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Digital printing in Minnesota has been a door opener for many businesses. Because printers sell the same thing as everyone else, everyone tries to claim that their service, quality and price are better than others. For this reason, every printer has to find something that would separate them from everyone else. And some business owners find that they have increased productivity after using digital technology and short run processes. Somehow, these gains can be credited to a combination of better pricing and more efficient press performance. Let’s say you have greeting cards that need to be printed. Obsolete inventory through the use of short run digital press can be eliminated.
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This is because with this technology you can print only the needed cards, thus, resulting to orders printed in the exact quantity required. But just the same this kind of printing system is not for everyone. There are risks and changes that need to be dealt with. Nevertheless, the printing industry will continue to change and improve in the years to come. Thus, all business owners and companies have to do is to determine whether this certain printing technique is what they need.
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For other uses, see Kodak (disambiguation). The Eastman Kodak Company (referred to simply as Kodak) is an American technology company that produces imaging products with its historic basis on photography. The company is headquartered in Rochester, New York and is incorporated in New Jersey. Kodak provides packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services for businesses around the world. Its main business segments are Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film. It is best known for photographic film products. Kodak was founded by George Eastman and Henry A. Strong on September 4, 1888. During most of the 20th century, Kodak held a dominant position in photographic film. The company's ubiquity was such that its "Kodak moment" tagline entered the common lexicon to describe a personal event that was demanded to be recorded for posterity. Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s, as a result of the decline in sales of photographic film and its slowness in transitioning to digital photography. As a part of a turnaround strategy, Kodak began to focus on digital photography and digital printing, and attempted to generate revenues through aggressive patent litigation. In January 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In February 2012, Kodak announced that it would stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames and focus on the corporate digital imaging market. In August 2012, Kodak announced its intention to sell its photographic film, commercial scanners and kiosk operations, as a measure to emerge from bankruptcy, but not its motion picture film operations. In January 2013, the Court approved financing for Kodak to emerge from bankruptcy by mid 2013. Kodak sold many of its patents for approximately $525,000,000 to a group of companies (including Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe Systems and HTC) under the names Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation. On September 3, 2013, the company emerged from bankruptcy having shed its large legacy liabilities and exited several businesses. Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging are now part of Kodak Alaris, a separate company owned by the UK-based Kodak Pension Plan. On March 12, 2014, it announced that the board of directors had elected Jeffrey J. Clarke as chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors. The Kodak factory and main office in Rochester, circa 1910 From the company's founding by George Eastman in 1888, Kodak followed the razor and blades strategy of selling inexpensive cameras and making large margins from consumables – film, chemicals and paper. As late as 1976, Kodak commanded 90% of film sales and 85% of camera sales in the U.S. Japanese competitor Fujifilm entered the U.S. market (via Fuji Photo Film U.S.A.) with lower-priced film and supplies, but Kodak did not believe that American consumers would ever desert its brand. Kodak passed on the opportunity to become the official film of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics; Fuji won these sponsorship rights, which gave it a permanent foothold in the marketplace. Fuji opened a film plant in the U.S., and its aggressive marketing and price cutting began taking market share from Kodak. Fuji went from a 10% share in the early 1990s to 17% in 1997. Fuji also made headway into the professional market with specialty transparency films such as Velvia and Provia, which competed successfully with Kodak's signature professional product, Kodachrome, but used the more economical and common E-6 processing machines which were standard in most processing labs, rather than the dedicated machines required by Kodachrome. Fuji's films soon also found a competitive edge in higher-speed negative films, with a tighter grain structure. In May 1995, Kodak filed a petition with the US Commerce Department under section 301 of the Commerce Act arguing that its poor performance in the Japanese market was a direct result of unfair practices adopted by Fuji. The complaint was lodged by the United States with the World Trade Organization. On January 30, 1998, the WTO announced a "sweeping rejection of Kodak's complaints" about the film market in Japan. Kodak's financial results for the year ending December 1997 showed that company's revenues dropped from $15.97 billion in 1996 to $14.36 billion in 1997, a fall of more than 10%; its net earnings went from $1.29 billion to just $5 million for the same period. Kodak's market share declined from 80.1% to 74.7% in the United States, a one-year drop of five percentage points that had observers suggesting that Kodak was slow to react to changes and underestimated its rivals. Although from the 1970s both Fuji and Kodak recognized the upcoming threat of digital photography, and although both sought diversification as a mitigation strategy, Fuji was more successful at diversification. The Kodak 'K' logo was introduced in 1971. The version seen here – with the 'Kodak' name in a more modern typeface – was used from 1987 until the logo's discontinuation in 2006, but later used again in 2016 Kodak logo from 2006 to 2016 Although Kodak developed a digital camera in 1975, the first of its kind, the product