A Japanese company has developed a new printer technology which uses the same sheet of 'paper' up to 1,000 times.
The PrePeat RP-3100 is an A4 mono only printer which uses a special thermal head and heat sensitive plastic sheets and needs no consumable like toner or inks. The hardware costs a frightening $5,600 and each reuseable sheet of 'paper' weighs in at $3.35. The real kicker, however, is that the sheets are only sold in packs of 1,000.
Try convincing your supplies manager that you need to buy enough materials to print one million documents and see how far it gets you.
Sanwa Newtec, the company which makes the device, reckons the cost per impression is about half what it would be using traditional copying methods, but that figure is reliant on every single sheet of copied information being returned to be wiped and re-used, which just ain't gonna happen.
Add to that the possible fail rate for the thermal heads - anything that gets that hot is bound to melt sooner rather than later - and you have an admirable but ultimately unusable solution.
At the current price point this is, in our opinion, doomed to failure. If, however, the company decides to license the tech to other companies, and the idea gains traction with green-facing firms, this might just catch on.