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 user 2007-08-29 at 12:35:00 pm Views: 31
  • #18655

    New Xerox toner plant sparkles
    2007) — Xerox Corp.’s newest toner plant looks somewhat like a brewery,
    with room after room of huge metal tanks and six miles of stainless
    steel piping.But conceptually it works more like a farm, “growing” each
    tiny speck of toner — it takes roughly 50 such toner particles to print
    a period on a page — from its component ingredients as they adhere to
    each other.

    Building 216 on Mitcheldean Drive is the first new
    building at Xerox’s 1,100-acre Webster campus in a generation.And the
    $20 million plant’s first output of emulsion aggregate toner is now
    being tested to make sure it is ready for the marketplace.”The first
    batch, everything looks good,” said plant manager Michael J. Duggan
    over the loud background whine of the machinery. Full production is
    supposed to start next month.Toner — that sooty powder in photocopiers
    and laser printers familiar to anyone who ever spilled it on himself
    when changing the cartridge — traditionally is made by grinding pellets
    made of a combination of latex, pigments, waxes and additives into a
    fine dust.Emulsion aggregate or “EA” toner is made of much the same
    ingredients. But the chemical process to manufacture EA toner is more
    energy efficient, according to Xerox, and the uniform particle sizes
    means printers use 40 to 50 percent less toner during printing.

    is not a huge expense for commercial printers, typically amounting to
    less than 1 percent of sales, said Timothy Freeman, president of the
    Erie County-based Printing Industries Alliance, a trade group for New
    York, northern New Jersey and northwestern Pennsylvania.But, he added,
    “If you’re talking about a $10 million printer, you’re talking
    $60,000.”About a dozen models of Xerox machines are engineered for EA
    toner, including the Nuvera line and some of the WorkCentre Pro
    products.While making EA toner is more energy efficient, the process is
    a heavy user of water.According to Xerox, the plant will use roughly
    500,000 gallons a week.The water will be treated at Xerox before it
    goes into the sewer, Duggan said. The main waste product of the process
    — a sludge-like gunk — is disposed at an industrial landfill, he
    said.To start, the heavily automated plant is employing 40 people and
    will run in three shifts five days a week, Duggan said.Much of its
    cyan, magenta, yellow and black toner is poured into pup-tent-sized
    bags and hauled across the street to Building 224, where it is put into
    cartridges or packaged.The EA toner plant is the only one of its kind
    in the United States, Xerox spokesman William McKee said. Xerox has a
    smaller EA toner plant in Mississauga, Ontario.