Monday, May 11, 2009

Selling Copiers "Selling Against Xerox ColorQube"

Xerox launched the world’s first A3 color wax MFP, the ColorQube 9200 series formerly codenamed Jupiter.


- Advertised as offering full color pages at 85ppm for $23,500
- Called “Solid Ink” technology, it was first developed by Tektronix Corp. of Wilsonville, Oregon, in 1991, in its original Phaser 300 and 500 series of desktop A4 color printers.
- Xerox bought Tektronix’s color printer division in 2001 for $925 million
- Uses 4 colors of wax chunks (cyan, magenta, yellow & black), which are placed into holes in the top of the unit.
- Each color is a different shape, so you can not put the wrong color in the wrong hole, similar to the Fisher-Price Mailbox toy.
- The machine can hold enough wax to generate up to 58,000 pages based on 5% fill per color per letter size page.
- The wax chunks/crayons, each fall into their own cast iron bathtub, where an internal heater warms up the tubs until the wax melts into a liquid state
- The hot, liquid wax is then sprayed onto a large metal drum
- The metal drum then rolls over the sheet of paper applying the 4 color image
- The wax cools and solidifies before the paper exits the machine
- If the machine is bumped while the wax is hot, the wax can splash out of its cast iron tubs inside the machine, causing damage. Therefore, machine must be unplugged, and allowed to cool down before it is moved. This is also true if technician is going to service the device.
- The machine must stay on all the time**. While it does have a lower power mode, it must still generate heat to keep the wax liquid, otherwise if it hardens, the machine must purge itself of the hardened wax. This purging can use up most of the wax loaded into the unit. This purging is also done during the units cleaning mode, and puts unused wax into an end user replaceable cleaning cartridge, and this is not reusable.
- From a cold start, the machine has a very long warm up time, up to 20 minutes
- When warm, and not in lower power mode, its first copy out time is 7.2 seconds
- From sleep mode, it takes 3 and ½ minutes to warmup
- Unit uses wax spray print heads with 900 nozzles per head, with each nozzle is only 37.5 microns wide
- Xerox spent 5 years and $24 million to build plant to make the wax for this unit.
- Xerox claims that in 4 years the unit will produce only 88lbs. of packaging waste versus the average color laser MFP which supposedly generates 815lbs. of waste. Since most packaging and cartridges used by color laser printers are recyclable, this is very misleading.
- Xerox claims that it will save a customer up to 62% over using a traditional color laser MFP
- Image quality is advertised as offering 600x600dpi, but high quality only achieved when engine slows way down and does not offer true 8 bits per pixel.
- Since the device uses wax, instead of toner, the output can have a waxy look and feel which may be less than desirable. In addition, there is the risk that the wax could re-melt and cause pages to stick together, for example, if the pages were left on the dashboard of an automobile.
- The waxy pages may also stick together if too much pressure is applies, perhaps in a large ring binder.
- Pages that come in contact with the vinyl cover of a folder or ring binder may also stick to the surface as well due to the waxy image.
- Image is not permanent any may smear (in a review of the Phaser 8400, PC World magazine said; “gave the printers a Poor rating as the waxy, solid ink scratches off more easily than does plastic toner fused to paper”
- May have trouble getting waxy pages to run through the document feeder of a copier/MFP
- The waxy pages may also cause difficulty with mailing, handling, archiving, recycling or writing notes on pages

This feed was supplied to me by a p4photel remember, do your research and collaborate on all of this information. There's an old saying "believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see"

5/12/09 Update:

-The Xerox ColorQube unit is 2009 Energy Star Certified.
-There is an "on/off" switch for the unit and it does not have to stay on all of the time, the unit also has an intelligent mode to turn on at a programmed time and off at a programmed time.

-=Good Selling=-


Greg Walters said...

Nicely done, Art.

Good show.

Art Post said...

Thanx buddy, most of this is common knowledge for this type of technology. Can't see why they just didn't do this with laser, let's face it toner whether color or black is cheap. I would also have to wonder how well the software works when having a mixed original document that has black, everyday color, usefull color and expressive color, do you think the system would start smokin and shaking???? LOL

Dallas said...

Hey Art,

No doubt you will get a chance to make some copies and prints on one of these things before too long. I think the most notable thing is how unremarkable it is. It looks and acts like most color copiers I've seen. Two sided color pages, collated, stapled, at good but not great speed. The prints feel and look like ordinary copier output, durable, easy to write on, easy to feed back into an ADF. High coverage graphic prints look kind of glossy but no more fragile than color toner output. Maybe because I didn't expect much, I was really impressed with this thing. And cheap! Typical business documents are a whole lot cheaper than anything, anywhere.

Fifteen copies of a twenty page report, complete with color graphs, etc., is less than $10, compared to more than $20 anywhere else. Printing duplex with stapling took about ten minutes. Xerox has a winner here.

Art Post said...


Thanx for the input, however you may be right that I will get to see one of these soon. Strange, I was at the On Demand show in Phili and Xerox did not have the unit there, probably because it's not a print shop type unit.

Thanx for the info on the cost to produce 15 sets, but unless I know how many color pages and of what type of coverage is on the page there is no way verify that the cost is 50% less on the Qube.

I have have nothing against Xerox, I'm just playing devils advocate here and helping our members orint4pay know more about this system.

Al said...

Great stuff, Art. Thanks for putting it all together.

Philip John said...

I think Xerox has been severely lagging behind in the "Office" market. Most of their systems are geared towards production units and I think this is a step in the right direction - as far as bringing innovative technology to the office arena.

If I am not mistaken, there is no drum on the ColorQube. Getting away from traditional systems makes people think again. Not necessarily because different equals "better", but simply because what was probably unfeasible 10 or 15 years ago is now feasible due to the large volume of color prints and copies that are being made.

It has happenned in the oil industry where certain drilling techniques were not feasible at $ 10 or $ 20 per barrel. However at $ 50 to $ 150 per barrel, it becomes a different proposition altogether.

I would like to see innovation that the average copier sales rep can hit the streets running without it seeming out of their league. The fact remains that 50% of the buzz generated by the ColorQube will be harnessed by Canon, Ricoh and Konica Minolta and end up meaning more systems in the field and a larger pie.

Art Post said...


Thanx for the reply! The Xerox does have a drum, and if there is a problem with the drum a major tear down may be necessary (info from copier tech board), however the drum in the Qube is entirely different from a drum that is used in a laser print engine.

Where will the market go, it will all go to ink, period. As oil goes up so does the cost of printing a page, so liquid ink will be the mainstream technology until portable electronic readers take over, there's afew on the market now, but they have limited features on the cost is over $1,000 each. Look for these devices to be down to $30 or so in the next 10 years.

Xerox 8400 ink said...

The new solid ink technology is great for office work and has the all requirements necessary of any office space. IT is easily maintained and has the most user friendly ink cartridges. For general printing, The solid ink technology is magnificent, but when it comes to specialty printing like graphic design, many have said the quality is not quite there yet. I knew that there would be minor issues with the sticks, just as there are with every newly released technology. Waiting a year or so for the public to truly accept the new printing style, and for the company to relieve the printer of its problems is the best move.