Wide Format

Wide Format for AEC Market & New Features I Would Like to See

If you've been selling wide format MFP's for some time I think you'll agree that the manufacturers have been slow on refreshing most models from most manufacturers.   Aside from KIP with the recent introduction of the KIP 600 toner based color wide format MFP (multi-functional product), the others are just regurgitating the same tired outdated wide formats for the AEC (architect, engineers and construction) market.

Five plus years is a long time to wait for a refresh of an existing model or something completely new.  Over the years I've had this talk track with many within the wide format community and the same question arises from every conversation. "What else can be added to wide format MFP's?"

Document Feeders

Is it really that hard to design a 10 page document feeder? I don't think so because it should be rather easy.  Yes,  you would need a larger area to stack the originals for feeding. But it could be designed in a way that it would fold away when not needed. The next question becomes where do the scanned originals stack?  That's easy and Ricoh is already doing it with the MP W6700. I kind of like the idea of not stacking the originals as they are scanned but rather to have them exit and then rolled. I'm pretty sure Ricoh had something like this years ago.  Clients are asking for document feeders in wide format, the reason most of us don't hear and because we're not asking the question.  What a tremendous advantage for the manufacturer that designs one first!

12x18 or 11x17 Paper Trays

With the previous models of Ricoh wide formats there was the ability to add a cut sheet paper tray. That paper tray was capable of holding letter, legal, tabloid and 12x18 (half size of 24x36).  Many clients would take advantage of this feature for printing check plots.  On some of the higher end toner based wide formats some of the manufacturers offer cut sheet trays.  But on most of the low end wide formats the cut sheet paper tray is not offered.  I think a cut sheet paper tray should be offered on both low end and high end.  Seems to me that the manufacturers are making what they want and not what the clients need.

Original Document Exit Trays

I touched on this with the section under Document Feeder.  Whether it's a flat stack or a roll stack device document stacking needs to be an option on all devices (toner and ink).  It's archaic that clients still need to feed one document at a time isn't it?

Print Stackers

And not the type where the print falls into a cloth basket.  My goodness is our industry that cheap that we can't figure out a better system?  I know of one manufacturers  has a standard exit print stacker and I cringe every time I have to sell against it.  Thank goodness that device is at the low end of the market. Which makes my point, if it's possible to design for a low end ink based wide format why oh why can't it be offered on all devices!

Tameran is no longer offering document exit stackers for wide format MFP's. I would tend to think that the manufacturers need to step up their game.

Toner Based Color Wide Format

Here's the next holy grail for wide format.  Bring to market a toner based MFP that will have an MSRP of $22K.  Thus with the $22K we know where the dealer cost will be.  More and more clients want to print color in wide format. What the clients don't like is to have two devices (color and black), clients also don't want to pay the high price of color ink.  Coming to market with a toner based wide format will at $22K will eliminate many of the existing color plotters in the field.  Reps will be able to cost justify the sale of toner based color wide formats  on the supply and maintenance costs.

In the end, I feel like 4-5 years is way to long to wait for a new model.  In some cases we as sales people have no upgrade path for the client at the end of a five lease.

All I can hope for is that just maybe this blog will open some eyes and manufacturers will give the clients the features and the price points that will help.

-=Good Selling=

Comparing the Ricoh MP W6700 vs the KIP 7172 Large Format Printers

There’s quite a bit to think about when comparing large format printers. I’ll let you know up front that I resell Ricoh large format printers. Yes, I’m a little biased when it comes to value and reliability. However when it comes to features and specs, well they are what they are. Thus, I’d like to share 5 features that make the Ricoh MP W6700 large format printer the device to acquire.

Compact Design

In most cases when clients are considering a large format printer, the space on where to place the printer is a top concern. Depth and height is usually not the issue, it’s the width of the device. The KIP 7172 requires 63 inches of width while the Ricoh MP W6700 only requires 49 inches of width. In addition the Ricoh comes in almost 30 pounds lighter which is a plus if the device needs to moved to a second floor. Advantage if space is a concern goes to Ricoh.

