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    White Toner..whatever next!

    It was over 35 years ago when IBM introduced the first toner-based printer and nearly that long since people started using toner copiers and printers as a way of digitally transferring images or photographs onto material. The simple method of using laser printed heat transfers has allowed businesses to personalise any kind of promotional item they can think of, from mugs to umbrellas to shopping bags.

    However this has always been limited to white/ light coloured backgrounds, that is until OKI decided to remove this barrier to creativity and design!OKI White Toner Products

    As shown by our partners The Magic Touch and Forever at Sign Graphics and Imaging Middle East (SGI Dubai 2013), the new white toner-based products are versatile, easy to use and, as there is no drying time required, enable much faster and more cost-effective printing than the traditional inkjet or dye-sublimation technologies. At the same time, the robust solid print output is just as good as foil blocking, making it a credible in-house solution for a wide range of white print applications.

    Magic Touch MerchandiseFrom small business printing single t-shirts on demand to large screen printers looking for a fast and effective alternative, using the white toner printer allows almost anything to print on dark coloured garments or other dark coloured substrates without any cutting required. This versatile system can also be used in industrial production for items such as printing on wood, leather, ceramics, metal, glass, carton or other coloured substrates. Printed output offers consistent high quality and robust performance, as it is scratch resistant compared to inkjet-based competitors.Leather bag sample from Forever

    5 simple tips to getting the most out of your printer and printed documents

    1.)    Do your research before buying a printer: You might think that choosing a printer is easy, but its important to do your research beforehand not only to save money, but also to pick the best printer for the types of documents you plan to produce. An office printer that is capable of mass producing different types of documents in a short period of time for instance, might not be suitable for someone who only prints a few pages on A4 paper a day. Read up on various models and make note of how often you print and on what types of media.  A simple tip for those who do a lot of document printing is to go with a toner based printer rather than an inkjet printer. While toner based printers might cost more, each document page printed on a toner based printer will cost a fraction of the price of each document printed on an inkjet.

     

    2.)    Know your technology: Understanding the technology behind printing is essential to getting the most out of your colour printer. Things like LED vs Laser technology and the type of toner used can make major differences in the final outcome of your printed document. At OKI, the combination of LED technology and toner technology are carefully constructed for precision placement of toner on the documents to create enhanced images that can be printed on a variety of mediums.  LED printers are also more reliable than laser printers and produce higher resolutions and better colour definition.

    3.)    Understand the role that colour psychology plays in business communication: Contrary to popular belief, colour goes far beyond cosmetic appearance. Doing some research into colour psychology in business will give you insight into how colour can be used to influence specific responses from customers or clients. For instance, did you know that invoices printed in red get payed 70% faster?

    4.)    Adjust your settings: Know that changing print settings on your computer can actually help you get the most out of your colour cartridges and save energy and money. Make sure you optimize the energy saving settings on your printer in order to consume less energy when the printer is idle. Many people who use printers also don’t know that adjusting the dots per inch ratio on your computer will help you use less ink and get the most from your cartridge. Printing using “Draft” mode on toner printers will also help you save money in the long run.

    5.)    Take a little time to evaluate the software that came with your printer: Oki printers ship with hundreds of dollars’ worth of free software to help you manage your printer, optimise performance and simply do more with it – getting more ‘bang for your buck’. Software such as Template Managerr, which helps you quickly and effortlessly print labels, letterheads, business cards, CD labels, fridge magnets and others for a huge range of other useful applications.

    The Forgotten Printing Variable: Paper | Cartridge Save Blog

    The Forgotten Printing Variable: Paper | Cartridge Save Blog.

    By: James Murray in How To

    Paper coming out of printerThe type of paper you use can have a big effect on your printing results

    Of all the factors that define the quality of your printer’s output, the one that is most often overlooked is probably paper.

    There is a vast array of paper out there — specialist, photo paper, textured paper, glossy paper, and all at different quality levels. There are papers marketed for individual uses and specific printers. Some will fade in a few weeks while others will last for decades. How do you decide?

    The first part of your decision is easy; are you buying paper for a laser printer, or an inkjet?

    Laser printers

    Laser printers are not fussy. They are capable, in theory at least, of printing on just about any surface that will make it through the machine’s paper path. The office standard, photocopier paper that you find in convenience stores and supermarkets is perfectly fine for a laser printer.

    Lasers do have problems with thicker paper, though. At grades (or weights) over about one hundred and sixty grams per square meter, heavier papers are going to cause more jams in a laser printer’s tortuous paper path. There is also paper on the market that carries a layer of plastic on its surface, and you can just imagine what the plastic is likely to do inside a laser printer: melt. Let’s not even think about it, shall we?

    There is special paper on the market for laser printers. It is just a little thicker than photocopier paper, with a slightly glossy surface. While the printer’s output will be exactly the same, it will look and feel of a higher quality.