was dropped for fear it would threaten Kodak's photographic film business. In the 1990s, Kodak planned a decade-long journey to move to digital technology. CEO George M. C. Fisher reached out[clarification needed] to Microsoft and other new consumer merchandisers. Apple's pioneering QuickTake consumer digital cameras, introduced in 1994, had the Apple label but were produced by Kodak. The DC-20 and DC-25 launched in 1996. Overall, though, there was little implementation of the new digital strategy. Kodak's core business faced no pressure from competing technologies, and as Kodak executives could not fathom a world without traditional film there was little incentive to deviate from that course. Consumers gradually switched to the digital offering from companies such as Sony. In 2001 film sales dropped, which was attributed by Kodak to the financial shocks caused by the September 11 attacks. Executives hoped that Kodak might be able to slow the shift to digital through aggressive marketing. Under Daniel Carp, Fisher's successor as CEO, Kodak made its move in the digital camera market, with its EasyShare family of digital cameras. Kodak spent tremendous resources studying customer behavior, finding out that women in particular loved taking digital photos but were frustrated in moving them to their computers. This key unmet consumer need became a major opportunity. Once Kodak got its product development machine started, it released a wide range of products which made it easy to share photos via PCs. One of their key innovations was a printer dock, where consumers could insert their cameras into this compact device, press a button, and watch their photos roll out. By 2005, Kodak ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in digital camera sales that surged 40% to $5.7 billion. Despite the high growth, Kodak failed to anticipate how fast digital cameras became commodities, with low profit margins, as more companies entered the market in the mid-2000s. In 2001 Kodak held the No. 2 spot in U.S. digital camera sales (behind Sony) but it lost $60 on every camera sold, while there was also a dispute between employees from its digital and film divisions. The film business, where Kodak enjoyed high profit margins, fell 18% in 2005. The combination of these two factors resulted in disappointing profits overall. Its digital cameras soon became undercut by Asian competitors that could produce their offerings more cheaply. Kodak had a 27% market-leading share in 1999, that dwindled to 15% by 2003. In 2007 Kodak was No. 4 in U.S. digital camera sales with a 9.6% share, and by 2010 it held 7% in seventh place behind Canon, Sony, Nikon and others, according to research firm IDC. Also an ever-smaller percentage of digital pictures were being taken on dedicated digital cameras, being gradually displaced in the late 2000s by cameras on cellphones, smartphones, and tablets. The decline of camera film to digital greatly affected Kodak's business. Kodak's main headquarters in Rochester, New York Kodak then began a strategy shift: Previously Kodak had done everything in-house, but CEO Antonio Pérez shut down film factories and eliminated 27,000 jobs as it outsourced its manufacturing. Pérez invested heavily in digital technologies and new services that capitalized on its technology innovation to boost profit margins. He also spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build up a high-margin printer ink business to replace shriveling film sales. Kodak's ink strategy rejected the razor and blades business model used by the dominant market leader Hewlett-Packard in that Kodak's printers were expensive but the ink was cheaper. As of 2011, these new lines of inkjet printers were said to be on verge of turning a profit, although some analysts were skeptical as printouts had been replaced gradually by electronic copies on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Home photograph printers, high-speed commercial inkjet presses, workflow software, and packaging were viewed as the company's new core businesses, with sales from those four businesses projected to double to nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2013 and account for 25% of all sales. However, while Kodak named home printers as a core business as late as August 2012, at the end of September declining sales forced Kodak to announce an exit from the consumer inkjet market. Kodak has also turned to litigation in order to generate revenue. In 2010, it received $838 million from patent licensing that included a settlement with LG. In 2011, despite the turnaround progress, Kodak rapidly used up its cash reserves, stoking fears of bankruptcy; it had $957 million in cash in June 2011, down from $1.6 billion in January 2001. In 2011, Kodak reportedly explored selling off or licensing its vast portfolio of patents in order to stave off bankruptcy. By January 2012, analysts suggested that the company could enter bankruptcy followed by an auction of its patents, as it was reported to be in talks with Citigroup to provide debtor-in-possession financing. This was confirmed on January 19, 2012, when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and obtained a $950 million, 18-month credit facility from Citigroup to enable it to continue operations. Under the terms of its bankruptcy protection, Kodak had a deadline of February 15, 2013 to produce a reorganization plan. In April 2013, Kodak showed its first Micro Four Thirds camera, to be manufactured by JK Imaging. On September 3, 2013, Kodak announced that it emerged from bankruptcy as a technology company focused on imaging for business. Its main business segments are Digital Printing & Enterprise and Graphics, Entertainment & Commercial Films. On March 12, 2014, Kodak announced that Jeffrey J. Clarke had been named the new CEO. On January 1, 2015, Kodak announced a new five business division structure; Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film. An original Kodak camera, complete with box, camera, case, felt lens plug, manual, memorandum and viewfinder card An advertisement from The Photographic Herald and Amateur Sportsman (November 1889) Advertisement for a folding "pocket" Kodak camera (August 1900) A Brownie No 2. camera Eastman Kodak Non Curling 116 Film (Expired: 1925) Kodak Camera Center, Tennessee, ca. 1930-1945 Kodachrome II - Film for color slides Main article: List of products manufactured by Kodak Kodak provides packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services for businesses around the world. Its main business