Ricoh Printers Get Better iSeries Connectivity with WCO
April 13, 2004 Alex Woodie
Ricoh and IBM have teamed to provide AS/400 and iSeries users with greater control over their Ricoh printers and multi-function printers (MFPs). Ricoh last month announced that, as the result of a new Workstation Customization Object (WCO) for Ricoh printers available with OS/400, users are now able to customize their print jobs to fit their needs.
For years, Ricoh has supported OS/400 servers with its line of printers and MFPs. Just last fall, the Japanese owned electronics giant announced new software that supported direct OS/400-based AFP and IPDS printing on its line of printers and MFPs. The company also offers a range of other software products to help OS/400 shops manage their print jobs and document workflows.
This March, Ricoh’s OS/400 connectivity improved when it announced that its Aficio line of printers and MFPs now has a supported OS/400 Workstation Customization Object (which Ricoh calls WCO, and which IBM calls a WSCST object). Workstation Customization Objects works with Host Print Transform, and basically allow AS/400 or iSeries programmers to develop custom print drivers that are tailored to their specific printing needs. When the source code is available, programmers can develop fine-tuned control over character presentation, font specifications, and other characteristics of the printing environment.
Ricoh says IBM provided the source code to the OS/400 WCO. The following printers are supported: Aficio 2035; Aficio 2045; Aficio AP3200; Aficio AP4510; Aficio CL5000; Aficio CL7000; and the AP600N Printer. The WCO for Ricoh printers requires OS/400 V5R1 or V5R2.
The new WCO improves OS/400 connectivity for Ricoh printers, as well as OEM branded Ricoh products, says Norio Tanaka, the general manager of the imaging system business group of the Tokyo-based company. “With this integration of a dedicated WCO for Ricoh, Ricoh family, and OEM branded products, Ricoh is able to expand its product offerings to an entirely new market segment,” he says.
For an excellent technical story on the benefits of using Workstation Customization Objects to overcome some of life’s printer problems, check out Michael Sansoterra’s article “Use Workstation Customizing Objects to Control Printing”, in the July 18, 2003, issue of Midrange Guru (which is now called Four Hundred Guru).