XEROX BET's TONER FUTURE ON IT'S NEW EA-TONER TECHNOLOGY

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XEROX BET's TONER FUTURE ON IT'S NEW EA-TONER TECHNOLOGY

 user 2009-10-20 at 10:46:33 am Views: 47
  • #22435
    http://rocnow.com/article/business/2009910130310
    XEROX BET’s IT’S TONER FUTURE ON IT’S NEW EA TONER TECHNOLOGY
    Two
    years after Xerox Corp. flipped the switch on the biggest investment in
    its Webster campus in a generation, the company’s EA toner plant is
    churning out product for office copiers and digital printing presses
    worldwide.The printing and imaging company increasingly is offering
    products that use the radically new line of emulsion aggregation
    toner.“It’s a very important product for us in the future,” said Mary
    Fromm, manager of worldwide toner manufacturing for Xerox.
    “Conventional toner, we’ve pretty much matured (the technology) to
    where improvements are incremental. EA, the horizons are wider.”

    Traditionally,
    toner has been made by mixing various ingredients into pellets that
    then are ground into a dust-like compound that gets melted onto sheets
    of paper.Emulsion aggregation, or EA, toner uses chemical processes to
    “grow” toner from its ingredients into tiny individual toner particles.
    It takes 50 of them to form a period at the end of a sentence.

    Several
    Xerox competitors, including Canon Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., have
    their own chemical toner products.The Webster toner plant, which
    employs about 50, produces two-thirds of the company’s global output of
    EA toner, the rest coming from a plant in Canada.Fuji Xerox Co., which
    is a joint venture with FujiFilm Holdings Corp., also produces EA toner
    in Japan for the Pacific Rim market.

    Since the
    110,000-square-foot, $60 million Webster plant began operating in
    September 2007, Xerox has made sizable changes. In the past nine
    months, the plant increased its production capacity 30 percent through
    efficiencies such as getting more material into production tanks, which
    allows more toner to be produced in the same amount of time, said plant
    manager Michael Duggan.

    The plant also has cut down on set-up
    time needed when switching from production of one color toner to
    another, he said.The company late last year installed six 25,000-gallon
    tanks for product of Ultra Low-Melt EA toner, which melts and fuses
    onto paper at lower temperatures than Xerox’s standard EA toner,
    resulting in devices using as much as 30 percent less power.

    Xerox
    declined to say what the plant’s output is. But it has released a
    number of products that use EA toner, including WorkCentre office color
    multifunction machines and black-and-white production presses.Chief
    Executive Ursula Burns said earlier this year that when Xerox does
    reach a point when it needs an additional EA plant, it likely wouldn’t
    be in the Rochester area.Instead, the company would probably locate the
    plant on another continent, closer to other markets.

    Xerox has
    traditional toner plants scattered across the globe from Webster to
    Brazil, India and the Netherlands.The company currently isn’t planning
    to phase out its production of conventional toner, Fromm said.While
    making EA toner uses less electricity than the manufacture of
    traditional toner, it is a heavy consumer of water. Xerox currently is
    trying out a modification of its EA toner manufacturing process that
    could cut water use by 10 percent, Duggan said.