x trill aug2013 final

Author: samiaadrienne

Post on 14-Apr-2018




0 download

Embed Size (px)


  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    Xeikon Trillium:

    A Printing Technology Breakthrough


    By: Cary Sherburne

    Sherburne & Associates

    August 21, 2013

    Office: 603-430-5463

    Mobile: 857-206-2885Fax: 253-369-3113

    [email protected]

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    Xeikon Trillium: A Printing Technology Breakthrough

    By: Cary Sherburne


    At drupa 2012, Xeikon unveiled a technology demonstration of its breakthrough Trillium liquid toner

    digital printing technology. At the time, the demonstration was one station, black only, printing at 60

    meters (200 feet) per minute at 1200 dpi, with a print width of 500 mm (19.7 inches). The company stated

    that the technology was expected to be productized by 2014, in four colors, with the potential to attain

    even higher speeds in future products.

    Since that time, Xeikon has maintained its projected schedule, and, in fact, plans to begin customerfield tests in Europe in the first half of 2014. At the conclusion of an estimated four to six-month field

    test period, the first press using Trillium technology will undergo a phased launch, beginning in Europe

    and moving to other parts of the world over time. During 2014, customer field tests in North America

    are also expected to begin.

    This white paper details market positioning, including the market needs the technology addresses. It

    identifies target applications for early implementations of the technology. And it describes in detail how

    the technology works and why it is different from other digital printing technologies currently in the


    Xeikon is one o the leading color toner press manuacturers in the world. It has a strong base in

    dry toner technology and now has made an investment in liquid toner technology, a technology

    that will help extend its customer base and in turn will help those to become even more efcient

    in printing very high-volume print applications.

    By acquiring a mature liquid toner technology, which was ready or integration into a press as

    early as 2010, Xeikon has accelerated the cycle time or bringing a Trillium-based press to mar-

    ket. The real breakthrough is having toner and engine development and manuacture under the

    same roo. Xeikon is now combining a competency in liquid toner with its existing competencies

    that have been developed over the last two decades, including ront-end processing, imaging and

    the electro-mechanics o press operation, Xeikon is transorming this liquid toner technology into

    a viable digital press that has the potential to be a game-changer.

    Marco Boer - Vice President, IT Strategies.

    2 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    3 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    Unmet Market Needs

    Xeikon is a digital printing veteran, having introduced the first full-color digital printing press more than

    two decades ago at Ipex 1993. Since that time, the company has continued to refine its dry toner, soft-

    ware and imaging technology across the board for document and packaging applications , including press

    mechanics and electronics, toner, the imaging and fusing process, and workflow and finishing solutions.

    There is still significant market value in dry toner solutions. However, the ability to take digital printing to

    a new level in terms of speed and cost adds another d imension to the digital pr inting ecosystem that has

    not previously existed in the marketplace. With dry toner products, there is a limit to how small the dry

    toner particles can be manufactured and still have the toner be functional and safe in a digital printing

    device. The optimal size for dry toner particles is in the 6 to 7-micron range. Any smaller than that, and

    they become too difficult to control during the imaging process, and potentially unsafe to handle as well.

    This can result in a wide range of issues, both internally and externally to the press. In addition, toner

    layers on substrate are typical ly about 5 microns per color, substantially thicker than conventional printing

    technologies such as offset, or higher end digital printing technologies such as production inkjet. These

    factors ultimately limit the speed and/or quality that can be achieved with dr y toner systems.

    That being said, Xeikon dry toner products such as the Xeikon 8000 family continue to meet the needsof a broad application set and volume range. They deliver exceptional quality and throughput, at 1200

    dpi and up to 19.2 meters (63 feet) per minute. Xeikon remains committed to continuing the development

    of its dry toner platforms and the workflow and services surrounding them, enhancing their functionality,

    usability and overall market appeal well into the foreseeable future.

    Yet as a digital printing vis ionary, Xeikon has continued its search for other technologies that could raise

    the bar in digital printing in terms of both higher speed and lower cost. Trillium liquid toner technology

    is one result of that research and development effort that is nearing commercialization. In 2010 Xeikon

    acquired the intellectual property rights to an existing liquid toner technology which had matured to a

    point that it was reasonable to believe it could be commercialized.