    Inkjet printers

    Inkjets are different. Paper can and will make an enormous difference in the appearance and durability of the printouts that emerge from your inkjet printer. If you have been using an inkjet for years, then you have undoubtedly observed this yourself. A lot of inkjet users have no idea why this happens.

    Consider first the type of ink you’re using. Check the packaging. The dye-based ink designed for most photo printers isn’t meant to stay on the surface, but instead to get absorbed into the paper. That keeps colours from mingling and maintains images pricisely the way they were intended, with the different elements sharply defined. Dye-based ink, printed on normal paper, tends to pool and run, with the result that images will look fuzzy and letterforms sloppy. They will also look dull because dried ink is not as shiney as the paper’s glossy surface.

    The other type of inkjet ink, pigmented, avoids this problem, but the colours will be less vivid. This type of ink will also produce more of a matted look. The general rule is this: Use pigmented ink for printing text on normal paper and dye-based ink for printing photographs on special paper.

    The next decision to make is about the grade of the paper, or its weight. If you just want to archive some forms or routine business correspondence, then you can get away with standard copier paper, which has a grade of seventy-five to eighty grams per square metre. If on the other hand you are printing ads or greeting cards with an inkjet printer, then you will want to consider inkjet paper, which has a weight of niney to one hundred grams per square metre. That will include some brighteners, but also special layers to keep the ink from running.

    If you are printing display advertising or brochures with high-definition colour photographs, then you need glossy, photo paper. If you want even higher quality, then there is fine art paper, which you can expect to endure for decades. Of course, one thing it is not going to be is cheap. Expect to pay a pound per sheet of standard, A3-size paper and more.

    Considering the planet

    There are those among us who want to consider the environment as well as the appearance of their printer’s product. For these people there are products like recycled paper and “virgin fibre” paper, whose pulp comes from sustainable forestry. These environmentally-sound papers also have no bleach, which in turn means lower contrast than what you will see from mainstream paper.

    Finally, consider the advice given by your printer’s manufacturer. (On the other hand, you can safely ignore that manufacturer’s branded paper — you don’t really believe HP and Canon make paper, do you?)

    Finding the best paper for your printer and your work means reading labels, keeping a few of these pointers in mind and then experimenting on your own.

    Print Control: How to Manage your Printing Cost

    There are lots of ways through which businesses can save on printing cost. Print Control, a utility provided by OKI for free, allows you to track printing operations at the office and provide reports and stats on printing usage. It allows you to monitor the usage of both individuals and groups of people.

    Print Control helps you to plan your printing policy and decide who get to print what.  For example; it allows you to grant print access to authorized personals only or restrict printing to monochrome. You could also assign a limited number of printed pages for your employees and also limit the number of pages printed in colours or even limit the time of print use.

    Print Control provides various options that help you manage you printing and hence achieve effective cost control. It is particularly useful for small and medium businesses which follow strict budget.

    Watch the video below to learn more about Print Control and how it can help SMBs

    Printing Policy for a ‘Paper-Less’ and more Efficient Office

    A clear printing policy can help you increase business efficiency

    As a printer vendor, people get quite surprised when they hear us talking about ‘Paper-Less’ office! But just because we sell printers, doesn’t mean we encourage printing more unnecessary paper.

    There are several aspects of the business that, if handled properly, could let you hit two birds with one stone; increase your office efficiency and save money. Printing is easily overlooked when we are considering these two areas and that’s why having a clear printing policy is essential, after all sometimes it is the small things that count.

    So what is a printing policy?

    A company’s printing policy is a guideline intended for employees to follow in order to apply the best printing practices at the office. It usually covers issues such as restricting the use of colour or ensuring that double-sided printing is used whenever possible. Unfortunately, too many organisations lack a basic printing policy for staff.

    In a recent survey which we conducted across EMEA*, we found out that 68.7% of the people surveyed don’t have a printing policy in their companies and only 24% do. Also in companies where printing policies do exist they are often ignored or poorly publicised. This is starkly illustrated by the fact that in  businesses with printers offering a double-sided, duplex facility; only 15% of employees ‘always’ used it. Conversely, 60% of staff with access to colour, ‘always’ or ‘often’ use the colour option, yet in the vast majority of office environments most standard print needs can be adequately accommodated in mono.

    Introducing better print management techniques at the office would have a greater impact on the corporate bottom line, with potential savings of up to $19,600 million.** With the right management and infrastructure, printing tasks can be done faster and with less waste; saving precious manpower and materials not to mention increasing the business efficiency.

    Here are just few points you could include while planning your printing policy

    –    Proofreading: Always make sure your staff proofread the documents before printing for spelling mistakes or any errors to avoid re-printing
    –    Double-Sided printing: Set double-sided printing as default and where possible advice staff to print two or four up (printing two or four pages on one sheet, works best with power point presentations)
    –    Colour Printing: Restrict printing in colours except when needed and set black and white printing as default.
    –    Print Range: Don’t print a 10 page document when you only need a couple of paragraphs or pages. Make sure you set your print range before printing.
    –    Recycle: Reuse single sided sheets  and incoming faxes for notes
    –    Disclaimer: Apply the ‘think before you print’ email disclaimer on all your outgoing e-mails.

