Color Copiers That Harness The Power Of The Press

Full-color copying in half the time: That's the promise of a new digital copier unveiled by Ricoh Corp. According to a Datapro survey, 32% of color copier users state speed will be a crucial factor in choosing their next color copier. To grind out 15 color copies a minute, Ricoh's forthcoming NC8015 takes a printing-press approach, laying down each of the four "process" colors--magenta, yellow, cyan, and black--with a separate printing roll, or drum. By contrast, current color copiers use only one drum that must make four separate passes, one for each color. Marketing Director Robert F. Sostilio says Ricoh's method makes it faster because the paper passes through in a continuous straight line.

The copier, due out later this year, employs a scanner similar to the print heads in laser printers but with better resolution: 400 dots per inch, compared with 300 for most laser printers. While pricing hasn't been officially set, an insider says there will be no premium over competitive high-speed color copiers aimed at corporate reprographic departments.

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