Wide-format multi-function printers (MFP) have come a long way over the last few years. It wasn’t long ago that these wide-format products were priced well above $50,000 and were found only in larger companies which were able to justify the cost. But now, you can get these MFP devices for $20,000 or less, and smaller businesses can justify the cost.
What a wide-format MFP does is combine three commonly used devices into an all-in-one solution. They can copy, scan and print in color and black and white up to 44" with products such as the Canon W8400 Copy-to-Scan solution.
You can copy maps, drawings, renderings and photographs for print, file or email, all in a small integrated workspace.
These MFP's have applications for architects, engineers, builders, lawyers, artists, teachers, students, advertisers, interior designers, landscapers, municipal and government planners and more. These MFP products connect easily to any network, and offer great versatility for the entire office.
"In engineering printers/copiers, numerous trends are occurring simultaneously," notes Rich Gigl, vice-president of sales with Novi, MI-based KIP America. "The machines are trending toward a decentralized utilization, with smaller footprints and easier-to-use features.
The quality is improving, size is shrinking, and it's increasingly possible for employees not initiated in the equipment's use, to simply stride up to a machine and begin operation."
Penny Holland, director of business development at OcÈ North America agrees. "It used to be print and distribute," she says, "but now it's more and more distribute and print – that is, the user using the information gets the information and prints what he/she needs when he/she needs it, locally."
New opportunities for repro houses
This distribute and print model means that the customer will now need to place a MFP at their site and reprographic houses are now in the position to undertake facility management for these companies. One option is that repro houses can now place these MFP machines at their customers' sites, and charge for the printing being done at that location. In this way, the customer gets to use the MFP but doesn't have to buy it. They only need to sign a two or three-year contract with their repro house. In this way, the repro house captures the print volume and bills for it accordingly. The larger volume of printing can still be done at the repro shop location.
Cost effective MFP inkjet solutions
Canon W8400 Scan to Copy Solution
This integrated system is ideal for users wishing to archive, email, or copy large-format prints. This product can be incorporated into a variety of markets including CAD, AEC and GIS, and can be used for countless applications such as maps, blueprints, photographs, drawings, court documents, newsprint, etc. Together with the imagePROGRAF W8400, this Scan-Copy-Print Solution can scan to print color or black & white documents up to 44 inches wide at high speeds with great accuracy, at an exceptional value. The imagePROGRAF W8400D with Colortrac Scanning System includes all components necessary to save scanned images to disc in various file formats, distribute them electronically, and copy large drawings quickly and accurately. This is a very robust printer compared to others and is highly recommended.
HP Designjet 820 MFP
The HP Designjet 820 MFP is a complete, self-contained solution that puts a printer, scanner, touch-screen user interface and software all in a single footprint that fits your workspace. Manage large-format documents from scan through print or archive. The HP Designjet 820 MFP handles all functions, or provides network printing to other large-format devices. The MFP offers high resolution for CAD and graphics, and the scanner handles wide-format and thick originals at fast scanning speeds. Even untrained users can easily master operation and immediately scan, print up to 42" wide output, and copy large-format documents by using the graphical touch-screen display and intuitive software.
GEI Colortrac MFP
GEI Wide Format Solutions has teamed with Canon U.S.A. to produce a new Multi-Functional Printer (MFP) specifically designed for AEC, GIS and CAD wide-format color applications. This fully integrated multifunctional system includes a comprehensive suite of software applications that gives the instant ability to create, process and print wide-format color output. The GEI scan-to-copy package can scan, copy and print up to 44" wide in color or black and white output. Designed for CAD, GIS and AEC applications, this system offers unparalleled archiving and printing speeds with two-minute color scanning for D-size documents at 600 dpi. The Canon W8400 printer provides convenient front media loading and supports a wide variety of medias for all applications.
Any questions, feel free to email me!
Peter Dulis – Wide Format Printing Specialist