segments are Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film. Kodak provides high-speed, high-volume commercial inkjet, and color and black-and-white electrophotographic printing equipment and related consumables and services. It has an installed base of more than 5,000 units. Its Prosper platform uses Stream inkjet technology, which delivers a continuous flow of ink that enables constant and consistent operation, with uniform size and accurate placement, even at very high print speeds. Applications for Prosper include publishing, commercial print, direct mail, and packaging. The business also includes the customer base of Kodak VersaMark products. The NexPress platform is used for printing short-run, personalized print applications for purposes such as direct mail, books, marketing collateral and photo products. The Digimaster platform uses monochrome electrophotographic printing technology to create high-quality printing of statements, short-run books, corporate documentation, manuals and direct mail. Kodak designs and manufactures products for flexography printing. Its Flexcel line of flexo printing systems allow label printers to produce their own digital plates for customized flexo printing and flexible printed packaging. The company currently has strategic relationships with worldwide touch-panel sensor leaders, such as the partnerships with UniPixel announced on April 16, 2013 and Kingsbury Corp. launched on June 27, 2013. Enterprise professional services offers print and managed media services, brand protection solutions and services, and document management services to enterprise customers, including government, pharmaceuticals, and health, consumer and luxury good products, retail and finance. In 1997, Heidelberg Printing Machines AG and Eastman Kodak Co. had created the Nexpress Solutions LLC joint venture to develop a digital color printing press for the high-end market segment. Heidelberg acquired Eastman Kodak Co.'s Office Imaging black and white digital printing activities in 1999. In 2000, they had launched Digimaster 9110 - Black & White Production Printer and NexPress 2100 Digital Color Press. In March 2004, Heidelberg transferred its Digital Print division to Eastman Kodak Co. under mutual agreement. Kodak continues to research and develop Digital Printing Systems and introduced more products. At present, Kodak has commercial Web-fed presses, commercial imprinting systems - Prosper, VersaMark and commercial sheet-fed press - NexPress digital production color press, DIGIMASTER HD digital black and white production printer. Kodak entered into consumer inkjet photo printers in a joint venture with manufacturer Lexmark in 1999 with the Kodak Personal Picture Maker. In February 2007, Kodak re-entered the market with a new product line of All-In-One (AiO) inkjet printers that employ several technologies marketed as Kodacolor Technology. Advertising emphasizes low price for ink cartridges rather than for the printers themselves. Kodak announced plans to stop selling inkjet printers in 2013 as it focuses on commercial printing, but will still sell ink. Kodak's graphics business consists of computer to plate (CTP) devices, which Kodak first launched in 1995 when the company introduced the first thermal CTP to market. In CTP, an output device exposes a digital image using SQUAREspot laser imaging technology directly to an aluminum surface (printing plate), which is then mounted onto a printing press to reproduce the image. Kodak's Graphics portfolio includes front-end controllers, production workflow software, CTP output devices, and digital plates. Kodak’s Global Technical Services ("GTS") for Commercial Imaging is focused on selling service contracts for Kodak products, including the following service categories: field services, customer support services, educational services, and professional services. Kodak's Entertainment Imaging and Commercial Film group ("E&CF") encompasses its motion picture film business, providing motion imaging products (camera negative, intermediate, print and archival film), services and technology for the professional motion picture and exhibition industries. E&CF also offers Aerial and Industrial Films including KODAK Printed Circuit Board film, and delivers external sales for the company’s component businesses: Polyester Film, Specialty Chemicals, Inks and Dispersions and Solvent Recovery. The Kodak company played a role in the invention and development of the motion picture industry. Many cinema and TV productions are shot on Kodak film stocks. The company helped set the standard of 35mm film, and introduced the 16mm film format for home movie use and lower budget film productions. The home market-oriented 8mm and Super 8 formats were also developed by Kodak. Kodak also entered the professional television production video tape market, briefly in the mid-1980s, under the product portfolio name of Eastman Professional Video Tape Products. In 1990, Kodak launched a Worldwide Student Program working with university faculty throughout the world to help nurture the future generation of film-makers. Kodak formed Educational Advisory Councils in the US, Europe and Asia made up of deans and chairs of some of the most prestigious film schools throughout the world to help guide the development of their program. Kodak previously owned the visual effects film post-production facilities Cinesite in Los Angeles and London and also LaserPacific in Los Angeles. Kodak sold Cinesite to Endless LLP, an independent British private equity house. Kodak previously sold LaserPacific and its subsidiaries Laser-Edit, Inc, and Pacific Video, Inc., in April 2010 for an undisclosed sum to TeleCorps Holdings, Inc. Kodak also sold Pro-Tek Media Preservation Services, a film storage company in Burbank, California, in October 2013. Aside from technical phone support for its products, Kodak offers onsite service for other devices such as document scanners, data storage systems (optical, tape, and disk), printers, inkjet printing presses, microfilm/microfiche equipment, photograph kiosks, and photocopiers, for which it despatches technicians who make repairs in the field. Kodak markets Picture CDs and other photo products such as calendars, photo books and photo enlargements through retail partners such as CVS, Walmart and Target and through its Kodak Gallery online service, formerly known as Ofoto. A Kodak Instamatic 104 On January 13, 2004, Kodak announced it would stop marketing traditional still film cameras (excluding disposable