Scanners and copiers are quite often integrated into a single system now, as digital copiers already have a laser scanning component and it is readily possible to establish network connections to a computer or network server for communicating and storing scanned documents.
The scanner component in scanner copier systems varies very little, regardless of which type of scanner. The feeding mechanism can be flatbed or sheet-feed, but the internal process of copying the image is much the same. When using the scanner component, the copy of the image is sent to a network terminal. Using the copier component sends the scanned image onto the printing process.
This is the general process of copying using a scanner (illustrated by a flatbed scanner):
- The original document is fed in by a sheet-feed method or placed on a clear glass plate on a flatbed
- The light from the exposure lamp shining on a strip of the original image carries a reflection of the portion of image onto a mirror. In this way, the lamp is shifted along the document to light a portion of the image at a time
- The light reflects off the mirror onto the CCD sensor panel in an organised sequence so the CCD can form
- The CCD panel converts each strip of image light into a signal of information for the rows of a raster
- The signal is passed through an analogue to digital converter for the Raster Image Processor (RIP), which creates a raster image copy of the original
The next stage determines whether the system is being used a copier or a scanner. If the command is given by the user to scan the document, the information from the RIP is sent to a network terminal, such as a computer. If the user wants to photocopy the original document, the information from the RIP is sent through a laser gun as a source of light to build the image on the copier’s photosensitive drum.