Star product: Xerox Versant 2100

Simon Eccles
Monday, June 16, 2014

New mid-level production engine ups speed and quality.

What does the press do?

This is a mid-level production engine that replaces the DocuColor 8080. It has a higher speed, accepts a wider range of media and benefits from greater automation. There’s a new low-gloss version of the EA ‘dry ink’ toner that was first seen in the Colour 1000. This is intended to give offset-like quality, rather than the giveaway sheen of some digital print. Smoother tones are possible with 10-bit imaging depth. 

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?

It was announced in April but orders won’t be taken until 1 July and the first worldwide deliveries will start in August. According to Alan Clarke, UK product marketing manager for production systems, target markets include customers with light production engines who want more productivity and flexibility; mid-level production customers looking for more automation and quality; and offset firms entering the digital space.

How does it work?

This is a sheetfed SRA3-format digital toner press with duplex capabilities on weights of 52-350gsm. The ‘Ultra HD’ resolution is 1,200, with up to 10-bit image depth to give smoother tones. It uses heated belt fusing rather than rollers, giving a uniform heat and pressure across the sheet, which helps image consistency. It also heats up more quickly, saving energy. The toner melts at relatively low temperature and the press has a cooler before the delivery, to prevent toner sticking the sheets together. A full width inline RGB scanner detects and corrects image alignment on the sheet as well as duplex alignment. It also assesses image quality for closed-loop colour and density correction. 

How does it differ from previous models?

Worldwide product manager Christopher Irick says: “This is not a dust-off of DocuColor technology, or of Colour Press technology, but a brand new platform with an exciting set of features.” Nevertheless it does incorporate elements from the digital colour engine first seen in 2008’s Fuji-Xerox built Colour 1000. These include the heated belt and the EA toner, though the Versant uses new versions. There’s also a new jam clearance feature and a significantly wider range of finishing options. The Versant’s maximum sheet size is 10mm longer than the DC8080’s at 330mm. While the DC8080 has a nominal 2,400dpi resolution, this is 1-bit, while the Xerox digital front-end and some competing DFE’s would actually rip at 600dpi. The Versant also has an official maximum resolution of 2,400dpi, but its various RIP options can generate 8- or 10-bit depths, at 1,200dpi, which gives smoother gradations. 

How productive is it? 

At 100ppm on stocks up to 300gsm, the Versant 2100 is faster than the 80ppm of the DC8080. It can also handle mixed colour models (such as 4/1) at almost full speed. The duty cycle is quoted as an occasional maximum of 660,000 pages per month, with averages expected to be between 75,000 and 250,000 sheets. 

What are the options?

Mainly DFEs, media feeders and finishing. The DFE choice is either Xerox FreeFlow or EFI Fiery EX2100 or EX-P2100. FreeFlow is good for transactional work and legacy data support, but only generates 8-bit depths. EFI EX2100 handles 10-bit depths, comes with the Fiery Command Workstation for job handling and supports PDF/VT and other variable data formats including PPML, VIPP and VPS. The more powerful Fiery EX-P2100 offers 40% faster processing. There are six paper trays, supporting different weights and capacities. Three internal trays support 64-256gsm. Two standard high-capacity feeders support 52-350gsm. There’s an optional bypass feeder for 250 sheets, for 52-300gsm. Reloading can be performed on the fly. Finishing options include a high-capacity stacker; standard finisher with optional C-Z folder; bookletmaker with optional C-Z folder; square-fold trimmer, two-knife trimmer; GBC advanced punch; or a Plockmatic Pro 35 or 50 bookletmaker.

What training, service support is offered?

Xerox offers training on the press and DFEs. The standard full-service agreement includes two-hour response. The Connect-Advantage system monitors performance and includes remote diagnostics.  


SPECIFICATIONS

Max speed 100ppm (52–300gsm)

Max sheet size 330x488mm

Stock weight range 52-350gsm

Max input capacity 5,900 sheets

Max output capacity 6,000 sheets

Resolution 2,400dpi

Monthly duty cycle 660,000 pages

Price To be confirmed, but expected to be in the region of £85,000 

Contact Xerox 01895 251133 www.xerox.com


ALTERNATIVES

Canon imagePress C7011VP/VPS

The VP version of Canon’s flagship toner engine offers EFI or Creo RIP workflows for commercial printers, and the VPS offers Océ PrismaSync and is primarily aimed at CRDs. 

Max speed 71.6 A4 ppm (2-up duplex)

Max sheet size 330.2x482.6mm

Stock weight range 60-325gsm

Max input capacity 10,000 sheets

Max output capacity 17,000 sheets

Resolution 1,200dpi

Monthly duty cycle 1m pages max

Price About £130,000 including server

Contact Canon UK 020 8588 8000 www.canon.co.uk  

Konica Minolta Press C8000

Currently the top model in Konica Minolta’s range of dry toner digital production presses, largely aimed at commercial printers. There’s a choice of RIPs, up to nine input trays and lots of finishing options. 

Max speed 80 A4 ppm (2-up duplex) 

Max sheet size SRA3+ (330x487mm)

Stock weight range 64-300gsm (350gsm with PF-704/705 paper feeders)

Max input capacity 10,760 sheets

Resolution 1,200dpi, 8-bit colour

Monthly duty cycle 500,000 pages

Price Around £130,000, including RIP and basic finishing

Contact Konica Minolta 0800 833864 www.konicaminolta.co.uk

Ricoh Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition Plus 

Ricoh’s top model is a bit slower than the new Xerox, but the duty cycle is comparable. The Pro C751, which includes a quality enhancement system, is also worth a look. 

Max speed 90 A4 ppm (2-up duplex)

Max sheet size 330 x 487.7mm

Stock weight range 60-300gsm

Max input capacity 11,000 sheets

Max output capacity 13,000 sheets

Resolution 1,200dpi

Monthly duty cycle 580,000 pages

Price From £126,000

Contact Ricoh UK 0800 904090 www.ricoh.co.uk

 

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