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IBM Extends Its Printer Industry Leadership with New Color, Monochrome and Cutsheet Production Printers

Press release from the issuing company

LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND – February 5, 2007 – IBM extended its printer industry leadership with the introduction of a new set of production printers today at the Hunkeler Innovation Days trade show. The company unveiled a new full-color, variable-data continuous web printer, a new monochrome continuous form printer and two new cutsheet printers. With the introduction of these printers, IBM is offering the industry new levels of speed, quality, flexibility and productivity. These new product unveilings build on the momentum generated by the recent announcement by IBM and Ricoh regarding their joint venture, InfoPrint Solutions Company, based on IBM's Printing Systems Division. The new products demonstrate the joint venture’s commitment to innovation, meeting customers’ needs and strengthening its print production portfolio. “The key driver for our industry continues to be meeting and exceeding our customers’ requirements,” said Bob Kilcullen, vice president of product management IBM Printing Systems. “We are pleased to offer customers new products that can deliver unprecedented functionality including color, print-quality, speed, productivity and flexibility in production printing. We have and will continue to innovate and provide our customers with the products and solutions that increase their productivity and lower their total cost-of-ownership (TCO) for output.” For years, IBM has been providing the building blocks for one of the industry’s most-effective production printing offerings. Its open, Advanced Function Presentation (AFP™) software is becoming the de-facto industry standard for high-speed, full-color, variable-data printing architectures. IBM’s Infoprint POWERTM Controller provides industry-leading operational productivity and printer availability with its highly-scalable processing. The company’s output software and services enable customers to effectively integrate systems and flexibly manage print jobs of almost any type. With the introduction of these new high-speed color and monochrome printers, IBM has put the next major building blocks in place to meet its strategy of offering customers the most-comprehensive and technologically-superior production printing solutions. Infoprint 5000 Full Color Continuous Web Printing System IBM’s new Infoprint 5000, a full-color, variable-data continuous web system provides speed, quality, reliability and ease-of-use for transactional printers, service bureaus, direct mailers and some book printers. This product fills a gap between previously available industry color offerings of very high-quality but lower-speed and higher-cost – and those alternatives with lower-quality but very high-speed. Customers can now effectively print large volumes of variable data documents in full-color in the “sweet-spot” of many emerging color applications. The Infoprint 5000 utilizes innovative piezo-electric, drop-on-demand inkjet technology with water-based pigment inks that are resistant to fading and smearing, even on commonly used digital papers. A tight paper web also contributes to the excellent inkjet print quality. The system includes a powerful and extendable IBM multi-computer printer controller technology that drives multiple Adobe® PostScript® RIPs and delivers high-speed printing to expedite job completion and enable consolidation of footprints. Leveraging IBM’s new Infoprint ProcessDirector for high-speed production print environments, the Infoprint 5000 provides a customizable process management system that can automate many tasks that have previously been handled manually. Infoprint ProcessDirector is designed to improve the management of output environments, which can help clients reduce their costs, improve quality and seamlessly respond to changes in their processes. Using a controller that is powered by an IBM server, the Infoprint 5000 is available in simplex or tandem duplex configurations. The system can print at speeds up to 209.9 feet/minute (64 meters/minute)1 or 916 full-color, two-up tandem duplex letter-size impressions/minute (862 A4 impressions/minute)1. The system has a 20.4” web with up to 19.96” print width and is designed to deliver excellent print-quality at 720 x 360 dots per inch (dpi) resolution. The product will initially ship with PostScript and PDF support. The innovative technology in the Infoprint 5000 delivers variable-data, full-color output at a speed, quality and price point that is unique in the industry. Its capabilities will enable businesses to produce statements with marketing / promotional information, direct mail, marketing materials and books, among many other document types. By leveraging the Infoprint 5000’s variable color capabilities, customers can provide their clients with output that can significantly increase response rates. Additionally, the Infoprint 5000’s speed and quality may enable the migration of many offset jobs to customized short-run digital output, helping to improve turn-around times and reduce costs. IBM intends to enhance this production color printing platform in a phased release that, over time, will leverage IBM’s AFP™ server and controller technology, advancements from the AFP