Written by:
Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant
NAPL

If you study how innovative new technologies are added to high end equipment such as digital presses, you would find that it typically occurs in top down strategy. In other words, it starts at the high end of the product line. such as in the iGen family, and over time trickles down to other devices.

In 2008, I was called to Rochester, NY to see a new product. After signing a pile of NDA (non-disclosure agreement) forms, Quincy Allen, the former President of the production Systems Group Xerox, met me and walked me to the iGen beta machine.

For the first time, I was introduced to a host of new technologies designed to automate the time consuming color matching and process control steps required to ensure high-quality color. The new technologies in the iGen4 included:

  • Auto Density Control. It uses a full-width array of sensors to automatically detect and eliminate density variations and streaks.
  • New Carrier Dispensing System. Which combines dry ink and carrier
  • High Definition Linearization. This process eliminates time consuming grey-scale calibration and produces better neutral greys and highlight shadows.
  • Advanced Color Profiling. This innovation enables greater color consistency and realism in familiar objects such as faces and skies.

It was projected that these technologies would help users become 25 percent to 35 percent more productive than the iGen3. I have heard reports that this was conservative and that productivity was increased by as much as 50%.

If you have not heard of it yet, you will hear about Xerox Confident Color soon. It’s a way to improve color matching on a variety of devices. If you’re not sure how much blood, sweat and tears is involved in getting color to match today, you should ask your staff. It could be more than you expect!

Howard Fenton is a Senior Technology Consultant at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers, in-plants, and manufacturers on workflow management, operations, digital services, and customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.