    Document Owner Challenges

    One of the key drivers of ongoing developments in, and adoption of, digital printing technologies is

    the evolving needs of buyers of print. Increasingly, print specifications are being created by document

    owners rather than procurement. And while procurement may still be involved in the buying decision,

    document owners are increasingly seeking four key elements that drive the selection of a print service

    provider and/or printing press technologyand may even determine whether or not print is included in a

    given project. These are:

    Time to Market. Document owners, whether they are in the marketing department, producing

    transactional documents or publishing a catalog or magazine, want ever faster time to market. In adynamic and highly competitive marketplace, time to market (or time to mailbox) is perhaps the most

    critical factor in customer communications and product delivery. Printed components must be

    produced quickly, and delivery times are often tied to strict service level agreements between the

    document owner and the service provider.

    Quality. While the definition of print quality has shifted over the years, document owners look for a

    level of quality that meets or exceeds their expectations. As a growing number of documents are

    being printed in full color, these demands are even more critical, especially as it relates to brand

    integrity and the overall tactile and visual experience the recipient will have. At higher speeds and

    volumes, production inkjet does a good job of serving a certain digital printing application set;

    however, there are quality limitations with respect to todays production inkjet implementations for

    higher production value app lications, especially those with heavy ink coverage; we believe that Trilliumtechnology will be able to address this higher quality application requirement.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    4 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    Relevance. Document owners of all types are seeking to ensure that the materials they produce,

    whether printed or not, are relevant to recipients. It is only through increas ing relevance that customer

    communications, whether marketing, educational, transactiona l or a combination, can move recipients

    to take desired actions and to keep the dialog going. This means producing a multitude of versions to

    address an ever narrowing array of recipients, even down to an audience of one. Adding this

    relevance through post-process inkjet is losing popularity because document owners prefer higher

    quality single-pass production of these pieces across all application types.

    Cost. Cost is always a consideration. But todays document owners are increasingly savvy about the

    true cost of the entire document life cycle. Cost per p iece is not necessaril y the driving factor it used

    to be. Document owners now take into consideration other aspects of their customer communications,

    marketing materials and publications, including time to market, response rates/ROI, and reduction in

    the cost of inventory wastage and other process costs throughout the entire supply chain and

    document life cycle.

    Environmental Sustainability. A growing number of buyers of print also add environmental

    sustainabilit y to the list of requirements. This includes such things as the use of recycled papers and/

    or papers from managed-growth forests; the environmental impact of the printing technology itself,

    including chemicals, emissions and waste; energy consumption, including the cost of transportation;and the ability to recycle pr inted materials when they are no longer needed.

    All of these drivers, including environmental sustainability, push buyers of print in the direction of a fully

    digital workflow, including a digital printing process.

    Service Provider Challenges

    For service providers, these market demands create a different set of challenges. For continued success

    and profitability in the marketplace, service providers must maintain a state-of-the-art manufacturingplatform from customer-facing web interfaces through efficient shipping and invoicing at the back end.

    They must embrace the principles of lean manufacturing and environmental sustainability. They must

    ensure the utmost in quality control and the fastest possible cycle time. And many rely on support from

    hardware and software manufacturer partners to provide them with the tools, technologies, tips and tech-

    niques that will ensure that they continue to grow in the most expeditious manner possible while making

    sure that current and emerging market needs are being met.

    Maintaining a state-of-the-art manufacturing platform has grown even more complex as more digital and

    conventional printing options have become available. Decisions involve much more than which press to

    purchase. Service providers must take into consideration the document owner needs outlined above and

    determine the best approach for their businesses in terms of addressing those needs.

    In order to make the right investment decisions, service providers and their document owner customers

    must have a good grasp of the existing technology landscape as well as some of the technologies on

    the horizon. These emerging technologies will be able to fill performance gaps created by the limitations

    of current products and technologies and are being offered by a variety of vendors. Filling these perfor-

    mance gaps only makes sense if it can be done profitably for the service provider, who in turn must be

    able to deliver cost-effective services that specifically address changing document owner needs.

