing operational efficiency to improving agility and eliminating redundancies. Organisations leveraging Loftware’s solution also experience reduced rework, lower scrap rates and a decreased need for relabelling, resulting in significant inventory loss prevention and removing the need for costly product recalls. Additionally, Loftware's certified SAP labelling solutions – designed to integrate with any SAP landscape – allow companies to drive their labelling seamlessly no matter where they are on their journey to S/4HANA. Loftware Cloud offers integration with SAP, S/4HANA, SAP Business Suite on HANA, and SAP ECC, allowing businesses to reduce costs, improve agility and minimise errors.

Michelle Northey EVP Product

Canon to showcase LabelStream LS2000 at drupa

Canon will show the new LabelStream LS2000 digital label press at drupa, the first public preview outside Japan. Based on innovative Canon technologies and designed for industrial- scale label printing, the LabelStream LS2000 is Canon’s first water-based inkjet label press. Available in EMEA in 2025, the device prints CMYK plus white on self-adhesive substrates, with a new ink set designed to comply with food safety standards. Visitors to Canon at drupa will be able to see live label production on paper and film media, printing the labels on the LabelStream LS2000, which are then ready for varnishing, die-cutting and slitting on stand on a nearline converting device from Grafisk Maskinfabrik. As evidence of its commitment to expand into the corrugated printing market, Canon will introduce its concept for a sheetfed single- pass, industrial-scale digital corrugated press, targeting corrugated packaging converters and designed to combine offset-like print quality at a 1.7m print width, productivity of up to 8,000sqm/ hr and new levels of cost-efficiency. A 3D model, print samples and technology animations of the system will be shown on the stand. Visitors can see live production of packaging prototypes and short-run promotional packaging on Canon’s large format Arizona and Colorado printers. For packaging converters and print service providers, these solutions enable personalised, short-run, on-demand

packaging production. The new Arizona 2380XTF FLXflow technology flatbed printer will print a variety of display and packaging applications on a range of media, including corrugated. White, varnish and the opportunity to print elevation up to 4mm with PRISMAelevate XL give full design freedom for high-quality packaging and packaging that can be ‘read’ by the visually impaired. A UVgel Print Factory, comprising a Colorado M-series roll-to-roll printer and a Fotoba Jumbo Roll JRL 170 feeder and JRR 170 Rewinder, will be shown printing on a liner material for later lamination to a corrugated base to create a high-quality printed package, as a digital alternative to conventional litho lamination. Thanks to its 2022 acquisition of Edale, Canon has started to establish a presence in the folding carton market. At drupa, an inline folding carton production process will be shown, taking preprinted reels which will then be embellished live on the Edale FL5-Single- Pass Carton Production Line, adding either cold foil, cast & cure or varnish. The carton will move inline to the Edale FDC600 flatbed die cutter for cutting, creasing, braille/embossing, and waste stripping, ultimately delivering finished carton blanks in a single pass. Folding carton print samples digitally printed on Canon presses, such as the toner-based imagePRESS V1350 and the varioPRINT iX3200 sheetfed inkjet press, will also be available on the stand.

LabelStream LS2000



Woodbank Office Solutions and Konica Minolta celebrate three decades of partnership

Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd and its Stockport-based 5-star accredited partner Woodbank Office Solutions are celebrating three decades of partnership. Janet Bowden founded Woodbank Office Solutions in 1989 reselling used photocopiers as a side venture to her job at a bank. Janet soon became a Minolta partner (the forerunner of Konica Minolta) and the two companies have worked in close partnership ever since. Today, Woodbank Office Solutions provides managed print solutions, office photocopiers, printers, and integrated business solutions to businesses in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Northeast. Reflecting on how perceptions have changed in the past three decades Janet said: “I wasn't always taken seriously. On a dealer trip someone walked up and shook hands with my husband and wished him well, assuming he was the business leader, and I was just his partner! On another trip abroad they clapped me on stage for being the first woman, and I thought that was terrible. It should have been about the fact this person is achieving winning sales figures, not whether you're a woman or a man. “Dealers will now ring me up and ask for advice. A lot of them turn to me and say I've got this situation, can you help, and I love that.

