Written by Anne Fitzpatrick, Xerox Corporation
If the graphic communications industry has a circadian rhythm, it is the four-year cycle that peaks at the quadrennial drupa trade fair. Industry suppliers traditionally showcase big innovations at drupa, and the buildup creates a buzz that is unmatched by any other industry event.
With a little more than three months to go until drupa’s doors open, the industry is already buzzing. Most industry observers expect that, for the third drupa in a row, inkjet innovation will dominate the show. If 2008 was an inkjet teaser show, and 2012 the “real inkjet drupa,” 2016 will be about broadening the inkjet revolution to reach more print businesses. We expect key inkjet innovations to focus on the un-served space—dubbed by InfoTrends as “The Zone of Disruption”—that sits between high-end toner presses and low-end inkjet.
The next wave of inkjet: filling unmet market needs
A few recently introduced presses already address this space, including the Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet Press, designed for ease of use with its all-in-one, roll-to-cut-sheet design, and for fitting into tight spaces with its small footprint. But this is a big market space with many niches to fill for various costs, quality requirements, speeds, volumes, media, workflows and finishing requirements.
Initial entries will likely address transactional documents, direct mail, and books and manuals, many of which are produced today by running color offset shells through monochrome cut-sheet printers. The advantage of moving to inkjet is that both the color and monochrome elements can be printed affordably in a single pass using only white paper.
A foundation of expertise
Xerox is uniquely positioned to address these applications, because we know them very well. We are the leaders in every segment of the production cut-sheet printing market that pushes up against this Zone of Disruption. We know the print shops that do the work, we know the value they bring to it, and we know how to optimize their workflows for the various applications they run.
We also have the world-class inkjet expertise required to lead the movement into these largely unchartered waters. It’s evident in our broad line of inkjet presses, spanning both aqueous and waterless technologies developed internally and from predecessor companies Tektronix Imaging Group and Impika.
But perhaps most importantly, we see the many opportunities advancements in this space offer print providers – including an easier path to entry, greater productivity, lower production economics, and improved flexibility.
Because of this, we are committed to closing the gap that sits between high-end toner and low-end inkjet, and in turn, enabling more of those opportunities for print providers everywhere.
On the cusp of an industry movement
When Xerox acquired Impika in 2013, we spoke of the synergies that would help the two companies’ better address customer needs. At drupa media days on March 1 at 3:45 CET, the fruits of those labors will be unveiled, including the first product jointly conceived and developed by the Xerox and Impika product teams.
It is one of several developments that will bring a new wave of disruption to what will surely be a drupa year to remember.
**UPDATED March 1, 2016: EDITORS NOTE**
On March 1 during the 2016 pre-drupa International Media Conference, Xerox unveiled two new production inkjet platforms:
- The company’s first cut-sheet inkjet press, the Xerox® Brenva™ HD Production Inkjet Press, which combines the economics and productivity of inkjet with the flexibilities of a cut sheet platform.
- The Xerox® Trivor™ 2400 Inkjet Press, a next-generation inkjet platform that provides flexibility for today, and scalability for tomorrow.
Check out our blog to learn more about both inkjet platforms.