Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Xerox Wins IEEE Corporate Innovation Award for DocuTech and POD Industry

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn.--June 23, 2003-- Xerox Corporation has received the 2003 IEEE Corporate Innovation Recognition award for its pioneering work that created the DocuTech product line and resulted in the $30 billion print-on-demand industry. The IEEE recognized Xerox "for its DocuTech product line, which unified digital electronics, computing and communications with xerography to create the print-on-demand industry," said Michael Adler, IEEE president. The IEEE, which is the world's largest technical professional society, presented the award to Xerox at its annual awards ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., on June 21. As revolutionary for the printing and publishing industry as the original Xerox copier was for the office, the DocuTech product line was simultaneously an innovative product, system and service. The DocuTech Production Publisher, introduced in 1990, combined the steps of the printing process (prepress, printing, finishing) into new electronic workflows and made possible digital publishing of documents. Its genius was in merging both hard copy and digital inputs into fully laid out pages, generating full documents described by computer programs. These programs, called job tickets, were created by workers via a graphical user interface and were "run" by the DocuTech device to create finished hard copy documents. "Within a decade of its introduction, most of the black-and-white printing work in the United States had shifted to DocuTech, profoundly changing the nature of the printing industry and moving it into the digital age," said Frank J. Romano, chair of Rochester Institute of Technology's School of Print Media. A principal advantage of the DocuTech was its ability to produce short-run lengths of print jobs "on demand," simplifying production and distribution and giving the new business its name. Indeed, DocuTech's ability to "distribute, then print" instead of offset printing's traditional "print, then distribute" model fundamentally changed the work processes of printing documents. The full spectrum of Xerox's black-and-white products based on the seminal DocuTech architecture now includes more than 20 digital printers and presses, ranging from 75 to 180 pages per minute. They are supported by an array of integrated workflow components including the Xerox DocuSP common controller, Digipath Production Software and other innovative software, products and services. The black-and-white products are now complemented by Xerox's DocuColor series of digital production presses, which deliver the benefits of DocuTech architecture in full-color digital presses. In 2002 the print-on-demand industry created nearly 400 billion print-on-demand impressions in the United States, with a retail print value of about $30 billion, according to CAP Ventures, Inc., a business communication technologies and services consulting firm. For Xerox alone, revenues from the DocuTech product line have exceeded $17 billion since its introduction. In addition, the groundbreaking architecture of the DocuTech has been the basis for two succeeding waves of innovation: The digital transition, which swept the office copier industry in the late 1990's, transforming analog office copiers into digital multifunction devices that could provide scanning, printing, saving, editing and communications such as faxing. The emerging transformation of the print-on-demand industry to the personalized-print-on-demand industry by adding database merging and Internet delivery functionality to the original architecture. "In honoring the DocuTech product line, the IEEE is recognizing a breakthrough technology that is based on an astonishing array of innovations. Xerox continues to build on that legacy, most recently with its next-generation DocuColor iGen3 Digital Production Press, a 100 page-per-minute color product launched last year," said Herve Gallaire, Xerox chief technology officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group. Gallaire accepted the award on behalf of the Xerox employees whose foresight and creativity brought the DocuTech to market.