HP laying off 9000 workers

palombian

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>Cutting its expenses by $1 billion will prove easy compared with the other task HP Inc. has set for itself—getting people to pay more for printers.

The PC and printer maker laid out an ambitious restructuring plan in a meeting with analysts on Thursday. The plan involves laying off as many as 9,000 workers, which would amount to about 16% of its workforce.<

I never met someone who found printing is cheap, so how would they attract more customers - and avoid further layoffs - by rising prices ?
 

Andreas S

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Some of the big american companies are in the hands of funds and trusts. So the money goes into marketing and other "useful features" instead of technical research and the boards have to be paid. There are some several issues with the latex printers (just to name this) and instead to kick out marketing gourous and members of the board and use the money for r&d they kick out workers and engineers to save money Another exemple is Pantone-Xrite. They seems big to most of the people but as a part of the group they belongs they are just peanuts as they represents less then 10% of annual combined sales. They only put money in marketing and nothing into r&d, they are still surfing on the Gretag patents, nothing new since they bought them, just bad quality since they produces in China. They will be the next to get in troubles. A chinese governements company developped a new reference systeme to kick them out of China first, Asia next and the rest of the world follows. Almost all of the people I meet and who needs quality in color measuring are angry about the low level ef quality, until now there sake was that nothing else existed in the same price range. In a few week there will arrive a device from another brand on the market which, for sure, is very, very, very better in quality and technology. In the price range of the Xrite devices…
So, HP is just the beginning. Europe and Asia strikes back
 

mikling

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https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/hp-to-cut-as-much-as-16-of-workforce-amid-print-unit-woes-1.1326289

Note the message is the third to last paragraph. If it can be refilled, then expect to pay more. The lower priced printers will have locked in consumables. At one point, ink profits accounted for fully one half of HP's total profits about 15 years ago. The portion of the business not printer related is very large for HP but yet this ink/printing unit was a money machine for the corporation. Now think how that relates to Canon.

Now look at this

https://petapixel.com/2019/07/26/canons-q2-2019-financial-report-shows-steep-decline-in-camera-sales/
Inkjet printers are included in this as well. A little loss in volume in ink sales from printers can lead to substantial declines in net profit if you go by the HP situation. Why the Operating is down substantially. https://global.canon/en/ir/finance/highlight.html Far more than percentage of sales. While the MSM is focusing on cameras and that is indeed a contribution my guess is that ink, like HP, has a significant impact if you analyse it carefully. More fake news from MSM? Well, they keep pushing the Pro-100 at ridiculous prices to keep selling OEM ink. But we knew that.
 

Andreas S

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In fact there are just two ways to make money with printers. Either sell them at a very high price or sell the inks at a high price. For consumer products (from the 50$ office printer up to Anapurna printers) the chosen way is making benefits with inks. For real industry stuff you pay the printheads and the ink one can buy from Dupond de Naumur, Dye Star and so on for 50-60$/kilo. A Seiko Epson Printhead for industry is sold around 1000$/unit and there are at less 16 of them in a 4 inks machine and you have to replace them at less 2 times a year. Some machines uses 96 printheads and even more!!! It's the same technology as the printheads in the "toys" like wide format printers. The difference consists in the size, but downsizing means much more engineering to assume cooling down printheads. Yes, even printheads in an Epson photo printer needs to get cooled down to prevent clogging. Now imagine what happens with Canon printers….
Now one might claim "But there is just one printhead inside my printer!". Wrong, there is at least one printhead for each ink channel as only gray scale inkheads exists. All print heads are standard 360 or 720 dpi. To obtain higher dpi x printheads are bundled for each ink channel. All heads will be bundled in one unit. Each single print head needs adjustment of firing angle in micro- degrees and also firing rate in micro-seconds, that's why there is always an "update" after replacing a printhead. All of these adjustments highly depends on the ink too. For the simple user ink means ink and a clogging issue comes form the size of pigments. That's only a part of the whole thing. What about the chemistry, viscosity? The size of pigments is very easy to handle, chemistry and viscosity is a different match. Special software exists to recalculate angle and rate for each ink and this software is provided frome the printhead manufacturers to constructors of industrial machines, but only to them as they pay the real price for the printheads.

