Pat Henry: This is Pat Henry, executive editor, What They Think, we are at On Demand in Philadelphia and with us this morning is Mike Fagel. Mike is Manager, Product Marketing, Production Systems, Konica Minolta. Mike, thank you very much.
Mike Fagel: Thank you.
Pat Henry: Mike, your big news at the show is that you have got a bizhub product here that for the first time carries the designation press rather than pro, can you tell us about that product and why you’re dubbing it a PRESS?
Mike Fagel: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s based upon a legacy of successful products that we’ve had and have scratched the surface in the PRESS environments. We’ve been very successful with our predecessor models, 65-page-a-minute devices that have gone into, essentially pro graphics departments and corporations, as well as quick printers, however, really didn’t get the foothold that we would prefer in the commercial print marketplace. Got a lot of feedback from the commercial printers and from larger implants on what we would need to do to be a true player in that space and our research and development team was spectacular in all their efforts over the last few years and developed the bizhub PRESS C8000 to meet the needs of the more demanding printer in the commercial print environment.
Pat Henry: Well, now, Mike, I got a quick tour of the PRESS a little while ago and I saw, among other things, paper capacity of well over 10,000 sheets, I saw a vacuum feed on the front end, I saw dual fusing system improved toner, all in the interest of increased productivity and throughput. Can you speak to those features?
Mike Fagel: Absolutely. As you mentioned, the purpose is to try to keep it as hands off as possible. If you’re looking to do longer runs, you not only need the increased speed and durability, and we have our duty cycle has also been increased from the predecessor models up to half a million impressions per month, speed has been increased. And more importantly, probably, the productivity based regardless of substrate has been increased. And part of this is, as you mentioned, the dual fusing system enables us to run heavier stocks. They go through the second fusing system and we maintain, even on heavy stocks, 88% productivity, which is 70 PPM. So it’s 80 prints per minute, based upon up to 135 gram weight. Once we get above that, up to 300 GSM, which is about 14 points, we’re still at 77, excuse me, 70 PPM, which is 88%.
The additional paper supply means that there’s less changing of paper, larger toner bottles, more toner capacity, less dealing with that. We’ve got our own inline finishing technology that we use, we don’t use third parties. A very wide variety of finishing, including, if they have offline bindery, we use high capacity stackers. If not, saddle stitch booklet makers with face trimming, perfect binders that can bind, that can do up to, inline, up to 600 page books. Stapling, of course, with 100-sheet stapling with staple cut feature, we have inline GBC bindings, excuse me, GBC punching.
Pat Henry: Right.
Mike Fagel: There’s a lot of different features that we have available to keep it as hands off as possible.
Pat Henry: And Mike, you’ve mentioned that the traffic at your booth has been pretty good. I just wonder, what are printers, and particularly smaller printers, asking you, not only about the C8000, this PRESS, but about digital printing technology in general. What do they want to know?
Mike Fagel: Some of them have just scratched the surface. A lot of the people we’re talking to are in the process of offset migration and they’re trying to get ideas on what they can do to expand their business because, you know, not that offset is dead by any stretch of the imagination.
Pat Henry: Sure.
Mike Fagel: But they realize to be more profitable, they need to expand their business. So they’re talking to us about ideas on how to gain more business via, you know, marketing to one, which is, you know, variable data printing, which we’ve got controller partners like EFI and CREO that are just spectacular at that.
Also, they want to know if they do acquire such technology from us, are they going to be able to make sure that the quality is consistent on the longer runs, because, you know, we’re going a little bit beyond just short-run work with this.
Pat Henry: Sure.
Mike Fagel: It makes it affordable and we’ve got technologies built in that enable print 1 and print 10,000 to look identical at full rated speed, it maintains the integrity and the fidelity of the colors.
Pat Henry: Oh, that’s thanks to the automatic density control that we spoke about.
Mike Fagel: Absolutely, correct.
Pat Henry: Well, Mike, I believe we’re looking at a commercial release of this device toward the end of the summer.
Mike Fagel: Correct.
Pat Henry: And do you expect to go into beta testing pretty soon?
Mike Fagel: We do. We’ve got, as you may or may not know, Konica Minolta sells products through both direct sales channels and through a dealer network nationwide and we will be doing betas in both channels as soon as we get production, final production equipment and what we’re showing at print, excuse me, at On Demand 2010, is actually a pre-production model, however, once we start getting the final production models in, in the next month, month and a half, we’ll start getting betas out there and, you know, really getting some good feedback from real life situations, and we’re very excited about that, we think it’s going to be a home run.
Pat Henry: Well, Mike, we’re going to follow up to see if you knock it out of the park and we thank you for sharing the news with us today.
Mike Fagel: Thank you very much, Patrick.
Pat Henry: Pat Henry, What They Think, thanks for watching.