Output of Prints & Copies

Another area of top concern to many clients is how many prints can be stacked in the exit tray. KIP 7172 uses a top exit stack tray, when reviewing the brochure there is no mention of how many prints the tray will hold. The Ricoh MP W6700 has a front exit (see below) that will stack 100 pages of “D” size drawings. In addition with the new ROT-2 (option), the Ricoh will stack up to 100 “E” size drawings. Thus if stacking more drawings is a concern then Ricoh scores another advantage.

shows rfont exit tray

Scanning Productivity

Both of these devices offer scan2email, scan2fold, and scan2USB. In my time out in the field there aren’t many clients that only need to scan one drawing. In most cases they need to scan a set of drawings. Those sets can rage from 5 to 50 drawings. When scanning with the KIP 7172 once you have set the document to scan you have to wait for the document to come back to you. It’s a turn around guide that sends the document right back to you. Thus there is no exit stack tray for the scans. I call it one in and one out.

The Ricoh has an exit stack tray tray. Thus when you have multiple documents you need to scan, you can insert one after the other. There is no waiting for the document to scan and then remove. This saves and incredible amount of time when scanning bid-sets or architectural plans. Advantage for Ricoh.


Some might not think this is a big deal. However when space it tight, storage of paper rolls and toner is a concern. The KIP 7172 offers no storage for paper or toner at the device. See pic below

The Ricoh MP W6700SP is unique in that there is storage space located at the very bottom of the device. That space can used for for paper, toner, and extra roll holders. See pic below

TWAIN Scanning

TWAIN scanning often over looked and not many understand what TWAIN scanning is. All multi-functional devices that scan, print and copy offer “push” scanning. Which means when you scan from one of these devices you are “pushing” the document to a location on the network, email address or pc.

TWAIN scanning means that the document or drawing that is placed in the scanner is “pulled” back to the pc. Thus most software programs or business lines of software will allow you to “pull” that drawing into the software or a client record in the business line of software. Having the ability to “pull” the document can save quite a bit of time over “push” scanning.


In my eyes, both devices will work very well in low to mid-volume environments. Both offer color scanning, both offer a decent speed of printing. KIP 7172 coming in at 6 “D” size pages per minute and the Ricoh MP W6700 at 6.7 “D” size per minute.

Feel free to email me if you have any additional questions apost@p4photel.com

This Copier Changed My Sales Life 15 Years Ago this Week!

It's late on Friday night, for most their work is over for the week. Me, I need to do updates and frankly I've been lagging in my blogging as of late. It's not because I don't want to write, it's mainly because there hasn't been something that triggered me to write.  Nothing unusual in sales, nothing unusual in the field and I've had my nose to the grindstone looking to hit numbers.

Until tonight when I needed to post up my series "This Week in the Copier Industry 15 Years Ago this Week".  Nice thing about this site is that you can select advanced search button (see below) and search through tens of thousands of threads about the copier industry since 2003.

You click the Advanced Search and you'll come up to the se3arch menu (see below) or the link I created.

It's a real nice search tool and you have the ability to filter for the forums, blogs, chats, photo's, video's, you name it's there

Right, back to what I wanted to write about. It was this week 15 years ago when Ricoh launched the famous Ricoh MP 240W digital wide format copier/printer/scanner.  I wanted to reach back and write about was it was like in those glory days of wide format. BTW, it's famous because it ROCKED!

It was a fantastic time for me in sales.  I guess I was at the right spot at the right time. Similar to when Minolta launched the Minolta 450Z copy machine back in 1984.

The picture above illustrates the 240W along with the plot server software that was required to run on a stand alone PC.  No software meant no print or scan, just a wide format copier that could reduce or enlarge.  Thinking back about 90% of placements included the PC and the software.

Ricoh broke the bank with the MP 240W in 2004.  There was no other digital wide format like it that could print/scan and copy for the price.  Many Architects, Engineers and Construction companies were farming out prints and scans to repro shops, and Staples for .50 -1.00 per square foot. It didn't take that many prints to cost justify the 240W at MSRP.  Selling at MSRP would net you about $8-$9K in GP and the commissions were 50% of the GP. It was not uncommon to take home $10-$14K a month. 

Having a product as unique as the 240W made a heck of a lot of sense to go and knock on as many doors as possible.  In most cases you were welcomed with arms wide open because the news was spreading about the price and the feature set of the 240W.

