Print 09 Executive Outlook: Solid Ink to Enter Production Space?

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Sep 10, 2009

This morning I had the opportunity to participate in this year’s Executive Outlook session at Print 09. The title of the session, “Technology Harnessed: Driving the Road to Recovery,” suited the conference agenda very well. With topics ranging from economic outlook to software technologies and hardware technologies to industry segment forecasts, the message was all the same: In order to succeed and recover from this recession, printers must focus on becoming marketing service providers and continue growing relationships with their customers.

Ralph Nappi, President of Graphic Arts Show Company started the day by explaining that show attendance did indeed appear to be lower than usual for this year’s show. Yet, looking around the room and speaking to several attendees I gathered a much more positive message. I noted two interesting facts
1.) Those in attendance were here for a reason and were asking very good questions.
2.) Close to 25% of Executive Outlook attendees traveled from outside of the United States to attend.

Each year the Executive Outlook session includes speakers that focus on new and existing technologies in our industry. All of the information shared was fascinating, but what I found to be the most interesting information of the day,was delivered by Xerox’s Chief Technology Officer, Sophie Vandebroek, Ph.D.In her keynote presentation, Vandebroek shared information about future Xerox technologies and showed a short video that introduced Xerox’s  current research and development initiatives focused on bringing solid ink into the production market.

Xerox has been working to develop an inkjet printing system that uses heat to transform Xerox solid ink into a liquid state and send it through an inkjet array consisting of 50-100 piezo inkjet heads. Utilizing the existing ACQS image quality scanners developed for the iGen product family, Xerox can monitor and correct, or compensate for, clogged inkjet heads. This technology is not publicly available today and Xerox has no immediate plans for a release, however today’s Executive Outlook session offered interesting insight into Xerox’s short-term research and development plans.

Please check back for more to come from the Print 09 show floor!

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