KYOCERA’s new TASKalfa devices fill a gap in the market by offering A3 finishing on an A4 device
KYOCERA Document Solutions is building on a successful, but difficult, 2015 with the launch of a new range of A4 devices that it believes will appeal to businesses that tend to buy A3 devices purely for their finishing capabilities, paper
capacity and print quality.
According to its analysis of print volumes, 95% of pages printed on A3 MFPs in a typical office environment are A4, with just 5% being A3. “This,” said product marketing manager Trevor Maloney, “begs the question: why are people still
looking to buy A3 MFPs?”
He suggests that for most organisations, the reason has little to do with paper size and a lot to do with input and output paper capacity.
“People who produce large print volumes and large print runs will typically look at A3 devices rather than A4 because those devices are able to produce large print volumes and accommodate pages as they come out of a device,” he said.
He added: “Where people need true finishing capabilities and need to staple and punch documents, they will look at A3 devices because, typically, A4 will not have the options that meet their needs. The perception is that print quality is better in the A3 market and that running costs are lower – traditionally click charges on an A3 device are lower than on A4, so if someone is looking to reduce print costs they will typically look at an A3 device.”
For all these reasons, many businesses end up buying devices that have a higher price tag, take up more room and consume more energy than their print needs warrant.
Now, KYOCERA Document Solutions is giving them another option, in the shape of the TASKalfa 306ci (30ppm), 356ci (35ppm) and 408ci (40ppm) – A4 colour MFPs that have the look and feel of an A3 device but the compact footprint of an A4 model.
In particular, they bring highly productive paper handling and finishing capabilities to the A4 market segment. These include a maximum paper capacity of 3,100 sheets (500-sheets as standard); a 5-bin mailbox (1,000 sheet capacity); an internal 300-sheet stapler-finisher; and a 1,000/3,000-sheet stapler-finisher with hole punch (35 and 40ppm models).
Other features include:
- duplex printing (up to 220gsm) at the rated engine speed;
- Customisable colour touchscreens
- (4.3 or 7in);
- 1200 x 1200 dpi print quality;
- Mobile Print support;
- Longlife components for a lower TCO;
- 3-tier billing for flexible click charges;
- Card authentication;
- Data Security Kit;
- HyPAS for integration with document workflow solutions, including HyPAS apps and enterprise print management solutions like AutoStore, Equitrac, Papercut and drivve;
- up to 120ppm two-sided, single pass scanning; and
- Scan Extension Kit with automatic OCR (35 and 40ppm devices).
Despite their many A3-like qualities, KYOCERA’s new A4 MFPs are not the equal of A3 devices in every respect. They are designed for lower print volumes than A3 devices, from 3,000-15,000 pages per month (depending on model), compared to 6,000-20,000 pages per month on comparable A3 MFPs; click charges are still slightly higher than on A3 devices; and, of course, they can’t print in A3.
For these reasons, Maloney does not expect the new devices to eat into KYOCERA’s A3 sales. “With the introduction of these new A4 products we are not looking to cannibalise A3 sales. We are looking for these products to complement our existing range and give our partners and our end customers more choice,” he said.
This they certainly do. Last year, KYOCERA had just one TASKalfa colour A4 MFP – the TASKalfa 266ci, now replaced by the 306ci – sales of which grew by 32%. By tripling the number of colour A4 TASKalfa MFPs in its range, KYOCERA and its dealers can capitalise on growing demand for colour A4 MFPs, especially in the high growth parts of the market (21- 30ppm and 31-44ppm).
KYOCERA also has six ECOSYS A4 colour MFPs, with print speeds from 26 -35ppm, for transactional sales and the IT channel.