Xerox Solid Ink Printer Cuts Waste 90%, Energy Use 9%

by | May 11, 2009

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xerox-colorqube2Xerox Corp.’s new high-speed solid ink multifunction printer reduces the environmental impact of office printing, with a cartridge-free design that generates 90 percent less supplies waste and lessens the environmental impacts of manufacturing and transportation, according to a press release.

Without compromising print quality, the ColorQube prints color pages at 62 percent less cost than traditional color laser printers. According to a study reviewed by the Rochester Institute of Technology, the ColorQube series consumes 9 percent less lifecycle energy and contributes 10 percent fewer greenhouse gases than a comparable laser device, according to the release.

The printer/scanner/copier uses crayon-like ink sticks that are non-toxic, the release states.

The ColorQube uses a Hybrid Color pricing plan, in which customers pay only for the amount of color they use on a given page. A typical office document with a logo and small color graphic costs about the same as if it were printed in black: one penny. Documents with moderate color, like a Web page or brochure, cost about three cents. Pages with heavy color like a real estate flyer cost about 8 cents a page.

Xerox has used solid ink technology in desktop printers for more than a decade, but this is a next-generation office printer design that meets EPA’s Energy Star requirements.

The printer allows printing of 55,000 pages before ink sticks need to be reloaded, according to the release.

The printer pays attentiont to users’ printing patterns, learning to put itself in power-saving “sleep” mode when pages are unlikely to be printed.

The printers are not cheap, starting out at nearly $24,000 a unit.

Xerox last year unveiled a program of papers, resources and Web tools to help customers identify  environmentally friendly paper, supplies and way to print.

As part of the program, Xerox is introducing additional papers in North America that are independently certified to sustainable forest management standards and new recycled papers designed for digital printing.

Other printer and toner companies are making environmental advances. Soy ink has been available for some time, but now Print Recovery Concepts Technologies is selling laser printer cartridges using toner powder derived from soybeans.

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