By Simon Eccles, Monday 17 July 2017
A versatile and highly automated four-colour dry toner production press.
What does it do?
Xerox’s Versant 3100 Press is a dry toner 100ppm (A4) digital production printer and the latest addition to the Versant family. It fits in between the entry-level, lower-volume 80ppm Versant 180 presses (launched at the same time) and the higher-volume, five-colour capable 100ppm Color800i/1000i presses in the Xerox range.
The 3100 replaces the earlier 100ppm 2100 model and offers greater versatility and “time-saving automation,” to help run more short-run jobs per shift. Xerox stresses the long-sheet capability and choice of inline finishing options.
When was it launched and what markets is it aimed at?
It was launched on 4 April and shipping began in May. According to Yuichi Kamoshida, product marketing and business manager at Xerox, the 3100 model is “engineered to appeal to several primary markets including in-plant providers and commercial or print-for-pay businesses”.
The Xerox marketing slogan for the 3100 is ‘Advance, automate, and do more’. Kamoshida says: “The technology is designed for high performance, high reliability, and high image quality – from page-to-page, job-to-job, year in and year out.”
How does it work?
It’s a CMYK digital press with a maximum sheet size of SRA3-plus (330.2x488mm), although the built-in XLS setting allows it to take sheets up to 660mm long via the Multi-Sheet Inserter tray.
Key features include Automated Colour Quality System (ACQS), which handles colour management; Full Width Array, a built-in colour scanner that works with the ACQS to correct for colour and density variations and misalignment of the print image; Ultra HD Resolution, a combination of 2,400dpi resolution, imaging path and VCSEL ROS laser technology; EA Toner, Xerox’s chemically grown particle technology; and a compact belt fuser.
A flat fusing pad helps prevent distortion and aids the handling of envelopes. Cooling after the fuser helps prevent stacked sheets sticking together.
A decurling unit is fitted after the fuser, and profiles for it can be created for different stock types. Additional decurlers are fitted to the Interface Decurler Module (the link to inline finishers) and the Production Ready Finisher.
The print server renders images at 1,200dpi with 10 bits per pixel rather than the usual 8. The result is much smoother tonal gradations according to Xerox. Colour patches and registration marks are printed on the image carrier between every impression, allowing continuous measurement and adjustment.
As standard there are three 550-sheet capacity internal paper trays, a 250-sheet bypass feeder (for pre-printed covers and similar) and a 4,000-sheet Advanced Oversized High Capacity Feeder. An optional Advanced High Capacity Feeder gives two more 2,000-sheet trays.
There are three digital front-end options. The EX-P 3100 ‘Print Server Powered by Fiery’ (ie developed by EFI) includes a powerful HyperRip, intended for complex graphics and variable data. EX 3100 ‘Print Server Powered by Fiery’ is similar but without the HyperRip. Xerox’s own-tech FreeFlow Print Server is offered for transactional work using AFP/IPDS data.
Finishing options include inserting, stacking, multi-position stapling and hole punching, saddle-stitch bookletmaking, sorting, trimming, and folding (tri-fold, z-fold, tabloid z-fold and squarefold). Not all finishing units can handle long sheets.
What’s the USP?
Xerox claims it’s the fastest machine in its class.
How easy is it to use?
The automation features help with this. They are applied to most operations from job submission to finishing. Some are fully automated, including process controls and automated registration for colour and consistency. Others such as colour calibration require a few mouse-clicks to set a press function.
What training and support is on offer?
Maintenance contracts cover full support including toner, parts and fitting. Two days’ operator training is included and there are advanced training schemes for specifics such as workflow integration.
How productive is it?
The 3100 can print A4 simplex at up to 100ppm, or SRA3 duplex at 25ppm. It has auto-duplexing up to the maximum paper weight of 350gsm. It’s intended for volumes of 75,000 to 250,000 sheets per month, with the duty cycle is quoted as 1.2m A4 sheets per month. The productivity is the same even with the heaviest stocks, coated or uncoated, up to 350gsm.
What does it cost?
List prices start from around £107,000. Xerox has several click payment schemes based on usage volumes, most of which cover consumables and servicing.
Screening clustered dot, line screen, FM
Speed 100ppm (A4, up to 300gsm), 80ppm (301 to 350gsm)
Sheet sizes 330.2x488mm in internal trays, up to 330.2x660mm in oversized feeder
Weight range 52 to 350gsm
Paper capacity 3,900 90gsm sheets as standard. 9,900 max with options
Media types Coated and uncoated paper; tabs; labels; envelopes; transparencies; ‘special substrates’ (such as linen, poly, vinyl and magnetic stock); ‘special media’ (such as business cards, greeting cards, ID cards, signs, posters and menus)
Price From £107,000 depending on options
Contact Xerox UK 0330 123 3245 www.xerox.com
Canon imagePress C10000
Resolution 2,400x2,400dpi, 8-bit
Max sheet size 330.2x487.7mm
Weight range 60 to 350gsm
Max sheet capacity 10,000 (80gsm)
Price From £75,000
Contact Canon 020 8588 8000 www.canon.co.uk
Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1100
Resolution 1,200dpi, 8-bit
Max sheet size 330x487mm
Weight range 55 to 350gsm
Max sheet capacity 13,890 sheets (80gsm)
Footprint 900x950mm (print unit only)
Price Around £80,000
Contact Konica Minolta Europe 07793 758571 www.konicaminolta.eu
Ricoh Pro C9100/Heidelberg Versafire CP
Max sheet size 330x700mm
Weight range 52 to 400gsm
Max sheet capacity 7,100 (80gsm)
Price £100,000-£160,000 depending on badge and configuration
“To the naked eye you can’t tell if it’s digital- or litho-quality print. We can do short runs at litho quality and it’s obviously cost-effective for the end-user to get that quality at that cost per page”
Gary Smart Managing director, Smart Print Services, the first UK printer to buy a Versant 180, launched alongside the 3100