I think it’s great that they can now ask me, and I know the answers from my experience.” Gemma Lee, chief people officer at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd added: “Highlighting and learning from successful stories of female leaders in our industry, such as Janet Bowden, is a key to inspiring everyone and demonstrating that we all have the potential to be an excellent leader and excel in our chosen career. At Konica Minolta we know that our success has always been about the people that drive the business forward, so remaining an employer of choice is vital. This means ensuring there are no barriers for anyone regardless of their background, gender, race, creed or sexual orientation.” To advance female leadership Konica Minolta has several initiatives specifically aimed at supporting female development. These include the ShePlus mentoring programme that supports women across the organisation to build a strong and dynamic network, alongside the Gender Equality network, which encourages and supports progression and leadership development. The Global Women2Lead Executive programme, which is delivered through the International Institute for Management Development, also empowers women leaders, and aims to drive crucial collaboration, innovation, and business growth for a sustainable impact.

Janet Bowden founder

Janet Bowden and Gemma Lee

Greens extends Ricoh partnership

Greens, a communications business, is continuing its partnership with Ricoh UK, which will help the former to unlock expanded revenue streams, improve operational efficiency and print output quality, and boost the efficacy of devices through new technology and automation. Greens will be supplied with four Ricoh Pro C9500s: two have already been installed, with two more to follow this year. Additional Pro 8300 mono series devices will be added to the portfolio later in 2024. Greens produces clinical research materials for drug trials, with their complex document construction and global distribution. “Ricoh has been a trusted partner to Greens for a number of years now,” said

Daniel Buckland, group finance director at Greens. “This most recent investment in Ricoh technology has enabled us to further improve our existing offerings to our customers and to build further workflow automation into our production environment, which is helping to support the continuing growth of our web to print platform Doxzoo. All of this results in enhanced operational efficiencies for our business and higher- quality output for our customers.” Tim Carter, commercial print director at Ricoh Graphic Communications, said: “The instalment of the latest Ricoh Pro C9500 will drive a wide range of positive impact for the customer, generating business success and long-term growth.”

Tim Carter commercial print director Ricoh Graphic Communications


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Powering down With sustainability high on many business’ agenda today, reducing energy usage is a key consideration, which means demand for energy efficient printers is increasing – and OEMs have responded to this.

further down the supply chain to the energy efficiency of their wider supply network,” he says. “In this way, innovation in the print market can be seen – and is now being measured – in an entirely new light. “As a result, OEMs must adapt their approach and focus on providing businesses with a holistic service that goes beyond equipment and the immediate emissions of print devices. Leaders in the market are now considering energy efficiency at every level of their operation; from the energy consumption of at- home devices to the renewable energy sources used for large-scale manufacturing sites. “Canon now sources 78% of its electric power in Europe from renewable sources and is continuing to commit to more sustainable targets. At the heart of Canon’s sustainability initiatives is the philosophy of ‘Kyosei’ or ‘living and working together for the common good’. This philosophy is reflected in the design of Canon devices, which are designed to run at minimal energy levels and maximum efficiency, meaning an energy efficient workflow goes hand in hand with reduced costs and higher productivity. “Refurbishing parts is another aspect of energy efficiency that is often overlooked. By reusing parts, less energy is used to manufacture and transport new materials for device repairs. This is where resellers can help businesses to invest in an end-to-end service, with a trusted vendor, that can help businesses to optimise their supply chain efficiency and

Sustainability is increasingly important to many businesses. Indeed, Quocirca research shows that more than three quarters of organisations are accelerating their sustainability initiatives and 69% want support from suppliers to help them reduce their environmental impact, according to Louella Fernandes, CEO of Quocirca. A key part of businesses becoming more sustainable is reducing energy usage. “Our study also showed that energy efficiency is the second-most important selection factor for organisations, outranked only by sustainable consumables,” says Louella. “Reducing costs is cited as a primary driver for adopting sustainable solutions, and energy efficiency is a key part of that. Consequently, it's important that resellers have a clear picture of the energy efficiency performance of the solutions they are proposing as it is a dominant selection factor. “We also see evidence that digitisation initiatives are being driven by sustainability goals, with companies seeking to reduce the amount of paper, energy and consumables they use in the print environment. As a result of workflow digitisation, print volumes are falling, meaning resellers should think beyond page counts when building business proposals.” Decreasing energy consumption OEMs are continuously working to reduce energy consumption of devices in use and at rest, says Louella. “ENERGY STAR® and EPEAT certification are the most common standards, and we are also seeing remanufactured devices now qualifying for these,” she says. There are various ways that OEMS are making their printers more energy efficient, and it is about much more than just the amount of power they consume. Duncan Smith, country director, production, UK & Ireland at Canon, says the potential for energy efficiency goes far beyond the device itself. “To address indirect carbon emissions – i.e. scope 3 carbon emissions – businesses are expanding their outlook and looking