So, who here is able and willed to pay the real price for a printer? That means maybe up to ten times the price you are actually paying?
 

mikling

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And did you know that after replacement of a printhead or mainboard on an Epson machine EPSON AUTHORIZED service center and refurb units are unable to make the adjustments you describe. There is actally a step that was missed. The piezo is non linear and its characteristics vary from unit to unit. That requires the head to be tested and from this a rough idea of the activation and operation characteristics is determined. These are the numbers for the printhead to be entered into the update program by the tech in replacing a board. The next step is the one that makes sure that the printhead actually outputs the volume of ink that is required to be within factory calibration so that Off the shelf Epson ICCs are valid as well as the tracking of ink consumption so that the ink levels track what Epson expects. This step actually measures the printed output against a standard with a reference paper and Epson inks. It appears that a PWM signal is sent to the nozzle. The measured color output on the reference paper is then compared to what is should be and then the adjustment is made. This step of measuring the actual output is not done at all in North America whenever a component that can change the output is performed. The most common is the replacement of mainboard or printhead. If you create your own ICCs, it gets around the problem. But the ink consumption is not calibrated though. Secondly this also illustrates a key point that has been missed and that was the basis of all my Signature Edition inksets whether it be from Canon or Epson. There is something physical going on that the whole aftermarket industry ignores. BTW, Canon completely accomodates all these issues in their Pro 1000 and up printers.
This aspect has been lost by all the traditional reviewers etc. But from an engineering standpoint and accuracy, Canon gets it right in their Pro-1000 and larger brothers for true print enthusiasts.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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When you look into the maint. manuals for the larger Epson printers you'll find something like this:
(e.g. in the P400 maint. manual on pp155-160)
Epson 01.JPG

This applies to the head or motherboard replacement, all printheads are tested separately, and their individual performance is coded into a head ID which is printed /barcoded onto a sticker on the printhead. This code needs to be entered into the motherboard with the maint. software to bring the head output in line with the icc-profiles. The colorimetric calibration - with an i1Pro - is an additional step to align the printhead ink output to the icc-profiles. Thease adjustments are not necessary if you do your own profiles which inherently compensate for such deviations. But if this Head ID is not entered into the firmware profiles are valid only for the printer on which the patch sheets have been printed, and no other printer (with other off-head parameters).
 

Andreas S

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As you said, a rough idea is determinated. Firing angle and firing rate for the OEM inks are already "included" during production. And as plotters and printers are printing with very low speed no harm should occure by using well made 3rd party inks. They rarely will heat up untill the printhead breaks. But at a linear spead of almost 60 meters by minute for each set of printheads these adjustements have to be respected to avoid killing your printheads.
Even with personalized ICC profiles for one machine there is still one probleme, doesn't matter which kind of inks one might use. Printers are not realy stabilized. That means, you have to do linearization from time to time. In practice you have to print a linearization chart and the data from the chart have to be applied when the profiles is applied. That's the way good RIP or color management software create profiles. That results in a very fast and easy process to rebuild a profile. Every time you want to adjust the profile you just have to print out the calibration target, measure it and replace the calibration data. For sure, you cannot do so with iprofiler (except CMYK profiles for printers recognized as real CMYK printers by the Xrite Software). Another big benefit of this way of making profiles is that you only have to create one profile for a given combination ink/printer model/paper. If you have to make profiles for 1000 printers of the some model using this paper and ink you only have to print and measure the characterization chart one time. For the other printers you juste have to print and measure the calibration chart.
 

mikling

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Why bother with that when the Pro-1000 will do that for you automatically with one click. Just remember to use Canon reference calibration stored in memory or create a custom one to store. That takes care of slight ink variations, paper variations and printhead wear. It performs recalibration but as noted above this is not profiling. Yet needed to maintain a profile.
All this on a desktop, sometimes for about $500 USD.
 

Andreas S

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Sure, but all these calculations are on estimation and not on real measurments. Canon says "printhead = lifetime and use X printing cycles" then the soft will do some adjustements based on these estimations. This will work very well for a hobby printer, even for a printshop who works with a few printers. Secialy as Canon printers are designed for photo prints. And then there are plants in North Africa, Asia or anywhere else who uses Mimaki or Roland or Epson by dozens side by side, all of them printing the same stuff for industrial purpose. Do it the "Canon way" would lead them to very, very big problems as their contractors will do verification in their own laborities with their own highclass Konica-Minolta devices. All the printers used during production have to print strictly identic. Often the limit to be accepted is set to Delta E 0,4 for EACH tint or hue used in the artwork compared to the original sample or file data. It's allready very difficult to reach Delta E 0,4 with one machine, now imagine what will happen if one uses 20 ore more for one job and a few months later they have to do the same job again. Permanent recalibration with standard targets is obvious for this, without you are lost. Even a f…ing Fiery RIP has a (optional) tool embedded to do so. And a lot of people buy this optional tool, not for fun but because it's the only way to assure international standards in industry. And the ones who are realy serious and worth to be trusted combine the feature with Konica-Minolta FD-9 or Konicas CM series devices mounted on automatic tables for wood, plaster, fabric or metal.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Aren't we deviating slightly off the headline subject ? Anyway - I'm glad that I as a hobbyist don't need to go after the quantum fluctuation level deviations anymore, no re-calibration of my old Pro 7600, no traceability to the last digit of national standards and references etc.
 

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