Xerox moves to solid ink in production, office markets

Xerox Corp. is confident it has the solid advantage in the production and office market space when it comes to its latest product launches in colour printer technology.

The company Thursday hosted a worldwide broadcast live via

satellite from New York City to launch two of its new technology platforms aimed at its production and office markets, respectively. Under the new platforms, Xerox announced five new products including the DocuTech 100 and 120 copier/printers and the Phaser 8400, 4500 and 7750 colour laser printers.

With a starting price of $1,399, Xerox says it plans to target the Phaser 8400 to the small and medium-sized businesses looking to make the switch from black and white to colour printers.

“”When we come in with this speed and this type of quality it’s going to overpower the competition in that space,”” said Doug Lord, president and CEO of Xerox Canada, who presided over the Toronto venue for the event.

Also in attendance were guest speaker, Sophie Vandebroek, chief engineer of Xerox, and approximately several hundred customers from the production and office areas.

Based on a solid ink technology platform — an alternative to colour laser printing — Xerox said the Phaser 8400 offers its customers a low-price product with the quality and speed that’s normally associated with higher-priced equipment. Solid ink also produces less waste than traditional colour laser cartridges, making it more environmentally friendly.

“”Solid ink is a very positive technology for us,”” said Lord. “”Since we bought Techtronics, we’ve spent a lot of time nurturing that investment. We think in this sub-$1500 market it will bring the economics to our customers that will help them move more dramatically from printing in black and white to printing in colour.””

In terms of speed, the colour printer can deliver 24 pages per minute in fast colour and black respectively with a 500 MHz processor that enables the first page out time at six seconds. Other features include up to 512MB of memory, an advanced networking architecture that supports multiple users and allows USB 2.0, parallel and Ethernet connections, and a postage stamp-sized configuration card (Xerox-exclusive) that captures the printer’s feature set and network settings.

It will be sold in Canada through direct sales, dealers and resellers, as well as online through the Xerox Printer Store at

The other two printers in the Phaser line, the 4500 black-and-white printer, priced from $1,389, and the 7750 colour laser printer for graphic arts professionals, priced from $7,949, are also scheduled to ship immediately.

Xerox Canada hopes to increase its reseller base by 25 per cent with this product, said Donna Wittmann, regional vice-president, Canada office printing business for Xerox Canada. The company currently has hundreds of resellers across the country.

“”We’re entering this space of the market with a high-performance, high-speed product,”” said Wittmann. “”The only thing that’s stripped out is the price.””

Xerox’s distributors, Synnex Corp., Ingram Micro and Tech Data Corp. will carry the Phaser series.

The firm said it’s trying to broaden its distribution strategy in Canada.

“”In the Phaser line, we have a two-tier marketing organization that will aggressively be selling this product,”” said Lord. “”We will also be selling it through our main line sales force and we’ll sell it through our agent and concession channels as well. We’re going to be covering this market from every different aspect.””

On the production side, Xerox hopes to capture this market with the Xerox DocuTech 100 and DocuTech 120 digital copier/printers, which are a result of a US$400 million development effort that generated more than 300 patents.

Scientists at the Xerox Research Centre of Canada in Mississauga, developed the toner process and base chemicals, elements used to manufacture the toner in the new DocuTech platform, and co-developed the photoreceptor pigment, part of the process where images to be copied or printed are captured and transferred to paper.

Features include as many as 100 pages per minute in copy or print mode, a built-in CD/DVD with CD read-write capability and a scanner that can simultaneously scan both the front and back of a document at 60 pages in 30 seconds.

One of Xerox’s small and medium enterprise customers said he’s impressed with the DocuTech products.

“”One of my concerns is downtime,”” said Jose Limr, supervisor of office services for Goodmans LLP Barristers and Solicitors, who has been a Xerox customer for five years. “”We’re looking for a machine that will do more of what we need it to do.””

DocuTech 100 and 120 will be available starting Feb. 15 through Xerox Canada direct sales representatives and agents at a starting price of $99,000.

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