World's first print-on-demand newsstand uses Ricoh tech

By Jez Abbott, Thursday 18 July 2013

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A prototype billed as the world's first print-on-demand newsstand is using Ricoh technology and may be rolled out in the UK.

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Meganews vending machines have internet access and can print more than 200 magazines and journals in real time. Titles spool off a Ricoh Pro C751 digital press and the tech is being trialled in airports and supermarkets in Sweden, said a spokeswoman for the manufacturer.

"It takes only two minutes from making a purchase until a freshly printed magazine drops down the hatch," she said. "The solution reduces publishers’ costs for distribution and logistics. It is also more environmentally responsible, as it saves transportation.

She said the spec of the kit used for the vending machine was no different from existing Pro C751s and print was no less glossy. The machine uses vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers for 4,800dpi images on chemical toner. The process involves oil-less technology.

"The printing technology inside is currently the Ricoh Pro C751," she explained. "Ricoh has met the needs of Meganews to ensure the printer fits inside along with the finishing, but the specification and product is the same.

"When you choose publication you receive exactly the same content as the printed versions in shops. Maybe the stock of the paper will vary. An interesting concept for consumers is they can buy archived magazines or special editions, as these are stored on the system."

She added: "They are looking at expanding beta sites to other areas where there is potential good footfall. This may include the UK but at present there are no further details. The kit is integrated within the system but the spec of the product has not changed."

The idea is the brainchild of Swedish journalist Lars Adaktusson, his brother Hans, and their company Meganews Sweden. Ricoh supplied the technology, while Sweco created the software, card terminal and screens, and LA + B designed the stand.

Ricoh said a survey carried out by Swedish research institute Innventia for Meganews found fossil greenhouse gases generated during the life cycle of a magazine printed in a kiosk were around 60% lower against conventional print and distribution.

"This is because 40 per cent of traditionally printed journals are not sold, must be returned and go to recycling. Some of Sweden’s leading publishers are taking part such as Bonnier Tidskrifter, Aller Media, Albinson & Sjöberg, LRF Media, IDG, Talentum and Medströms."

Tommy Segelberg, director of Nordic operations’ production printing business group at Ricoh Sweden said: "Purchases are made on screen using a credit card, ensuring convenient and secure transactions."

Ricoh Europe director of business development Graham Moore said: "This product responds to the growing need for on-demand printing. It is also an example of true innovation and we are proud Ricoh’s leading technology is contributing to magazine production of the future."

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