    These are just a few points to help you get started but the most important thing is to involve your staff in the development of the printing policy; ask them for suggestion to give them a sense of ownership. The key here is to put in place a pragmatic and enforceable printing policy, each individual user will be able to operate in a way which remains convenient to them yet takes account of the cost to the broader business and the environment.

    *OKI Printing Solutions Survey: ‘So what exactly do you print?’
    **cebr Survey: ‘Outsourced printing- A waste of paper?’ – An analysis of cost savings achievable around EMEA from in-house printing and improved print management

    Tips for better environmental performance through better printing

    Sand Martin Wood - OKI's woodland in Cumbria

    Environment has become a critical issue for the past few years and most people started to realize that they have to take a more responsible attitude to their consumption of energy and carbon emissions. This is not just a matter of being a good neighbour: increasingly it is becoming a central part of doing business. The prospect of legally enforced carbon quotas and trading schemes is near. Many companies, keen to establish their own green credentials, expect the highest environmental standards from their own suppliers, and being able to demonstrate best practices could mean the difference between winning and losing major contracts.

    The idea that a single business change process could both save money and reduce the carbon footprint must be extremely attractive, then. There is such a subject, and it comes from a surprising quarter, something that rarely attracts much management time: business printing.

    The Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) has completed a major study into this subject, across 23 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Smarter print management – controlling costs and environmental impacts suggests that by taking a new approach, and in particular adopting the latest printer technology and print management systems, enterprises can bring much of the print that was traditionally outsourced back in-house, resulting in savings of as much as $25,000 million across EMEA. For the UAE only, cebr estimates that savings could reach between AED 238 million to AED 540 million.

    But the study did not just identify cost savings, cebr estimates that by saving waste and by printing at the point of need 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions could be saved each year across EMEA, equivalent to taking 400,000 cars off the road or the emissions from 750,000 long-haul flights.

    The changes needed to realise these savings are not difficult: they simply need you to take a fresh look at how you manage printing, from letters and invoices through brochures and documentation to labels and packaging.

    How are these savings achieved? Through three simple steps: print what you want, where you want it, when you want it. This is the route to cutting waste, which in turn is the key to saving both cost and emissions.

    Print what you want. The conventional logic is that when you use an external print house you print in bulk for economies of scale. The converse of this is that you then have to allocate space to storing all this printed paper.

    More to the point, once it is printed it is fixed. You introduce a bold new feature on a product or service; you have thousands of brochures, not mentioning the new feature, in stock. Do you add a supplementary sheet? Do you pulp the existing brochures and reprint? How do you ensure that all stocks of the old document are withdrawn from circulation?

    Today you have to produce brochures and data sheets in online form, because customers expect to be able to access product information from the web. Ensuring these online versions are fully up to date is easy. When you need a copy – for a proposal, to sit in a rack in reception, maybe a small stock for an exhibition – print just the copies you need.

    Why do you need printed letterheads or invoice blanks? Today’s printers are perfectly capable of achieving the resolution and colour fidelity to reproduce logos and layouts as well as the text. Why expend energy on two print processes when one will do?

    Finally, ensure that duplex printers are used whenever possible. Printing on both sides of the paper halves the number of sheets you need.

    Print where you want it. It is an obvious point, but if you print in bulk, it has to be delivered – probably by diesel-fuelled truck – to your premises. If you have multiple offices, the chances are it will have to be shipped from headquarters to branches, again consuming energy unnecessarily.

    Change your working practices to embrace document management. Scan incoming documents so that everything can be handled within your organisation as files, from the customer order to the barcode label, from the enquiry to the invoice. Edit, annotate and create electronically; print only when you need a paper copy.

    Around your own buildings, carefully review workflows and see where printers are needed. Give staff ready access to printers for their own, one-off requirements. That should include black and white as well as colour printers to get the best performance and efficiency. Put high speed collating bulk printers in a dedicated print centre. Serial numbered barcode labels should be printed at the point in the production line where you stick the label onto the product.

    Exhibiting in Las Vegas or Hong Kong or Cape Town? Shipping brochures and other documents is wasted air freight. Email the documents you need to your local agent – or even a print shop at the exhibition centre – and print there. A real saving in carbon emissions.

    Print when you want it. Stationery stores are a waste of office space, heating and light. Eliminate so far as possible printing in advance and you eliminate the storage issue. It also means, as we have seen, that the information will be completely accurate and up to date.

    Do not think that printing in-house means that everything comes out on plain paper. Printers are available that print onto paper at any size and onto any stock: if you want your brochure on a glossy board, print onto it.

    There is no reason why changing the way you manage your business print should affect the quality of the results. But it will save money and significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

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