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Fuji Xerox Announces New High-Speed Cut-Sheet Color Products Using Chemical Toners
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 00:00

Fuji Xerox announced two new production color digital print models today: the 100-ppm Color 1000 Press and the 80-ppm Color 800 Press.

  • The products use Xerox’s EA chemical toner – This is Xerox’s first high-end production color product using chemical toners (Nuvera EA already does so), which has important implications for lower running cost. Fuji Xerox referred to the toner as “Emulsion Aggregation-Eco Toner, or EA-Eco Toner.”
  • Clear toner is an option for the Color Press 1000 – Though it is not specifically stated in the release, the availability of a clear toner for a glossy finish or watermark printing implies that there is room for more than four color stations in the 1000. This would be a first for Xerox’s production color products.
  • The Fuji Xerox products will have a staggered launch – Fuji Xerox says that the Color 1000 Press will launch on January 29, 2010 and the Color 800 Press will launch sometime in the spring of 2010. Xerox Corporation has not yet announced these products and provided the following statement when approached by InfoTrends: “Fuji Xerox’s announcement of its launch plans for the Xerox Color 1000 Press and the Xerox Color 800 Press is the first phase of a global plan to bring this new product to market. Launch plans for these new presses are being finalized for the rest of the world. We will have more information to share in the first half of 2010. Xerox’s current high-end digital color portfolio remains intact throughout North America, Europe and other geographies.”

Fuji Xerox Color 1000/800 Press

Fuji Xerox says that the new systems will provide improved levels of image quality, productivity, stability, and reliability. Fuji Xerox also reported that the combination of the EA toner and a newly developed belt roll fuser expands the range of printable colors. One reason for this is that according to Fuji Xerox the new belt roll fuser is capable of maintaining stable fusing temperature during high-speed printing.

Other key aspects of the new system include:

  • A new full-color tandem engine with a “large diameter seamless intermediate transfer belt” to allow rated speed output for all paper weights
  • Substrate support from 55 to 350 grams per square meter
  • A new “long-life overcoat photoreceptor” with a special surface coating

Fuji Xerox notes that the new intermediate transfer belt, in addition to stabilizing image quality will also result in extended service life, up to twice as long compared to the DocuColor 8000AP.

Fuji Xerox said that the Color 1000 Press with a PX1000 Print Server would have a list price of 45,000,000 yen (approximately $500,000 at today’s exchange rate) and the Color 800 Press with a PX1000 Print Server) would have a list price of 35,000,000 yen (approximately $390,000 at today’s exchange rate). These figures position the products above the DocuColor 7002/8002 and below existing iGen offerings. Fuji Xerox also provided consumable pricing for black (40,000 yen/$450), cyan and yellow (44,000 yen each/$500), magenta (41,000 yen/$460), and clear (66,000 yen/$735) toner cartridges. No data was provided on yield but it is interesting to note the higher price associated with the clear toner, which would commonly be applied at 100% coverage.

Some items of interest were not specified in the news release, including the products’ format, its duty cycle, resolution, and details on what is included in the pricing from a feeding and finishing perspective. The image shown with the press release includes one high capacity feeder, two high capacity stackers, and a finisher. It is not clear whether the price listed in the press release represents this configuration. The release only mentions the device and the PX1000 server. InfoTrends will work to clarify the price as well as which model the PX1000 print server represents (Xerox, EFI, or Creo).

This announcement is significant because chemical toner will allow a lower running cost than what is possible with products using crushed toner, thereby extending the run lengths accessible by digital print. It also signals that chemical toners are ready for the higher end of the production color market. The addition of an optional fifth color station (if it is safe to assume that that’s how the clear toner is employed) is big news too as it helps Fuji Xerox catch up to what other competitors currently offer.  It also opens up the possibility for other special effects, such as Pantone colors, MICR, security applications, white for packaging, and whatever else Fuji Xerox can come up with.

Fuji Xerox’s challenge (and ultimately Xerox Corporation’s too) will be balancing how these products fit with existing iGen products from the perspective of quality, speed, format, duty cycle, and substrate support. By announcing products at 80 and 100 ipm, Fuji Xerox has left an opening for iGen to be positioned as the higher speed offering. Where the other differentiators will fall, will depend on some product specifications that are yet unknown, such as format and duty cycle. This will help with understanding the positioning, but in the long run the most important parts of this announcement are the products’ use of chemical toners and the addition of a capability beyond four color.

 

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