It has been an amazing year for Contex. With its newly launched products--including the HD Ultra and SD3600--Contex has received unprecedented praise and market recognition.
Now at the helm of the U.S. office, Steve Blanken, General Manager of Contex Americas, shares his vision for wide format scanning and the new opportunities he foresees.
Q: How are customers using wide format scanners today, and how has this usage changed in recent years?
SB: While the primary usage for wide format scanning still involves technical documents, many new applications have arisen thanks to improvements in technology. Upgrades in document handling and color technology have allowed wide format scanners to find their way into high-end graphic and fine art applications. The apparel market has taken on mat scanners for the digitization of patterns for clothing manufacturing, and the packaging industry uses large format scanners for press sheet and label inspection on pre-printed packages and cartons.
In addition, wide format scanners now have the ability to be a capture device on a network, delivering data back to any other devices on the network (i.e printers, computers, smart phones, tablets, storage devices, and direct-to-web). These scanners are also capable of turning any large format printer into a large format MFP device. In cases such as this, Contex products are the most flexible relative to the devices they connect to.
Q: How is Contex responding to the market changes?
SB: In response to the evolution of wide format scanning, Contex has returned to its roots with its distribution partners. Contex has always had the strongest distribution and reseller channel in the large format scanner market. Its partners are leaders in both scanning and printing with years of experience. Combined with the expertise of the Contex team, there is no stronger go-to market support group today.
This strategy will allow Contex to react faster and be more flexible to any future changing market conditions. Contex customers will benefit with greater inventory available in warehouses around the country and more support staff. Customers are also guaranteed quality products that are designed and built with their input.
Q: What new products is Contex planning to release in 2012?
SB: Contex has a number of new and exciting products planned for 2012. These products will deliver everything that customers have come to expect from Contex: quality wide format scanning solutions that are reliable, efficient, and improve the workflow.
Q: What is your prediction for the wide format scanning market in the coming years?
SB: Now that the costs for large format scanners have come to a price point that make them very affordable to a wider audience, you will start to see more MFP products designed for specialty markets, like the SOHO, apparel and fine art markets. I think there will also be opportunities to leverage the tablet and smart phone markets as well.