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Xante Goes Beyond Wide Format

Published on October 19, 2011

Last month at GraphExpo Frank Romano stopped by the Xante booth and was blown away by a machine that he thinks will change the industry.

Hi this is Frank Ramono from WhatTheyThink.com. I’m here in the Xante booth, looking at a new machine that’s going to change the industry. This is a wide formatting inkjet machine that does more than wide format. It works in sheets. The sheets that this comes through in a matter of seconds. It’s one of the fastest inkjet machines on the market today. This is printing on plastic, but it can print on just about anything; thin or thick. It opens up an entirely new market. Now Xante has been a wonderful new company for supporting small and medium size printing businesses. They’ve done a lot. You can see the image on it. The quality, by the way, is fantastic. They can actually print bigger sheets than this but this is what they’re doing here in the show. And it’s amazing how fast it comes through. See the blank material goes on one end, the file gets processed and it comes out the other end.

As I was saying, Xante really has supported the small and medium size printing business and they’ve done a phenomenal job. So they’ve given those businesses the opportunity to compete with other companies because they can have technology that is within their price range. And that’s what Xante has always done. In lazar printing they were a leader and the same as they enter this new marketplace.

Their partner is Memjet, the company from Australia that has probably more patents than any other company in the world on inkjet technology. And that technology with wide format array is being used in this device. So the only thing that moves is the material as it comes through. All the heads are in one line. Now they have a technology of using Mem’s technology for their heads and that’s what gives them their advantage, price advantage, and the quality advantage.

So if you get a chance, go to the Xante website and look up the new, I think it’s called the Excelagraphix. That’s a long name. Why don’t you call it Joe Smith or something? In any case, you’ll see what it’s all about because it will be emphasized on their website. It will be formally released within a few months and I seriously, seriously think that all of you should take a look at this because it really does change the world. And this is Frank Ramono and that’s my opinion.

Starting to make a real difference in the business office and that was the beginning of today’s office automation.

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Discussion

By Kevin Karstedt on Oct 19, 2011

Nicely done Frank,
There is a lot of excitement around the Memjet technology but it is as much their different business model that is interesting. With spent ink cartridges and heads swopped out at the same time - ala the desktop printer model - Memjet is facilitating a change in the how the industry thinks of inkjet printers for production applications. It will be interesting to see how the model is accepted in the marketplace.

 

By Joel Salus on Oct 19, 2011

Thanks for the video and commentary, Frank.

Earlier this year, I sent an e-mail to Memjet and, now, I'd like to share with you (and with those who watch your video) some of what I said in that e-mail. To put my comments in perspective, I'm from the "reprographics" industry, not from the "printing" industry. My comments:

If a memjet print engine can print that fast and is not priced too high, wide-format black & white A/E/C plan printing could easily disappear. A/E/C customers would PREFER that their plans be printed in color. In spite of the demand for plans to be printed in color, most A/E/C customers generally order "plan sets" in black & white, especially when multiple sets of plans are required (which happens several times during the course of every A/E/C project; one of those times is when a project is ready for "bidding" and multiple sets are required to be printed and distributed to General Contractors and Sub-contractors, since they need to estimate the cost of their work, prior to submitting bids for building a project.) On the low-end of the pricing scale, most reprographers price large-format color prints (I'm speaking about prints of A/E/C plans, technical documents, CAD drawings) at least 8x the price of black & white prints. (The price difference is less than that in Europe.) Because of the high multiple (8x being on the low-end), most A/E/C customers do not order plan-sets in color, they only order them in black & white

If and when A/E/C firms find that they can buy "plan sets" in color at the same cost, or very close to the same cost, as plan sets in b/w, well, that will be a "game-changer." There is no doubt about that. Speak to anyone in the A/E/C industry. All plans are drawn using CAD systems. All plans are drawn in color! They are never drawn in black & white. They are only printed in b/w because of cost (prices charged by reprographics firms.)

It's certainly nice that the wide-format memjet-enabled Xante printer will do "full-color" poster-type (and other types of) wide-format color graphics printing. But, the bulk of an A/E/C reprographer's revenue (at least 50% if not more) still comes from printing A/E/C plan sets in black & white; for reprographers, that's where the volume work is and where the bulk of a reprographer's profits come from (still today; at least that’s my opinion.) So, what I'm saying is that a memjet-enabled wide-format printer would be highly successful in the "reprographer" marketplace (producing A/E/C plan sets) even if the quality of "large-format color display graphics work" produced by the memjet-enabled wide-format printer was/is not on par with current wide-format color display graphics printers already out there.

 

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Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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