There was no haggling on price, well okay there might have been when we were up against Ricoh Direct.  But if Ricoh Direct was not in, then our price was  our price.  If the buyer was not interested it would only be a few days before we turned up additional prospects. 

We were fortunate at the dealer I worked for back in 2004.  Prior to taking on Ricoh in the mid nineties we also were a dealer for Xerox wide format analog copiers.  I came on board in mid 1998 when we had just switched to Ricoh and we were placing the FW 740, 750 & 760 analog Ricoh wide format copiers.

Yup from 2004-2006 we had that market controlled before Xerox launched their first digital wide format.  Believe it or not we even delivered the 240Ws for on-site demonstrations. We sold everyone we demo'd!

There were some growing pains with understanding the AEC market, but Ricoh had some excellent DSM's, and product trainers that gave us the basics.  We pounded them out left and right  and all were single placements, all had high GP and we gained mega new accounts.  Gaining those new accounts also gave us opportunities to place digital copiers.

After 15 years, we still have a few in the field.  Hard to believe right?  Like I said Ricoh hit a home run with the print engine, and the compact size of the device.

Yes, those were the days!

-=Good Selling=-

The Top Five Reasons to go CCD vs. CIS Wide Format Scanning

Wide Format Scanning Whitepaper

Whether you are replacing a current wide format scanner or purchasing for the very first time, it’s important to consider the two basic technologies currently in use for wide format image capture and how these technologies fit into the workflow and business model of your scanning needs.

Wide format scanners today use either a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) or a Contact Image Sensor (CIS) to capture data. Information enters into the scanner through a lens system and a light source that is reflected from the document and captured by the photo sensors.

Overview of CIS Technology: CIS or (Contact Image Sensor) technology was originally developed for small format devices and has been in use for many years on fax machines, check readers and ATM card readers. The technology uses multiple CIS modules that contain lenses and lighting within each module. The modules are placed side by side just under the scanning glass. The self-contained modules typically use low power light emitting diodes (LED) of red green and blue to light up the document. The light is then reflected by the document and captured by a glass rod lens, directing the light towards the image sensors which capture the pixel.


Overview of CCD Technology: CCD or (Charged Coupled Device) technology, commonly referred to as camera technology, has been designed for all types of digital imaging including scanners, video cameras, security systems, as well as, equipment for industrial testing, monitoring and measurement. This technology has been in use for years. Most synonymous with high quality scanning, camera technology employs a linear array of CCD’s or cameras and a sophisticated lighting system to illuminate the image to be scanned. The more advanced systems utilize 4-channel RGB cameras- red, green, blue and panchromatic mono channels that deliver 48-bit color depth at 16 bits per channel.


Now that you have a basic idea of the technology, lets examine our top 5 reasons why we recommend camera over contact image sensor technology.

1) Image Quality and Flexibility: CCD scanning technology produces quality scans for virtually any type of document that will fit through a roll fed scanner. Whether your originals are hand drawn engineering drawings, B&W photos, or maps, CCD scanning technology will capture 16-bit grayscale (64,000 shades of grey) using a dedicated panchromatic monochrome channel for a much sharper clearer image. CIS scanners deliver only 8-bit grayscale (256 shades) and green capture only and have restrictions in some document classes like full bleed graphics and copying to 8 and 12 color printers. If you need to run
GIS maps, blueprints with stiff edges, newspaper, delicate documents or mylars a Contex CCD scanner is highly recommended over CIS technology.

2) Productivity: CCD scanners (Contex only) scan with originals face down. Some might argue that face up scanning allows for better quality control but assuming sheets only take 3 to 4 seconds to scan, quality control is better performed at the software level using Line of Sight Scanning techniques like the National /AZON Zero Turn system. CIS scanners and most non-Contex brand CCD scanners employ face up scanning which requires operators to “double handle” every document to keep them in their original order. Face
down scanning allows for true scan and drop capability which offers the most efficient way to handle documents. In addition to face down scanning, CCD scanning software, coupled with the latest developments in media sensing technology, reads the input media size much faster and more accurately, reducing post scan error correction.

