Literature

MPS market said to be worth $50.78 billion by 2023

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A new report by MarketsandMarkets explores the Managed Print Services market by deployment mode, channel type, application, organization size, and geography with a Global forecast to 2023.
The report “Managed Print Services Market by Deployment Mode (On Premise, Cloud based, and Hybrid), Channel Type (Printer/Copier Manufacturers, System Integrators/Resellers, and ISVs), Application, Organization Size, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023”, published by MarketsandMarkets says that the market was valued at $28.40 billion (€24.15 billion) in 2016 and is expected to reach $50.78 billion (€43.21 billion) by 2023, at a CAGR of 8.51 percent between 2016 and 2023.
The reduced cost of operation and flexibility to match custom requirements, rising complex technological solutions, and increasing dependency on heterogeneous networks, steep increase in the adoption of big data solutions, organizational initiatives to reduce paper wastage, and competent technical support by MPS providers are some of the significant drivers for the growth of this market.
According to the report, cloud-based deployment is expected to hold the largest share of this market between 2017 and 2023. The deployment modes include on-premise, cloud-based, and hybrid deployment. Cloud-based deployment has the largest share of the overall market owing to its extensive benefits in Managed Print Services (MPS). MPS is replacing the traditional IT model to manage increasing requirements, and businesses are looking toward MPS for cost efficiency and effective benefits. Cloud-based deployment holds the maximum market share as it offers businesses to remotely access their documents and data on the cloud.
Also expected to hold the largest share of the Managed Print Services market between 2017 and 2023 are large enterprises. Large enterprises mainly focus on managing their operations and processes rather than being diverted by any threat, attack, malware, or spams, and any other such vulnerabilities. Due to this reason, the demand for MPS is more in such organizations and is increasing day by day.
The report shows that MPS has been growing in industry applications such as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), government and healthcare. BFSI applications held the largest market share of the MPS market worldwide. BFSI involves heavy dependency on paperwork for record-keeping. The MPS market is expected to get more market share because of security requirements for sensitive data in the BFSI industry. These applications use MPS to optimize the efficiency of resources and operational practices in use.
Also featured in the report is that North America held the largest share of Managed Print Services market in 2016. The North American market has many rising start-ups and favourable compliance and government regulations. The enterprises in this region have a rapid growth rate and a heavy demand for managed print services. Because of favourable government regulations, European companies are also investing in the North American market.

HCP market is growing in Western Europe

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According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market grew in unit terms in the second quarter of 2017.
According to research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Western European printer and multifunction (MFP) market grew by 3.8 percent in unit terms in 2Q17 compared with the same period a year ago.
There were positive sales performances in both inkjet and laser markets for units, but value for the laser market was actually down. The overall market has been in continuous decline since 2Q15 — and in 2Q17 the quarter increased by 173,000 units to give a market of almost 4.7 million devices. This stellar quarter is due to the surprising growth in consumer printing but is relatively in line with forecasts. Revenues on the other hand, declined by 5.6 percent. Inkjet revenues, however, increased 1.5 percent while laser revenues fell by 6.9 percent.
Laser market shipments increased by 4.7 percent in 2Q17, but values decreased, indicating that prices are getting lower: a sharp contrast from the positive trend observed last year. Active Server Pages for the laser market decreased by 11 percent in 2Q17.
Business inkjet shipments suffered another decline, a persisting negative trend for the past four quarters with shipments falling by 5.9 percent in 2Q17. MFP products declined by 5.1 percent in volume but grew by 9.7 percent in value. This is due to an increase in the average selling price of 73 percent for A3 MFPs; the A4 format represents 75.1 percent of business inkjet MFPs. Despite this, business inkjet MFPs accounted for 89.8 percent of business inkjet shipments in 2Q17, a 0.7 percent increase from last year.
Overall, MFP products accounted for 80.7 percent of all shipments in Western Europe in 2Q17, lower than the 81.4 percent in 2Q16. Laser and inkjet MFPs increased by 2.9 percent, while laser and inkjet printers showed an even stronger performance with a 7.9 percent increase, with shipments generally in line with IDC forecasts.
There was small growth in the business market in 2Q17; the market, comprising laser and business inkjet devices, increased by 1.6 percent, but the value decreased by 6 percent. The highest value growth was in 1-20ppm colour devices and 151+ ppm mono devices, a positive trend that has been seen for more than a year now.
“We have seen poor results in the printing devices market for quite some time, but today we can reveal that the Western European market has grown by 3.6 percent globally with positive results for both inkjet and laser segments,” said Delphine Carnet, senior research analyst in IDC’s Western European Imaging, Hardware Devices, and Document Solutions group. “Leading countries such as Germany and the U.K. are showing double-digit increases. However, we have observed a 6.9 percent decline in laser revenues, which leads us to believe that businesses are feeling the pinch and looking for value for money.”