cameras) in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, but would continue to sell film cameras in India, Latin America, Eastern Europe and China. By the end of 2005, Kodak ceased manufacturing cameras that used the Advanced Photo System. Kodak licensed the manufacture of Kodak branded cameras to Vivitar in 2005 and 2006. After 2007 Kodak did not license the manufacture of any film camera with the Kodak name. After losing a patent battle with Polaroid Corporation, Kodak left the instant camera business on January 9, 1986. The Kodak instant camera included models known as the Kodamatic and the Colorburst. Polaroid was awarded damages in the patent trial in the amount of $909,457,567, a record at the time. (Polaroid Corp. v. Eastman Kodak Co., U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, decided October 12, 1990, case no. 76-1634-MA. Published in the U.S. Patent Quarterly as 16 USPQ2d 1481). See also the following cases: Polaroid Corp. v. Eastman Kodak Co., 641 F.Supp. 828 [228 USPQ 305] (D. Mass. 1985), stay denied, 833 F.2d 930 [5 USPQ2d 1080] (Fed. Cir.), aff'd, 789 F.2d 1556 [229 USPQ 561] (Fed. Cir.), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 850 (1986). Kodak was the exclusive supplier of negatives for Polaroid cameras from 1963 until 1969, when Polaroid chose to manufacture its own instant film. As part of its move toward higher end products, Kodak announced on September 15, 2006 that the new Leica M8 camera incorporates Kodak's KAF-10500 image sensor. This was the second recent partnership between Kodak and the German optical manufacturer. In 2011, Kodak sold its Image Sensor Solutions business to Platinum Equity, which subsequently renamed it Truesense Imaging, Inc. Main articles: Kodak DCS and Kodak EasyShare A Kodak Easyshare Z1015 IS digital camera Many of Kodak's early compact digital cameras were designed and built by Chinon Industries, a Japanese camera manufacturer. In 2004, Kodak Japan acquired Chinon and many of its engineers and designers joined Kodak Japan. The Kodak DCS series of digital single-lens reflex cameras and digital camera backs were released by Kodak in the 1990s and 2000s, and discontinued in 2005. They were based on existing 35mm film SLRs from Nikon and Canon and the range included the original Kodak DCS, the first commercially available digital SLR. In July 2006, Kodak announced that Flextronics would manufacture and help design its digital cameras. Kodak first entered the digital picture frame market with the Kodak Smart Picture Frame in the fourth quarter of 2000. It was designed by Weave Innovations and licensed to Kodak with an exclusive relationship with Weave's StoryBox online photo network. Smart Frame owners connected to the network via an analog telephone connection built into the frame. The frame could hold 36 images internally and came with a six-month free subscription to the StoryBox network. Kodak re-entered the digital photo frame market at CES in 2007 with the introduction of four new EasyShare-branded models that were available in sizes from 200 to 280 mm (7.9 to 11.0 in), included multiple memory card slots, and some of which included Wi-Fi capability to connect with the Kodak Gallery—that gallery functionality has now been compromised due to gallery policy changes (see below). Main article: Kodak Gallery In June 2001, Kodak purchased the photo-developing website Ofoto, later renamed Kodak Gallery. The website enables users to upload their photos into albums, publish them into prints, and create mousepads, calendars, etc. On March 1, 2012, Kodak announced that it sold Kodak Gallery to Shutterfly for $23.8 million. Kodak provides scanning technology. Historically this industry began when George Eastman partnered with banks to image checks in the 1920s. Through the development of microfilm technology, Eastman Kodak was able to provide long term document storage. Document imaging was one of the first imaging solutions to move to "digital imaging" technology. Kodak manufactured the first digital document scanners for high speed document imaging. Today Kodak has a full line of document scanners for banking, finance, insurance, healthcare and other vertical industries. Kodak also provides associated document capture software and business process services. Eastman Kodak acquired the Bowe Bell & Howell scanner division in September 2009. Kodak continues to produce specialty films and film for newer and more popular consumer formats, but it has discontinued the manufacture of film in older and less popular formats. Kodak is a leading producer of silver halide (AgX) paper used for printing from film and digital images. Minilabs located in retail stores and larger central photo lab operations (CLOs) use silver halide paper for photo printing. In 2005 Kodak announced it would stop producing black-and-white photo paper. A Kodak NexPress 2500 digital printing press Kodak is a manufacturer of self-service photo kiosks that produce "prints in seconds" from multiple sources including digital input, scanned prints, Facebook, the Kodak Gallery and orders placed on-line using thermosublimation printers. The company has placed over 100,000 Picture Kiosks in retail locations worldwide. Employing similar technology, Kodak also offers larger printing systems with additional capabilities including duplex greeting cards, large format poster printers, photobooks and calendars under the brand name "APEX". 1900 Kodak ad The letter k was a favorite of Eastman's; he is quoted as saying, "it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter." He and his mother devised the name Kodak with an anagrams set. Eastman said that there were three principal concepts he used in creating the name: it should be short, easy to pronounce, and not resemble any other name or be associated with anything else. The Kodak Research Laboratories were founded in 1912 with Kenneth Mees as the first director. Principal components of the Kodak Research Laboratories were the Photographic Research Laboratories and then the Imaging Research Laboratories. Additional organizations included the Corporate Research Laboratories. Over nearly a century, scientists at these laboratories produced thousands of patents and scientific publications. George Eastman In 2005, Kodak Canada donated its entire historic company archives to Ryerson University in Toronto. The Ryerson University Library also acquired an extensive collection of materials on the history of photography from the private collection of Nicholas M. & Marilyn A. Graver of Rochester, New York. The