File transfer is another serious productivity feature in Contex CCD scanners. The enhanced utilization of USB 3.0 for file transfer guarantees a much higher degree of productivity as operators will experience virtually zero wait time for file transfer between images. Side by side productivity tests generate a minimum of a 2 to 1 speed increase for
CCD vs. CIS scanning.

3) Color Fidelity when close isn’t good enough: Due to the inherent technical advantage of camera-based technology, the color gamut is much wider, color fidelity is greater and image noise is reduced. Since cameras capture up to 48-bit color, printing and copying to 8 or 12 color printers produces significantly better results than CIS. Color depth and the ability to recognize the nuances of gradients is superior on CCD scanners.

4) Thick Document and folded document Scanning: Scans of mounted originals up to .60” thickness can be done with CCD scanners but not with (most) CIS scanners. The reason is that the lighting system and focal point of the CIS technology does not lend itself well to raised or uneven surfaces. If your document archives consist of a good percentage of any of these two documents, go with CCD. In addition, if you are a print service provider
(PSP) and are at the will of your customer, go with CCD to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction and business retention.

5) Optical Calibration/Stitching: Contex CCD scanners come equipped with 4 to 7 Quad linear CCD’s. These CCD’s are each controlled by an adjustment motor that sets height and width and are accurate to 1/400th of an inch when stitching between cameras. CIS elements are fixed in place or in some cases have a single element across scan widths. Contex CCD scanners offer the only “self-correcting” optics available without a technician being required for adjustment or having an operator physically turning screws inside the scanner.

This factors in when using Closed Loop Calibration which performs the function of printing a wide color target to a customer’s scanner, then scanning that target with a CCD scanner to provide Nextimage Repro copy software with an accurate reading of how the printer is delivering defined colors in its output.

In summary, CIS scanners hold a significant market space and are very well suited to scanning CAD/GIS generated images as well as AEC markups and building plans, they are more portable and lightweight and generally less expensive than CCD based scanners. However, if your outputquality is of utmost importance, if you are a print service provider, if you have an archive full of varied originals, if you plan to scan color graphics, maps photos or thick originals a Contex CCD scanner is best suited to your needs.

Visit AZON.com for more information.

Contex VIP Event in Las Vegas is a Hit; More Exclusive Events to Come in 2019

Chantilly, VA — November 13, 2018 — Contex, the world leader in large format scanning, today announces the success of its recent VIP event at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, Oct 18-19, 2018.

Professionals from across multiple industries attended the event to see Contex’s full line of scanners in action, ranging from the compact SD One to the market’s fastest and widest HD Ultra X. Attendees also had the opportunity to preview a new wide format scanner from Contex, which is scheduled to be released in January, 2019.

Due to the tremendous success of the event, more regional VIP events are slated in 2019.

“We were extremely impressed by the attendance at our VIP event, as well as the tremendous response to the newest HD Ultra X scanner series,” comments Steve Blanken, General Manager, Contex Americas. “Our goal is to provide solutions that are one step ahead of the requirements and demands of our customers, and these events give attendees the opportunity to see how they can leverage these advancements to grow in new directions.”

“As the primary distributor for Contex, we were excited with the success of the VIP event. Many new and existing customers are adding new Contex scanners to their portfolio after seeing first-hand what the new technology can do,” comments Rich Gigl, Senior Vice President, National / AZON.

The VIP event was facilitated by National / AZON, and scanning experts were on hand to discuss how each scanner fulfills customers’ various requirements. For more information, visit a Contex distributor or contact info@contex.com.

About Contex

As the world’s leading developer and producer of large format imaging solutions, Contex leads the market with innovative technology and advanced scan and copy software applications. Sold worldwide in more than 90 countries, Contex solutions are recognized in a wide range of industries for reliability, value, high performance, and superb image quality. For more information, please visit www.contex.com.

