Era ends as Xerox pulls out of making presses

May 22, 2024 at 10:09 am by admin

Ahead of DRUPA next week, Xerox has followed its decision not to exhibit with an announcement that it will stop making ‘high-end’ digital presses.

From the end of June, it will stop production of its iGen and Nuvera systems, after 22 years in that part of the market. Some 15,000 jobs are being lost, but it will continue to offer OEM cut-sheet presses from Fujifilm and another manufacturer in the high volume continuous feed inkjet segment.

The company told the US stock market it would focus more on workflow automation technology, intelligent assistant services, and personalisation including its FreeFlow, Predictive AI Pro and XMPie offerings.

Xerox bounded into production print with characteristic energy. Locally, Australian executives entertained trade press representatives to lunch at an exclusive restaurant overlooking Sydney Harbour as they quizzed us about DRUPA.

At a stroke, Xerox went from nothing to being the show’s biggest exhibitor. It then announced it was pulling out of Ipex in 2013, and ten years later prompted speculation that the “document company” might also be on its way out of the production print marketplace with a 2023 announcement that it would not attend DRUPA.

With its Asia-Pacific partner Fujifilm, Xerox has been formative in production print, investing substantial marketing dollars in positioning itself there.

Orders for iGen 5 and Nuvera presses are expected to continue through the year as inventory lasts, with full support promised throughout the life of contracts.

With Fujifilm Business Innovation, it will continue Iridesse, Versant and PrimeLink digital print options across a range of market segments, as well as US-made Baltora and the products of a new OEM partnership.

Xerox and its network of customer sites helped newspapers around the world deliver short-run editions, mostly for retail outlets, and also in experiments in targeted production, before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the shape of their business, and the blocked Fujifilm takeover, that of Xerox.

If their disappearance from these markets takes them out of view of news publishers, there will still be recollections of the contribution Xerox has made to the broader industry, through the 1938 invention of “xerography”, and of Xerox PARC, the Palo Alto research centre which was the “inspiration” for the “WIMP” technology behind Apple’s Macintosh.

Peter Coleman

Pictured: Xerox at DRUPA in 2016

Sections: Print business


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