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OEMs are Making Big Moves Throughout Japan

28 Mar, 2006 By: Tetsuo Kubo imageSource

OEMs are Making Big Moves Throughout Japan

Over the last several months
some of Japan’s largest office equipment manufacturers have made some
significant announcements. Here are some news and notes from the center of the
document technology universe.

● Canon: The "AiR" Up There

The next generation MFP concept, the Canon "AiR" (Advanced iR), has been
introduced in Japan. AiR is an evolved version of the company’s iR (imageRUNNER)
series. The AiR series uses the Internet to go beyond the office to the outside
world. Not only does it connect to PCs, but cellular phones and televisions as

● Meiko Shokai: Maximum Shredding

Eiji Takagi, president of Meiko Shokai—the top shredder company in Japan, which
declared in 2005 it would be taking aim at the U.S. market—announced that the
company developed the new VP-1000 shredder, which has lower power consumption, a
smaller foot print, and a lower price although it provides a maximum shredding
capability of approximately one ton per hour.

"We expect shredders to be a several billion dollar market in the same way as
the former incinerator (which have been abolished in Japan) market was," said
Takagi, who is eyeing a sales target of $17 million in the first year.

● Ricoh: A Unique Method

Ricoh announced that it would release 20 models of its new generation color MFPs,
imagio MP Series, and new color printer, IPSiO SP Series. These color MFPs use
the company’s unique inkjet method, "GELJET," which combines inkjet and laser
printing technologies.

● Toshiba: Aiming to Double Up

Toshiba TEC Business Solutions (TTBS) was launched late last year as the
Japanese domestic sales company for Toshiba MFPs, which are developed and
manufactured by Toshiba TEC. The TTBS will roll out strategic sales activities
to reach its goal of a two-digit market share in the domestic market where the
company has ranked low. The present target for the TTBS is to double up its
current 3 percent share to 6 percent.

● Sharp: In with the Old…

Sharp has opened the Document Refining Center (DRC) in Tokyo in order to
refurbish copiers and then rent them out. It currently has the capability of
refurbishing 100-200 units per month. Last year, the company established a
partnership with the Orix rental company to create Sharp Office Rental (SOR), a
rental business for copier dealers.

The SOR collects used copiers, including units from leasing companies,
refurbishes and exchanges consumables at the DRC, and rents them. Additionally,
recycling the machines is good for the environment.

● Manufacturers have a Record Breaking Run

The Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association (JBMIA)
announced the shipment of copiers for the latter half of 2005 as provided by its
member manufacturers.

The report showed that color MFPs were outstanding in their growth in both the
domestic and overseas market. In fact, the machines were shipped in record
numbers for a single quarter. Domestic shipments reached over 70,000 units and
export from Japan reached over 50,000 units in a three-month span.

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