Kodak Archives, begun in 1909, contain the company's Camera Collection, historic photos, files, trade circulars, Kodak magazines, price lists, daily record books, equipment, and other ephemera. It includes the contents of the Kodak Heritage Collection Museum, a museum established in 1999 for Kodak Canada's centennial that Kodak closed in 2005 along with the company's entire 'Kodak Heights' manufacturing campus in Mount Dennis, Toronto. See also: George Eastman House. On March 26, 2007, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) announced that Eastman Kodak was resigning its national membership in the wake of expulsion proceedings initiated by the CBBB board of directors. In 2006, Kodak notified the BBB of Upstate New York that it would no longer accept or respond to consumer complaints submitted by them. In prior years, Kodak responded by offering consumers an adjustment or an explanation of the company’s position. The BBB file contains consumer complaints of problems with repairs of Kodak digital cameras, as well as difficulty communicating with Kodak customer service. Among other complaints, consumers say that their cameras broke and they were charged for repairs when the failure was not the result of any damage or abuse. Some say their cameras failed again after being repaired. Kodak said its customer service and customer privacy teams concluded that 99% of all complaints forwarded by the BBB already were handled directly with the customer. Brian O’Connor, Kodak chief privacy officer, said the company was surprised by the news release distributed by the Better Business Bureau: It is inaccurate in the facts presented as well as those the BBB chose to omit. Ironically, we ultimately decided to resign our membership because we were extremely unhappy with the customer service we received from the local office of the BBB. After years of unproductive discussions with the local office regarding their Web site postings about Kodak, which in our view were consistently inaccurate, we came to the conclusion that their process added no value to our own. Our commitment to our customers is unwavering. That will not change. What has changed is that, for us, the BBB's customer complaint process has become redundant, given the multiple and immediate ways that customers have to address their concerns directly with Kodak. In 2010, Apple filed a patent-infringement claim against Kodak. On May 12, 2011, Judge Robert Rogers rejected Apple's claims that two of its digital photography patents were being violated by Kodak. On July 1, 2011, the U.S. International Trade Commission partially reversed a January decision by an administrative law judge stating that neither Apple nor Research in Motion had infringed upon Kodak's patents. The ITC remanded the matter for further proceedings before the ALJ.
Digital Printing Press: An Update Banner PrintingHP LaserJet 5 printer The Game Boy Pocket Printer, a thermal printer released as a peripheral for the Nintendo Game Boy This is an example of a wide-carriage dot matrix printer, designed for 14-inch (360 mm) wide paper, shown with 8.5-by-14-inch (220 mm × 360 mm) legal paper. Wide carriage printers were often used in the field of businesses, to print accounting records on 11-by-14-inch (280 mm × 360 mm) tractor-feed paper. They were also called "132-column printers". Play media A video showing an inkjet printer while printing a page. In computing, a printer is a peripheral which makes a persistent human-readable representation of graphics or text on paper or similar physical media. The first computer printer design was a mechanically driven apparatus by Charles Babbage for his difference engine in the 19th century; his mechanical printer design was not built until 2000. The first electronic printer was the EP-101, invented by Japanese company Epson and released in 1968. The first commercial printers generally used mechanisms from electric typewriters and Teletype machines The demand for higher speed led to the development of new systems specifically for computer use. In the 1980s were daisy wheel systems similar to typewriters, line printers that produced similar output but at much higher speed, and dot matrix systems that could mix text and graphics but produced relatively low-quality output. The plotter was used for those requiring high quality line art like blueprints. The introduction of the low-cost laser printer in 1984 with the first HP LaserJet, and the addition of PostScript in next year's Apple LaserWriter, set off a revolution in printing known as desktop publishing. Laser printers using PostScript mixed text and graphics, like dot-matrix printers, but at quality levels formerly available only from commercial typesetting systems. By 1990, most simple printing tasks like fliers and brochures were now created on personal computers and then laser printed; expensive offset printing systems were being dumped as scrap. The HP Deskjet of 1988 offered the same advantages as laser printer in terms of flexibility, but produced somewhat lower quality output (depending on the paper) from much less expensive mechanisms. Inkjet systems rapidly displaced dot matrix and daisy wheel printers from the market. By the 2000s high-quality printers of this sort had fallen under the $100 price point and became commonplace. The rapid update of internet email through the 1990s and into the 2000s has largely displaced the need for printing as a means of moving documents, and a wide variety of reliable storage systems means that a "physical backup" is of little benefit today. Even the desire for printed output for "offline reading" while on mass transit or aircraft has been displaced by e-book readers and tablet computers. Today, traditional printers are being used more for special purposes, like printing photographs or artwork, and are no longer a must-have peripheral. Starting around 2010, 3D printing became an area of intense interest, allowing the creation of physical objects with the same sort of effort as an early laser printer required to produce a brochure. These devices are in their earliest stages of development and have not yet become commonplace. Personal printers are primarily designed to support individual users, and may be connected to only a single computer. These printers are designed for low-volume, short-turnaround print jobs, requiring minimal setup time to produce a hard copy of a given document. However, they are generally slow devices ranging from 6 to around 25 pages per minute (ppm), and the cost per page is relatively