Embracing new technology enablers

An excerpt from AP March 2020 Print Leaders Forum – by Ricoh Australia Commercial and Industrial Print Division Country Manager, Simon Lane 

Amid a potential global pandemic – the Coronavirus outbreak – that is already impacting economies and financial markets, it’s clear some 2020 trends will be impossible to predict. Yet, there are potential upsides for Australian manufacturers.

We are already hearing of local book printers and packaging companies who are re-capturing work from overseas vendors. And while we can anticipate some disruption to supply chains for imported raw materials, the Coronavirus is a good reminder that local manufacturing is a critical element of any vibrant economy.

Embracing and responding to change is the secret to success, and the world has embraced new technology enablers such as cloud computing, Internet of Things, analytics and digital experience.

The industry players who are embracing these technologies are gaining the benefit of reduced costs to serve, better insights and an improved capacity to scale for market demands. As the decade develops, so too will capabilities in areas such as machine learning, cognitive technologies and financial models such as Blockchain.

In the print industry, a foundational digital experience tool has been web-to-print, which have been commercially available for almost 20 years. Yet, it’s really only been in the past seven years that these tools have become mainstream and we see print companies embracing such e-Commerce platforms to provide improved customer experiences and reduced costs to serve.

Ricoh is embracing these enablers through its deployment of new services such as Ricoh Supervisor, a cloud-based analytics tool that provides real-time insights to the shop floor operations. It connects all the eligible hardware technologies, to ensure a business can identify simple KPIs such as throughput and uptime; along with more detailed insights such as operator productivity and pinch-points in the manufacturing flow.

Ricoh and its partners continue to invest in technology that makes it easier to manage the end-to-end manufacturing environment, from capture of a client’s work through pre-flight and job-submission and on to automated finishing as well as fully integrated MIS solutions.

In the past decade, Ricoh had established itself as a global player in the commercial and industrial print industry through its purchases of companies such as Infoprint, Hitachi Printing Systems, Avanti Computer Systems, MarcomCentral, ColorGATE and LAC Corporation.

This has allowed us to accelerate our capabilities in areas such as eCommerce, brand management, management information systems, high speed printing, colour management and industrial inkjet.

We’re a relatively young player in the production print space, but our progress has been substantial and Ricoh is a global leader in the space, not least due to our benchmark inkjet technologies, which are already deployed in our high-speed print systems, wide format solutions and garment print platforms.

Ricoh is also currently developing a B2 sheetfed inkjet press for the commercial print market. The press – a ground up and innovative design – is a brand-new production platform that will be manufactured by Ricoh, including its own printhead and ink technology.

Ricoh has travelled far in its ambitions to be the premier provider of solutions to the commercial and industrial markets. We will soon be demonstrating our latest concepts, products and software; as well as showing an array of real world solutions that we believe will give our customers a competitive edge and allow them to embrace the new and emerging trends of the coming decade.


This article was written prior to the impact of COVID-19. The digital version of AP March 2020 is available here.

And as part of AP’s 70 anniversary, we’re pulling together a list of 70 local industry pioneers – you can make your nominations here.





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