    In addition, as service providers add new technology to the mix, they are often also looking for solutions

    that can be managed by an operator with a different type of profile than might have been required in the

    past. This is due to the continued transition from a craft industry to a manufacturing industry and the

    declining availabilit y of highly skilled offset press operators. They are also looking for digital technologies

    that have fewer substrate limitations, higher quality and whose output can be recycled.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    5 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    The Application Landscape: Filling the Gap

    As document owner needs have become more complex and service level demands have increased,

    Xeikon has identified a significant performance gap that cannot be effectively addressed by current

    technologies. That gap falls in the upper right quadrant of the figure below.

    This chart reflects how individual printing technologies are currently addressing a variety of document-

    oriented applications, and highlights where Trillium fits relative to existing technologies, as well as

    identifies the applications not currently addressed by digital printing in an effective manner.

    The vertical axis specifies the image coverage and quality the applications require, while the horizontal a xis

    designates where sheet-fed versus roll-fed technologies play in terms of the volumes to be produced.

    When laid out in this manner, it becomes very clear that there is a segment of applications that is not

    being effectively addressed, resulting in a digital printing performance gap. These include:

    High-Volume Direct Marketing. These materials are typically mid- to high-quality with heavy ink

    coverage. They have strict color quality and consistency requirements, especially as it relates to

    brand colors. For those projects that require lower volumes, todays electrophotographic technologies,

    including the Xeikon 8000 family, are doing an excellent job of addressing their needs. For higher

    volume projects that require less quality, todays production inkjet may be the answer. And in the

    upper left quadrant, the needs for high speed and very high quality have historically been met by

    offset printing, with inkjet variable data imprinted as required either directly on the press or in the

    finishing process. Keeping in mind document owner requirements, this latter approach is falling out

    of favor for many direct marketing applications due to quality and time to market constraints as well as

    the lack of flexibility inherent in the offset process and a significant amount of process waste, both in

    time and materials. It is these high-volume, high quality, often personalized applications that Trilliumtechnology targets and the application gap the technology is expected to fill.

    Run Length


  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    6 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    Transactional Printing. Transactional printing is comprised of transactional documents such as

    bills, statements, invoices, explanations of benefits (EOBs), confirms, and other types of transactiona l

    documents that communicate account status and other information to existing customers. Historically,

    these were primarily produced in black & white on preprinted offset shells. Over time, most producers

    of these documents have migrated to a white-paper-in model and have begun using color with the

    growing installed base of production inkjet presses that allow cost-effective, high volume production

    of these documents. The next phase for high volume transactional printing is the ability to add

    marketing, educational or other messaging to these transactional documents, preferably in color, with

    high quality graphics, and based on the transactional information that is actually contained in the

    document or in customer databases. In many cases, this may even eliminate the need for some direct

    mailings. As more color and higher coverage are introduced, production inkjet quality is often not

    sufficient for the most appropriate por trayal of brand image. This is especially true for high-net-worth

    customers, whose transactional documents may include heavier ink coverage and demand a higher

    production value. In other cases, for example in the automotive industry, transactional statements may

    contain promotional images, such as the image of an automobile, and these images also demand a

    higher quality than is available today for variable production in high volumes. In addition, todays

    production inkjet presses are limited in the types of substrates that can be used, and ink jet optimized

    substrates can carry as much as a 50% cost premium over standard offset grades. Alternatively, a

    pre-coating or binding agent is applied on the press, which also adds to cost and cycle time. Inkjetprints can be difficult , if not impossible, to properly recycle. It should also be noted that as quality and

    throughput increase, marketers will be able to produce a broader range of customer communications

    that draw from transactional data for increased relevance but are not in and of themselves transactional

    documents. See catalogs and magazines below. Finally, many transactional and other customer

    communications documents are migrating to digitalrather than printedformats. This shifts how

    print is being and will be used in the customer communications process. We believe that there will be

    a growing role for high volume, very high qualit y personalized and re levant communications that often

    will draw on transactional data. While this will likely apply to high value customers, over time, we

    believe it will migrate down the value chain to cover a wider range of customer communications. We

    believe that technologies such as Xeikon Trillium that can address the quality/cost/time dynamics

    these more complex communications require will find growing acceptance among marketers and the

    service providers that support them.

