Fuji Xerox: Carving a Path for Production Inkjet

Marc Mascara and Eve Padula
Jan 23, 2019

On January 22, Fuji Xerox announced its entry into the Digital High-Speed Roll-Fed Inkjet arena with the 11000 Inkjet Press. This device, which is targeted toward commercial printers, will be released to the Japanese market in February. The Fuji Xerox 11000 Inkjet Press will address the ongoing challenges that print provides face with inkjet production devices, namely the ability to run at high speeds on media that is typically used for applications like direct mail, marketing collateral, and catalogs. The new device is reportedly capable of producing up to 1,448 A4 pages per minute at near-offset quality.

FUJI XEROX 11000 Inkjet Press

According to recently released primary research from Keypoint – Intelligence entitled Research Applications in Digital Printing, direct mail is one of the key applications that is poised for future growth. Fuji Xerox came out of the gate stating that the 11000 will target the image quality of direct mail, brochures, and catalogs, leapfrogging the typical announcements within the transactional space.

The Fuji Xerox 11000 Inkjet Press represents a combination of technologies from the Fujifilm group. This device incorporates some of the capabilities from the Fujifilm J Press 720 sheet-fed platform, and it also makes use of an enhanced SAMBA printhead. This version of the printhead is capable of producing 1,200 dpi output. The head circulates ink throughout the system to keep nozzles at the ready and clog-free, while the ability to jet small drops enables high-speed drying. As a result, the printhead offers a high printing availability to support high productivity and uptime.

The 11000 is expected to make use of a new high-performance ink that negates the need for precoating before or during the print run. Based on Fujifilm’s know-how and technology developed for its Jet Press device, this state-of-the-art aqueous pigment ink complements SAMBA printhead’s precision drop placement capabilities. According to Fuji Xerox, a binding agent has been added to the ink formulation, making it possible to achieve high-speed, high-quality printing on coated papers that are typically used on offset presses. The ability to print on offset coated papers is being targeted by a number of vendors throughout the industry. These vendors all have different approaches, including precoating, ink formulation, interstation dryers, and belt drying. This announcement provides yet another example of a vendor that has developed a new ink formulation as a path for addressing this challenge rather than using precoating or another method to support bonding to a broad range of substrates without adversely affecting the paper or print quality.

The Fuji Xerox 11000 Inkjet Press will feature two modes of operation. Standard quality mode features a throughput of 80 m/min., while high image quality priority mode offers a 50 m/min. throughput. Because paper wrinkles are a common concern among high-coverage, high-speed, quick-dry devices, the 11000 Press incorporates a special drying system that is based on infrared light IR and includes a heat drum.

Fuji Xerox 11000 Inkjet Press Dryer Path

At the time of this announcement, the Fuji Xerox 11000 press was expected to carry an MSRP of about ¥300 – ¥400 million ($2.7 – $3.6 million) depending on specifications. The company plans to install approximately 20 units over the next 3 years.

Fujifilm has made a significant investment in SAMBA printhead manufacturing. This announcement, along with others, indicates continued adoption of this technology. Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends believes that this bodes well for Fujifilm’s strategy for printhead manufacturing growth. With this announcement, Fuji Xerox joins the likes of EFI Reggiani, Heidelberg, Gallus, Koenig & Bauer, Landa, Mouvent, and SPGPrints, in the use of SAMBA printheads to produce a range of applications in graphic arts, packaging, textiles, and décor paper for laminates.

With the release of the Fuji Xerox 11000 Inkjet Press along with the Jet Press J720 and other production equipment, we see a clear strategy targeted toward all entry points of the commercial print market, including inkjet and electrophotographic products. Although this particular device is only available in Japan at this point, it will be interesting to see the impact that this has on the overall Fuji Xerox / Xerox Corporation inkjet strategy in the future.

On the whole, the Fuji Xerox 11000 Inkjet Press joins a robust industry segment that continues to drive growth in digital pages. Inkjet pages are expected to demonstrate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% between 2017 and 2022, representing a whopping 452 billion A4/letter pages by 2022.

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