Xerox Erasable Paper Could Assault Paper & Forestry Companies

Stock Tickers: XRX, IP, KMB, UPM, AVY, MWV, TIN

Xerox Corporation (XRX-NYSE) scientists have invented a way to make prints whose images last only a day, so that the paper can be used again and again.  While the New York Times covered this today, Xerox has issued a press release confirming the data. It could have serious ramifications for the paper and forestry sector.

The technology is still in a preliminary state, but it could blur the line between paper documents and digital displays and could ultimately lead to a significant reduction in paper use for many temporary print-outs.  I have historically had about 10 documents per day that I would print out for reference, but the shelf life is that day only. For larger organizations this could generate far more in savings.

This experimental project is collaboration between the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and PARC (Palo Alto Research Center Inc.). Xerox estimates that as many as two out of every five pages printed in the office are for what it calls “daily” use, like e-mails, Web pages and reference materials that have been printed for a single viewing.

Paper and forestry companies are mostly lower on the day, but some of it is likely attributed to a weak market today.

International Paper (IP) $32.40, down 1.4%

Kimberly-Calrk (KMB) $65.95, down 0.5%

UPM-Kymmene (UPM/ADR) $24.67, down 0.95%

Avery Dennison (AVY) $67.32, down 0.9%

MeadWestVaco (MWV) $29.20, down 0.05%

Temple-Inland (TIN) $38.92, down 0.8%

The paper and forestry industry has been under fire for years from numerous angles, and this could be just one more of a few dozen steps that would actually gear a computerized world to at least trim some of its paper use.  You can be assured that there will still be paper in the years to come, but these guys have been assaulted from more angles than they probably care to mention.

Jon C. Ogg
November 27, 2006

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