Xerox Unveils $60 Million Next Generation Toner Plant18 Sep, 2007
Xerox Unveils $60 Million Next Generation Toner Plant
ROCHESTER, NY - Xerox Corporation began filling more than 20 miles of pipe and stainless steel tanks with billions of micron-sized toner particles with the opening of its first U.S.-based emulsion aggregation (EA) Toner plant. The new $60 million facility is the latest move by Xerox to support the growth of color pages in the digital printing market while being environmentally responsible. Last year alone more than 30 billion color pages were printed on Xerox devices.
Developed by Xerox and protected by more than 300 patents, EA toner produces sharper images using less toner per page, and is already used in more than a dozen Xerox products like the company's WorkCentre multifunction devices that print, copy, scan and fax, and the Xerox DocuColor series of color printers.
The five-story 100,000 square-foot plant located near Rochester, N.Y., will be staffed by more than 40 chemical engineers and increases Xerox's capacity for toner made by the EA process by 175 percent.
In addition to producing better quality prints, EA Toner is significantly more environmentally friendly. Unlike traditional toner, which is created by physically grinding composite polymeric materials to micron-sized particles, EA toner is chemically grown enabling the size, shape and structure of the particles to be precisely controlled. This Xerox-developed technology leads to improved print quality, less toner usage, less toner waste and less energy required for manufacturing and for printing.
Until today, EA Toner was developed exclusively at the company's start up production facility in Mississauga, Ontario, attached to the Xerox Research Centre Canada, where the toner was first developed. The new EA Toner plant, opened today in Webster, is one of the company's "smartest" manufacturing facilities and is part of Xerox's commitment to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2012.
"Xerox is the world's largest manufacturer of toner, so we need to do it efficiently," said Richard Schmachtenberg, vice president of Consumables Development & Manufacturing Group. "The plant is designed for energy efficiency, and is packed with more than 4,000 sensors that track information about temperature, humidity, air flow and other variables." The plant is also organized into zones that can be separately controlled for the most efficient operation. Depending upon the process being run, whole zones can be shut off when not needed, saving energy costs.
The decision to open this state-of-the-art EA Toner plant is part of the company's overall commitment to continue to invest in the manufacturing of technologies that give the company a competitive edge. More than 6,000 employees currently work at the company's 1,100 acre campus, known as the Joseph C. Wilson Technology Center. In addition to manufacturing its high-end production level printers, the center is a key research and development location.
"We could have chosen to build this new plant anywhere in the world but we're taking advantage of the strong manufacturing and engineering competencies that exist in Monroe County," said Wim Appelo, vice president of Xerox Strategic Services. "It's an investment in the community and in our people and symbolic of our on-going initiative to make our Webster facility a model showcase."