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Xerox reveals long-awaited inkjet strategy
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 00:00

Xerox has used Ipex to reveal its strides into inkjet, claiming that worldwide customers, including Australian Xerox users, have already given the technology a 'thumbs up'.

The vendor is using Ipex to give a technology demonstration of its "supercharged" continuous-feed production inkjet technology, with a prototype machine on the show floor.

Stephen P Hoover, vice-president of Xerox's global software solution delivery unit, said he was like "a proud parent, finally being able to show the technology to the public for the first time".

Hoover explained that customers from around the world had already made the trip to Xerox HQ for a firsthand look at the technology, under non-disclosure agreements (NDA).

Henryk Kraszewski, production colour marketing manager at Fuji Xerox Australia, told ProPrint that select Australian printers had been among the first to see the inkjet innovation under NDAs.

The continuous-feed machine being demonstrated at Ipex shows technology aimed at transactional, transpromo and direct mail applications. It is based on the solid ink technology currently used in Xerox's office products such as the ColorCube.

Solid ink technology, which Xerox acquired when it bought Tektronix in 2000, is a piezo-electric inkjet technology that uses stainless steel printheads and heated solid ink.

The specification of the first machine will be four-colour, 152m per minute, and 520mm-wide (2-up) for stocks between 45-160gsm.

Hoover said this new technology overcame the limitations of aqueous inkjet, such as bleed-through and paper curl.

"We have come up with an inkjet technology that solves a conundrum in inkjet," he said.

The ink is solid at room temperature but turns into a liquid when heated. After being jetted through the nozzle, it cools as it hits the substrate.

Xerox has said the killer app for the inkjet tech is that it opens up a wide range of substrates, in particular the type of low-cost, uncoated stocks typically used for transactional print and direct mail.

The Ipex showing is just a technology demonstration, with scope for the technology to be further refined. No shipping schedule has been announced.

 

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