According to Linda Maxwell-Allen, Wide Format product manager at Ricoh Americas, based in West Caldwell, N.J., the new devices can copy, print, scan and electronically distribute or archive documents up to 36 inches wide and 49 feet long, such as CAD documents in the aerospace, automotive or ship fields and other design applications.
"These new Aficio MP devices can increase productivity where wide-format and other large documents are involved, by letting them be scanned and sent electronically, rather than in pieces as hard copy," Maxwell-Allen said. "For example, its a great way to get documents to regional, national or global locations."
Digital wide-format printers and multifunction devices like these can replace traditional analog wide-format printers and blueprint machines. "Products that could transition documents from hard copy to electronic arent new," Maxwell-Allen said, "but we offer security, and the single-step ability to distribute these documents to a variety of network destinations."
The new Aficio MP printers can produce 600dpi black-and-white, and include an 80GB Document Server for temporary storage of prints, scans and copies. The printers accept formats including standard Windows printing, AutoCAD documents, and a variety of raster and vector CAD formats, according to Ricohs Maxwell-Allen. Scanning options include directly to e-mail, folder, FTP or URL.
To protect the privacy and integrity of electronic documents, Ricoh includes multiple levels of security, from basic Windows functions up through encryption and overwrite protection, she said.
The MP W2400 can print four "D"-size (24 inch by 36 inch) pages per minute; the MP W3600 can print six. Both products are available now, through dealers and directly from Ricoh. MSRP prices range from around $15,000 to $22,000, depending on model and options selected.
Daniel P. Dern is an independent technology writer.