Oki is to halt direct sales of its large format printers, instead partnering with Mimaki Engineering to sell and support the M64s and H3 104s large format eco solvent printers.
The new worldwide deal kicks off on 1 April and completed a year after a similar deal was struck in Japan. OKI will continue to manufacture the printers. The M64s is a 1.6 metre wide ecosolvent printer with six or seven colours running at up to 66.5m/hr. Designed for indoor or outdoor graphics it has a resolution of 900dpi.
The H3 104s is a 2.6m wide printer, printing at 56m/hr on banner material using the same SX eco solvent inks.
Oki acquired the large format business from Seiko Infotech less than five years ago, considering the high value added printer business to be a major growth area with the professional printer market as an important sector. It would extend Oki’s offering to retail chains, combining its small format LED printers with a display graphics option.
However, this strategy has come to an end. In a joint statement the companies say:“Mimaki Engineering will sells Oki’s wide format inkjet printers, ink and other supplies, and maintenance parts in overseas markets through Mimaki Engineering’s robust international sales network”.
The change is unlikely to result in immediate changes to distribution. In the UK Signmasters has long been associated with the Seiko and then Oki printers, and as it is also a Mimaki dealer this is unlikely to change. Oki says “the alliance will make it possible both to continue serving existing customers reliably and to to propose solutions to even more customers”.
By Gareth Ward