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Scitex Medical restructures business

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The corporate parent of printer firm Scitex Medical Systems (SMS)is restructuring the subsidiary and is examining its participationin the medical imaging market. The moves are being made in partdue to lackluster sales for the printers, which are designed

The corporate parent of printer firm Scitex Medical Systems (SMS)is restructuring the subsidiary and is examining its participationin the medical imaging market. The moves are being made in partdue to lackluster sales for the printers, which are designed toproduce plain-paper second prints for referring physicians.

Scitex Medical of Bedford, MA, debuted at the 1993 RadiologicalSociety of North America meeting with an impressive exhibit boothand two printers adapted for medical use from the graphic artsfield, where parent Scitex Corp. of Herzlia, Israel, is well known(SCAN 1/19/94). The printers, UniTone for gray-scale images andVariTone for color, are dry-processing printers that use ink-jettechnology.

Scitex's original business plan called for marketing the printersthrough OEMs, and the company signed on several vendors, includingPicker and Diasonics. Strong sales never materialized for thefirm, however, and Scitex Corp. began to rethink its push intothe medical market.

Scitex Corp. started a restructuring of SMS several monthsago that included some job cuts as it transferred marketing andsales support functions to Iris Graphics, a Scitex Corp. subsidiaryin Bedford that manufactures the Scitex printers. In addition,SMS did not exhibit at last year's RSNA meeting.

As part of the restructuring, Scitex Corp. is examining theviability of Scitex printers in the medical market, accordingto Kevin Russell, legal counsel for Iris Graphics.

"It's a question of how much emphasis will be put on (medical),"Russell said. "It's up in the air at this point."

Russell declined to speculate on the reasons behind Scitex'sslow start in the medical market. Some industry observers, however,believe that at a price of $40,000 each, the printers are simplytoo expensive to compete with cheaper products in the alternateoutput device segment.

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