Sharp Introduces High-Volume Monochrome Document System To MFP Line Up

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Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA), a division of Sharp Electronics Corporation (SEC) announces a new addition to their multifunction printer (MFP) line up. The MX-M905, the newest high-speed, light production monochrome document system from Sharp, is designed to handle the rigors of high volume environments where productivity and reliability are critical and ease of use is essential.

Providing customers with features such as a customizable touchscreen display with a user-friendly graphical interface, the MX-M905 also offers a range of paper handling and finishing options. Features such as mobile printing and mobile scanning with Sharpdesk Mobile, are seamlessly integrated. This high-speed device can also connect to popular mobile printing platforms such as Apple AirPrint®, Google Cloud Print™, and Native Android™ Printing. For ultimate convenience, standard Serverless Print Release technology enables customers to securely print a job and release it from up to six Sharp document systems on your network without needing a server or additional software.

In addition, this competitively priced successor to the MX-M904 model brings many of the award-winning features of the existing line of color document systems from Sharp to our customers. Sharp OSA® technology enables easy integration with network applications and cloud services. The Cloud Connect feature leverages Sharp OSA technology to access popular platforms such as Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Google Drive, and SharePoint Online without added middleware. This document system also supports scanning using embedded Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software enabled via DirectOffice™ technology, which allows for the conversion of scanned documents to popular Microsoft Office file formats, including Word, PowerPoint® and Excel, as well as a variety of Adobe® PDF formats.

“Sharp’s innovative MX-M905 has been specifically engineered with our customers in mind,” said Shane Coffey, Associate Vice President, Document Product Management, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America. “The simple and intuitive operation that the new 10.1″ diagonal award-winning touchscreen display offers, gives this model the ease of use our customers have come to expect. Additionally, the strong engine and connectivity features make this model an ideal tool for offices across many verticals such as education and manufacturing.”

The flexibility of configurations and the high reliability it offers make the MX-M905 perfect for environments with multiple users that have varying needs. It offers a triple‐air paper‐feed unit that allows a wide range of paper to be utilized with precision and reliability and a 2-tray post process inserter for inserting pre-printed color documents. Furthermore, the customizable display features “Easy Copy” and “Easy Scan” modes that offer large size characters and only keys for the most frequently used settings.

For office environments looking to cut costs while retaining the convenience of a workgroup MFP, the MX-M905 offers an impressive range of high-performance finishing options that can transform print jobs into professional-looking documents. In-line advanced finishing such as GBC Smart Punch Pro™, and a Multi-Folding Unit all enable more jobs to be performed in house. These advanced capabilities allow users to better manage their workflows.

The MX-M905 light production monochrome document system is scheduled to ship immediately.

Konica Minolta launches new monochrome machines

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The OEM’s US subsidiary released two new A3 MFPs under its monochrome A3 line.

Industry Analysts reported on the release, with the OEM’s new series said to feature “state-of-the-art technology for a smarter office experience” and developed in response to “the latest market trends and client needs in the area of office printing”. The “refreshed” machines include the bizhub 458 and 558 MFPs, which replace the “successful” bizhub 454e and 554e series, and the new printers feature “premium high security” functionality.

