SAMSUNG ML-1630 Monochrome Laser Printer and SCX-4500 Multifunction Printer

Jan 29, 2008

SAMSUNG ML-1630 Monochrome Laser Printer and SCX-4500 Multifunction Printer

1. Overview
SAMSUNG Electronics introduced the world's slimmest monochrome laser printer ML-1630 and multifunction printer SCX-4500. This product line offers an all-new stylishness for consumers who appreciate the design and sensibility of electronic products. The announcement represents SAMSUNG’s staunch resolve to blaze a new trail for the global printer industry by unveiling the design-centric printers.

Consumers Shift Focus to Product Design: SAMSUNG Opens a Design-Centric Printer Era
A dream society, the new paradigm in next-generation introduced from by Rolf Jensen, represents an intersection where economic prosperity and technology merge with culture and marketing, in which consumers gravitate toward products with an attractive image. From cell phones to MP3 players, a sense of fashionable style has been dominating the IT markets as well. As such, product competitiveness now goes well beyond technology and function, extending into the realm of aesthetic sensibility and unique design. In line with a so-called "dream society" paradigm, SAMSUNG now takes the printers to an entirely new level of artistic refinement, getting out of the technology and functional competition. The SAMSUNG ML-1630 and SCX-4500 printers take product design to an entirely new level of artistic refinement. The ML-1630 and SCX-4500 thus offer consumers not only the satisfaction of product functionality, but also the pleasure of a stylish work of fine art. The compact size and sleek design of the mono laser printer ML-1630 and multifunction printer SCX-4500 reflect a sophisticated form of minimalism. With a high-quality polymer resin, which produces an eye-catching piano-black and high-gloss finish, the luxurious exterior of the ML-1630 and SCX-4500 is enhanced by the blue LED scan-process indicator, creating an ultimate product image, in terms of refinement and sophistication. As user-friendly products, the ML-1630 and the SCX-4500 include button-less sensors for minimal user interface and semi-auto docking slide-out cassette for maximum user convenience. Moreover, a paper jam can be easily cleared. To simplify user operation, all essential functions are controlled by the printer unit, without the need for a PC. By transforming the printer into a luxurious work of art, SAMSUNG has created an industry icon with a high-fashion image that appeals to the sentiments of today’s consumers. >

2. Design
Transformation of a Printer into a Refined Work of Art: "SAMSUNG Created a Printer That Did Not Look Like a Printer At All"
SAMSUNG Electronics reveals the inspiration behind the distinctive design of the mono laser printer ML-1630 and the multifunction printer SCX-4500. This compact, sleek, and silent laser printer is a prized possession of consumers for its excellent performance, aesthetic sensibility, and high-class image. "Among electronic products, printers are the most complex and sophisticated," explained Mr. Jun Won Bae, Senior Designer, at Digital Printing Division of SAMSUNG Electronics. "SAMSUNG wanted to create a printer with a simple and minimal exterior design that would serve as a counterbalance to its interior complexity. We wanted to create a printer that did not look like a printer at all." In line with this basic concept, SAMSUNG product designers struggled to come up an elegant piano-black exterior and sleek form for the new ML-1630 and SCX-4500 models, which were so impressive in appearance that they immediately struck a resonant chord with consumers. The new ML-1630 and SCX-4500 are designed to be the printers with a sense of luxury that could arouse a pride in ownership. "We needed to take into consideration consumer sentiments, which called for a printer with emotional appeal for those who value style, in addition to basic technology and function. SAMSUNG wanted to create not only a functional printer, but one with a striking design that would lead the printer industry," Mr. Bae noted. "We wanted to establish our own design identity. Nowadays, the rapid advancement of technology has served to reduce the competitive advantage of product function among printer suppliers. Therefore, with the ML-1630 and SCX-4500, their product design is of equal importance as their product function. In fact, the ML-1630 and SCX-4500 are the most refined masterpieces that I have ever worked on," said Ms. Sun Young Lee, Designer, at Digital Printing Division of SAMSUNG Electronics. It was no easy matter to come up a printer that was similar in height to an ordinary coffee mug. The ML-1630 and the SCX-4500 are the world’s most compact printers thanks to the dedicated efforts of the product designers who succeeded in noticeably reducing their overall size by re-engineering the inner workings. Ms. Lee noted: "It is easy to reduce the exterior of a printer, but much more difficult to rearrange the interior components. So, the entire printer had to be redesigned, which required close cooperation between the design group and product engineers." These painstaking efforts eventually bore fruit in the form of the ML-1630 and the SCX-4500, through their stylish design and vibrant product image.

