*NEWS*HOW GREEN IS YOUR TONER ?
*NEWS*HOW GREEN IS YOUR TONER ?
2007-09-18 at 2:15:00 pm #18774
How Green is Your Toner?
, 2007 All this year major printing equipment manufacturers have been
quietly telling anyone who’d listen about how “green” they are. Some of
this is hype, some real, but it’s good to see these companies paying
attention. We all know that as a manufacturing process, printing (never
mind making the necessary paper) can be less than environmentally
friendly, and in a time when the environment is (finally) getting some
of the attention it deserves, equipment vendors are being vocal about
what they are doing.
Xerox, for example, cut the ribbon
yesterday on a 5-story, 100,000 square-foot, $60 million facility in
Webster, NY, dedicated solely to the manufacture of its EA (Emulsion
Aggregation) toner. This internally developed product is “grown,” which
allows precise control of the shape and size of toner particles, as
compared to the traditional process of grinding composite polymers into
randomly jagged shapes. (Picture pea stone versus gravel.)The new
process uses 25-35% less energy per pound and less EA toner is required
to create an image than with conventional toner. For example, a
cartridge of conventional toner on a Xerox Nuvera printer, is good for
about 13,000 images, while an EA toner cartridge will last for 23,000.
That means less toner on a page, which further means less energy is
used for printing.
According to Richard Schmachtenberg, vice
president of Consumables Development & Manufacturing Group, Xerox
is also changing the manufacturing of conventional toners, yielding an
estimated 15 to 25% reduction in energy per pound. “As a result, Xerox
is well on the way to saving more than 30 million kilowatt hours of
electricity by 2008 –enough power to light more than 24,000 U.S.
households for a year.”Using less energy is one part of being green,
but so are the greenhouse gas emissions levels of the manufacturing
plant. The new facility is part of the company’s commitment to reduce
its overall greenhouse emissions by 10% over the next five years.
“There are 4000 control points on the facility’s computer control
system that monitor product flow and energy use, allowing sections of
the building or process to be powered down when not in use,”
Xerox is hardly alone.
Other big players
are making their own moves to help our industry get cleaner and
greener. Paper companies have been cleaning up their acts, sometimes
with notable success. Océ’s 2006 Sustainablilty Report cites the
progress the company has made in manufacturing, recycling and reduced
emissions, especially in Europe where environmental issues are taken
more seriously than here in the U.S.Reaching out to customers, Kodak
just rolled out “Begin Your Passage to Sustainability,” a kit that
provides printers with an overview of trends and best practices, as
well as the business and operational implications of developing a
Like the BP ads say, “It’s a start.”
few days I see evidence that the green movement in print is gaining
momentum. Whether it’s EA toner, greater manufacturing efficiencies,
showing print providers how to build sustainable operations, smart
energy practices or even just using more recycled papers, our industry
has to be greener. I have a sense that it’s time for our industry to
unite in new ways to ensure the sustainability of all our businesses.
Whether or not you agree with the concerns about climate change, our
businesses are going to have to react in a variety of ways.