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MFDs Manage Multiple Tasks with Ease

Replacing copiers with multifunction devices can allow your in-plant to offer new value-added services and increase its productivity.

July 2006 By Carol Brzozowski
AT ONE time, the idea that an in-plant could take a document from start to finish on one machine was akin to science fiction. The advent of the multifunctional device (MFD), though, has enabled in-plants to provide more comprehensive service at greater cost savings.

An MFD typically consolidates printing, faxing, scanning and copying into one device. Today’s MFDs offer even more features, such as finishing, variable data printing, scanning software that routes documents to various destinations, systems that track paper and toner usage, job status indicators, workflow features and customizing capabilities.

Inline bindery features open more possibilities; perfect binding, saddle stitching, stacking, stapling, hole punching, folding and other labor-saving finishing features previously available only on dedicated machines are now common to MFDs.

In the past, MFDs were plagued by low scanning resolutions and slow print speeds. Today’s devices, by comparison, offer a typical speed range and resolution that can bring outsourced jobs back into the in-plant’s revenue stream, according to Mike Fego, product marketing production systems manager for Konica Minolta. Typical speeds range from 15 pages per minute (ppm) to 135 ppm, depending on the device.

And while Fego points out the human eye can only perceive 300 dpi, typical copy resolutions are at 1,200x1,200 dpi and scanning resolutions are about 600x600 dpi.

Faster Processing Speeds

“Just as important as speed and feeds are the dramatic improvement of processing speeds,” adds Paul Albano, a product marketing manager in Canon’s corporate systems division. “Being able to handle multi functions simultaneously, scan a document and quickly convert it using the controller—which allows for higher volume and greater productivity—is an important aspect.”

MFDs also offer savings in both money (supply and maintenance costs are reduced) and space. Because one device can replace four, MFDs offer lower cost of ownership and lower cost per page.

Ease of use is another advantage; employees only have to learn one machine rather than several.

MFDs let users merge electronic and hard copy information into one compound document through a seamless workflow, points out Albano.

Because MFDs can scan at high resolutions and they offer compression technologies for large color documents, they produce high-quality results, says Rich Reamer, a senior product marketing manager in Canon’s production assistance division.

Adds Leah Quesada, director of product marketing for the Xerox Office Group: “Today’s MFDs are offered in several configurations so in-plants can choose which offerings best suit their needs while allowing them to upgrade features if future requirements change.”
Find Out More

Canon USA -
Hewlett-Packard -
Konica Minolta -
Kyocera Mita -
Océ North America -
Ricoh -
Sharp -
Toshiba -
Xerox -


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