Rewritable printer your environmentally friendly office equipment
This post brings me back to last year Eco Products event in Tokyo where I visited booth of a company by the name of SANWA NEWTEC CO. where I saw various printing equipments on display. After few questions I found out that at least one of the printers on display is a rewritable printer which company calls it “PrePeat”. The company is located in Miyazaki Japan and it claims they developed this product in 2003. After my visit of their booth I said to myself I heard about this product but I could not remember from where until I did some sole searching on GOOGLE and I found out that Toshiba on 2006 made its announcement of their version of rewritable printer but claiming to be the first in the world. OOPS!!! I don’t know what happened but I checked Sanwa’s news release and believe it or not they made their product release announcement on 2003. This may be poor PR and marketing by Sanwa or a huge mistake by Toshiba but without getting into the politic of the matter lets see what all the fuss is about. PrePeat product merit is that it can print into the same paper as many as 1000 times. The printer does not need any ink or toner or drum cartridge like an inkjet printer or a laser version. But you need a special paper, a thermal sensitive special gloss paper to be specific. This is the key, Sanwa does not make this paper. The company that makes the paper is Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. This special paper is called ThermoRewite by Mitsubishi Paper Mills. ThermoRewite is a rewritable thermal recording that uses the reaction between dye and a specially designed developer to print an image where company claims that by using this technology the visual information can be renewed for as many as 500 times. This specialty paper comes with a cost around 400 Yen per page. The printer itself isn’t cheap either and not to forget the cost of cleaning the printer head. I have not seen the Toshiba’s one but the one by Sanwa is pretty good and I did not notice any shadow of previously printed items on it as some claimed this was the case with the Toshiba’s one. Personally I have not seen a rewritable printer in an office myself but I have seen an all familiar application of rewritable thermal recording, yes in point cards that are used by various merchants in Japan and by train operators as well. Yes they use the thermal heat technology to reprint and change the contents on those point cards and train passes and tickets. So from the technological perspective this is certainly an excellent discovery but its application in an office printer may be a bit fuzzy. By the way the PrePeat prints only in Black at 203 dpi with paper sizes of A4 and A5. Well I guess if you are really able to reprint a sheet for a 1000 times then the reduce cost compare to regular printing will bring a good merit into the picture but I am sure this is not the only running cost not to mention the hefty initial cost of printer and cleaning it. This may translate to printing more paper money to pay for all this. But I can see the ECO message that ThermoRewite is getting across with its rightful applications in saving the environment. Well, we can’t stop progress, that’s for sure.