Xerox pushes R&D spending to launch 15 new printers

Xerox also announced a range of smaller machines for corporate use

Xerox is making a major bid to win office and print-shop business, on Tuesday launching 15 new and upgraded digital printing products and surpassing, in little more than a quarter of 2007, the number of printers it introduced in all of last year.

The surge in new products is a result of a $922 million investment in research and development in 2006 -- or $1.6 billion including Xerox' work with FujiFilm Holdings -- said Jim Firestone, president of Xerox North America. The move could help Xerox to solidify its sales to commercial printers, service bureaus, and large institutions like financial and medical firms, he said.

At the high end, Xerox Tuesday at the AIIM/OnDemand trade show in Boston targeted production print shops with the Nuvera EA Digital Production System and the Nuvera 288 Digital Perfecting System for high-volume, black and white printing. For mid-level print shops, Xerox announced new copy and print machines including the model 4595 digital copier/printer running at 95 pages per minute for entry-level light production and the model 4110 running at 110 pages per minute.

Xerox will sell the Nuvera EA DPS beginning May 15 for $90,000, and the Nuvera 288 DPS immediately for $460,000. The list price for the model 4595 with both copy and print functions is $53,200, and the price for the Xerox 4110 is $81,900.

Xerox is not afraid to spend its way toward greater market share in the U.S. business printing market. On April 2, the company announced it would acquire Global Imaging Systems for $1.5 billion, with plans to reach more small and mid-sized businesses through the office imaging equipment reseller.

Also on Tuesday, Xerox announced a range of smaller machines for corporate use, hoping to claim new ground in offices where it competes with Hewlett-Packard, Konica Minolta Holdings, and Ricoh Co. Xerox hopes to seize greater market share in that sector by continuing to cut prices on its color printers, bringing them ever closer to black and white printer prices, Firestone said.

Other new products in Xerox's new product line include new multifunction printers for color printing jobs in the corporate setting, including DocuColor models 242, 252 and 260. The 260 machine is the fastest of that group, producing 75 black and white or 60 color pages per minute. Xerox charges $37,195 for the DocuColor 242, $41,995 for the DocuColor 252 and $47,490 for the DocuColor 260.

And for a range of small and large businesses, Xerox launched the WorkCentre 7328, 7335 and 7345 color multifunction printers. The models run at a range of 26 to 35 pages per minute in color or 28 to 45 pages in black and white. Xerox will start selling the new WorkCentre systems on May 16 starting at $11,795.

The company also offered workflow software to guide digital files through the whole process -- FreeFlow Print Server 6.0 and FreeFlow Process Manager MAX. They will complement two new releases of enterprise content management (ECM) software Xerox launched on Monday.