On-Demand Turns Full-Production Color
Barco has identified a number of potential applications for its first digital press, including wallcoverings, laminates, decorative panels, labels and security printing using industrial substrates, such as coated and uncoated paper, plastic and aluminum foils and vinyl.
Barco's the.factory (don't forget to say dot) is readying for beta tests to a select pilot group of printers. When ready to go to market, the press will cost in the range of $1 million. First shipments are scheduled to start the first quarter of 2001.
Also a bit of a surprise, from Xerox came the Xerox Futurecolor, a series of modular components that together work like a single, highly sophisticated print shop. At the click of a mouse, Futurecolor automatically mixes multiple paper stocks, tabs, inserts and bindings to easily produce fully assembled, full-process color books, catalogs, magazines, brochures, manuals and newsletters.
Futurecolor uses Xerox patented imaging technology to produce dramatic, photographic-quality prints. The new digital press is being engineered to produce up to one million, full-color or black-and-white pages per month at an operating cost far below any other digital printing system on the market—or so the press releases report. Get ready for the Futurecolor in about 24 to 36 months, when it reaches availability.
What is Xerox's intention with the Futurecolor? The answer may lie in the Xerox DocuColor 2000 Series, announced in February. The DocuColor 2000 produces up to 350,000 pages per month and has been developed to meet the rapidly increasing market demand for digital printing, personalized printing, and printing and publishing for e-commerce and Internet delivery.
Together, Xerox anticipates, the DocuColor 2000 and Futurecolor will accelerate the migration from traditional offset printing to digital printing by not only the most traditional of commercial printing operations, but also by in-plant printers, by providing more productive, less costly output on short- to medium-run jobs.