The Noritsu model 3011, introduced only last summer, has become the largest single seller in the lineup, according to Joe, and is being retained in the line for now. This digital unit, with a capacity of about 1,000, 4R prints/hr., has become the mainstay of the mass merchant customers served by Qualex filling the void left by Gretag. It sells for about $105,000 including film processor.
Noritsu is also unveiling a new kiosk, the CT-2, replacing the popular CT-1, with upgraded software to allow the consumer more editing functions. Priced at about $6,000 it is also available, for the first time, with a 4x6 dye-sub printer for an additional $3,500.
Joe said that Noritsu was showing more professional lab equipment at PMA than ever before with that segment taking as much as half the booth space. He noted that some professional labs are expanding into the consumer retail sector.
By the way, if there are any of you out there still interested in an optical minilab, Noritsu is having a fire sale at its website. How about a brand new QSS-2102CRT, originally $210,000 for only $85,000?
FUJI: Replacing Two Frontier Models; Frontier Manager
Two models of the venerable and popular Frontier series of Fuji digital minilabs are being replaced by newer versions with new features. Mike Fleming, Frontier product manager, said the Fuji booth will be showing the Frontier 355 and 375 that are to be the successors of the Frontier 350 and 370, among the earliest models in the Frontier lineup.
Some of the differences, according to Mike, are a new scanning system, new software and other new technology. Scratch and dust elimination, sort of Digital ICE but Fuji’s own technology, will be a featured along with semi-automatic red-eye reduction. “The operator has to see it first.”
The monitor has been redesigned to show large icons and can be programmed so that one button can mean a specific selection of a package print layout. Also, a single negative carrier has been designed that will handle both 35mm as well as APS eliminating a time consuming operation for the printer person.
The two new machines will remain unchanged from the predecessor models in terms of paper width, 10-inch, production output and chemistry.
Mike said both machines will be available in April and will be priced about $3,000 more than the models they are replacing which are about $158,000 and $170,000, respectively.
Fuji is also introducing at PMA the Frontier Manager, a software setup that will prioritize jobs and queue them up on rules set by the operator. For example, the operator may decide that all orders coming from the Aladdin kiosk should be printed first and these orders will jump to the top of the printing sequence.
According to Joe Welch, Fuji’s director of marketing, retail digital systems, the manager will handle orders from such diverse sources as the dealer’s website, processed film that has been scanned, Fuji’s PIC and its Aladdin. The manager system allows for the simultaneous scanning of film while the other images are being input, he said. “Overall, it will allow the retailer to spend less time managing orders and allow him to meet his customer delivery commitments.”
The Frontier Manager is priced at $13,000 and will be available in April.
A new version of the Aladdin kiosk is being shown in the Fuji booth. Yet to be named or priced as of this writing, Joe Welch said it is targeted to be priced below the full-featured $7,000 Aladdin. “It is designed to be an ordering machine, not an editing machine,” he said.
The monitor (not a touch screen) will display four images at a time on a four-way split screen. The customer will select how many prints of each image and the size, and be issued a receipt. There will be no opportunity for such niceties as adding borders or text or developing package prints. “These take too much time,” according to Joe.