Wide-format multi-function printers (MFP) have gone from rare to ubiquitous in the past ten years. Steve Blanken, director of sales for Contex USA, notes that “ten years ago, Canon introduced large format bubblejet inkjet MFP units priced well above $125,000” and only larger companies were able to justify the cost. “But now, you can get these large format MFP inkjet devices for $20,000 or less, and smaller businesses can justify the cost.”
A wide-format MFP combines three commonly used devices into an all-in-one solution. They copy, scan, and print in color and black and white up to 60”. You can copy maps, drawings, renderings, and photographs for print, file or email, all in a small integrated workspace. MFP products connect easily to any network, and offer great versatility for the entire office.
“These LF inkjet MFP devices are portable, allowing users to use any of the MFP components separately,” notes Jesper Erlandsen, director of corporate marketing with Contex. “One of the big advantages of this technology is the single footprint floor space it takes up, with easy-to-use features requiring no special power arrangements. The quality has now greatly improved, size is shrinking, and it is now possible for employees not initiated in the equipment’s functionality to simply stride up to a machine and begin operation.”
Steve Blanken agrees. “Things have gone 180 degrees. It used to be print and distribute, but now it’s more and more distribute and print: users get the information and print what they need when they need it, locally. These wide-format MFP devices are putting a lot of pressure on the LED MFP printer market, as they now offer fast output up to 60’ wide for increased productivity. The cost of operation has also gone way down (there is no click charge per copy with inkjet MFP devices) and they can print on a much larger range of media.”
New opportunities for repro houses
Repro houses can now place 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. The repro house then captures the additional on-site print volume and bills for it accordingly. Larger volumes of printing can still be done at the main repro shop location.
Cost-effective Wide-format MFP inkjet solutions
Canon imagePROGRAF 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, GIS, and pay-for-print, and they can be used for countless applications, such as maps, blueprints, OCR, copying, raster to vector conversions, photographs, artwork paintings, drawings, court documents, and newsprint. Canon offers wide-format MFP devices ranging in size from 24” to 60”. The robust Canon imagePROGRAF Scanning System includes all components necessary to produce hard copy output and to use the saved scanned images to populate databases and document management systems. Print speeds are up to 645 square feet per hour.
HP Designjet 820 MFP
The HP Designjet 820 MFP completely manages large-format documents from scan through print or archive. It can handle 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. Users can scan, print up to 42” wide output, and copy large-format documents by using the graphical touch-screen display and intuitive software. Print speeds are up to 85 square feet per hour.
Wide Format Printing Specialist