Louella Fernandes CEO

At the heart of Canon’s sustainability initiatives is the philosophy of ‘Kyosei’ or ‘living and working together for the common good’. “



contribute to a more circular industry. “To reduce scope 3 emissions, businesses

need to take accountability for their environmental impact upstream and

downstream in the value chain. That is why partnering with an accredited vendor that is aligned with the business’ sustainability commitments can become their greatest asset. With on-the-ground support, Canon’s team of experts help channel partners to reduce their energy consumption in more ways than one.” New technology Phillip John, category manager office at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd, adds that there is a cost saving bonus to energy efficient printers. “In many cases, sustainability will be the chief driver in looking to reduce energy usage, but cost savings will always be an attractive benefit too,” he says. Energy efficiency is an important consideration in the development of new print devices, Phillip adds. “At Konica Minolta, for example, we are refreshing our bizhub range currently and one of the new options is a paper sensor that looks at the paper that is being used and automatically changes the print settings accordingly,” he says. “This allows you to use the optimal efficiency setting for example – with thinner paper the fuser temperature doesn’t need to be as high to achieve the desired print result. “In the past, the printer may have been set up to expect different paper stocks in different trays, but if the user changed this unexpectedly it was harder to run the machine at peak efficiency. Technology that automatically looks for efficiencies makes it much easier for businesses to make savings without having to continually micromanage their print operations. “The new Konica Minolta paper sensor is a perfect example of a technology that looks to match print job needs with resource usage of paper and toner as well as energy efficiencies. All consumables have an impact on sustainability so ensuring efficiencies across the board is important. We also offer our latest SimitriV toner, which has a fixing temperature 15 degrees lower than the previous toner and therefore adds even further to the energy efficiency gains.”

Reseller role With so many elements to highlight on printers, resellers have a crucial role in guiding customers to find the right solution. Manufacturers also have an important part to play in ensuring resellers and end users are armed with the information and facts they need to make fully informed decisions, says Phillip. “This includes energy usage in different print modes or performing various tasks such as scanning, for example,” he says. “Konica Minolta’s info portal, for instance, publishes environmental datasheets on each of our product ranges to ensure this information is readily available for reference.” Phillip adds that resellers should be guiding customers through the sustainability of all aspects of the print process. “This is from delivery, through to the lifespan of the printer, and its inevitable end-of-life options for recycling,” he says. “Another area of sustainability is packaging and specifically replacing non-recyclable Styrofoam with an air-filled cushioning packaging alternative. The plastic wrapping is perfectly shaped to fully protect all the parts during transit, but once that is done it is highly recyclable to avoid landfill and once deflated takes up very little space.” Louella adds that different technology approaches – such as laser versus inkjet – affect energy consumption and manufacturers will typically provide evidence detailing the energy impact of the technology in question. “It’s important that resellers press vendors to provide full information about the efficiency and wider environmental performance of their devices,” she says. “But our research shows that this is one of the challenges around marketing environmental solutions: 48% of channel partners we talked to in our 2023 channel sustainability study said they would like more clear and detailed metrics on product lifecycle impact from vendors.”

Philip John category manager – office

The new Konica Minolta

paper sensor is a perfect example of a technology that

looks to match print job needs with resource usage of paper and toner as well as energy efficiencies.


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Key to the kiosk

Bixolon has launched its latest kiosk printer in Europe, which can print tickets, wristbands and labels in a range of widths, and is aimed primarily at the transport, hospitality and government sectors.

Demand for self-service printing options is growing in a variety of sectors currently. As businesses seek solutions that don’t require a member of staff to operate – but can also print to various lengths – printer manufacturers are responding to this need. To this end, Bixolon Europe GmbH has launched its new BK5-31 3-inch (80mm) thermal kiosk printer mechanism in Europe.



l Selectable media widths of 83/80/60/58/20mm l Printing speeds of up to 150mm/sec at 203dpi l Can operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +60°C l Side open frame for easy media loading l Easy mounting in compact spaces l Connectivity options including USB (B type or 4-pin connector), serial (9-pin male or 5-pin connector), Power (DC Jack or 2-pin connector) stay productive. In addition, the BK5-31 mechanism is functional across extreme environments, as it can operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +60°C – meaning it can be located in a wide range of environments. Offering a side open frame for easy media loading, plus power and reset switches located on both sides, the BK5-31 enables easy mounting in compact spaces regardless of the orientation. This kiosk printer comes with diverse connectivity options including USB (B type or 4-pin connector), serial (9-pin male or 5-pin connector), Power (DC Jack or 2-pin connector) that facilitates easy integration and the transfer of vast data

