...at least for office paper. Unless you read the Thompson Private Letter or have seen articles elsewhere, you may have missed Epson's announcement about "PaperLab
state this machine 2.6 x 1.2 x 1.8 meters and produces A4 paper at the rate of 14 sheets per minute. That would be 40 reams per day on a continuously operating basis.
It also uses very little water.
Obviously they are not completely depending on our old strength standby, the hydrogen-ion bond, but, who cares, if the paper performs?
The machine is integrated with document shredding. But look at all the things it does not have to have--transportation of raw materials to the mill site; transportation of the finished paper to the consumer; laboratory inspections of finished product; inventory and warehousing; customer service and operators.
With all these eliminated costs, one can spend a lot more on fancy binders replacing the water.
Will this replace all paper machines? Obviously not. But it will make a dent in certain grades. It will also create many new competitors in the business. It is obvious that large companies can put the machine in situ. However, for smaller users, the document shredding companies, the office supply big box chains and others could operate these, either in their stores or in specific centralized places (these latter scenarios take away some of the cost savings).
It is to be rolled out this year. Let's see if it catches on.