Are we really headed back to liquid machines \ MFDs?

May 7, 2009

Have you ever heard the phrase “Disruptive Technology”? Here are a few examples.  The automobile disrupted the buggy whip industry. Email has disrupted the postal service, and the iPod has disrupted the vinyl record business. In each case a new technology has caused an established business to have to change, The Darwnistic choice for business is evolution or extinction.

I first heard of Silverbrook, maker of Memjet \ high speed color Inkjet technology a year & a half ago at an industry conference. I was fascinated by the concept of a functional page wide ink array that could lay down an entire page of color across the entire width of the page as it passed under the page wide ink head. On top of that they added a 5th element (on top of CMYK) to immediately seal the ink on the page, and they made it fast, 60 pages per minute color. But Silverbrook Research, inventor of the Memjet high speed color inkjet technology, has struggled to bring a product to market. I heard reports of quality and functionality issues. But what happens when Silverbrook finally gets it right?

Major Disruption to the Copier \ MFD Industry

Why, you ask? Because a Silverbrook \ Memejet powered (Inkjet) MFD would be cheap(er) to buy, Cheap(er) to run, and It would be fast, even in color, – top speed of 60 ppm for full color. No fusing means no fuser units, no heat, less power, more green (environmentally friendly). Less moving parts would mean less service. Quite honestly with the low cost they could be considered throw aways. Projected selling price for a Memjet enabled desktop printer of $300 to $500, so a color MFD would likely be a few thousand dollars. All of this would change how we (Office Technology Dealers) do business, how & what we sell, AND SERVICE!

But this ONLY happens if Silverbrook can get Memjet right

Here is some background Information on Silverbrook \ Memjet: The U.S. Patent office listed the total number of INKJET patents issued to the industry heavyweights: Silverbrook (maker of future Memjet high speed color inkjet printer) = 501 end of 2009. Silverbrook \ Memjet is not looking to manufacture a new line of MFDs or Printers, but rather to license their technology to those that do.

That’s My $0.02
Vince McHugh

PS: In the next post we will look at handling the typical objections to Inkjet technology.


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