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Innovation

ENCOURAGING INNOVATION

Innovation is central to Lexmark's business strategy. We focus our efforts on seeking new ways to solve our customers’ issues while benefiting society and the environment. Our industry-leading enterprise software automates processes to improve the efficiency of our customers’ businesses while reducing their use of energy, paper and toner. Our software, hardware, tools and services comprise a set of innovative solutions that improve the operation of everyday tasks and processes in an environmentally conscious manner.

Whether it’s improved energy efficiency in our facilities or new ways of creating, packaging and shipping our products, all employees are challenged to think outside the box.

Our employees are encouraged to discover effective and eco-friendly ways of helping our customers and safeguarding the environment. Whether it’s improved energy efficiency in our facilities or new ways of creating, packaging and shipping our products, all employees are challenged to think outside the box.

We offer our interns, engineers, designers and other employees several opportunities to learn more about innovation and career development. To demonstrate the solutions that are produced by our creative participants, Lexmark holds the following events:

  • Excellence Symposium—A platform for our employees to demonstrate new and innovative ideas that benefit Lexmark customers.
  • Student Symposium—A showcase of student-intern and new-employee work, as well as helpful career development information and networking opportunities for all attendees.
  • Research & Technology Symposium—An event with keynote speakers, oral presentations and technical posters. Forums and discussions include the latest technical industry issues that highlight the expertise and ingenuity of our engineering teams.

Innovations in Circular Design

Lexmark creates our products and services with minimal waste through innovative closed-loop processes.

Dedicated to maximizing the reuse of our customer’s returned toner cartridges, Lexmark worked with our longtime sustainability partner, Close the Loop, to collaborate on ways to reuse toner. Close the Loop, with a global reputation for providing creative end-of-life product recycling services, developed TonerPave, an asphalt additive composed of recycled tires, toner powder and recycled oil. This innovative additive provides Lexmark the opportunity to bring the excess toner back to life as a new product.

In 2015, Lexmark’s Lexington campus became the first commercial application of TonerPave in North America. Roads with TonerPave have superior characteristics to comparable roads with virgin raw materials. The addition of toner improves the quality and performance of asphalt, with an environmental benefit of lowering its greenhouse gas emissions at no additional cost.

Lexmark creates our products and services with minimal waste through innovative closed-loop processes. Rethinking how we lengthen the lifespan of our products without changing their inherent properties is evident in this novel approach to toner reuse. In 2015, Lexmark captured 798 metric tons of toner from recycled printer cartridges and manufacturing processes with 91 percent (724 metric tons) being used by Close the Loop to create TonerPave.

Innovations in Eco-Designed Products

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Lexmark design engineers focus on creating products for remanufacture and reuse. The components are designed for long life and at the end of service the parts are easily disassembled. If remanufacturing is no longer an option, the cartridge is processed through a closed-loop recycling system to create new parts.

For over 20 years, significant Lexmark resources have been devoted to generating plastic feed streams and incorporating recycled materials into our products. Capitalizing on the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program (LCCP), Lexmark engineers reclaim a feed stream of plastic from empty toner cartridges. After returning the material to near virgin quality, it is used to make printer components, minimizing the resources necessary to produce new toner cartridges.

The ingenuity behind our post-consumer recycled (PCR) closed-loop process involves every production step taking place at our Lexmark LCCP facility in Juarez, Mexico. The closed-loop recycling system at the LCCP facility removes the plastic, grinds it and then integrates the PCR plastics into new parts. The process also provides PCR plastics to suppliers, who incorporate the resin at a rate of 25-50 percent mold plastic parts for use in new cartridges. In 2015, 520 metric tons of plastic were extracted from our used cartridges and pelletized for reuse in new products.

The closed-loop recycling process demonstrates Lexmark’s commitment to the environment by conserving plastics for reuse, resulting in fewer natural resources being mined or extracted. Locating all steps of the process at the same facility reduces the impact on the environment by eliminating the need for fuel to transport the parts. Operating sustainably is part of Lexmark’s corporate vision and values. Creating new processes to reuse supplies in an efficient manner is integral to every new product Lexmark designs.

Innovations in Printer Design

The Lexmark CX860 Series of color printers and multifunction products is a great example of our commitment to protecting the environment and helping our customers through innovation.

The Lexmark CX860 Series of color printers and multifunction products is a great example of our commitment to protecting the environment and helping our customers through innovation. This series incorporates our latest designs promoting sustainability. The CX860 includes features like a power-saving mode that uses less than a half a watt and a sleep mode that uses less than 4 watts. The CX860 uses almost 50 percent less energy than its predecessor product according to the ENERGY STAR® Typical Electricity Consumption (TEC) metric.

