With the installation of six 25,000-gallon tanks at its EA toner plant in Webster, N.Y., Xerox is preparing to produce its Ultra Low-Melt EA (emulsion aggregation) toner, a product that the company says can cut overall power consumption of digital printing devices by as much as 15 to 30 percent.
According to Xerox, fusing the toner or sealing it on the page is the most power-intensive process in printers and multifunction devices, accounting for 50 to 80 percent of the total power used. In developing the Ultra Low-Melt EA Toner, scientists at Xerox Research Centre Canada aimed to save energy by lowering the fusing temperature. The new toner melts at a temperature as much as 45 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the EA toner now being used in current Xerox products.
Emulsion aggregation technology, according to Xerox, is a nanotechnology-based process that yields sharper image quality, higher reliability, and reduced toner usage in an energy-efficient manufacturing process. The company says that pages printed with EA toner use 40 to 50 percent less material than those printed with older-style toner. Until about five years ago, all Xerox toner was made by grinding plastic pellets into very fine particles -- an energy-intensive mechanical process.
Xerox expects to start producing the Ultra Low Melt EA toner next year. Since EA toner was first introduced, Xerox and Fuji Xerox have designed more than 50 office and production products that use EA toner. The new low-melt toner will be suitable for all future products, according to the company.