YOKOHAMA: Fuji Xerox Co Ltd's printer division will be pushing its own technologies into the small and medium business (SMB) and SOHO market segments, with the first products expected to become available by year end. These devices will come with its award-winning, proprietary SLED (self-scanning light-emitting diode) printhead, as well as its energy-saving EA-Eco toners.
Previously in these market segments the company sold mainly OEM products that were based on the standard laser ROS (raster output scanner) systems. SLED technology, which combines the light-emitting and transfer functions into a single device, enables the company to produce printers with a much smaller footprint, quieter, and more environmentally-friendly as compared to conventional laser-printers.
Fuji Xerox's higher-end customers have enjoyed the printhead technology since 2008 in colour multifunction devices and colour printers, such as the ApeosPort-III C3300 and DocuCentre-III C2250, respectively. But with the maturing of the technology, its employment in lower-end printers is inevitable. The icing on the cake, apart from the exceptional reliability of these SLED-based printers, is that the products are more affordable - sub US$400 (RM1,280) price tags - which will appeal to many SMBs.
The recently unveiled energy-saving EA-Eco toners add another advantage to Fuji Xerox's product line-up. Produced using a chemical process, as opposed to the traditional pulverisation method, EA-Eco toners reduce carbon-dioxide emissions during manufacturing and use, and requires less toner powder to coat a given area.
It can be fused to paper at a temperature more than 20°C lower than conventional EA (emulsion aggregation) toners, resulting in up to a 40% reduction in power consumption during fusion. Toner fusion is the most power-intensive process in multifunction devices, accounting for 50% to 80% of the total power consumed by the device.
By employing EA-Eco toners, power consumption of the devices can be slashed by around 15% to 30%, claimed the company. And being oil-free, the toners can realise a level of glossy finish that is appropriate for different types of paper, therefore meeting a wide range of printing needs.
Down to business
Fuji Xerox president Tadahito Yamamoto announced that the revenue of its printer business in the first quarter of this year is a double-digit, at 41bil yen (RM1.54bil) - up 22% from the same period last year. Momentum came from strong demand in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the United States and Europe which are recovering from a financial crisis.
According to Yamamoto, they are certain that these markets will continue to help boost their sales in the future. Fuji Xerox expects that the global printer market will post a compounded annual growth of 7% over the next few years, with the total market size expanding to 36 million units in 2014, from 28 million this year.
"The growth will be fuelled by new multifunction models and an increase in demand in emerging markets such as China," Yamamoto said.
China has become Fuji Xerox's main manufacturing location - with Shenzhen and Shanghai contributing 80% of the company's total production worldwide.