high. However, this is offset by the on-demand convenience. Some printers can print documents stored on memory cards or from digital cameras and scanners. Networked or shared printers are "designed for high-volume, high-speed printing." They are usually shared by many users on a network and can print at speeds of 45 to around 100 ppm. The Xerox 9700 could achieve 120 ppm. A virtual printer is a piece of computer software whose user interface and API resembles that of a printer driver, but which is not connected with a physical computer printer. A virtual printer can be used to create a file which is an image of the data which would be printed, for archival purposes or as input to another program, for example to create a PDF or to transmit to another system or user. A 3D printer is a device for making a three-dimensional object from a 3D model or other electronic data source through additive processes in which successive layers of material ( including plastics, metals, food, cement, wood, and other materials) are laid down under computer control. It is called a printer by analogy with an inkjet printer which produces a two-dimensional document by a similar process of depositing a layer of ink on paper. The choice of print technology has a great effect on the cost of the printer and cost of operation, speed, quality and permanence of documents, and noise. Some printer technologies don't work with certain types of physical media, such as carbon paper or transparencies. A second aspect of printer technology that is often forgotten is resistance to alteration: liquid ink, such as from an inkjet head or fabric ribbon, becomes absorbed by the paper fibers, so documents printed with liquid ink are more difficult to alter than documents printed with toner or solid inks, which do not penetrate below the paper surface. Cheques can be printed with liquid ink or on special cheque paper with toner anchorage so that alterations may be detected. The machine-readable lower portion of a cheque must be printed using MICR toner or ink. Banks and other clearing houses employ automation equipment that relies on the magnetic flux from these specially printed characters to function properly. The following printing technologies are routinely found in modern printers: Main article: Laser printer A laser printer rapidly produces high quality text and graphics. As with digital photocopiers and multifunction printers (MFPs), laser printers employ a xerographic printing process but differ from analog photocopiers in that the image is produced by the direct scanning of a laser beam across the printer's photoreceptor. Another toner-based printer is the LED printer which uses an array of LEDs instead of a laser to cause toner adhesion to the print drum. Liquid ink cartridge from Hewlett-Packard HP 845C inkjet printer Inkjet printers operate by propelling variably sized droplets of liquid ink onto almost any sized page. They are the most common type of computer printer used by consumers. Main article: Solid ink Solid ink printers, also known as phase-change printers, are a type of thermal transfer printer. They use solid sticks of CMYK-coloured ink, similar in consistency to candle wax, which are melted and fed into a piezo crystal operated print-head. The printhead sprays the ink on a rotating, oil coated drum. The paper then passes over the print drum, at which time the image is immediately transferred, or transfixed, to the page. Solid ink printers are most commonly used as colour office printers, and are excellent at printing on transparencies and other non-porous media. Solid ink printers can produce excellent results. Acquisition and operating costs are similar to laser printers. Drawbacks of the technology include high energy consumption and long warm-up times from a cold state. Also, some users complain that the resulting prints are difficult to write on, as the wax tends to repel inks from pens, and are difficult to feed through automatic document feeders, but these traits have been significantly reduced in later models. In addition, this type of printer is only available from one manufacturer, Xerox, manufactured as part of their Xerox Phaser office printer line. Previously, solid ink printers were manufactured by Tektronix, but Tek sold the printing business to Xerox in 2001. Main article: Dye-sublimation printer A disassembled dye sublimation cartridge A dye-sublimation printer (or dye-sub printer) is a printer which employs a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye to a medium such as a plastic card, paper or canvas. The process is usually to lay one colour at a time using a ribbon that has colour panels. Dye-sub printers are intended primarily for high-quality colour applications, including colour photography; and are less well-suited for text. While once the province of high-end print shops, dye-sublimation printers are now increasingly used as dedicated consumer photo printers. Receipt printer printing a Twitter timeline Thermal printers work by selectively heating regions of special heat-sensitive paper. Monochrome thermal printers are used in cash registers, ATMs, gasoline dispensers and some older inexpensive fax machines. Colours can be achieved with special papers and different temperatures and heating rates for different colours; these coloured sheets are not required in black-and-white output. One example is Zink (a portmanteau of "zero ink"). Epson MX-80, a popular model of dot-matrix printer in use for many years The following technologies are either obsolete, or limited to special applications though most were, at one time, in widespread use. Impact printers rely on a forcible impact to transfer ink to the media. The impact printer uses a print head that either hits the surface of the ink ribbon, pressing the ink ribbon against the paper (similar to the action of a typewriter), or, less commonly, hits the back of the paper, pressing the paper against the ink ribbon (the IBM 1403 for example). All but the dot matrix printer rely on the use of fully formed characters, letterforms that represent each of the characters that the printer was capable of printing. In addition, most of these printers were limited to monochrome, or sometimes two-color, printing in a single typeface at one time, although bolding and underlining of text could be done by "overstriking", that is, printing two or more impressions either in the same character position or slightly offset. Impact printers varieties include typewriter-derived printers, teletypewriter-derived printers, daisywheel