This morning, I had the opportunity to speak on the phone with Mark Swanzy, COO of Xante, about Xante’s soon-to-be-released Excelagraphix 4200, memjet-enabled, wide-format, ink-jet printer.
I asked Mark a series of questions, and, below, you will see my questions (in black type) and my write-up (in blue type) based on his responses.
At the very end of this post, you will find “my comments” about the Excelagraphix 4200.
1) When will the Excelagraphix 4200 be released on the market (i.e, when will it be available for purchase and delivery)?
Sometime between April and June 2012.
2) What is the price of the Excelagraphix 4200?
Base unit with feeder and stacker, somewhere in the vicinity of $80,000 to $100,000 – but, since manufacturing costs have not yet been finalized, price of the unit has not yet been finalized.
Price of unit – as a base unit without feeder or stacker – projected to be somewhere around $70,000 to $75,000.
3) What is the operating cost (per square foot) projected to be for the operation of the Excelagraphix 4200 printer?
Memjet printheads and ink are the “consumables” required for the printer and are included in “operating cost”.
At 100% ink-coverage, cost of operation is projected to be $.32 per square foot.
Operating cost is projected to be directly proportionate to ink-coverage-area, so, at 50% ink-coverage, cost is projected to be $.16 per square foot, at 10% ink-coverage, cost is projected to be $.032 per square foot, and at 5% ink-coverage, cost is projected to be $.016 per square foot.
“Black & White only” print cost is projected to be the same as the print cost for “color” printing.
4) Will the Excelagraphix 4200 print only on cut-sheet media, or will the Excelagraphix 4200 print from roll-media?
The first release of the Excelagraphix 4200 will be a “cut-sheet” model. Planned accessories/options are expected to include a) a cut-sheet feeder and b) a cut-sheet stacker. (They also have plans to add a conveyor, at some point in the future.)
A roll-fed model is planned for approximately one year from the date that the initial cut-sheet model begins shipping.
5) Warranty period and what’s covered under the warranty?
Warranty has not yet been finalized, so, at this point in time, I don’t have any information about that to share with you.
6) Will a service contract be offered for the unit, and, if so, what will the cost of a service contract be?
Xante will be offering service contracts, but pricing has not yet been finalized.
7) Will Xante be offering software with/for the Excelagraphix 4200, and, if so, what will that software be?
Adobe Postscript 3 RIP with Xante iQueue Workflow software.
8) Will Xante be establishing a dealer-network for the Excelagraphix 4200?
Xante will be selling directly and through dealers to end-user customers in North America and through dealers and distributors outside of North America.
Xante has the right to sell/distribute worldwide.
9) Media / print substrate requirements?
Memjet print technology is a water-based, dye-ink imaging technology. What you print “on” needs to be receptive to that imaging technology.
The Excelagraphix 4200 printer will be capable of printing directly onto media / substrates up to ½” thick.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Excelagraphix 4200 wide-format printer from Xante
Chief Operating Officer
2800 Dauphin Street
Mobile, AL 36606
251-473-6502 Ext. 4202
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While I was disappointed to learn that the printer, when first released, will not have a roll-feed capability, it was interesting to hear that the printer will have some sort of “cut sheet feeder”. At this point, I don’t know whether that feeder will be automatic (and, if automatic, whether it will be a suction-feed or friction-feed media feeder (similar to what you find on folding units) or be an “operator-assisted” feed table. To obtain very high-productivity, especially considering the very-fast print-speed offered by the printer (up to 12” per second!), the printer is going to need enable fast media feed. But, even if it has a cut-sheet feeder, that’ll mean that reprographers who use this printer for printing A/E/C plans will need to stock different sizes of cut-sheets, which is something reprographers were able to do away with when roll-feed, automatic-cut-to-size printers came to market, years ago. If I was a reprographer, I’m not sure I’d be all that happy having to stock “rolls” AND “cut sheets” (unless, of course, the Excelagraphix 4200 was the only wide-format unit in my production center.)
Of interesting note, it does look like the Excelagraphix 4200 might an answer for reprographers who are looking to be able to offer A/E/C plan sets in color rather than in b/w and to be able to offer “color” sets at the same price they are now offering b/w sets. I don’t yet know the financial details of KIP’s soon-to-be-released c7200 high-volume, color, production unit, but I think it would be an interesting exercise to do a cost comparison (factoring in equipment cost, service cost, operating cost), OCE ColorWave 600 vs. KIP c7200 vs. Excelagraphix 4200.
When I asked Mark Swanzy about the Memjet-enabled wide-format ink-jet printer that a Hungarian equipment manufacturer (by the name of OWN-X) is working on, he did say that that company’s wide-format printer (called the Widestar 2000) will be roll-fed unit. He also said that he does not think OWN-X’s unit will be released until after the European trade-shown known as Drupa.