Innovation History

With a tradition of over seventy years of technological innovation, Ricoh is harnessing its whole range of optical, imaging and digital technologies to create an office environment in which all imaging processes merge and function seamlessly.

1930s - Ricoh Established

  • Ricoh was formed in 1936 by Kiyoshi Ichimura. With market foresight it soon enters the field of technology.
  • 1936: Ricoh begins marketing sensitised paper.
  • 1938: Starts production of optical devices and equipment.

1940s - First Camera

  • Builds mass production infrastructure
  • Late 1940s: Develops first camera, a twin lens model, released in 1950s as the RICOHFLEX III.

1950s - Enters Office Equipment Market

  • The successful launch of the RICOHFLEX III leads to a camera boom in Japan
  • 1955: Ricoh enters the office equipment market with introduction of the RICOPY 101 diazo copier.

1960s - Copiers Popularised

  • Ricoh creates a popular market for copiers 
  • 1960: Introduces RICOH OFFSET duplicator leading to low-cost high-volume copying in the office.
  • 1965: Begins marketing the RICOH BS-1, the first electrostatic copier, which establishes copiers as a standard office product.

1970s - Invents Fax Machine

  • Ricoh pioneers Total Quality Management to ensure product excellence. Ricoh's achievement recognised when it becomes the first office automation manufacturer to win the coveted Deming Prize. It then became the only manufacturer to win it twice.
  • 1973: The first office facsimile machine, the RIFAX 600S, transmits world's first international high-speed facsimile transmission, betweenn Tokyo and New York via satellite communications.
  • 1975: Launches the RICOPY DT1200 a wet-type plain paper machine that becomes the world's top selling copier.

1980s - World's First Plain Paper Fax Machine

  • Ricoh revolutionises the fax machine market with a series of innovations.
  • 1983: Launches the RIFAX 1300 the world's first plain-paper facsimile machine.
  • 1985: Launches the RICOH COLOR 5000, Ricoh's first colour analogue copier.

1990s - Digital Office Heralded

  • Ricoh heralds the digital office in 1991 when it releasesa multi-functional image processing system.
  • 1990: Begins marketing the world's first plain paper copier.
  • 1996: Environmental Protection Agency of United States awarded Ricoh with Energy Star award (received five years running until 2000).

2000+ Network Printing

  • Ricoh continues to develop its network printing solution platform, once again pioneering the re-invention of the modern office.
  • 2000: 'Copier of the future' award, presented by the International Energy Association. Awarded to Ricoh for its product's energy efficiency, benefit to the environment, ease of use, dependability and success in meeting the needs of end users.
  • 2001: Ricoh launches world's first high speed office colour laser printer - Ricoh Aficio3800C.

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