The devices also offer “even more functionality while being highly reliable and productive”, with “strong features for the office environments that have medium-volume printing needs but don’t require colour output”. Features include Konica Minolta’s INFO-Palette design control panel, which is nine inches in size and features “touch-and-swipe functionality” and a web browser alongside “a wide variety of apps” from the OEM’s bizhub MarketPlace.

The MFPs’ “secure data encryption” includes bizhub SECURE safeguards that ensure documents “have uncompromising security protection”, while specific authentications include “ID card” and “biometric”. The devices also feature “expanded sustainability” including a “reduction in energy consumption” through a “charged roller that control the amount of toner supply”, and “use of recycled materials” in manufacturing alongside ENERGY STAR and EPEAT certifications.

Finally, the printers have “improved usability, flexibility and customisation”, while mobile printing is supported via Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and near-field communication (NFC), and Wi-Fi is “optional”. The two printers are available now in the US market from Konica Minolta’s “direct and channel partners”.

Dino Pagliarello, Vice President of Product Management and Planning at Konica Minolta, commented: “This user-friendly series meets the needs of our customers in various work environments making it an ideal solution. These updated models offer connected and mobile features which play into our ‘work from anywhere, anytime’ credo.”

Lexmark Wins Closely-Watched Patent Case on Refurbished Products

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Patent owners have the right to prevent their goods, first sold overseas, from being refurbished and resold in the U.S., an appeals court ruled Friday.

Ruling in a dispute brought by Lexmark International Inc. over refurbished printer cartridges, the court said patent law enables limits to be placed on the resale of products that are first sold overseas. Those sales don’t exhaust U.S. patent rights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled in a 10-2 decision. The closely-watched inkjet printer case hinged on the question of whether a patent owner can restrict what happens to its products after they are sold. It pitted the biotechnology, drug and crop industries against major Silicon Valley firms and sellers of refurbished auto parts and medical devices.

In siding with patent owners, Circuit Judge Richard Taranto cited drugs, which are often sold overseas at lower prices because of price constraints or medical needs.“The practice could be disrupted by the increased arbitrage opportunities that would come from deeming U.S. rights eliminated by a foreign sale made or authorized by the U.S. patentee,” Taranto wrote for the majority. “Development of new products frequently involves new combinations of existing components and technologies from around the world,” they argued in a court filing. Lexmark’s position “benefits the few U.S. patentees engaging in impermissible rent-seeking” by getting paid multiple times for the same product.

Qualcomm, Nokia

Not all tech companies agreed. Qualcomm Inc. and Finland’s Nokia Oyj, which have large numbers of patents and rely on licensing royalties to boost profit, backed Lexmark. The ruling “prevents goods intended for foreign markets from being imported into the United States and disseminated to the domestic market through unauthorized distributors in competition with the patentee’s own domestic sales,” the Biotechnology Industry Organization said in a filing backing Lexmark.

The Federal Circuit, which handles all patent cases, took up the issue after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 ruled that copyright owners can’t block the sale of so-called “gray market” goods — meaning products originally designed for overseas markets.The appeals court said that ruling doesn’t apply to patent law. Instead, it affirmed its own 1992 ruling that a sale of a product doesn’t automatically confer the right to resell a product, and a 2001 ruling that let the makers of disposable cameras restrict the resale of cameras that were emptied and refilled by a third party.

Cartridge Return

In this case, Lexmark sells cartridges at two prices. Consumers can pay one price and do whatever they want with the cartridge, or pay 20 percent less and pledge to return the cartridge to Lexmark. Most buyers opt for the lower price, and get a cartridge with a different type of chip. Companies gather those used cartridges, replace the chips, and then sell them to resellers. Impression Products Inc., the only reseller that remained in a lawsuit Lexmark filed, argued that Lexmark no longer had any patent rights to the cartridges.