Architect adds Ricoh PrintCopyTool in New Jersey “Simplifies CAD Workflow”


A few months ago I was able to sit down with an existing client to discuss the benefits of Ricoh PrintCopyTool.  Our client was near the end of their Ricoh MP W5100en wide format printer/scanner/copier lease.  The Ricoh MP W5100en was a little long in the tooth along with using the older Ricoh Plotbase software. In addition our client had also added a…

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Jersey Shore Electric Contractor Lease Ricoh CW 2201SP Color Plotter

Sometimes it’s that one little feature that makes the difference from leasing a Ricoh CW 2201SP or an Oce/Canon wide format. For our Jersey Electric Contractor it was the TWAIN scanning feature that drove their decision to lease the Ricoh CW2201SP.


TWAIN scanning is also known as ‘pull scanning”.  Pull scanning means that your software program has the ability to use a TWAIN scan driver. With our Electrical Contractor they have the ability to use a TWAIN scan driver with their business line of software.  We demonstrated that the use of the twain scan driver would allow them to scan wide format drawings directly to their client records. This eliminated the tedious task of scan2email & scan2folder, naming the file and then transferring that file to the software.

read the rest on my Jerseyplotters wordpress blog

Should I Lease or Buy a Ricoh MP6700SP in New Jersey?

Should I lease or should I buy the Ricoh MP6700SP wide format? It’s a question that I’ll field at least a few times a month. MP6700SP In order to answer that question, I’ll need to give a little history about the Ricoh MP6700. The one great feature of the Ricoh MP6700SP, is that it’s a…

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Note from Art: Content is King, I've wrote about 17 blogs in the last year and it's paying off.  My goal is to attract those that are in the market to me. This is something I believe every dealership should be doing.  It's an investment, but isn't everything?

If you're interested in having me write the content and manage a site for you, then please send me an email apost@p4photel.com 

-=Good Selling=-

Three Ways to Protect Your Ricoh Wide Format Plotters

Over the years I’ve had many calls about how my clients can protect their Ricoh Wide Format Plotters.  Wide Format plotters aka Ricoh Wide format MFP’s (multi-functional devices) that can copy, scan or print.  In most cases what we recommend is not information that is available with the manufacturers user guide. Thus, we thought it would…

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FYI, this is a link to my jersey plotter site, email me or Jesse if you need more info on how to make this happen

The Quest for $200K "Insisting that the world keeps turning our way"

"Insisting that the world keep turning our way" was taking from a song made famous by Willie Nelson, "On The Road Again".  While traveling the road all day today, I was thinking what would be the theme for the blog tonight. I settled with On the Road Again.  Something told me to read the lyrics and that's when I settled on, "insisting that the world keep turning our way". 

The lyric "Insisting that the world keep turning our way" resonated with me because when salespeople are on the road we're making things happen, and when we make things happen, we are insisting that the world (sales) keeps turning our way. 

I had a 9AM scheduled for some production gear, however that got pushed back to 10AM.  I had scheduled my Fiery guru to meet me at the account so that we could review the clients current workflow and make recommendations with additional fiery options that would save our client some time. 

I'm no Fiery expert but was so glad that I brought along my guru.  What I thought would be a one hour meeting turned into almost three hours.  A lot was learned, much time was saved and I moved this opportunity to the final stage where we can present our proposal.

Since I was more than two hours late for my next stop I was not sure if my DM was going to be there or not.  Even thought this was just a short visit for a pick up of a wrongly shipped item, I wanted to make sure this opp also moved to the final stage.  I was in luck, my DM was there, we chatted for maybe five minutes and I secure the appointment for next week to present.

Moving right along,  my next stop was to help a quasi net new account.  This client had "found" a wide format mfp with our name tag on the device. We did perform some service during the summer, however when I called the client a few days ago they were having some issues with printing.  I offered to lend my expertise and give them some time with going over the print drivers.  It's what we do, we help, we educate, we give up our time, and that's what relationship building is all about.  We're not looking for anything in return.

K, I still had two more stops I had to do for the day.  I grabbed a quick lunch, checked my email and was surprised to listen to a voice mail from one of favorite IT guys.  A couple of years ago the company he worked for closed shop here in NJ. I had tried to reach him a few times, but was never able to connect with him.

I called, we had a short chat and it turns out he is with another company and they are in the need for a color MFP.  He asked if I had some time today, I told him I had another stop but could see him about 3PM. 

