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February 22, 1988

CALCOMP TEAMS UP WITH MINOLTA FOR NEW LINE OF DESKTOP COLOUR PLOTTERS

By CBR Staff Writer

CalComp Inc, the Anaheim, California computer graphics hardware specialist that has wound up as a subsidiary of Lockheed Corp, has joined forces with Minolta Camera Co Ltd of Osaka, Japan, to develop, produce and market a new series of desktop colour plotters for computer-aided design applications. The plotters will carry the CalComp label and CalComp will market them worldwide starting this quarter. Designed jointly by the two companies, the new plotters will use thermal transfer technology and accomodate both A- and B-size media – that’s 8.5 by 11 and 11 by 17 respectively. Minolta will manufacture the engines and casings, while CalComp will do the electronics. This joint effort is very complementary because it combines Minolta’s imaging skills with CalComp’s product enhancement capabilities and global experience in CAD sales, service and marketing, reckons CalComp president William Conlin, adding that having another company manufacture for it is a departure for CalComp, which traditionally produces its own products at its three US factories, and is itself a major OEM supplier. He justified the decision to team with Minolta for the new plotters by citing market demand: CalComp confines itself to A-size colour plotters such as the PlotMaster, but users increasingly want the larger size. Although CalComp remains committed to doing most of its own manufacturing, in this instance, Minolta already had design and production resources in place for a line of B-size plotters. Those resources will enable us to bring the new products to market sooner. He cites studies that indicate the worldwide market in 1988 for all small-format colour output devices at some $150m. No prices were given for the forthcoming plotters.

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