Xerox Invests $25 Million to Expand Toner Plant

The five-story, 100,000-square-foot plant was originally designed for energy efficiency.

Digital print solutions specialist Xerox announced it will invest $25 million in the coming year to expand its EA toner plant to handle the increasing worldwide need for chemically grown toner used in Xerox printers and production presses. The company said the project will increase Xerox's manufacturing capacity of EA Toner by 50 percent at the company's plant in Webster, N.Y.
The current emulsion aggregation (EA) toner plant opened in 2007 and features more than 20 miles of pipe and stainless steel tanks that produce billions of micron-sized toner particles. Originally constructed for $60 million, Xerox's total capital investment in the toner plant will now reach nearly $100 million. Construction to expand the plant will begin this month and should be completed by the end of 2011, the company said. The expansion will add 10 engineers and union technicians to the current workforce of about 75.
Developed by Xerox and protected by more than 300 patents, EA toner is engineered to produce sharper images using less toner per page. Since EA toner was first introduced, Xerox and Fuji Xerox have designed more than 50 office and production printing products that use EA toner. The current plant produces EA toner for use in Xerox products around the globe.
Unlike traditional toner, which is created by physically grinding composite polymeric materials to micron-sized particles, EA toner is chemically grown, enabling the size, shape and structure of the particles to be precisely controlled. The company said this Xerox-developed technology leads to improved print quality, less toner usage, less toner waste, and less energy required for manufacturing and for printing.
The five-story, 100,000 square-foot plant located near Rochester, N.Y., was originally designed for energy efficiency, and uses more than 4,000 sensors that track information about temperature, humidity, air flow and other variables.
"As one of the world's largest producers of toner, we have looked at several alternatives on how and where to expand our manufacturing capacity," said Wim Appelo, president of Xerox's global business and services group. "We chose to upgrade our existing facility not only because it makes the most economic sense but also because we benefit from the strong local technological expertise and the opportunity to invest in job growth in the U.S."
The decision to open the state-of-the-art EA toner plant is part of the company's overall commitment to continue to invest in the manufacturing of technologies. More than 6,000 employees currently work at the company's 1,100-acre campus, known as the Joseph C. Wilson Technology Center. In addition to manufacturing its high-end, production-level printers, the center is a research and development location for the company.