DIGITAL digestOctober 2011
Printer Sees Solid Opportunity With New Xerox Inkjet Press
MT. PLEASANT, IA—Leveraging the North American debut of its inkjet production press at Graph Expo 2011, Xerox Corp. took a group on a side trip to Iowa to see the press in production. Now known as the CiPress 500, dmh Marketing Partners has been the first print service provider in the United States running the machine.
Xerox stresses that its solution is a waterless inkjet platform. Randy Seberg, vice president of technology at dmh, puts it in terms of the net results, though.
"Why is it cool? Being able to use the same substrate (as offset and other digital presses) is a big thing. It's my rules, not the device manufacturer dictating the paper that we use," Seberg says.
Solid-ink technology makes it possible to print on standard uncoated papers (34-lb. to 110-lb. offset) without the ink soaking through. In this process, granular ink is heated to a liquefied state for jetting by piezo heads and then hardens again on the paper's surface.
dmh bills itself as "a full-service direct mail company that mails more than 800 million pieces annually." Being highly creative and constantly changing have been critical factors in the company's track record of profitable growth, according to Seberg. Its staff was approaching 600 employees heading into the fall and is expected to reach 800 by the end of the year.
To meet its production needs, dmh has the twin-engine duplex configuration of the Xerox CiPress 500. It is capable of running up to a 201⁄2˝ web width at a rated speed of 500 fpm, producing a maximum 2,180 (81⁄2x11˝) pages per minute (ppm) at a 600x400-dpi resolution. (A single-engine duplex configuration was shown in Chicago.)
The company strives to delight its customers, Seberg says, while staying focused on the return on investment when it expands its capabilities. There has been no issue with customer acceptance of the print quality from its latest addition, he reports, noting that inkjet output has been substituted for some offset work without the customer even being told.
Solid-ink technology, together with self-monitoring and auto- correcting production controls, provides more consistent printing than offset and gives the press high reliability in demanding production, Seberg contends.
Xerox has begun taking orders for the Xerox CiPress 500 with installs slated for later this year. List price for the base twin-engine duplex configuration, including the Xerox FreeFlow print server, is $3.8 million. PI