The Federal Circuit ordered the trial judge to rule that Impression was infringing Lexmark’s patent rights. The case is Lexmark International Inc. v Impression Products Inc., 14-1617, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).

Japan Manufacturing Techniques

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Japanese manufacturing techniques, as an area of influential practices and philosophies, emerged in the post-World War II era and reached the height of their prominence in the 1980s. Many adaptations of Japanese methods, and indeed, Japanese manufacturing vocabulary, have made their way into U.S. and worldwide manufacturing operations. Distinguishing characteristics associated with Japanese manufacturing include an emphasis on designing processes to optimize efficiency and a strong commitment to quality.

Perhaps the most widely recognized collection of Japanese manufacturing techniques is what is known as the Toyota Production System (TPS), the core of which is just-in-time (JIT) production or so-called lean manufacturing. The pioneers of these methods were Taiichi Ohno, a former Toyota executive, and Shigeo Shingo, an eminent engineer and consultant. In his 1989 book The Study of the Toyota Production System from an Industrial Engineering Perspective, Shingo identified these basic features of TPS:

It achieves cost reductions by eliminating waste, be it staff time, materials, or other resources.
It reduces the likelihood of overproduction by maintaining low inventories (“nonstock”) and keeps labor costs low by using minimal manpower.
It reduces production cycle time drastically with innovations like the Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) system, which cuts downtime and enables small-lot production.
It emphasizes that product orders should guide production decisions and processes, a practice known as order-based production.
These and other practices form a contrast to traditional (e.g., pre-1980s) Western manufacturing, which tended to emphasize mass production, full capacity utilization, and the economies of scale that were presumed to follow.

ELIMINATING WASTE

The driving force behind the Japanese system of production is eliminating waste, thereby maximizing process efficiency and the returns on resources. A wide number of principles and practices can be employed to achieve this goal. As Shingo once noted, people instinctively know to eliminate waste once it is identified as such, so the task of reducing waste often centers first around identifying unnecessary uses of human, capital, or physical resources. After waste is targeted, new processes or practices can be devised to deal with it.

PROCESS IMPROVEMENT.

An important aspect of eliminating waste is designing efficiency into production processes and methods. For example, in the Toyota system heavy emphasis was placed on lowering the time and complexity required to change a die in a manufacturing process. A time-consuming die-changing process is wasteful in two ways. First, while it is happening production is often at a standstill, increasing cycle times and all the costs associated with longer cycle times. (However, it is important to note that idle time for individual machines in a system is not always viewed as wasteful under the TPS philosophy.) Second, workers’ time and effort are spent on activities that aren’t directly related to production (i.e., no value is being added by changing a die). As a result of such concerns, the push at Toyota was to reduce significantly the time it took to change dies.

Major process improvements often occur through a series of smaller initiatives, summarized in the Japanese word kaizen, or continuous improvement. In the classic example, Toyota dramatically reduced its die-changing time over a two-year period. In 1970 it took the company four hours to change a die for a 1,000-ton stamping press. Six months later, the changing time had been cut to one and a half hours. The management then, under the leadership of Taiichi Ohno, set the formidable goal of reducing the time further to just three minutes.

Shigeo Shingo, already a highly regarded manufacturing consultant, was employed to design a process that would meet this objective. He approached the problem with two guiding principles: lowering the complexity of the changeover process and standardizing the tools used in it. Shingo looked at such factors as what kinds of fasteners were used to hold dies in place and how much time and variability was involved in performing various tasks during changeover. The result of his work was that by 1971 Toyota had indeed achieved its goal of a three-minute die change.

