Demand for print set to grow

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Demand for print set to grow

Fuji Xerox expects sales of its production services segment to rise 50% over three years, due to growing demand for cheaper printing of large volumes, reports Reuters.

However, the company says the print-on-demand market in Japan must still catch up to booming demand in Western and Asian markets. Therefore, Fuji Xerox plans to sell its new entry-level printing system for publishers and graphics firms at about half the price of its predecessor, to boost market size.

The report says Konica Minolta and Canon are also betting on growth in on-demand digital printing, with analysts predicting 66% market growth by 2010.

Xerox research pays off

Xerox holds more than 8 000 active patents and invests about 6% of its revenue in research, development and engineering activities, but its investment in innovation generates a steady stream of advanced technology, reports

Xerox researchers, scientists and engineers conduct work in colour science, computing, digital imaging, work practices, electromechanical systems, novel materials, and other disciplines connected to Xerox's printing and document management business.

Named the Product Development & Management Association's Outstanding Corporate Innovator in 2006, the company continually embeds its inventions in Xerox products and solutions.

Ricoh buys IBM print business

Ricoh will pay IBM $725 million to acquire a 51% share of a new joint venture company, based on IBM's enterprise printing business, reports IT Business.

The new company, InfoPrint Solutions, will eventually be an all-Ricoh operation after three years. Analysts say the move indicates IBM sees printing as a commodity business and is happy to leave HP, Xerox and others to fight for top spot through innovation.

The report says much like its deal years ago with Lenovo, IBM has chosen a company for its printing business that will likely remain a valuable long-term partner. Ricoh is also no threat to any of IBM's other lines of business, including services.

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