Guest Post: How To Save More Than Just Money When You Print And Photocopy
Published on 16/10/17
In this guest blog from Paul Taylor at Synergy Technology Group Ltd he looks at a compelling alternative to the traditional print/photocopy devices we have all been using for many years. It’s a technology that provides all the same features and functionality but one that also delivers many additional benefits, including financial, operational and environmental.
Technology has evolved significantly from the days when a machine was merely able to copy, to today’s modern Multi-Functional Devices (MFD’s). Modern MFD’s have sophisticated scanning and workflow capabilities as well as apps that can be downloaded directly onto the machine to enhance its functionality even further. Software now manages users, provides additional security through follow-me solutions, tracks usage, and applies rules to ensure documents are produced in the most cost-effective way.
Inherent Challenges With Laser Technology;
Engineer Call Outs
Whilst all of these developments have been introduced, the fundamental mechanics behind how the image is produced on the paper remains unchanged. The multi-step printing process used in today’s laser engines means that it’s not only necessary to replace the toner cartridges, but also the drum, developing unit, transfer unit and fusing unit. Moreover, because the replacement intervals for these components are all different, maintenance (and engineer visits) needs to be performed frequently, something which adversely effects the availability of the equipment.
The process of producing the image on the paper, as well as being complex, is one that uses lots of electricity because the fuser needs to be heated to extremely high temperatures in order to seal the toner on the paper. Consumption increases significantly when a machine needs to resume operation from its standby mode, and in environments where the volumes produced are intermittent, repeated warming up can lead to very high electricity consumption levels.
Speed of Printing
Leading on from above, at times a machine can be really slow to produce just one single page (an experience I’m sure many of us have endured), this is because the machine needs to wait until the fuser has reached its optimum operating temperature before it can produce a copy. Laser engines also process image data in units of pages so they are unable to print a page until at least one full page of data has been processed. The combination of both these factors mean that delays can be experienced particularly when you need to print or copy just one single page.
Misfeeds can happen because the image is sealed onto the page by a combination of both heat and pressure and as a result the paper can sometimes become warped or creased causing the machine to jam. This can normally be resolved by a user but it will invariably add delays to their workload and worse case may need an engineer to resolve, potentially impacting your school significantly.
Parts, Consumables & Packaging
As mentioned earlier laser technology does require a number of individual components to operate and each of these components comes with its own packaging and sometimes costs to be delivered to a customer’s premises. The image below illustrates the difference between the volume of consumables and packaging to produce 100,000 pages on a laser product compared to a new alternative.
An Alternative School's Should Consider
It's clear then, that laser technology does come with its challenges but the good news is that an alternative solution is gaining traction in many organisation that promises to reduce waste, increase printing times, and save energy too!
The solution uses ink rather than toner and because of this, it's capable of delivering the following improvements over the traiditonal laser technology:
- More Realiable - Inject printers eject liquid ink onto the paper and therefore the print head requires no contact with the paper - greatly improving realiablity.
- Reduced Missfeeds - Inkjet printers don't need any heat to fuse the image onto the paper as the ink dries instantly on contact with the paper- greatly reducing the number of missfeeds in the machine.
- Reduced Downtime - The devices only have 3 parts that require periodic replacement, the ink packs, maintenance box and paper pickup rollers, which can all be replaced quickly and easily, greatly reducing the downtime and improving reliability too.
- Faster - With a process that does not require head pages