Fuji Xerox Versant 2100

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 is 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 and the first worldwide deliveries will start in August. According to Fuji Xerox the target markets include printers with light production engines who want more productivity and flexibility, mid-level production customers looking for more automation and quality, and offset outfits looking to enter the digital space and who need a robust, colour accurate, productive print engine.

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 1200, with up to 10-bit image depth for 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 a 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 as well as duplex alignment. It also assesses 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 is 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 2400dpi, but its various rip options can generate 8- or 10-bit depths, at 1200dpi, 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.


The alternatives


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 aimed at CRDs

Max speed: 71.6 A4 ppm (2-up duplex)

Max sheet size: 330.2 x 482.6mm

Stock weight range: 60-325gsm

Max input capacity: 10,000 sheets

Max output capacity: 17,000 sheets

Resolution: 1200dpi

Monthly duty cycle: 1m pages max

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



The top model in its range of dry toner digital production presses, aimed at commercial printers with a choice of rips, up to nine input trays and finishing options

Max speed: 80 A4 ppm (2-up duplex)

Max sheet size: SRA3+ (330 x 487mm)

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

Max input capacity: 10,760 sheets

Resolution: 1200dpi, 8-bit colour

Monthly duty cycle: 500,000 pages

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



Ricoh’s top model is a bit slower than the new Xerox, but the duty cycle is comparable. The Pro C751, with 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

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

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