Vendors Listening At Last?
Here is one in-plant production manager's take on recent technology introductions and how they address trends in the in-plant market.
By Heath Cajandig
In this industry, vendors are continuously trying to gear up the hype machine to tout a new vision for the future. Over time, it is hard not to be skeptical of any claim.
Every now and then, though, a product actually does come along that perfectly sums up the current and future state of the industry. This past January, one of these products arrived: The Xerox DocuTech 100 series copier/printer. For Xerox it helps solidify a digital future for the company; for Heidelberg, it might have ended it.
What started with the success of the light production models from Canon and Ricoh is now being extended by Xerox. With consensus from the major vendors, they are confirming what many in-plant personnel already know: Off the glass copying is very important to in-plants.
Over a decade ago, Xerox ushered in the digital revolution with the DocuTech 135 and followed it up with the pure-printer versions known as the 61xx series. The problem: Getting files to the printers.
Most 61xx series printers are fed by a slower scanning DigiPath station that provides a paper portal to get jobs to the print engine. This scanning solution, designed as a transitional step to pure digital, ended up being an Achilles heel for hard copy input. As a result, in a retro-twist, the new DocuTech engine is arguably the best copier ever made.
The DocuTech 100/120 scans paper at 120 image per minute. Because it actually has dual-scan heads, it can read both sides of the paper at once. This makes it the fastest digital copier made.
Furthermore, the fact that this new machine is a fantastic copier is nothing short of a confession from "the Document Company" that the modern in-plant is still strongly fed by paper originals.