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News and views relating to colour photocopiers, black and white photocopiers, office equipment and printers
Friday, 01 April 2011 09:00
Japan has been rocked by the biggest natural disaster in living memory. The earthquake shook the entire country, affecting the Japanese transport system, buildings and production facilities. The consequent tsunami swept over a vast swathe of coastal area claiming thousands of lives and disrupting operations at the Fukushima nuclear power facility, leading to mass evacuations from the region. As a major Japanese exporter, the photocopier industry will be central to getting Japan back on its feet after this crisis but most of Japan’s photocopiers manufacturers have not escaped unharmed. After immediate and generous donations, there was a brief pause as each photocopier manufacturer made assessments of the impact on its own operations. All now have a reasonably good picture of the damage and a realistic view of when operations should be able to return to normal. However, the ongoing nationwide power, fuel, transport and infrastructure issues as well as the uncertainty around third-party raw materials and parts manufacturer means the situation remains quite uncertain. Here, we provide a brief overview of the help that has been offered by the major Japanese photocopiers manufacturers, how the earthquake and tsunami have affected their own operations and what estimates have been given for when production is expected to return to normal.
Soon after the damage of the disaster had become clear, Fujitsu made a statement announcing a 100 million yen donation and pledged its continued support in restoring IT systems where they had been effected,
“Fujitsu is committed to restoring damaged IT systems in the regions with the highest priority placed on the lifeline systems such as electric power, water, gas, hospitals and police and fire departments.”
As of 28/03, operations had partially resumed at all of Fujitsu’s affected sites, including those in the Iwate Prefecture, the Miyagi Prefecture, the Fukushima Prefecture and the Tochigi Prefecture.
In Ricoh’s immediate post-disaster statement, the company committed to a 300 million yen donation to relief efforts, adding,
“As a responsible corporate citizen, Ricoh will refrain from any unnecessary use of electricity such as neon signs, billboards and the like, for the foreseeable future. We fully intend to corporate to the max. with the requests of the local power companies.”
As far as Ricoh’s own operations have been concerned, soon after the impact of the disaster had become clear, Ricoh reported on operations in the Tokohu, Kanto and Shyuoko Prefectures. The facilities in the Tokohu regions, Tokohu Ricoh, Hozama Ricoh and Ricoh Optical Industries had been affected and would take time to return to full-scale operation. There had been severe damage to equipment, infrastructure and an inability to re-establish lifelines, with production activities greatly compromised. Even outside the most affected areas, interrupted traffic and rolling blackouts have affected production flow.
Ricoh provided a more comprehensive update on the 25/03. Basic services had almost recovered in most affected areas, some operations had resumed and some shipping had even resumed.
At Tukohu Ricoh Co Ltd though, basic services had still not been restored as the facility had suffered quite a significant level of equipment damage. This had meant that some lines were expected to be delayed for between one week and two months.
Ricoh Printing Systems Ltd reported that basic services are now on-line but that transport was still an issue. There had been lighter damage to equipment but the building damage and the associated safety concerns meant not all lines could become operational. However, some lines at this Ricoh site had recovered and others were expected to be on-line within 1-4 weeks.
Ricoh reported that parts procurement, power and fuel shortages could affect recovery.
Soon after the disaster, Konica Minolta announced that it would be contributing 50 million yen to the relief effort through the Japanese Red Cross society. As with other photocopiers manufacturers Konica Minolta has been doing what it can to conserve energy, turning off electric signs and billboards and complying with the wishes of power companies. The company commented,
“Konica Minolta is willing to assist recovery and rebuilding efforts through the corporate activities of the entire group companies and efforts by their employees all over the world.”
As far as the impact for the company itself, all Konica employees had been accounted for, no major damages had affected the company’s sites in the Kanto region but there had been damages to the distribution and sales sites in Tokohu. The photocopier manufacturer is concerned about ongoing production because of potential raw materials procurement difficulties and power supply issues.
OKI reported that there had been no significant injuries to staff or damages to company property and that most operations had not been affected. The OKI site in Fukushima which produces some printers and consumables had suffered light damage. Operations had been partially resumed by 16th March and the photocopiers company had established an Earthquake Disaster Recovery Task Force to survey the full extent of damages and resolve the most effective measures for the speediest recovery.
As Japan’s leading photocopiers manufacture, Canon announced a large contribution to the relief effort soon after the impact of the disaster had become clear, with 300 million yen being pledged to the Japanese Red Cross.
