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Xerox introduces DocuColor iGen3 digital color press

Sep 4, 2001 12:00 AM

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Xerox Corp. (Rochester, NY) introduces the DocuColor iGen3 Digital Production Press, previously code-named FutureColor. The DocuColor iGen3 results from a $1 billion research and development investment and includes more than 300 patents. It reportedly can create output with the traditional look and feel of offset, while offering high-speed output, personalization capabilities and cost advantages.

Says Anne Mulcahy, Xerox president and CEO, "This next-generation technology, combined with related solutions and services, will unlock new opportunities for high-quality printed color materials that are personalized, available on-demand and integrated with the Web."

Xerox expects tremendous growth in digital color production printing. It is targeting that market with the DocuColor iGen3. Unlike a traditional offset press, the DocuColor iGen3 can reportedly incorporate variable data to create such products as customized brochures, tailored catalogs, personalized books, newsletters, direct-mail postcards and invoices.

The system utilizes Xerox's SmartPress technology, which uses toner and built-in intelligence to create documents with consistent, predictable and accurate color. To create an image, four imaging stations layer the four colors of dry ink (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) on an electrically charged carrier. When the carrier and the paper meet, a combination of electrostatic charges, sound waves and pressure move the dry ink down to the paper's surface, transferring the complete image in one step. This is said to provide greater speed, extremely accurate color registration and greater reliability.

The DocuColor iGen3 contains artificial intelligence and controls that reportedly calibrate color on every page to ensure consistent quality. The system also has a straight paper-handling design engineered to automatically recognize and print on different sizes and types of paper, within the same print run. The system's intelligence also reportedly ensures the precise placement of paper for accurate image transfer.

The DocuColor iGen3 produces 6,000 full-color 8.5- x 11-inch impressions per hour, or 100 per minute. Xerox notes that cost per page and overall running costs will also be significantly reduced, but did not reveal the system’s price at press time. The digital color press is modular and designed to be compatible with major prepress systems, workflows and applications. It is supported by two digital front ends, which process images prior to printing: CreoScitex’s Spire platform for advanced color management required in commercial applications, and the Xerox DocuSP server for DocuTech-like workflow with full color.

The press also has a common interface that will reportedly enable Xerox to eventually connect third-party finishing equipment, such as stitchers, folders and binders. Initial customer engagement is scheduled to begin by the end of 2001. Product launch of the DocuColor iGen3 will begin in the second half of 2002. Xerox will offer demonstrations at booth 8805 Sept. 6-13 at Print 01 in Chicago.