Product details The BK5-31 printer supports a media

thickness of up to 0.20mm; and selectable media widths of 83/80/60/58/20mm; which is typically integrated into appropriate kiosk applications. The benefit of its range of media widths enables this printer to be used for printing the likes of tickets, wristbands and labelling. This makes the printer ideal for custom self- service kiosk solutions and can be used for self-labelling kiosks, coupons or vouchers at casinos, parking tickets and more, according to Bixolon. The BK5-31 provides printing speeds of up to 150mm/sec at 203dpi. Featuring multi-position near-end sensors that allow organisations deploying this printer to efficiently monitor the status of the paper it prints. This also enables organisations to minimise maintenance resources required to manage this printer, if and when maintenance is required, and for the printer and staff to

Reliable Printing Performance

User-Friendly Design

Multiple Interface Choices






without causing delays during printing.

Designed for flexibility “This printer has been designed to be flexible and compatible to install and use across many kinds of kiosk scenarios,” says explains Jay Kim, managing director, Bixolon Europe GmbH. “It’s user-centred design offers customers a wide variety of media options and considers all the important requirements that an organisation needs to bear in mind when integrating these kinds of printers into their kiosks and self-service systems. This makes it the perfect solution for ticket and label printing within the transportation, hospitality and government sectors.” Competitive price point Jay adds that the BK5-31 has been priced competitively. “The key thing is that the BK5-31 open frame mechanism printer is not over engineered, which is reflected in the price point,” he says. “Aimed primarily at kiosk builders and system integrators, its compact size can be used for a number of configurations to even fit into sleek, modern kiosks.” He adds that, due to the nature of the product being an open frame kiosk printer, there are limitations when selling it with add- ons. “However, the BK5-31 can be bundled with screens, or payment devices which are used to build a complete kiosk system,” he says. “Plus, resellers can upsell with media which can be supplied on a regular basis.” “Compared to alternatives on the market, the BIXOLON BK5-31 is a cost-effective kiosk printing solution within its class.”

T&L Public Transportation Ticketing

Government Public Safety/Utilities Parking Management

Food & Hospitality Stadiums & Amusement Parks Self Service & Kiosk

TIPS FOR RESELLERS For resellers seeking to sell the BK5-31, there are a variety of features they should be highlighting to customers, according to Jay. “This product is primarily aimed at kiosk builders and systems integrators,” he notes. “The printer offers thicker media printing capabilities as it can print onto media such as receipt, ticket, label and wristbands of up to 0.20mm thick without the need to reconfigure between media changes. The only time when a possible reconfiguration is needed is if there are changes to do with the sensors such as black mark for labelling or the ability for continuous printing. “As a compact solution, the BK5-31 can easily integrate into different kiosk configurations with a large paper roll for unattended systems. “It is available with a number of optional extras which can be added onsite and there is a choice of four standard bezels.” But Jay notes that the LED presenter needs to be pre-ordered as a factory option. The BK5-31 is ideal for self-service kiosks, Jay adds. “The printer is highly versatile for retail transactions, hospitality ordering, parking, visitor labelling, reverse vending, self-service logistics and more.”

Jay Kim managing director

Bixolon’s new BK5-31 has hit the market at an opportune time. The market for printer solutions that can print a range of different widths at the touch of a button is expanding, and this will provide competition for established products in the sector. The range of applications the printer has – from parking to self-service logistics to retail – means it will appeal to businesses in a wide range of sectors, making it a good addition to resellers’ ranges. The BX5-31’s competitive price point should also help to make it a good seller too – for many businesses in retail, logistics and other sectors margins are still tight, so price is a major consideration.



EPSON AM-C400 & AM-C550


Tuned to AM Epson has launched its AM-C400 and AM-C550 models, which provide the latest evolution in heat-free line inkjet printing and which aim to bring improved performance and sustainability advantages to the A4 print market.

With more people returning to the office, the opportunities for print resellers to sell into office-based businesses are growing again. They will have even more opportunities now that Epson has launched two new A4 printers featuring its heat-free line inkjet technology. Epson has launched the AM-C400 and AM- C550 multifunction printers (MFPs) that aim to deliver improved solutions to the A4 market. These new products offer all the energy saving and productivity advantages afforded by Epson’s existing Line Inkjet printers but in a smaller, A4 format, the company says. This launch expands Epson’s existing A4 inkjet line-up and is aimed at users with higher-than-average print volumes. For the channel they represent and easily maintained, profitable solution that supports sustainability agendas, according to Epson. Boasting high print and scan speeds – up to 55ppm for print and 100ipm for scan – high paper capacities and high yield ink cartridges of up to 31,500 pages, both printers deliver enhanced productivity benefits. In addition, with an improved colour touch-screen user interface, operation has been designed to be quick and easy. The ‘C’ shaped paper path used in their