Other kinds of process improvements resulted from such philosophies as well. Whereas process improvement in many Western firms focused on training workers to master increasingly complicated tasks, the drive in Japanese manufacturing was to selectively redesign the tasks so they could be more easily and reliably mastered. One example is the concept of poka-yoke, also pioneered by Shingo in the 1960s, which involves designing a foolproof process to eliminate the chance of errors. Such a process usually consists of a simple yet definitive physical test of whether something is being done correctly. One type of poka-yoke, for instance, is when a part is designed to only be inserted into an assembly right-side up (i.e., it won’t fit otherwise), removing the possibility that it can be inserted the wrong way. Three-and-a-half-inch computer diskettes contain this kind of poka-yoke. Other kinds of poka-yokes test the shape of manufactured products for defects or monitor steps in a production process to ensure all are completed and in the correct sequence. Poka-yokes have been widely developed to minimize worker error and improve quality control.

VALUE ADDED.

TPS and similar Japanese manufacturing techniques distinguish between activities that add value to a product and those that are logistical but add no value. The primary—even the sole—value-added activity in manufacturing is the production process itself, where materials are being transformed into progressively functional workpieces. Most other activities, such as transporting materials, inspecting finished work, and most of all, idle time and delays, add no value and must be minimized. When processes are examined for potential improvements and cost cutting, reducing non-value-added activities is often the highest priority. Conversely, processes that add the most value, even if they are expensive, will usually not be compromised to achieve lower costs at the expense of quality.

OVERPRODUCTION AND EXCESS INVENTORY.

Another area of waste that is a special concern in the Toyota system is excess inventory. The ideal is to produce without accumulating inventory, a condition known as non-stock or just-in-time production. In such a process the company produces goods at the exact quantity and schedule that they are required by its customers. To produce more than customers actually need—or sooner than they need it—is considered overproduction, leading to a build-up of stock or inventory. Overproduction can also occur internally when different steps of a manufacturing process aren’t synchronized and excess materials or semi-finished products accumulate. Systems like the Japanese kanban established a set of often simple visual cues in the factory (e.g., when no work-in-progress is waiting in a painted square on the floor, it is a signal to advance the next item into the process) to help coordinate and synchronize the flow of materials and work.

Carrying inventory is wasteful because the company must store it or perform other additional handling that increases the total cost of its operations. By minimizing the need for such storage and handling, the company can reduce both the direct costs of holding/handling inventory as well as the indirect costs of tying up capital in the form of excess inventory.

ORDER-BASED PRODUCTION.

A natural and necessary extension of the non-stock goal is that manufacturers need specific customer information to drive their production decisions. Obtaining this information necessitates effective market research/forecasting and communication with customers. As much as possible, production under the Japanese system is guided by actual orders, rather than anticipated demand based on less reliable information such as past sales. The order-based system is said to provide production “pull” from the actual market, as opposed to “push” that stems only from the manufacturer’s conjecture.

TRANSPORTATION.

The Toyota Production System also recognizes waste in the excess movement of items or materials. In general, the more transportation required, the less efficient the process, since moving goods back and forth is normally not a value-adding procedure. Transport waste is usually addressed by changing the layout of a factory, its geographic location relative to its customers, and so forth. While sometimes transportation problems can be mitigated through automation, the ideal under the Japanese system is to minimize it altogether. Cell and flexible manufacturing layouts are one approach to controlling transport waste.

It is important to note that reducing transportation costs may be at odds with other goals of the Japanese system, particularly small-lot, order-based production, which leads to smaller, more frequent batches of work and thus more deliveries of materials or finished goods. This can potentially increase the amount of resources devoted to the transportation function, aggravating the need for transportation efficiency. Ideally, the overall process chosen will minimize total costs by striking a balance between the wish to eliminate inventory and the wish to reduce transportation costs.

QUALITY BY DESIGN

Another feature thought to be defining in Japanese manufacturing is a marked attention to quality throughout the production process. Specifically, under the influence of such luminaries as W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran, Japanese manufacturers have sought to achieve quality by designing it into the production process rather than simply trying to catch all the errors at the end. As noted, poka-yokes can serve this function either by halting/correcting a faulty process or by alerting a worker to a problem as it occurs. While plenty of traditional, defect-monitoring sorts of quality controls are still used, philosophies such as TPS hold that the results of quality inspections should be used to inform—and improve—the manufacturing process, not just to describe it. This means the feedback from a quality inspection is expected to be immediate and, often, to result in some change in the process so that the likelihood of similar problems in the future is reduced.

