Fuji Xerox Color J75

If the budget only stretches to an entry- or mid-level digital press, forget about the all-singing, all-dancing benefits that come as standard on manufacturers’ top of the range devices. At least, that was the theory. Given the eye-watering price difference between a mid-range digital engine and a high-end machine, it’s not surprising that vendors balk at giving away these features for free.

But printers are increasingly demanding higher levels of automation to improve productivity and the quality in today’s tough trading climate. Some forward-thinking manufacturers have responded by upgrading the standard specifications of machines that sit lower down their portfolio. They are adding more bells and whistles inline. This thinking is evident in the Fuji Xerox Color J75, a new mid-level print-copy-scan digital press launched in February. It includes many of the technological features that you might expect to find in the company’s flagship iGen range.

According to Fuji Xerox Australia’s product marketing manager, Nicholas Chin, many of the special features that have been incorporated into the Color J75 machine were specifically requested by digital printers in Australia.

“A lot of the feedback we received from local print providers was focused on generating operational efficiency, keeping the press running for maximum periods of time,” says Chin.

“Australian print providers are acutely aware of these factors. It is a competitive marketplace and making sure that productivity is very high and print jobs are done properly is extremely important.”

These concerns have clearly been taken on board with the design of the Color J75. It “builds on the strength of the 700 platform” says Chin, pointing to the popular range of machines that includes the 700, 700i and 770.

The Color J75 is targeted at graphic communications companies, design agencies, CRDs, educational establishments and in-plants looking to produce collateral ranging from photobooks, through to direct mail and catalogues. Fuji Xerox calls it an ideal solution for new and existing customers looking to replace their original 700 press or DocuColor 500 devices.

Small press, big features 

Some of the core capabilities cascaded down to the Color J75 from more advanced presses include automatic calibration and destination profiling, registration adjustment and inboard-outboard density variation control. The manufacturer claims the press can print coated and uncoated stocks of up to 300gsm at the rated speed of the engine – 75 pages per minute (ppm) – with a duty cycle of 450,000 pages.

One of the Color J75’s unique selling points in its price bracket is automatic colour calibration, which is made possible thanks to the Automated Color Quality Suite (ACQS). ACQS turns “idle time into earning time,” says Chin. “It allows you to cut set-up time to the bone and delivers consistent quality with less interruption.” 

ACQS employs a user-friendly adjustment control system called Simple Imaging Quality Adjustment (SIQA), which automates press controls for greater ease of operation, says Chin.

“With the Color J75 press’s SIQA feature, you can make certain press adjustments that previously may have required an engineer call-out, meaning more up-time and the ability to stay running longer and to take on more work with confidence.”

Discrepancies in input-output density or any variation in colour can be quickly identified and corrected. Fuji Xerox is breaking new ground by putting functionality such as SIQA controls and the inline spectrophotometer with ACQS into class of digital press, says Chin.

“Previously features like this were only available on machines like the Color 800 or 1000 devices and, of course, the iGen presses. The Color J75 press now brings these valuable tools to small- and medium-sized enterprises,” says Chin.

At around $100,000, depending on spec, the J75 is priced significantly lower than Fuji Xerox’s high-production engines, the Color 800, 1000 and iGen4.

Other benefits of the Color J75 press are full DMP-X2 functionality. “This multifunction-like interface and control helps to integrate production solutions into their existing business workflow.”

The press also has a new scanning unit that offers full-colour, single-pass duplex scans of up to 200 images a minute. “This allows customers to introduce new types of jobs like archiving and proofing.”

The Color J75 is fitted with the latest version of the EFI Fiery print server – the FS100 Pro – which offers new functions such as image editing and previewing and colour adjustment to print on the fly, with a visual representation for the operator to look at. The Fiery controller “irons out workflow issues quickly and optimises the Color J75 press’ operations,” claims Fuji Xerox.

Up the front

Speaking at the J75’s launch, John Henze, vice president of Fiery marketing at EFI, said the Fiery FS100 Pro “addresses the needs of printers to deliver vibrant image quality quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. The new Fiery DFEs process complex jobs faster, including VDP files in all industry standard formats.”

When it was launched, some industry commentators were surprised the Color J75 wasn’t fitted with a Xerox front end. But from April, the press will be offered with the company’s FreeFlow print server. For those who are interested in adding further levels of automation, there’s also an optional feeder, collator and finishing binder.

To date there’s been “tremendous interest” in the new machine, says Chin. “Customers who have seen demonstrations on the device have been particularly impressed by the new SIQA press operator controls. They believe that the SIQA controls will represent additional machine operability. Combined with automated colour calibration and inline finishing capabilities, they look at achieving further costs and workflow efficiencies within their businesses.”

Parties who have registered an interest to date cover a vast gamut of different print and communication services providers, including commercial printers, quick printers and franchises as well as mailing houses and corporate customers.

The manufacturer’s tactic of adding features that were once only available on more advanced production printers is a sensible approach to adopt in these straitened times. Not only will it suit smaller commercial printers, but the J75’s highly automated features also opens it up to environments with less skilled operators, such as marketing departments or educational in-plants.

Fuji Xerox’s departure from the norm also goes to show that the company is listening to the demands of its customers and responding to their ever-changing business needs, says Chin.

“Fuji Xerox Australia recognises that its customers are continuously looking at productivity increases,” he says. “As such, the automatic controls help to ensure that resources are freed up for other value creating activities. Increased productivity with a higher level of repeatability ensures that customers can deliver more high value content that meets their customers’ demands for tighter deadlines.”

On paper the combination of a mid-range press fitted with high-end features in a smaller footprint and capable of producing high-quality print looks like a mouth-watering proposition. Shipping of the new machine only commenced in March, so it’s too early to forecast how big an impact the Color J75 will have on the market, but the machine certainly looks as if it’s got all of the ingredients to make it a runaway success. 

 


 

Specifications

Max speed 76 A4 pages per minute

Max resolution 2,400×2,400dpi

Max paper size SRA3

Max paper weight 300gsm

Price Depends on configuration

Contact www.fujixerox.com.au, 1300 667 955

 


 

The alternatives

Ricoh Pro C751EX

The Pro C751EX features the same intuitive control panel as the Pro C901. This light production press includes Ricoh’s vertical cavity surface emitting laser technology. It is also fitted with Active Toner Density Control, offering real-time toner monitoring and ensures the developer unit gets the right amount of toner for each job.     

Max speed 75ppm 

Max resolution 1,200×4,800dpi

Max paper size SRA3

Max paper weight 300gsm

Contact www.ricoh.com.au, 1800 181 002

 

Canon ImageRunner Advance C9070 Pro

The SRA3 ImageRunner C9070 Pro can print at a top speed of 70ppm with a recommended monthly volume of 350,000 pages. Printing on heavier and coated stocks can slow down production, but the ease of use of this light production machine more than makes up for this speed shortfall. It offers several inline finishing options, including an inserter, hole punch, booklet­maker with leading-edge trimmer, and a folder.

Max speed 70ppm

Max resolution 1,200×1,200dpi

Max paper size SRA3

Max paper weight 300gsm

Contact [email protected], 1300 663 623

 

Konica Minolta Bizhub Pro C7000

Using KM’s Simitri HD+ polymerised toner and capable of handling monthly volumes of around 330,000, the Pro C7000 packs a punch. Automated colour management tools provide hands-free calibration. Finishing options include large capacity stacker, hole punching, folding, stapling, saddle stitching and perfect binding.

Max speed 71ppm 

Max resolution 1,200×1,200dpi

Max paper size SRA3

Max paper weight 300gsm

Contact www.konicaminolta.com.au, 1800 789 389

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