Q&A with the Masterminds Behind the BP Series Multifunction Printers
Drawing upon the wealth of technological expertise and insights garnered during a 50-year journey in the document solutions business, Sharp’s BP-70C/60C/50C series of digital full-color multifunction printers (MFPs) encapsulate the core concept of Sharp – to become an indispensable partner in supporting our customers' businesses.
This blog features interview responses from Sharp Corporation’s Mr. Furusawa of Product Planning, Mr. Hirano and Taguchi of Technology, and Mr. Tsutsui of Design, to gain deeper insights into the vision, technology, and design philosophy that have shaped the BP-70C/60C/50C series. Check out insights from the Q&A below.
Q: What is the market environment surrounding the digital full-color MFP business?
A (Furusawa): The pandemic's influence has made remote work mainstream, creating a demand for MFPs that support remote workflows. In response, Sharp is actively developing products to meet these evolving trends and cater to the changing preferences of environmentally conscious consumers and remote workers.
Q: How have you reduced the environmental impact?
A (Hirano): Recent emphasis on environmental awareness has driven our company to prioritize energy-saving developments in MFP toner and hardware technology.
Q: What kind of toner-related energy-saving technologies have you developed?
A (Hirano): In multifunction printers, reducing the toner fusing temperature is essential for energy efficiency. Extensive collaborative efforts have led to the current toner's successful formulation and commercialization after numerous trials.
Q: How about the development of energy-saving technology from the hardware side?
A: (Taguchi): A pad fixing method has been introduced to enhance printer efficiency, replacing traditional indirect heat transfer techniques with a direct heating approach. Despite initial challenges in maintaining the fusing belt's durability and image quality, these were overcome through meticulous part adjustments and extensive testing, ensuring energy efficiency and operational longevity.
Q: How did you respond to changes in work styles?
A (Furusawa): The BP-Series MFPs integrate with cloud services like Google Drive™ and Dropbox™ to make data sharing easier. Additionally, it connects seamlessly with Microsoft Teams™, streamlining workflows in a remote work environment.
Q: While such environmental efforts from a technical perspective are impressive, the chic gray body color that matches the office scene also catches the eye. What kind of philosophy supports this product design?
A: (Tsutsui): We have made two major design changes. The first is using a gray color on the exterior of the MFPs (housing) to fit in with various office spaces. The second is a renewal of the leaf badge design to express our efforts to reduce the environmental impact.
Q: Please give us a closing message to our customers.
A: (Furusawa): As the environment surrounding the office and global trends change, we are proposing products that meet customer needs regarding technology, ease of use and design.
To read the entire article, please click this link to view the original post from Sharp Corporation.