    Books. There are a number of forces that are driving book printing to a digital model. These include

    shorter runs, an increased number of versions, more self-publishers who are seeking an on-demand

    production model, and a focus by publishers on reducing waste in the supply chain. A growing number

    of book printers have adopted high-speed toner-based or production inkjet technology, with the bulk

    of these digital book blocks being produced in monochrome today. As publishers look for ways to

    both increase the amount of color within book blocks and raise the crossover point between offset

    and digital, there is a growing need for a higher quality digital printing solution that can handle larger

    volumes, longer runs transitioned from offset and while at the same time delivering improved quality

    on a wider range of substrates.

    Catalogs and Magazines. Magazine and catalog publishers are facing the same challenges as are

    book publishers, with one key difference: Magazines and catalogs have always had more color

    content, heavier ink coverage and higher quality demands . While these requirements can be handled

    effectively with digital toner-based presses for shorter run lengths, the cross-over point where a

    magazine or catalog would need to be moved to offset is still relatively low. In addition, publishers

    would like to be able to introduce more personalization and relevance to these publications, often

    based on transactional data they have with respect to individual customers. In some cases, this is

    being done with cover wraps that might reference a recent purchase; in others, inline inkjet is used

    either in the printing or finishing process. This results in a market gap that requires very high production

    speeds with equally high production values to migrate these applications to a digital production

    process. Trillium technology is designed to address this gap. Its abil ity to quickly produce high qualit y

    full color publications will also allow for increased digital printing of newer applications such as

    magalogsa combined magazine/catalog publicationthat are highly relevant to the individual, have

    the quality that brand owners demand, and take advantage of transactional and other data designedto motivate desired actions, promote specific products and more. Magalogs offer a combination of

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    educational or informational content and promotional content in a format that consumers are likely to

    find more attractive and useful than a magazine or catalog as a standalone publication.

    It is these market gaps which Xeikons Trillium technology is ideally suited to fill. Based on what we have

    seen to date, we believe that technologies like Trillium will have a game-changing effect that will allow

    these markets to be further developed that existing printing technologies would allow.

    There is a sizeable gap today in the production digital color market between cut-sheet electro-

    photographic and continuous eed inkjet printing systems. To succeed in that space, systems

    need to have high-volume capability as well as attractive running costs at high coverage or

    applications like catalogs, direct mail, educational books, and magazines. Xeikons Trillium

    leverages liquid electrophotography printing technology to get to the quality and productivity

    levels necessary to address this market gap.

    Jim Hamilton - Group Director, InfoTrends.

    7 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    The Trillium Difference

    Why is Trillium different than any other digital printing technology currently in the marketplace? This sec-tion provides an overview of the technology, while the following section delves more deeply into exactly

    how it works for those who wish to dive into more detail.

    Trillium advantages can be segmented into several categories. These include:

    Speed. Presses utilizing Trillium technology will be introduced to the market with a speed of 60

    meters (200 feet) per minute. The technology is already producing speeds of 120 meters (400 feet)

    per minute in the lab, so it can be expected that future products will be available with increased

    speeds. This offers throughput in excess of that delivered by dry toner printing and is in the range of

    production inkjet speeds.

    Quality. Trilliums unique liquid toner process delivers a stunning level of quality that cannot be

    achieved by todays production inkjet solutions, especia lly with coated papers and high ink coverage.

    It is able to do so at speeds faster than full-color dry toner can achieve due to the high resolution of

    the imaging heads (1200 x 3600 dpi) and the small toner par ticle size of less than 2 microns.

    Throughput. While related to speed, throughput needs to be considered as an end-to-end metric

    when comparing printing technologies. This includes the prepress requirements, actual productiontime and finishing (which includes drying time). Trilliums liquid toner requires no drying time as

    compared to offset printing technology. There is also no press setup time, platemaking or other

    makeready measures that would be included in an offset printing job. Thus, users will be able to

    achieve offset-like quality but with faster throughput when the entire process is considered. When

    considering inkjet, the maintenance time and cost that is often required to clean or replace inkjet

    heads must also be taken into consideration. Trillium does not have these issues.

