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30 Billion Pages and Counting: Xerox Drives Customer Growth in Lucrative Digital Color Market

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 7, 2007 - Last year alone, more than 30 billion color pages were produced on Xerox Corporation technology, and according to research by InfoTrends, Xerox's installed base of digital production color presses accounts for approximately 50 percent of the total worldwide page volume printed by high-speed digital production color printers.
Xerox today unveiled a host of image-quality and time-saving enhancements to make its flagship Xerox iGen3 90 and iGen3 110 Digital Production Presses even more productive. A new Automated Color Quality suite, Xerox FreeFlow Print Server and Xerox CX Print Server, Powered by Creo, as well as maintenance improvements will help commercial printers and in-plant operations open up new opportunities in the lucrative digital color market.
The new offerings complement Xerox's extensive color portfolio, and allow customers to efficiently create high-value color jobs and ensure that each digital print job is produced quickly and flawlessly from first print to last, with maximum productivity.  Xerox will announce the new print server products and software at Graph Expo, the printing industry's annual exhibition in North America, Sept. 9 -12 in Chicago.
"Color pages generate more revenue than black-and-white and that's a powerful growth proposition for our customers. They are asking for the tools to expand their color business and we are responding," said Quincy Allen, president, Xerox Production Systems Group. "The iGen3 press delivers the productivity and image quality print providers need to diversify their menu of offerings. The equation is simple - more color print jobs equal more page volume and more profit."
Automating color consistency yields savings
For Xerox iGen3 presses equipped with a Xerox FreeFlow DocuSP 5.1 Print Controller or Xerox FreeFlow Print Server, the Automated Color Quality suite streamlines the color check and calibration processes, speeding up the daily maintenance routines that set the press up to deliver consistent and accurate output. This ensures that iGen3 press image quality is among the best in the industry, similar to offset, and provides consistent color across a print job whether it's printed on one digital press or across several devices - a key requirement for graphic communications professionals and their customers. Automating these processes allows operators time to get other work done.
Xerox achieves Automated Color Quality by integrating an internal spectrophotometer, a device that measures reflected light for various wavelengths across the visible light spectrum, into the Xerox iGen3's paper path. Customers can take advantage of three modules in the suite:
- Automated Color Check - Assesses the state of the system and verifies color quality using test patterns across multiple color dimensions. The color check can be run quickly, giving print providers confidence that the system is accurately reproducing color and eliminating the need to perform other steps such as calibration if the system doesn't require it.
- Automated Calibration - Color output quality can vary for a variety of reasons including temperature fluctuations, humidity changes and general day-to-day use. Calibration is required to return the print engine to a standard state. This process can be automatically completed rather than manually, so operators don't have to stop other tasks or remember to calibrate.
- Spot Color Calibration - Marketing collaterals, direct mail, business cards and catalogs often incorporate spot color to represent brand identity and to grab attention. "Official" corporate shades typically use Pantone-licensed colors. Spot Color Calibration automatically reads print engine data on color values and compares them to reference values, modifying the CMYK recipe for each spot color as necessary to enable Pantone-licensed output. This ensures accuracy across the entire print job and dramatically reduces the amount of manual adjustment by the press operator.
"We're constantly looking for ways to maximize productivity while maintaining the high-quality output our customers expect from work produced on the iGen3 press," said Robert Kashan, CEO, EarthColor, one of the largest commercial printers in the U.S. "Streamlining color quality processes ultimately translates into the ability to take on additional work, grow revenue and create more value for our clients."
Xerox continues to expand iGen3 press profiling capabilities by adding GRACoL (General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography) as a new source profile option. This color matching standard gives customers another industry reference to maintain color accuracy and image quality for the most demanding jobs. The new GRACoL standard, along with Japan 2001 and ISO standards, ensures that the Xerox iGen3 press complements offset presses worldwide.
Productivity at the press
Additional enhancements have been made to the digital press, enabling Xerox iGen3 customers to do more of their own maintenance and simplify operations. This is important to print service providers because they often are producing jobs on second or third shift and want to get the press back into operation as quickly as possible. For example, there is a new maintenance routine to adjust color consistency within a print. This routine was previously performed by a service technician and can now be performed by a press operator, allowing any print service provider to have more control over productivity and uptime. Other new productivity features include expanded stock library options and the ability to back up press settings with the touch of a single button - all designed to help the print provider get more jobs through the shop.
Two new color print servers available for iGen3 press
The Xerox FreeFlow Print Server, designed to deliver outstanding image quality, easy operator experience and improved workflow operation, is now available for the Xerox iGen3 press, as well as the DocuColor 242/252/260 Digital Color Printer/Copier. The server builds on the success of Xerox's FreeFlow DocuSP platform, used in thousands of in-plant facilities and graphic communications companies worldwide. The FreeFlow Print Server delivers consistent color management across print environments - including unified offset and digital print shops - for more control and repeatability.
Other productivity features include an easy-to-use, customizable graphical user interface that allows work to be dragged and dropped from the job queue; fast processing power for even the most complex print jobs; one button to easily back-up jobs, profiles and settings; and integrated workflow proficiency through PDF job streaming and JDF job ticket support.
The CX Print Server is also available for iGen3 presses. It features a spot color editor that ensures color fidelity and consistency between digital color devices by matching special colors - like those used for company logos - with fixed CMYK targets for each spot color. Other new functionality includes a resume printing tool that restores stopped jobs, a step and continue imposition method that saves printing extra sheets by making sure a job's pages fill a single sheet to capacity, and step-by-step color profiling that fine tunes each digital press.
Pricing and availability
The Automated Color Quality suite is immediately available in North America for customers operating an iGen3 press equipped with a Xerox DocuSP print controller or FreeFlow Print Server at a U.S. manufacturer's list price between $16,500 and $23,500, depending on the options selected. It is expected to be available in Europe in 2008.
The FreeFlow Print Server for the Xerox iGen3 press will be available in the fourth quarter in North America, Europe and developing markets at a U.S. list price of $75,000, and immediately for the DocuColor 242/252/260 Digital Color Printer/Copier at a list price of $25,000. Customers wishing to upgrade from a FreeFlow DocuSP Print Controller to a FreeFlow Print Server should contact their sales representative for additional information. The Xerox CX Print Server, Powered by Creo, will be available for the iGen3 press worldwide in the fourth quarter at a U.S. list price of $105,000.
All products are sold through Xerox direct sales force, agents, resellers and concessionaires.