Interview Script
Interviewees: Mr. Jun Won Bae, Senior Designer, Digital Printing Division, SAMSUNG Electronics Ms. Sun Young Lee, Designer, Digital Printing Division, SAMSUNG Electronics.

Q: What was SAMSUNG's strategy to design the ML-1630 and SCX-4500 ?
A: Above all, SAMSUNG wanted to develop a printer with design identity of its own and an impressive appearance that could create a pride of ownership among users. Therefore, the ML-1630 and SCX-4500 are distinctive in terms of the simplicity of their compact and sleek form, without any unnecessary distractions.

Q: What was the design concept behind the ML-1630 and SCX-4500?
A: In brief, the design concept of this duo was focused on a "slim and sleek" like minimal style. This concept was especially intended to appeal to the aesthetic sentiments and brand-image consciousness of today’s consumers. One of the most prominent features of the product is its reduced size, which is so compact that it doesn’t even look like a printer. It also includes a backlight display. Moreover, unlike other printers, we adopted soft-touch sensors with piano-sound feedback for easier use and to boost the personal satisfaction of users. We used basic color and surface treatment to enhance its stylishness and assure that it would enrich any place with their mere presence.

Q: Who are the target consumers of the ML-1630 and SCX-4500?
A: It was particularly designed for users who value style and design, as much as technology and function, with an innovative form of minimalism that could naturally harmonize with any office or home environment.

Q: Are the ML-1630 and SCX-4500 in line with recent design trends for IT products?
A: A glossy black finish is a kind of mainstream trend in today's IT product design. Actually, at the outset, we had not intended to adopt this trend for our printers, because we thought that would not be especially innovative. But in the end, the black finish was ideal for our desire to create a printer with a sophisticated style that would set it apart from other models.

Q: What was the toughest part in your design work?
A: To come up a printer that was similar in height to an ordinary coffee mug need the close cooperation between the design group and product engineers. Thanks to the dedicated efforts to re-engineer the inner workings could lead to succeed in noticeably reducing their overall size.

3. Technology
Technology Innovation behind Design Minimalism: SAMSUNG Shows That "Less Can Be More"

SAMSUNG Electronics strives to "do more with less" with the mono laser printer ML-1630 and the multifunction printer SCX-4500. SAMSUNG's simple yet stylish ML-1630 and SCX-4500 are like highly refined works of art. In reducing the printer down to its most fundamental features, SAMSUNG has revolutionized the printer’s form and function all together. R & D team of Digital Printing Division at SAMSUNG Electronics was eager to create a brand new printer with innovative concept. To achieve its goal, SAMSUNG Electronics tried to employ the value of ideation and design through creative ideas apart from the technical restriction. Laser printer basically consists of frame conveys of inner parts of printer, main board and controller to manage actual work, and core modules including LSU (Laser Scanning Unit), OPC drum, fusing unit, power supplier, toner, and etc. These multiple components and their size prevent printers from being smaller along with paper size and path. However, SAMSUNG was able to create an extra-slim body, by minimizing the modules’ size and setting up each minimized module again with extremely high density. In addition to SAMSUNG's infinite research and development for world's slimmest laser printer, SAMSUNG Electronics took a decisive action to apply completely different design from a tiny accessory to overall printers' layouts, dismissing the conventional way of design. Most impressively, SAMSUNG Electronics proceeded to sweeping change a whole layout; it moved LSU to the cover, fusing unit to the forefront of main body, and divided body frame to up and down centering on toner. Through innovative technology to create absolute design, SAMSUNG Electronics put all the efforts to differentiate internally the ML-1630 and SCX-4500 from its competitors. The new printer duo adopted 2 dual heat lamps in its heat roller to settle pigments on a paper, and effectively reduced first print out time as well as warming-up time. Moreover, the ML-1630 and SCX-4500 boast silence by reducing operational noise up to 45 dB less than a normal conversation (50 dB), the lowest sounds in its class. This silent capability of ML-1630 and SCX-4500 is a result of SAMSUNG Electronics' innovative technology; by applying the low-noise engine and the muffler. Besides, for maximizing user convenience, SAMSUNG Electronics had heightened the technical completion gradually progressing detailed design and embodiment for whole printer as well as evaluation. 'The premier products' are able to touch customers more with invisible, detailed factors, than with visible ones. With this belief, SAMSUNG Electronics made it possible to create a completely new printer by bringing excellent technology.