    Cost. With Trillium liquid toner imaging technology, unused toner and carrier fluid are recycled within

    the press for re-use. There are no inkjet heads to maintain or rep lace. And it does not require printing

    plates as in the offset printing process. These factors and others contribute to Trilliums highly

    competitive cost per copy metrics. With smaller toner particles and a thinner layer of toner, Trillium

    uses only about one-third of the toner particles that most dry toner systems would use to print anequivalent product, significantly reducing the amount of toner required. Trillium technology is suitable

    for higher volume, high quality static print that exceeds the cost metrics for dry toner printing and can

    deliver prints at a more economical cost per image than offset within the targeted volume ranges.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    8 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    Dynamic Print. As with other digital printing technologies, Trillium supports dynamic variable data

    printing, which, of course, is not supported with offset printing.

    Digital Front End. Xeikon has been developing and improving its digital front end for more than two

    decades. This is an area of deep competency for the company, and the digital front end is a mature

    and proven product. When integrated into a Trillium-based press, the Trillium front end will support

    throughput at rated engine speeds, regardless of the complexity of the job.

    Ease of Operation. Many printing companies are seeking printing technologies that deliver the

    utmost in quality without the need for a journeyman press operator. This is due both to cost

    considerations and the declining availabilit y of these skilled craftsmen in the marketplace. In addition,

    the ability to use a less skilled operator opens up more flexibility in terms of staffing the press,

    including the ability to cross-train multiple employees who may also be carrying out other duties. In

    addition, the skills required to operate a digital press, as opposed to an offset press, are more

    reflective of the skill sets available in todays digitally-oriented marketplace.

    Substrate Versatility. Because Trillium uses less heat to fuse the liquid toner to the substrate, it is

    able to handle a wider array of substrates than dry toner presses, In addition, the composition of the

    liquid toner and the way it adheres to the substrate, as well as its thinner film (described in more detailbelow) also enable use of stocks that might not be suitable for dry toner presses. As compared to

    production inkjet, the Trillium does not require the use of special optimized papers, pre-coating or

    binders. These papers and processes add cost to the overall job. In fact, some inkjet-optimized

    substrates can cost as much as 50% more than comparable offset papers.

    Environmental Sustainability. Trillium technology has several environmental benefits when

    compared to other printing technologies. These include:

    No VOCs or need for venting. The toner particles are suspended in a white oil carrier that emits

    no vapors. The unique Trillium imaging process results in the vast proportion of the carrier being

    recycled for reuse within the system.

    No noxious chemicals. There are no solvents or other noxious chemicals that are used in the

    manufacture of Trillium liquid toner or at the customer site. In fact, the carrier liquid used is a phar-

    maceutical grade oil.

    Less energy consumption. Trilliums LED imaging process uses less energy than laser imaging.

    Compared to production inkjet, because the liquid toner is not water-based, drying requirements

    are minimal and accomplished in the fusing process, whereas drying consumes a significant

    amount of energy with production inkjet printing technology.

    Less Waste. Compared to offset, Trillium liquid toner produces less waste. Makeready sheets

    are not required, and documents can be printed on demand, eliminating the cost and waste as-

    sociated with printing large quantities to inventory.

    Deinkability. The Trillium liquid toner printing process was tested for deinkability by INGEDEduring its early development phase and received a very good deinkab ility score. Other liquid toner

    technologies and inkjet can have issues in this regard.

    It should also be noted that while Xeikon has a significant level of knowledge and expertise in the de-velopment of digital front ends for its digital printing technology offerings over the last two decades,

    Trillium does present a new challenge for Xeikon. The DFE for a Trillium-enabled press will likely need to

    use different technology in order to cope with the added file size, speeds, bandwidth and volumes the

    press is designed to manage. In addition, we could expect to see a more open DFE that is able to easily

    integrate with third-par ty solutions such as print MIS or ERP systems. This would allow for more efficient

    management of jobs through a Trillium-enabled shop.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    9 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    Trillium: A Deep Dive

    In its first iteration, Xeikons Trillium-based press will be a roll-to-roll configuration that consists of two to-wers, each with four printing stations (CMYK). This enables duplex 4/4 printing (perfecting) with precise

    front-to-back registration as well as precise registration of each color separation. Future configurations

    could add additional towers (and additional colors) for a wider color gamut and potentially the introduc-tion of special colors to more accurately address brand owner requirements.

    Trillium Imaging Process

    Trillium liquid toner is a high-viscosity toner that does not require evaporation of or fusing out of thecarrier oil. This means there are no VOCs in the printing process nor is there any need to vent the

    press to the outside. In other words, i t operates in a very clean environment.

