Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last day at Lyra -- Wide Format and "Green" presentation

“Wednesday Morning -- Wide Format and Green"

Wednesday morning, January 28th, 2009 the 2nd and last day of the Lyra Imaging Symposium kicks off with a “wide format” segment, with industry member Rak Kumar and Lyra Analyst Rocheleau.

First up with his presentation "Wide Format Trends and Opportunities" is Rak Kumar, Vice President and General Manager, Rastek. Kumar covered the history of the segment, technology trends and a “how we got here” synopsis, as well as current market opportunities and future directions. Basically it was the perfect industry pitch, in this blogger’s humble opinion. It was informative, included some excellent historical perspective and current market analysis, without overly extolling the virtues of his employer’s product and service offerings, more or less letting the company's advantages speak for themselves. An example graphic from Kumar's pitch is shown below.

David Rocheleau, Vice President of the Lyra Consulting Group, followed with "The Evolution in Wide-Format Printing: A Market in Transition", and covered lots of ground. Some of his topics are presented in the slide below.

Charley LeCompte, president of Lyra, followed with the kick-off "Green" portion of the Symposium, in a presentation entitled "Green Is the Theme for Imaging Vendors".

With the progress made recently in wide format and its improved environmental friendliness, it was a logical transition to look into the Printer Industry's Green Initiatives and why 2008 turned out to be such a momentous year in activity and discussion.

LeCompte covered, among other topics, the first true eco-products – products whose primary selling point is an environmental advantage, including the HP Designjet L65500 – and its non-solvents approach and the Epson EDC-10, an inkjet printer introduced in Europe and China, with its 8000 page ink bags – with a 50 Euro deposit, though in China not touted for environmentalism; other 2008 landmarks such as HP's closed-loop cartridge recycling (announced during last year's symposium and covered here); the aftermarket's players all trying to out-ecology each other; accelerated cartridge collection including Japan's collection boxes sponsored by six leading vendors and located across Japan in post offices; and HP’s "Eco Highlights" Product Tag, also covered in this blog.

LeCompte then moderated a lively panel, featuring WooJin Kim, Charm Regent Ltd.; Brad Roderick, InkCycle; Stacey Wueste, Hewlett-Packard Company; and Tim Needham, SMART Papers. This blogger was surprised not by the many good ideas and positive proposals, but by the frequency words like "they" and "them" came up from at least one of the panelists, regarding potential regulatory action, and that same panelist's assertion that somehow the industry brought it's own problems on by initiating cartridge recycling just a few years ago. More informed industry members will know that cartridge disponsition (beginning in my memory with toner cartridges in the 1980's) has as much to do with value as waste. It's not just empty water bottles and detergent containers, but rather the salvaging of high value-added content in the ink and toner cartridges that make them desiralbe as potential refill/reman targets, in additont to the environmental logic of recycling.

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