Digital photocopiers, as opposed to traditional analogue copiers, use raster image processing (RIP) technology to store imagery of the original document in the machine as a set of pixilated information. With this fundamental function of copying, digital copiers now come in many different forms and with a range of functionality that utilizes the ability to reuse the stored image of information.
With added functionality, such as facsimile to send a copy to another physical location, or scanning to send the digitally stored image to a computer terminal, digital copiers are inherently multifunctional.
You can find information on different types of copiers with other functionality elsewhere on this website, but standalone digital photocopiers are available with a wide variety of features to make photocopying efficient, cost effective and of high quality.
Types of Digital Copiers
There are two main types of digital copiers that use different mechanisms to process the printed copy are Inkjet and Laser. To learn more about how digital copiers work, click here.
An inkjet photocopier typically uses the common method of scanning the original document by RIP technology using a laser, but the inkjet technology in the digital copier is mainly for the printing of the copy. Inkjets are cheap to maintain with fewer moving parts involved, but the process of inkjet printing is slower than laser printing, and the ink can often remain wet during printing if there is a lot of colour variation in the original image. Therefore, Inkjets are best for simple colour photocopying at low volumes.
Laser photocopiers also user the common method of scanning the original document, but use laser printing technology to print the copy. Laser printers are faster and of high printing quality, as well as reliable, but as a result can be expensive; yet they still have lower operating costs compared to an analogue photocopier.
Benefits of Digital Copiers
Digital copiers are instantly of higher quality than analogue copiers for a number of reasons. Firstly, the scanning of the original document itself uses optical technology, and the result is converted to digital information in raster form as a copy image. Secondly, the digitization of the scanned image means that most standard digital copiers allow you to change the intensity and other attributes to apply to refine the quality of the scanned copy.
By scanning and retaining a copy of the original in memory, the features on a digital copier can be used to adjust settings and reprint to ensure the copies cannot be distinguished from the original. The printing mechanisms in digital copiers are also more advanced than in analogue copiers.
The benefit of a digital copier is that a single scan of a document can be used to print multiple copies, which is extremely time-efficient and allows for high volume photocopying without having to repeat the most important part of the process.
It also helps productivity as only the first copy needs to be observed to ensure it is as desired, and the rest can be left to print automatically as they are certain to be exactly the same, while the user can do other activities to save time.
Digital copiers not only have lower operating costs than analogue copiers, but the efficiency of scanning and digitizing the scanned image for reuse, reprinting and tuning its visual attributes saves on paper, ink and electricity. Ink cartridges for digital copiers are also cheaper as they are widely available.
Digital copiers are instantly more environmentally friendlier than analogue copiers because they have less consumables to dispose of. However, there are continuous environmental benefits of digital copiers by with less energy consumption, particularly helped by only needing to commit a scan of a document once, which is energy intensive, no matter how many copies are required to be printed.
Most modern digital copiers allow different energy saving modes, including automatic or timed power shut down, or sleep modes for a period of inactive use. The technology in digital copiers also tends to be quieter.
Even in single-purpose digital copiers, the digital system allows there to be a whole range of features which would not be possible in an analogue copier.
Aside from image quality adjustments and copier preferences, you can also configure settings for the copy, including scaling, multiple pages on a single sheet, duplex printing and different print settings to manage large volume sets.
The number of features and the level of sophistication can vary, and the price of the photocopier will vary accordingly, but consumables or parts will also cost proportionately.
Many modern digital copiers also contain a meter to monitor the usage, consumable supplies in the machine, such as paper and ink levels. Advanced meters can also include security measures to monitor who and when the photocopier is used.
The possibilities of features are endless.