design means their footprint has been reduced, placing these printers among the smallest in class and making them ideal for environments that demand a highly reliable, productive device but where space is limited. Closing a gap “Launching this range means we close a gap in our product line-up and can offer the advantages of Line Inkjet throughout our office print range,” says Nick Taylor, head of sales for office printing at Epson UK. “These A4 models expand our AM-C family and deliver comparable levels of impressive productivity to those seen on the AM-C A3 models, with a seamless user experience due to the shared user interface, but with a smaller footprint.” Fast print speeds, reliability and a small product footprint are coupled with the reduced energy consumption and waste reductions expected from Epson Heat-Free inkjet, further supporting the sustainability agenda and offering a compelling alternative to traditional laser printers. Developed using Epson’s Open Platform, these MFPs are easily integrated into existing technology infrastructures and are compatible

Nick Taylor head of sales, office printing, UK&I

Launching this range means we close a gap in our product line-up and can offer the advantages of Line Inkjet throughout our office print range. “ ”



EPSON AM-C400 & AM-C550



ensuring that the printers are engineered to consume minimal energy. “In addition, to facilitate our resellers in understanding the benefits of our technology and effectively communicating them to potential customers, we provide access to our Optimisation Tool. This tool calculates the energy savings offered by our heat- free products compared to equivalent laser models based on their declared TEC values. Subsequently, it converts these savings into a monetary value, considering the local KW/h cost, to provide full visibility into the impact on the total cost of ownership.” Compact size The printers also have a reduced footprint compared to other A4 printers, which brings benefits resellers can flag to customers. “The AM-C series features an innovative C-paper path design (as opposed to a S-paper path), which offers footprints among the smallest in its class and the compact size helps end users to save valuable office space,” explains Jose. “This together with the additional flexibility provided by the optional Wi-Fi, means there are no limitations on where in the office these units can be placed. Besides the compact design, the C-paper path also provides additional benefits, such as front loading of the consumables and one single access point to clear all paper jams.” Reseller tips “Resellers should be putting an emphasis on the environmental benefits

with all third-party software solutions.

Wide range of customers Jose Sanandres, product manager for office printing, Epson Europe, says the printers are aimed at a wide range of customers. “The new WorkForce Enterprise AM-C400 and AM-C550 MFPs cater to diverse printing requirements, ideal for users in general office settings seeking both A4 and A3 functionality while maintaining seamless productivity. Additionally, they are well-suited for home office or small office environments, particularly in bustling customer- facing spaces or where space is limited. Offering both reliability and productivity, these high-end devices are tailored to meet the demands of busy settings and are suitable for anyone looking to produce large A4 print- jobs in a limited amount of time. “These models are designed to coexist with our AM-C A3 range to create an ecosystem of A4/A3 AM-C models with a seamless user experience based on the same user

Sustainability is always at

the forefront of new innovations at Epson, and so a crucial requirement in the development stage was ensuring that the printers are engineered to consume minimal energy.

interface, shared solutions and similar levels of productivity.”

of the AM-C A4 range, specifically the heat-free

technology and low energy consumption. Alongside this, they ought to promote the high productivity of the models such as their high printing and scanning speeds and first page out time.

Sustainability As mentioned, the new printers use heat-free inkjet technology, which has the advantages of significant

reductions on energy consumption and CO2

“Finally, it’s also worth mentioning their sleek,

emissions. “What’s more, these printers produce significantly less heat than traditional laser printers and so as an added bonus, businesses can benefit from savings on air conditioning costs,” says Jose. “Sustainability is always at the forefront of new innovations at Epson, and so a crucial requirement in the development stage was

compact design and ability to seamlessly integrate with the AM-C A3 models.” The new AM-C400 and AM- C550 printers will be officially released on May 1. Once the products have been released, the price of the models will be shared exclusively with Epson’s MPS partners, Jose says.



Apeos is more than just an office printer. Featuring a high resolution LED printhead, it’s capable of delivering incredible quality. Duplex scanning with automated page orientation improves your efficiency while advanced finishing units allow you to produce tri-fold printouts directly from the printer. And with uncompromising data security built-in as standard, Apeos brings multi-talented, exceptional performance directly into your workplace. Print, protect and perform with Asia Pacific’s #1 colour A3 multi-function printer. * Say hello to your new office workers. Multi-talented and exceptional performers.

*Source: IDC WW HCP Tracker, 2022 Q4, Share by Company A3 Color Laser Shipping units, Year: CY2022


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