Xerox is executing a research and development (R&D) strategy with concentrations on information explosion, mass customization, and sustainability, says Xerox CTO Sophie Vandebroek. Notable R&D areas at the Xerox Research Center of Canada (XRCC) include reusable paper that can print temporary images that are erasable on demand. The project's ultimate goal is to make it possible to reuse one sheet of paper a maximum of 10 times with a longevity of three to five days.
Meanwhile, Xerox has extended the life of photoreceptors by 50 percent by developing a new polymer composite that functions as a chemical insulation against wear and tear. XRCC's Giuseppa DiPaola-Baranyi says the end goal is to create photoreceptors whose lifetime is equal to that of the machine, using a combination of nanotechnology and smart materials design to generate molecules for next-generation photoreceptors capable of self-repair.
Xerox also is working on a solid ink that stays solid at room temperature, liquifies within the machine, and produces precise round spots by using a quartz crystal to generate minuscule droplets at slightly above room temperature. "Solid ink performs really, really well when you are working with rougher papers, so you can get almost the same image quality with a cheap paper, a recycled paper, on this machine than you can with a much more expensive, high-quality paper," says XRCC's Peter Kazmaier.
Xerox has also tweaked its Emulsion Aggregation toner, producing a version that can fuse to paper at 45 degrees Fahrenheit lower temperature than when it was introduced 10 years ago. "Our goal was to get to higher speed color printing at the same time as using less energy," says XRCC's Patricia Burns.
Other XRCC projects seek to develop software that can make the pre-press workflow less onerous for print houses and graphics artists, with focus areas including easing personalization of pre-existing images, realistic rendering of binding solutions, and the ability to pre-visualize all angles of flap-panel brochures on screen.
From Computerworld Canada
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