    The Trillium imaging process consists of several highly-engineered and precise process steps as

    the image is created and the liquid toner for each color is applied to the substrate. Please note that a

    combination of conventional and digital imaging technologies have been incorporated to deliver optimum

    reliability quality and throughput. The image below depicts the roller configuration for each printingstation, of which there will be eight in the initial Trillium-based press. A description of the function of

    each roller and the process by which the toner is ultimately transferred to the substrate follows.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    10 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    Within each Trillium imaging station, there are four zones where toner and/or image are transferred. Eachof the four rollers is seamless so there are no seams or repeats, staying true to Xeikons principle of

    endless print.

    1. From left to right, the first roller in the process is an anilox roller that picks up the liquid toner. This is

    an engraved roller type that is well-known in the conventional printing world for its ability to ensure

    even transfer of ink.

    2. The next roller in the imaging configuration is the doctor roller. Trillium liquid toner is a dispersion

    of dry toner particles that are specially produced, downsized and shape modified to a small particle

    size in the 1,5- to 2-micron range, as opposed to typical dr y toner milled in the 6- to 7-micron range.

    The dispersion is waterless and uses a pharmaceutical-grade white oil as a carrier liquid.3. The next roller is where the digital part of the process commences. This is the photoconductor roller

    which includes the photo sensitive material that allows LED imaging to take place. The photoconduc-

    tor roller is imaged at 1200x3600 dpi using LED imaging technology, a mature imaging technology

    Xeikon has been using for more than two decades. At each station, the respective separation is

    imaged onto the photoconductor roller.

    4. New to Xeikon technology is an intermediate step where the image is transferred to the next roller,

    the intermediate roller. This would be similar to an offset printing blanket. The image is then electro-

    statically transferred to the substrate.

    Understanding these imaging steps in more depth is key to understanding why Xeikon Trillium liquid toner

    technology is so unique and groundbreakingin fact, why it is a game changer.

    Trillium liquid toner is comprised of a pharmaceutical-grade white oil carrier as mentioned above, and

    small toner particles shaped like small, flattened spheres with a thickness of less than a micron and a

    diameter of 1,5 to 2 microns. There is a 5 micron gap between each set of rollers, resulting in the base

    materials having near full contact with each other. The doctor roller, a charged rubber cylinder, picks up

    part of the toner layer being provided by the anilox roller. The non-transferred toner particles and carrier

    are recycled back to the inking station for reuse.back to the inking station for reuse.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    11 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    The next step is the charging of the toner particles, causing the toner layer to be compacted to the

    surface of the photoconductor roller. This realizes always a clear carrier liquid phase touching the

    photoconductor reducing all background toner transfer followed by the transfer from the doctor roller

    to the photoconductor. This is the critical step where the image is written to the photoconductor using

    LED imaging and toner particles are transferred to that part of the photoconductor where the image has

    been written. The toner present in the non developed parts of the doctor roller along with the carrier

    oil,are recycled. There is no fusing or evaporation of carrier oil into the atmosphere. The 5 micron gap,

    called microgapping, means that toner particles easily jump from one roller to the other with extreme

    precision and at a very high speed.

    Once toner has been applied to the latent image on the photoconductor, it is then transferred to the

    intermediate roller,. The intermediate roller is also a charged rol ler resulting in 100% of the imaged toner

    being transferred from the photoconductor to the intermediate roller, while extra carrier fluid remains

    with the photoconductorand is recycled. the toner is then transferred to the substrate which moves to

    the next station where the process is repeated for the next color.

    This process resul ts in a very thin layer of liquid toner being applied to the substrate. Typically, four layers

    of current dry toner technology result in an approximate thickness of 20 microns; with Trillium technology,

    the four-layer thickness is about 4-6 microns. This implies a need to use much less material to achieve

    the required image quality, which in turn implies less cost. In fact, the process uses at least about

    one-third less toner than traditional dry toner electrophotographic processes. This also enables a

    thinner final colorant film on the substrate, which has an image quality advantage through a physicallyflatter refractive response to light.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    12 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    This nearly full-contact printing approach is a key to the accuracy of the technology and is not found in

    most other digital printing processes. It is arguably the most accurate transfer of an image to substrate

    aside from traditional offset printing. This is important for both the quality and the speed of the printing


    The image below depicts the toner particles being applied to the substrate (which is not to scale) and

    the extra carrier fluid staying with the intermediate roller dependent upon the absorbing behavior of

    the paper substrate

    Fusing ProcessThe low-energy fusing process for the Trillium-based press is a full-contact duplex fusing system located

    at the end of the press with a prefix station after the each tower. Fusing uses both heat and pressure to

    stabilize the image.