MARKET-DRIVEN PRICING

In contrast to the traditional practice of setting prices by marking up some percentage over the cost of manufacturing, the Japanese system attempts to identify the market-determined price for a good and then engineer the manufacturing process to produce at this price profitably. Under this principle, increases in costs are not passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. As a corollary, the only way for a firm to increase profitability is by lowering costs; lower costs may also allow the company to be profitable yet deliver products at the low end of the pricing spectrum, a practice central to the rise of the Japanese auto manufacturers in the U.S. market.

WORKER FLEXIBILITY

Maximizing returns on human capital is another goal of Japanese manufacturing practices. Driven by the theory that human time is more valuable than machine time, the Japanese system attempts to optimize labor efficiency by deploying workers in different ways as order-based production requirements fluctuate. The main two dimensions of this flexibility are skills and scheduling. More so than in the United States, for example, Japanese manufacturers have emphasized cross-training workers to perform various functions as needed, rather than tying them to a particular machine or process. This is believed not only to improve the subjective work experience, but also to create well-rounded employees who can be assigned exactly where needed in the process without creating delays or diminishing the quality of work (this also feeds into the wish to keep worker tasks simple and foolproof).

In practice, this often translates into individual workers running several machines simultaneously, a practice called jidoka, with the machines designed to eliminate both error and the need for constant supervision. Having multiple responsibilities also gives rise to the need for special safety accommodations to reduce the chance of injury in an integrated work environment. In the legendary Toyota production reforms, converting to a multi-machine worker system reportedly achieved 20 to 30 percent gains in worker productivity.

In scheduling under the Japanese system, as long as a process is functioning on a just-in-time basis, the manufacturer will tend to structure the process to optimize the use of human labor, even if it means leaving machines idle. Overtime and temporary labor are used to accommodate short-term spikes in production requirements.

IMPACT OF JAPANESE MANUFACTURING
TECHNIQUES

Many of these practices and principles began to attract a serious following outside Japan in the late 1970s, although their implementation continues to the present. During the 1980s many large U.S. manufacturers began to adopt just-in-time practices to improve efficiency. By the late 1980s and early 1990s this and related practices were commonly termed “lean manufacturing,” highlighting the role of reducing waste in the production process. In many cases hybrid approaches were developed that embodied some of the principles of the Japanese techniques but also maintained some of the historical differences. More recently, methods like JIT have been increasingly influential in non-manufacturing industries such as retailing and services.

Although critics have rued the wholesale adoption of Japanese manufacturing techniques in the United States on grounds that some aspects are particular to the Japanese culture and economy, the Japanese system is widely recognized as delivering many of the efficiencies and cost reductions it sets out to. Indeed, evaluating the success of attempts to transplant Japanese methods can be difficult for U.S. firms at first, as some companies have found that their traditional accounting concepts obscure some of the economic benefits these methods confer.

FURTHER READING:

Abo, Tetsuo. Hybrid Factory: The Japanese Production System in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Kenney, Martin, and Richard Florida. Beyond Mass Production: The Japanese System and Its Transfer to the U.S. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Liker, Jeffrey K., ed. Becoming Lean: Inside Stories of U.S. Manufacturers. Portland, OR: Productivity Press, 1998.

Schonberger, Richard J. Japanese Manufacturing Techniques: Nine Hidden Lessons in Simplicity. New York: Free Press, 1983.

Shingo, Shigeo. The Study of the Toyota Production System from an Industrial Engineering Perspective. Rev. ed. Cambridge, MA: Productivity Press, 1989.

Wheatley, Malcolm. “Asian Lessons in the Art of Manufacturing.” Management Today, April 1998

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