printers, dot matrix printers and line printers. Dot matrix printers remain in common use in businesses where multi-part forms are printed. An overview of impact printing contains a detailed description of many of the technologies used. typeball print element from IBM Selectric-type printer Main articles: Friden Flexowriter and IBM Selectric typewriter Several different computer printers were simply computer-controllable versions of existing electric typewriters. The Friden Flexowriter and IBM Selectric-based printers were the most-common examples. The Flexowriter printed with a conventional typebar mechanism while the Selectric used IBM's well-known "golf ball" printing mechanism. In either case, the letter form then struck a ribbon which was pressed against the paper, printing one character at a time. The maximum speed of the Selectric printer (the faster of the two) was 15.5 characters per second. Main article: Teleprinter The common teleprinter could easily be interfaced to the computer and became very popular except for those computers manufactured by IBM. Some models used a "typebox" that was positioned, in the X- and Y-axes, by a mechanism and the selected letter form was struck by a hammer. Others used a type cylinder in a similar way as the Selectric typewriters used their type ball. In either case, the letter form then struck a ribbon to print the letterform. Most teleprinters operated at ten characters per second although a few achieved 15 CPS. "daisy wheel" print element Main article: Daisy wheel printer Daisy wheel printers operate in much the same fashion as a typewriter. A hammer strikes a wheel with petals, the "daisy wheel", each petal containing a letter form at its tip. The letter form strikes a ribbon of ink, depositing the ink on the page and thus printing a character. By rotating the daisy wheel, different characters are selected for printing. These printers were also referred to as letter-quality printers because they could produce text which was as clear and crisp as a typewriter. The fastest letter-quality printers printed at 30 characters per second. Main article: Dot matrix printer Sample output from 9-pin dot matrix printer (one character expanded to show detail) The term dot matrix printer is used for impact printers that use a matrix of small pins to transfer ink to the page. The advantage of dot matrix over other impact printers is that they can produce graphical images in addition to text; however the text is generally of poorer quality than impact printers that use letterforms (type). Dot-matrix printers can be broadly divided into two major classes: Dot matrix printers can either be character-based or line-based (that is, a single horizontal series of pixels across the page), referring to the configuration of the print head. In the 1970s & 80s, dot matrix printers were one of the more common types of printers used for general use, such as for home and small office use. Such printers normally had either 9 or 24 pins on the print head (early 7 pin printers also existed, which did not print descenders). There was a period during the early home computer era when a range of printers were manufactured under many brands such as the Commodore VIC-1525 using the Seikosha Uni-Hammer system. This used a single solenoid with an oblique striker that would be actuated 7 times for each column of 7 vertical pixels while the head was moving at a constant speed. The angle of the striker would align the dots vertically even though the head had moved one dot spacing in the time. The vertical dot position was controlled by a synchronised longitudinally ribbed platen behind the paper that rotated rapidly with a rib moving vertically seven dot spacings in the time it took to print one pixel column. 24-pin print heads were able to print at a higher quality and started to offer additional type styles and were marketed as Near Letter Quality by some vendors. Once the price of inkjet printers dropped to the point where they were competitive with dot matrix printers, dot matrix printers began to fall out of favour for general use. Some dot matrix printers, such as the NEC P6300, can be upgraded to print in colour. This is achieved through the use of a four-colour ribbon mounted on a mechanism (provided in an upgrade kit that replaces the standard black ribbon mechanism after installation) that raises and lowers the ribbons as needed. Colour graphics are generally printed in four passes at standard resolution, thus slowing down printing considerably. As a result, colour graphics can take up to four times longer to print than standard monochrome graphics, or up to 8-16 times as long at high resolution mode. Dot matrix printers are still commonly used in low-cost, low-quality applications such as cash registers, or in demanding, very high volume applications like invoice printing. Impact printing, unlike laser printing, allows the pressure of the print head to be applied to a stack of two or more forms to print multi-part documents such as sales invoices and credit card receipts using continuous stationery with carbonless copy paper. Dot-matrix printers were being superseded even as receipt printers after the end of the twentieth century. Main article: Line printer Line printers print an entire line of text at a time. Four principal designs exist. Print drum from drum printer IBM 1403 line printer In each case, to print a line, precisely timed hammers strike against the back of the paper at the exact moment that the correct character to be printed is passing in front of the paper. The paper presses forward against a ribbon which then presses against the character form and the impression of the character form is printed onto the paper. Line printers are the fastest of all impact printers and are used for bulk printing in large computer centres. A line printer can print at 1100 lines per minute or faster, frequently printing pages more rapidly than many current laser printers. On the other hand, the mechanical components of line printers operat with tight tolerances and require regular preventive maintenance (PM) to produce top quality print. They are virtually never used with personal computers and have now been replaced by high-speed laser printers. The legacy of line printers lives on in many computer operating systems, which use the abbreviations "lp", "lpr", or "LPT" to refer to printers. Liquid ink electrostatic printers use a chemical coated paper, which is charged by the print head according to the image of the document. The paper is passed near a pool of liquid ink with the opposite charge. The charged areas of the paper attract the ink and thus form the image. This process was developed from the process of electrostatic copying. Color reproduction is very accurate, and because there is no heating the scale distortion is less than ±0.1%. (All laser printers have an accuracy of ±1%.) Worldwide, most survey offices used this printer before color inkjet plotters become popular. Liquid ink electrostatic printers were mostly available in 36 to 54 inches (910 to 1,370 mm) width and also 6 color printing. These were also used to print large billboards. It was first introduced by Versatec, which was later bought by Xerox. 