We will lead the transition from offset to digital printing by combining high-performance solutions with on-demand digital printing presses.
The Ricoh Group fully entered the production printing business in 2007, focusing on the evolving changing needs of the printing market. We expanded our products and services to cater to a range of market requirements, including for intensive in-house and core systems printing and print-on-demand commercial printing. There is tremendous potential in commercial printing, where key customers are in the advertising, publishing, and other sectors, and needs are diverse. That market is worth an estimated ¥40 to ¥50 trillion, including for conventional offset printing. Demand is not just for conventional offset printing, and extends to high-value-added areas, such as on-demand and variable printing allowing small print runs whenever needed.
We responded to these market trends by packaging products and workflow solutions delivering exceptional performance at attractive prices to customers in the printing industry. We aim to drive the offset to digital transition while securing new commercial printing customers. We are also focusing on proposals for advanced printing processes that bring together our printing technologies and expertise in proposing solutions that help improve the productivity of customers throughout the value chain, encompassing consulting through printing and delivery.
We are drawing on the technologies, functions, and knowhow of PTI Marketing Technologies, Inc., Avanti Computer Systems Limited, and Interconnect, Inc., and other Group companies that have undertaken strategic investments and acquisitions in the past few years to reinforce our structure for providing total business workflow support for our customers.
Total solutions to help print service providers expand operations
Color cut-sheets models are driving earnings gains in the commercial printing business.
The RICOH Pro C5210S/C5200S color production printer, launched in January 2017, offers more robust paper handling and superior image quality. We are harnessing oil-free color PxP-EQ toner, based on our proprietary polymerization technique, as well as surface-emitting semiconductor laser technology to materialize higher image and other quality while improving speed, reducing noise, and accelerating warm-up times to create more comfortable business environments for customers.
The RICOH Pro C7100 series can use white and fluorescence toner, and is being used for high-value printed materials featuring advanced designs.
The RICOH Pro 8200 series monochrome production printers provide greater productivity and image quality than predecessor models. Key customers are retailers, financial institutions, and public agencies that have major in-house print volume needs, as well as printing firms with commercial printing operations.
In November 2016, we augmented RICOH Customer Experience Centers (CECs) in Tokyo and Thailand, following CECs in the United Kingdom and the United States. We thus maintain such centers in all four operating regions. CEC TOKYO enables customers to immerse themselves in workflows ranging from taking commercial printing orders to editing, printing, post processing, packing, and shipping. Through in-house printing, we gain deep understandings of customer businesses, reflecting what we learn in development, planning, and production and in creating innovative solutions. We provide customers with manufacturing expertise that we have cultivated over the years. Through consulting services that support business tasks, we recommend business improvements to customers through consulting services that support business tasks, reinforcing our credibility while endeavoring to build our presence in the commercial printing market.
By leveraging the collaboration of each of our Customer Experience Centers, we seek to expand our business in the growing commercial printing arena while sharing our expertise and catering to the various requirements of customers.
We are helping customers to reform their value chains by providing industrial inkjet printheads, inkjet modules, and industrial printers.
The Ricoh Group has amassed a strong track record over more than 40 years of developing industrial inkjet printheads offering outstanding reliability and cost performance and safe and highly functional inkjet inks that customers can choose to match applications. We drew on powerful proprietary technologies from such areas in entering the industrial printing arena.
Our products and solutions focus on three businesses. These are the Printhead Business and Inkjet Module Business, whose offerings are for the products of other companies, and the Industrial Printer Business.
In the industrial printing market, there is a growing need to print to everything from furniture, wallpaper, and automobile exteriors to clothing fabrics, plastic bottle labels, and signs. The inkjet printhead field is set for great expansion.
In the industrial printer area, we employ our strengths as a printer manufacturer to provide accurate and efficient industrial inkjet printing systems that integrate inkjet printhead, ink, and advanced automated equipment technologies to help customers improve operational efficiency.
Expanding profit contributions from new businesses in industrial printing
The industrial inkjet printhead field is poised for growth in view of diversifying requirements for these components and the intensive development of products and applications.
RICOH MH Series inkjet printheads are compatible with an array of inks and are very durable. Released in 2017, the RICOH MH 5421F/5421MF employs our proprietary ink circulation structure and uses a stainless steel housing. This structure enables continuous ink flow directly past back of the nozzles to prevent dry nozzle and ink particle sedimentation, offering highly stable jetting performance. This printhead supports up to two colors, offering increased reliability for high-resolution printing.
The Inkjet Modules and Industrial Printer businesses will likely experience considerable growth in expanding the potential of printing technology. The digitization of processes will enable on-demand printing of small runs of multiple jobs at low costs.
In the Inkjet Modules business, we supply such printhead, ink, image processing, and other systems. We deliver finished products to customers and partner such customers as factory automation printer manufacturers and systems integrators from early development stages, proposing ways to take advantage of our technical and sales capabilities and thereby transform their value chains.
In the Industrial Printer business, we bring out products in segments enjoying particularly solid growth as needs diversify. A particular priority is Direct to Garment printers for clothes, fabrics, and other items. We aim to expand this business, whose markets should become massive in the years ahead.
Textile printing applications that use inkjet technology can deliver shorter production processes than conventional screen printing. This can lower environmental impact by reducing the consumption of energy and chemicals. It is also possible to create finer patterns than with screen printing.
We reinforced our industrial inkjet business by launching the RICOH Ri 3000 and Ri 6000 Direct to Garment printers in North America in May 2017. These were the first Ricoh-branded models employing technology from AnaJet LLC, which we acquired in January 2016. These systems offer high-speed and high-quality printing on T-shirts, hats, and other apparel, as well as tote bags. In August 2017, we announced the RICOH Ri 100, a strategic Direct to Garment offering. Its outstanding operability and miniaturization technology stem from four decades of amassing inkjet technology and developing office printers, and it delivers outstanding image quality and a smooth texture. Integration of the printer and finisher resulted in a compact design, with new holder cassettes making operations simple. Shops and event sites without skilled operators can easily produce their own T-shirt and tote bags designs.
The RICOH Ri 100 will be released in China, Japan, and elsewhere in Asia from fall 2017, becoming available elsewhere thereafter, bringing fun to printing custom designs of children’s drawings, photos, and other images.
We aim to build customer trust through our high-value-added thermal paper, in which we dominate the world market, and our top-quality products and services.
Thermal media like paper and films respond to heat for colorizing or printing. Thermal paper is used for printing merchandise information and barcodes for such applications as food point-of-sale setups, process management, and delivery labels. Thermal transfer ribbons are used to manage logistics, inventory, specimens, and for apparel price tags, brand tags, and tickets. We have built strong market shares in numerous countries and territories by differentiating ourselves competitively, notably in terms of high image quality and thermal durability. We are also cultivating businesses in Southeast Asia, whose markets offer strong growth potential.
In the consumer market, the need to optimally print or publish personalized information is rising, including through the customization of beverage and food packaging and labels. Ricoh aims to offer a laser printing solution to deliver ultrahigh-speed on-demand printing and custom printing within customer production lines through the integration of proprietary materials technology and equipment employing laser writing technology. In the years ahead, we will commercialize such a setup as a high-value-added service.
Noteworthy thermal paper applications