The options are vast when it comes to choosing a copier for your office. For starters, there is an extremely large number of actual photocopiers on the market, all with different speeds, features, and prices. Then there’s the way you buy it; either buy directly, lease or rent. And finally, you must consider the maintenance and service precautions to deal with the inevitable hiccups that occur during the period of operation. This guide aims to explain some of these options and help you make the right decision when choosing your photocopier.
Your Copier Requirements
Assessing your needs is key to choosing the right copier, as the volume and type of copies you need to make will ultimately determine the machine that is best suited for your office. Thinking about the following points should help start this process: How many copies do you need to make monthly? Need both color and black and white copies? What size copies do you need to make and what type of paper do you want them on? Do you need additional functions such as image editing or double-sided printing? Should your copier also function as a scanner or fax machine?
This term can be misleading, since while desktop copiers are smaller than their floor-standing counterparts, they typically take up most of an average desk. For small to medium-sized businesses with a limited number of users, this can be a very reasonable option. Although their tray capacity, print speed, and collation options are often more limited than floor-standing photocopiers, at the higher end of the market, desktop photocopiers offer just as many imaging features as their larger counterparts.
Most medium to large offices or those with a high need for printing services will find that a floor standing photocopier is best suited to their needs. As the name suggests, these are larger, stand-alone machines that, given their size, tend to have much larger tray capacities and the ability to print on larger paper sizes.
Floor copiers typically have print speeds of 20-105 CPM and a maximum duty cycle of 1,000,000 copies per month. At the very highest end of the market are giant print centers capable of over 110 CPM, but generally these are used by professional printers rather than offices where printing and copying is not the first and most important task of the day. Most copiers also have an ADF (Automatic Document Feeder). This means the machine can make multiple copies from multiple different originals, so you don’t have to stand right next to the copier with the scanned document back. Standing copiers are also often referred to as MFDs or multifunction devices. This is because they also include a scanner, fax machine, or printer (or all of the above). Often these features are accompanied by optical character recognition (OCR) software that can recognize text and convert paper documents to an electronic format for editing. Of course, the more functions you want in your machine, the more you have to pay (see prices). They can also offer a range of print collation options not available on smaller models, including punching, stapling, booklet making, laminating and comb binding.
The Canon imageRUNNER and imageRUNNER Advance series offer a range of photocopiers from desktop to high-end printers. Perhaps the most comprehensive range of solutions, environmentally friendly with the best nationwide maintenance support and the lowest total cost of ownership of any brand listed.
Hewlett Packard photocopier
They are used to serve the lower end of the market (mainly desktop devices) but are making waves in the managed document services space with a range of printing solutions and multifunctional office equipment.
Konica Minolta copier
The Konica Minolta “BizHub” is one of the most popular and respected copier models on the market. They produce a whole range of office machines with specialized high-end copiers for the professional print shop.
Kyocera copiers generally fall into the mid-market. They produce office copiers and multifunction devices (MFDs) that range from 15 to 60 CPM and are more compact than most major brands. They’re also one of the more overtly eco-friendly brands out there.
Panasonic mainly deals in home office and small office machines – the largest machine in their range is capable of 60 CPM. They also have one of the most reliable service and maintenance records.
The Ricoh “Aficio” range offers copiers and multifunction devices for every type of business, including professional printing at the highest level.
Samsung produces multifunction devices for the lower end of the market, mostly desktop devices priced under £2,000.
Another mid-range brand offering mid-range office multifunction devices, generally under the £10,000 mark, with their eSTUDIO range.
Commonly referred to as MFPs (multifunction printers), Lexmark is another brand making waves in the MPS (managed print services) space with a range from low-end printers and MFPs to high-throughput floor-standing office machines and integrated workflow solutions beats.
The inventor of the photocopier and perhaps the most comprehensive range of high-end systems. Xerox’s success over the past five years has been in corporate and managed print services with large multi-site, multi-national contracts.