3M also used to make these printers. Main article: Plotter A Calcomp 565 drum plotter Pen-based plotters were an alternate printing technology once common in engineering and architectural firms. Pen-based plotters rely on contact with the paper (but not impact, per se) and special purpose pens that are mechanically run over the paper to create text and images. Since the pens output continuous lines, they were able to produce technical drawings of higher resolution than was achievable with dot-matrix technology. Some plotters used roll-fed paper, and therefore had minimal restriction on the size of the output in one dimension. These plotters were capable of producing quite sizable drawings. A number of other sorts of printers are important for historical reasons, or for special purpose uses: Most printers other than line printers accept control characters or unique character sequences to control various printer functions. These may range from shifting from lower to upper case or from black to red ribbon on typewriter printers to switching fonts and changing character sizes and colors on raster printers. Early printer controls were not standardized, with each manufacturer's equipment having its own set. The IBM Personal Printer Data Stream (PPDS) became a commonly used command set for dot-matrix printers. Today, most printers accept one or more page description languages (PDLs). Laser printers with greater processing power frequently offer support for variants of Hewlett-Packard's Printer Command Language (PCL), PostScript or XML Paper Specification. Most inkjet devices support manufacturer proprietary PDLs such as ESC/P. The diversity in mobile platforms have led to various standardization efforts around device PDLs such as the Printer Working Group (PWG's) PWG Raster. The speed of early printers was measured in units of characters per minute (cpm) for character printers, or lines per minute (lpm) for line printers. Modern printers are measured in pages per minute (ppm). These measures are used primarily as a marketing tool, and are not as well standardised as toner yields. Usually pages per minute refers to sparse monochrome office documents, rather than dense pictures which usually print much more slowly, especially colour images. PPM are most of the time referring to A4 paper in Europe and letter paper in the United States, resulting in a 5-10% difference. The data received by a printer may be: Some printers can process all four types of data, others not. Today it is possible to print everything (even plain text) by sending ready bitmapped images to the printer. This allows better control over formatting, especially among machines from different vendors. Many printer drivers do not use the text mode at all, even if the printer is capable of it. A monochrome printer can only produce an image consisting of one colour, usually black. A monochrome printer may also be able to produce various tones of that color, such as a grey-scale. A colour printer can produce images of multiple colours. A photo printer is a colour printer that can produce images that mimic the colour range (gamut) and resolution of prints made from photographic film. Many can be used on a standalone basis without a computer, using a memory card or USB connector. The page yield is number of pages that can be printed from a toner cartridge or ink cartridge—before the cartridge needs to be refilled or replaced. The actual number of pages yielded by a specific cartridge depends on a number of factors. For a fair comparison, many laser printer manufacturers use the ISO/IEC 19752 process to measure the toner cartridge yield. In order to fairly compare operating expenses of printers with a relatively small ink cartridge to printers with a larger, more expensive toner cartridge that typically holds more toner and so prints more pages before the cartridge needs to be replaced, many people prefer to estimate operating expenses in terms of cost per page (CPP).  Often the "razor and blades" business model is applied. That is, a company may sell a printer at cost, and make profits on the ink cartridge, paper, or some other replacement part. This has caused legal disputes regarding the right of companies other than the printer manufacturer to sell compatible ink cartridges. To protect their business model, several manufacturers invest heavily in developing new cartridge technology and patenting it. Other manufacturers, in reaction to the challenges from using this business model, choose to make more money on printers and less on the ink, promoting the latter through their advertising campaigns. Finally, this generates two clearly different proposals: "cheap printer – expensive ink" or "expensive printer – cheap ink". Ultimately, the consumer decision depends on their reference interest rate or their time preference. From an economics viewpoint, there is a clear trade-off between cost per copy and cost of the printer. An illustration showing small yellow tracking dots on white paper, generated by a color laser printer Main article: Printer steganography Printer steganography is a type of steganography – "hiding data within data" – produced by color printers, including Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, IBM, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lanier, Lexmark, Ricoh, Toshiba and Xerox brand color laser printers, where tiny yellow dots are added to each page. The dots are barely visible and contain encoded printer serial numbers, as well as date and time stamps. Main article: Wireless printer More than half of all printers sold at U.S. retail in 2010 were wireless-capable, but nearly three-quarters of consumers who have access to those printers weren't taking advantage of the increased access to print from multiple devices according to the new Wireless Printing Study.
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