    SubstratesThe initial press will support a wide range of paper substrates . The primary focus of this first press will be

    document printing, and document-type substrates are being tested and certi fied as part of the pre-launch


    DeinkabilityDeinkability is at least at the same good level as current dry toner Xeikon presses. Deinkability was a

    design specification for the technology.

    Compact FootprintThe initial press using Trillium liquid toner technology will have a very compact footprint. Its roll-to-roll

    length is 11 meters (30 feet) with a width of 5 meters (16 feet). Print width will be around 500 mm (19.7

    inches). In lie with Xeikon philosophy, printing length is virtuall y endless with no seams or repeats.

    Targeted Monthly Volume

    Ideal candidates for the initial Trillium-enabled press from Xeikon will be producing a minimum workloadof 5 million A3 prints per month. The duty cycle for the initial Trillium-based press is projected to be

    roughly three times that of the Xeikon 8000 family of presses, or 15 million A3 prints per month.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    Looking Ahead

    Trillium technology will be commercialized in 2014, beginning with Europe and, in a phased launch

    approach, being dep loyed next to North Amer ica and then to the rest of the world. This schedule assumes

    that field tests go according to plan, which they are expected to do.

    In the interim, interested parties will be able to view print samples, and ultimately have the potential of

    visiting Xeikon labs and/or beta/installed customer sites. Xeikon is also aggressively testing customerfiles and substrates to ensure the breadth and depth of the final product and its ability to meet the market

    demands for which it is designed.

    It is expected that early customers will be companies that have already implemented digital printing, but

    are looking for a way to move up the price/performance spectrum and/or migrate volumes from offset and

    production inkjet. It is envisioned that as the product matures in the marketplace, there will be a number

    of commercial printers who will choose this technology as their first foray into digital printing.

    13 - Sherburne & Associates 2013

    The Xeikon Trillium liquid toner technology is very exciting. It has the potential to bring increased

    sheet widths and speeds to digital print at a cost point that alls between production EP and inkjet.

    David Zwang -Zwang and Company.

  • 7/29/2019 X Trill Aug2013 FINAL


    About Cary Sherburne

    Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focusedon marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries. She was recognized

    as a 2009 Woman of Distinction by Output Links and was awarded the 2009 Thomas McMillan Award

    for excellence in journalism. Sherburne has written six books, including Digital Paths to Profit, publishedby NAPL; and most recently, No-Nonsense Innovation: Practical Strategies for Success, written with Bill

    Lowe, the Father of the IBM PC and available on Amazon. She has also ghost-written several books for

    busy executives, for whom she makes the process simple and efficient.

    Sherburne has served in a number of management and executive roles at companies that include Xerox,

    Indigo (now HP Indigo), Bitstream (Pageflex) and InfoTrends. More recently, she was Vice President of

    Marketing Communications at IKON Office Solutions (now Ricoh). Since launching her private prac-

    tice in 2002, and during her time with InfoTrends, Sherburne has managed and/or participated in a

    wide range of research and consulting engagements, providing both qualitative and quantitative studies

    that include business process assessments, market analyses, due diligence for investors, new business

    assessments, development of sales process and sales training materials, development of product launch

    packages, and strategic alignment of product portfolios.

    Sherburne is also a key contributor of news and analysis pieces for WhatTheyThink, the leading online

    news and analysis resource for the printing and publishing industry. In addition to her role as Senior

    Editor at WhatTheyThink, which includes both written and video content, Sherburne occasionally writes

    for other printing trade magazines, as well as creating by-lined editorial and other content for clients.

    For more information visit www.SherburneAssociates.com.

    Office: 603-430-5463

    Mobile: 857-206-2885

    Fax: 253-369-3113

    [email protected]