Our exclusive Unison Toner makes energy savings a reality, using less energy than Lexmark’s previous toners by printing at a lower temperature. Standard duplex printing, which prints on both sides of paper by default, is just one paper saving aspect within a comprehensive set of environmental features. The unique ColorSaver feature saves toner by printing images at a lighter shade by default, while leaving text dark and readable. And the included Eco-Copy solution lets you print copies of scanned items using predefined settings like duplex, pages per sheet, and copies per sheet to further save paper.

The long-life components in the CX860 include developer units that last up to 300,000 pages, photoconductor units with over 8 times the life of our previous printers, and developer rollers whose life has been extended 15 times. Our long-life components save resources and require less maintenance, improving our customers’ efficiency.

Designed with the environment in mind, the CX860 is manufactured using at least 35 percent recycled plastic, one of the highest percentages among printers on the market. Remanufactured components from our award-winning Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program provide a second life to the CX860’s cartridges, developer rollers and photoconductor units.

The CX860 includes advanced Section 508 and European Standard EN 301 549 accessibility features for those with varying levels of ability. Features like paper trays that can be closed with less than five pounds of force, built-in voice-guided navigation with a headphone jack for private listening, and raised keypad icons provide a better user experience for all of our customers.

The CX860 is robust enough to produce Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) labels. GHS is a global system used to label chemical substances to ensure the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous materials. The CX860 meets the complex mix of image quality, consistency and durability necessary to print compliant labels.

Numerous independent organizations certify Lexmark products’ environmental credibility. The CX860 has earned the prestigious Blue Angel certification and is EPEAT Gold certified.

Thanks to Lexmark’s commitment to designing products in the most environmentally efficient and socially responsible manner possible, our customers can quickly produce presentation-ready documents while reducing their environmental impact and costs.

Innovations in Solutions

Adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) has led to the creation of an innovative new Lexmark offering: the Lexmark GHS Label Publishing Solution. This solution helps customers easily update and print chemical labels to maintain compliance with hazard communication regulations. Labels created with the Lexmark GHS Label Publishing Solution provide clear, consistent safety and health information to individuals handling chemicals through the use of standardized GHS phrases, symbols and pictograms.

The Lexmark GHS Label Publishing Solution uses smart-template technology to automatically pull information from safety, branding and other company databases in order to create and publish GHS labels with the most up-to-date content. The labels can be accessed from a mobile device or computer, or directly from the control panel of a Lexmark multifunction product.

This innovative solution eliminates issues such as crowded text, incorrect label size and ever-changing label data. The Lexmark GHS Label Publishing Solution solves the challenges of complying with the GHS regulations by combining the label template with the most up-to-date data at the time of print, resulting in high quality chemical labels.

Innovations in Material Sustainability

Lexmark is committed to sustainable excellence in all our products. Being a good environmental steward by preserving our natural resources is incorporated into the design of every product, with preference placed on conserving and reusing product materials.

The Juarez plant is home to the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program (LCCP), which collects used laser cartridges returned by our customers.

Lexmark created a process at our recycling plant in Juarez, Mexico, to reuse a major component of our laser cartridges. The Juarez plant is home to the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program (LCCP), which collects used laser cartridges returned by our customers. The LCCP retrieves components from approximately 25,000 empty toner cartridges per day. Continual improvements by our engineers resulted in the creation of innovative techniques to reuse materials from our customers’ used cartridges.

Prior to implementation of our newest process, the developer roller in a used laser cartridge was rarely part of our remanufactured cartridge. This roller possesses a difficult-to-clean film of toner on the rubber surface that inhibited its reuse. Testing revealed the roller had an extensive life if the film of toner was removed. Lexmark engineers created a novel washing system to remove the toner film using ceramic agitators with scrubbing agents to clean the roller without damaging it or altering its properties.

Reuse of developer rollers results in substantial environmental savings for Lexmark. Using a reconditioned developer roller instead of a new one protects natural resources and prevents pollution caused by harvesting new raw materials. In 2015 over 800,000 rolls were reused in remanufactured cartridges resulting in a savings of over 140,000 pounds of materials. In addition, over 64,000 gallons of water was saved by incorporating a process to reuse the water during the cleaning. Lexmark was awarded a Frost & Sullivan’s 2015 Manufacturing Leadership Award in Sustainability Leadership for reconditioning our developer rolls. We were recognized for our innovative engineering processes, which altered how materials for our laser cartridges are sourced.

 

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