Canon reported on the impact of the disaster on its operations on 13/03. It had suffered power outages, damage to buildings and stoppages in production equipment. Northern Honshu sites had been most affected with 15 staff injuries at the Utsonomiya Office and Fukushima Canon Inc. In a company damage report, Canon commented,
"In the event that production operations may be suspended for one month or more, the Company will consider making use of alternate sites that were not damaged by the earthquake as a means of continuing production."
As well as doing what it can to conserve energy supplies by avoiding any unnecessary use of electricity, Canon has also requested that all employees do what they can to conserve energy in their own homes.
The earthquake and tsunami disaster has been a major shock to Japan. Thousands of lives have been lost and huge damage has been done to Japanese transport and energy infrastructure. And Japan’s renowned photocopier manufacturers have all been affected too. Some certainly more than others. Those with more major production facilities in the Tokohu region have been hit hardest with plant machinery and building damage meaning that some production lines will likely only be fully recovered in a month or so’s time. Ongoing energy issues have prompted all photocopiers manufacturers to issue statements committing themselves to strict energy conservation and compliance with the wishes of energy suppliers. Transport and third party raw materials and parts supply will likely remain an issue in the coming weeks and months too. But Japan’s fortitude in the face of this catastrophe has been truly impressive and the rate at which Japan fully recovers could genuinely surprise us all.
Canon Copiers sends its condolensces to all those in Japan who have lost family or friends during the disaster and wishes the country and its photocopiers manufacturers a full and speedy recovery.
Canon Copiers is a leading UK supplier of Canon imageRUNNER and imageRUNNER Advance photocopiers supplying a range of options for small, medium and large-scale workplace settings and offering both black and white photocopiers and colour photocopiers.
Monday, 14 March 2011 00:00
Canon Copiers was delighted to hear recently that the Canon imageRUNNER Advance C5051 multifunction printer (MFP)/photocopier has received the highest rating possible from leading imaging solutions evaluators, BERTL, being awarded an “Exceptional” 5-Star rating. BERTL were particularly impressed with the C5051’s exceptional production speeds, its outstandingly high image quality, innovative solutions and the photocopier’s overall superb ease-of-use. BERTL commented “Canon had raised the bar with the design and value of the imageRUNNER Advance C5051.”
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 08:00
The Serial Forger Banned from Owning a Photocopier
In the ‘Blame it on the Photocopier’ series, Canon Copiers brings you some of the most fascinating stories to have hit the headlines in recent years involving photocopiers.
Monday, 07 March 2011 08:00
Collective responsibility often means no responsibility at all. While many of us do our bit to help save energy and recycle at home, by switching to energy efficient light bulbs for instance or sorting and recycling our household waste, it seems that when we arrive at the office we can wear very different hats. Incredibly, industry and workplace C02 emissions are still around 2% greater than those from all UK homes combined. Commerce doesn’t usually bring individuals together for ideological reasons after all, so it’s perhaps understandable that many, who do what they can in their own homes, may see the workplace through quite a different lens. Sometimes it’s probably a case of not pursuing environmental issues as vigorously as we should with employers or colleagues, sometimes it’s slipping-up ourselves, being carried-away with a lax office culture. But for those who still want to make a difference and without embarking on a career in politics there are simple measures that can be taken. Canon Copiers brings you the best…
Sunday, 06 March 2011 08:00
It’s a little known fact that photocopiers can affect health. The increasingly sleek plastic exteriors and the ever-expanding level of functionality on photocopiers, hide for many what is in fact a potentially risky, high temperature chemical process taking place every time a page is printed. The electrostatic reactions which are at the heart of what a photocopier does, produce ozone, a type of oxygen molecule known to be harmful to human health. Toners may contain chemicals such as carbon black which are also hazardous and toner dust, whatever its composition, can be a respiratory irritant and is generally classified as a ‘nuisance’ substance. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) may also be emitted in the photocopying process, exposure to which is harmful. But modern photocopiers are by no means a ‘death trap’. With the right equipment, maintenance and adequate ventilation, photocopiers shouldn’t pose any significant health risks. Having said that, the safety of a photocopier should never be seen as a taken-for-granted fact. If devices are left unmonitored, misplaced or poorly maintained, they can pose a health risk, bellying the image many of us have of them as unshakeable office workhorses. This article aims to outline the potential health risks of photocopiers and what can be done to keep your office environment as safe as possible.
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