Advanced photocopier features
Your new photocopier is a large investment, and it must be able to do everything you need it to do now, as well as in years to come. Some features will be more necessary for you than others, and there will be a few that you didn't even know you needed!
This depends upon how much these features would be used to offset the cost of the option. More advanced capabilities that used to be expensive or unavailable are now standard on today's photocopiers. Many features can be added later - if you choose the right photocopier. Make sure you ask about the specifics of the upgrade process for the future.
Digital photocopiers can recognise the dimensions of your original document and adjust the photocopy by using preset enlargement and reduction settings, even if the copying paper is a different size to the original.
Since 2008, most photocopiers can store email addresses, and the number of addresses you can save will vary between make and model. You can easily select one or more recipients from the email screen and push the start button to send a document in the feeder or on the glass to the required mailboxes.
When a photocopier hasn’t been used for a certain period of time, intelligent power down modes provide energy efficiency and save you money. Look out for "Energy Star" rated photocopiers.
The fax module will enable you to receive printed incoming faxes and send faxes through your photocopier. A document feeder allows you to easily send multi-page faxes, or use the copier glass for thicker documents such as catalogues and books. With a network interface, users can even send faxes from their computers.
Hole-punching, stapling, folding, saddle stitching to create booklets and collating are some of the finishing options that will boost the efficiency of your photocopier and staff productivity. More finishing add-ons include:
- Post-Process Insertion Unit. Allows users to add pre-printed material, photographs or other media that can't be put through the pressure and heat of a photocopier without risking damage
- Cover Interposer. Inserts cover sheets on booklets
- Mail-bin. Automatically prints or sorts copies into different bins so that users can find their jobs quickly and easily.
A digital photocopier will help you to edit your documents while copying takes place. For example, adding page numbers, watermarks such as "confidential" and date stamps. Scanned images can also be rotated to match the available paper supply, which will save you paper and wasted time. Images can be combined in creative ways too, for example a double-sided document or 4-page document can appear on one page.
A digital photocopier can double up as an office laser printer, offering you significant savings where copier per-page costs can be as little as 20% of laser printer printing costs. Involve your IT department early in the purchase decision to ensure the make and model you choose is compatible with your network. Also your employees could become more efficient by producing stapled copies of large documents - without leaving their desks!
Documents can be scanned and copied into the photocopier’s memory before printing, and used to create electronic versions of your paper documents. You can also rapidly scan multiple pages or both sides of a document at once with the addition of a Dual Imaging Document Feeder (DIDF). Turn your papers into editable electronic documents with OCR (optical character recognition) software, and gain the ability to scan directly to a computer desktop or e-mail.
Some photocopiers have Personal Identification Number (PIN) access features where users are required to enter a code before they can make copies. This will
- prevent unauthorised usage
- provide a level of security
- allow you to analyse current usage patterns by department for cost-recovery purposes
- and prevent confidential documents being left in the output tray by storing documents in memory.
Networked digital photocopiers usually have a "secure print" option that allows confidential files to be sent to the photocopier, but not printed until the sender releases this with a code at the copier itself.
Each side of the original page is stored in the digital photocopier’s memory, and then both sides of the copy is printed. The copies will be produced faster and the amount of two-sided copies you make will not be limited by the capacity of a duplex tray.
Wired and wireless connection options
Photocopiers can have a wireless LAN interface, such as a Bluetooth wireless board or the 802.11b wireless LAN standard. Wi-Fi options are available on newer photocopiers. Separate parallel and Universal Serial Bus (USB) interfaces obtainable to help you connect storage devices or laptops.