Microscopic nozzles – half the width of a human
hair – are the building blocks behind a new product unveiled by Xerox
Corporation (NYSE: XRX) today that is set to change the face of colour
printing in the office – forever.
The new Xerox ColorQube 9200 Series multifunction printer vaults
Xerox’s proven solid ink technology to the center of the highly competitive
office market. At the heart of ColorQube is a print head that increases ink
flow 400 percent by packing in 880 nozzles – at twice the number per linear
inch compared to prior print heads. Development of the minuscule nozzles (each
only 37.5 microns wide) is considered a major achievement because they deliver
higher flow rates despite their reduced size, says Steve Korol, a Xerox
researcher who worked with his research and development team to engineer the
Each print head is about the size of a deck of cards and funnels molten
solid ink through a complex network of channels to the nozzles, enabling
colour printing at 85 pages per minute. The design features four print heads
per printer totaling more than 3,500 ink nozzles.
“This device opens up a huge market for Xerox,” said Don Titterington,
vice president, print head and ink research and development at Xerox. “At 150
million drops per second, this is a breakthrough in how fast we can put ink on
the page. That’s as many ink drops in a minute as there are people on the
Perfect combination of colour and affordability
The innovation inside the new device, combined with a new pricing
structure and the benefits of solid ink, enable Xerox to offer the world’s
first solid ink high-speed printer that reduces colour page costs by up to 62
The ink, solid at room temperature in the form of an ink stick, is melted
inside the printer and loaded into the print head in liquid form. This simple,
highly reliable process does not use cartridges to hold the ink, reducing
supplies waste by 90 percent compared to competitive office laser-based
products, and delivering environmental benefits much sought after in the
In addition, scientists developed numerous material and chemical
innovations to the print head design resulting in a stainless steel
industrial-strength print head that can last the life of the machine.
“The combination of the environmental benefits of solid ink, the new
print head design and the sensors and algorithms that were developed create
the ideal affordable office colour printer,” said Titterington.
The ColorQube also features:
– Sophisticated sensors and image processing algorithms to calibrate
the image before it is printed.
– A product lifecycle that requires nine percent less energy and
produces 10 percent fewer greenhouse gases than comparable laser
– A patented vacuum system, only 17 thousandths of an inch wide that
removes tiny paper dust particles from the printing zone, lengthening
the life of the print head.
– An Intelligent Ready system uses a patented learning technology to
activate a power-saving mode based on the users’ schedules. For
example, after monitoring work patterns for a couple of weeks, the
device will detect if there is a low level of use during the lunch
hour and will automatically enter power-saving mode, resuming full-
power operation as employees begin work activity.
Order taking begins immediately in Canada and all of North America. In
Europe, order taking begins in September 2009; other markets in 2010.