Ninety minutes, that's how long our meeting took. I may be able to help him and I may not.  I'm going to find that out in a few minutes after I finish this blog. What I can say, is that if I can't help now, I will be able to help with something pretty large in 2018.

While I did not take an order today, I did move two of the opps for December to the final stage. In addition, I may have developed another opp for this month and definitely developed an large opp for December. 

You never know what the tomorrows will bring as long as you keep on hustling.

Tomorrow, it's an 8AM stop in with doughnuts and coffee!

-=Good Selling=-

New Jersey Print Shop Selects Pre-Owned Ricoh MP W3601SP vs KIP 3000

New Jersey Print Shop Selects Pre-Owned Ricoh MP W3601SP vs KIP 3000

2017-11-10_12-19-23Buy a pre-owned wide format multi-functional KIP 3000 or buy a pre-owned Ricoh MP W3601SP from an Authorized local dealer?

That was the scenario that I ran into a few weeks ago with a new prospect.  I can’t blame prospects for searching the web for to get the most bang for there buck.  However, with wide format multi-functional devices there can be many pitfalls to buying for the lowest price.

Our Ricoh MP W3601SP offered a dual roll feeder.  The dual feeder option is hard to find on pre-owned Ricoh MP W3601SP’s because at the time of the ordered you could order only a single roll feeder or a dual roll feeder.  Since the dual roll feeder were more expensive, there were many more orders for the Ricoh MP W3601SP with in the single roll configuration.

The single roll feeder can’t be converted to a dual roll feeder.

Our strengths going in were these:

You can read the rest of the story here.

But, I need to tell you more about the site you are going to.  The site jerseyplotters is my site. I pay for it, I maintain it, I write the content for it and I generate leads from the site for wide format devices.  Yes, it has taken some time to develop those leads  since I don't write as much content for jerseyplotters as I do for the Print4Pay Hotel.  But, that's one thing we all have is time.  Just don't watch the one sports game, one movie or one Gold Rush episode and you'll have the time.

If interested you or your dealership can have a site like jersey plotters where the content is written for you. It's a turnkey site that will develop lead after lead after lead.

If interested please email jesse@pahoda.com and he can explain how this works.-=Good Selling=-

Five Cool Features for Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters

2017-05-31_9-10-16I've placed a few of the Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters with Architects, Engineers and Construction Companies in New Jersey this year.  The models with the five cool features are the Epson Sure Color T3270, Sure Color T5270, Sure Color T7270, Sure Color 5270D & the Sure Color T7270D.

What Does the “T” Mean?

To get you more familiar with the Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters, we can point out that the “T” means that the plotters are the technical series.  Designed for the AEC (Architect, Engineer, Construction) Markets to produce quality prints for technical drawings, renderings, and GIS Illustrative Maps.  In addition the Epson T-Series Color Plotters also do an excellent job for reproducing posters, infographics and POS (point of sales) graphics and signage.

Five Cool Features for Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters

With the optional internal print server you can remotely manage print queues, save and reprint jobs from the control panel of the Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters.

2017-05-31_9-09-35Mix and match ink cartridges is awesome especially for AEC companies.  This means that you can take advantage of using the high capacity MK (matt black) 700 ml cartridge and use the smaller 110 ml cartridges.  Technical drawings are mostly printed in black, the lower yield color 110 ml cartridges will reduce your consumables costs.

The Job accounting tool is a piece of software that’s included with the Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters.  Job accounting software will enable you to calculate all job cost print data, calculates ink usage per job. In addition the software will allow for input of media costs to arrive at the total cost of prints.  Users can view the cost data from any PC on the network.

Rigid Poster Foam Board printing is available on all of the Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters.  This is an awesome feature for AEC firms.  Renderings and artists conceptions can be printed in house on foam boards.  Thus, you’ll always have your presentations ready when you need them. You can view a video of that process here.

2017-05-31_9-13-30Multifunctional Model option (scanner, stand & hdd) can be added to these models Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters.  The T5270, T7270, T5270D & the T7270D are transformed into functional wide format MFP that can print, copy and scan.

There are many other features that make the Epson Sure Color T-Series Plotters an option when choosing a color plotter.

Feel free to chime in with any questions or comments

-=Good Selling=-