Color Consortium (AFPCC) and IBM’s workflow portfolio2. Infoprint 4100 Entry-level Monochrome Continuous Form Printer The Infoprint 4100 MD1/MD2 expands IBM's line of high-speed, monochrome continuous form printers. For the first time, an entry-level Infoprint 4100 will be driven by the Infoprint POWER Controller, a 64-bit, multi-processing controller that enables the latest models to run at up to 175 feet a minute1 – while optimizing productivity and lowering costs of printing. The Infoprint 4100 MD1/MD2 is designed to meet the needs of transactional printers, service bureaus, direct mailers and book printers. The new MD1/MD2 models now join the Infoprint 4100 platform, offering innovative technology capabilities like color emulation and support, powerful controller, workflow management, business integration and productivity management tools. With an Infoprint 4100 equipped with an Infoprint POWER Controller, clients can utilize the color emulation feature to print from full-color workflows without time-consuming transforms or duplicate resource libraries. The Infoprint POWER Controller can help increase operational productivity and printer availability while providing highly-scalable processing capable of driving faster-throughput printers, it allows businesses to consolidate production printers to significantly reduce the total cost-of-print operations and increase printer utilization. With exceptional multiprocessing capabilities, the Infoprint POWER Controller also helps operations transition to production color printing with the AFP™ Color Emulation feature. In addition, the Infoprint 4100 HD3/HD4 now features a new Infoprint Image Enhancement technology to provide premium halftone images at up to 230 linear feet per minute1. The HD5/HD6 models offers one of the industry’s fastest magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) output speed at up to 330 linear feet per minute1. Its new Commercial Print feature enables the use of 9-point coated direct mail stock at up to 280 linear feet per minute1. The Infoprint 4100 line of printers integrates hardware and software while seamlessly linking print technologies to IBM servers, software and services offerings. This enables clients to take advantage of IBM’s experience and expertise that drive business growth while keeping a check on costs. The new Infoprint 4100 models and their enhancements are an integral part of the IBM Output Environment, a technology roadmap for the future, designed to allow clients to leverage IBM’s current and future products, services and expertise in order to integrate and optimize output across their enterprises. Infoprint 2190 and 2210 Cutsheet Printers IBM is unveiling two new high-speed, cutsheet printers designed to deliver exceptional versatility and a rapid return-on-investment (ROI) for businesses that are downsizing, pursuing device consolidation or need a high-volume, secure multifunction solution. The Infoprint 2190 and 2210 cutsheet printers bridge the gap between workgroup printers and continuous-form printers – providing high-speed, modularity and flexibility. The modular design of the Infoprint 2190 and 2210 will enable businesses to get the features they need today with the ability to expand function as future needs demand. These next-generation printers are designed to provide the functionality to optimize resources and lower operating costs. The Infoprint 2190 and 2210 are the next generation of the popular Infoprint 2190ES and 2105ES cutsheet printers, delivering high-speed and an array of standard and optional features. These new models offer a wide range of input/output choices, which enable custom configurations and provide investment protection. This modularity enables businesses to buy what is needed today with the flexibility for future add-ons. With native IBM Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS), the Infoprint 2190 and 2210 can easily integrate into multiple environments and seamlessly integrate into host-based workflow. The printers provide page-level error recovery capabilities to help retain integrity in mission-critical applications. Married with IBM’s AFP software, the Infoprint 2190 and 2210 enable the management of applications up and down the print chain to provide a seamless, end-to-end solution. The Infoprint 2190 and Infoprint 2210 can operate as a central print solution with dedicated operators or as a departmental walk-up solution. The 10.4 inch color touch screen display facilitates ease-of-use, making these new printers easy enough for walk-up users, but powerful enough for data centers. Mix media options enable the production of a wide-variety of high-volume, quick-turnaround projects and advanced finishing choices include booklet making. Pricing and Availability The IBM Infoprint 5000 is planned to be available in a staged roll-out, starting with the U.S. and Canada on March 30, 2007; Japan on May 11, 2007 and select European Union countries on June 8, 2007, with others following3. The Infoprint 4100 MD1/MD2 models are planned to be available in Japan and select European Union countries on March 9, 2007, with other countries to follow3. The Infoprint 2190 and 2210 are planned to be available in a staged roll-out, with PCL and PostScript on March 30, 2007 and IPDS on May 11, 2007 in all supported countries3. For pricing, see your local IBM Printing Systems representative.