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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are booklet finishers, automatic duplex, network print, etc?

Here is a listing with a brief description of some popular photocopier terms.

Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) : In a photocopier this is a device that holds a stack of originals (usually 50-100) and feeds them automatically, one at a time, to the exposure glass for copying.

Duplex Unit : When this unit is installed in a copy machine, the copier an automatically produce two-sided copies.

Finisher : An option on a photocopier that delivers finished (stapled) sets into an offset catch tray. Many times a finisher will also provide sorting and/or collating functions.

Hole Punching : As copies exit the copy machine, this device automatically punches either two or three holes into a copy.

Large Capacity Tray (LCT) : A paper source on a photocopier capable of handling more than 1,000 sheets of paper.

Saddle Stitch Finisher : This type of finisher will staple on the inside fold and also will fold the document to produce a finished booklet.

Copy Machine Features
Copier Printer : With this feature on a photocopier, your employees can print from their desktop PC directly to your copy machine. This feature lets your employees quickly produce dozens of collated, stapled and high quality documents without leaving their desks.

Copier Fax : This photocopier feature will let you send and receive faxes through your copy machine. Copiers with this ability will either route faxes in to the main output tray our into a dedicated fax bin; to send faxes your employees scan a document through the document feeder on the copy machine.

Copy Control : This feature usually comes standard on a photocopier and requires that a user enter an access code before making copies. The key operator can set copy limits for each user or department as well as run reports to see who is making all the copies! This feature serves two purposes. It prevents unauthorized personnel from using your copy machine and will allow the key operator to track the user of the photocopier by department or even user.

Copy Machine Supplies
Fuser Rollers : The component of the copy machine that fix the image to the paper through a heat (fusing) process.

Cleaning Blade : The component of the photocopier that cleans excess toner off the fuser roller or drum.

Fuser Oil : Some copy machines use liquid silicon oil for added lubrication of the fuser rollers. This prevents toner buildup and increases roller life.

PM Schedule : PMs (Preventative Maintenance Schedule) are the intervals set by the manufacturer at which maintenance procedures should be performed on the copy machine. Components such as developer, cleaning blades, fuser rollers, pads, drums, etc. are change at these intervals.



Digital Copiers – Advantages over Analog

There are many types of copiers on the market today: new copiers, refurbished copiers , analogs and digitals. With all the options, features and costs associated with copiers, it may be challenging to sort through the choices and make a valued decision. Refurbished copiers are generally just as reliable as new copiers, but hold a significantly less price tag. Refurbished models can be purchased either as analog or digital. Analog copiers use a much older process to make copies. To make 100 copies, the scanning element (a mirror and high intensity lamp) of an analog machine will move 100 times while in a digital product the scanner will move only once and uses a very cool low intensity scan lamp - fewer moving parts, less power consumption, and overall longer lifespan. Digital copiers hold significant advantages over analogs, can be quite cost effective, and provide the highest quality printed duplications.

Analog copiers use a mirror inside to project a copy of the document onto an internal drum. Static electricity creates an outline of the image, and draws toner particles to the blank sheet of paper. A heating element dries and secures the image onto the paper, which produces the final copy. Digital copiers possess different functionality. Digitals use internal memory to save a copy of the document which is digitally scanned. Lasers then impress a copy of the document on the internal drum, to which toner is applied, resulting in a high quality printed document. Not only do digital devices repeatedly print images from the internal memory to paper, these images can also be transferred to other digital devices that have the ability to receive digital transmissions.

Digital copiers have many significant advantages over analog copiers. Many digitals provide multiple functions to the user. Not only is the user able to print hard copies, he or she is allowed to transmit electronic versions directly to email addresses or fax machines. These advantages save both time and money, by eliminating steps to create multiple hard copies, then subsequently scanning, emailing or faxing, as well as reducing costs on paper, toner, postage and other office supplies.

Documents of the highest quality are produced by digital copiers. The quality is so high in fact that the replications are relatively indistinguishable from the original. Analog copiers tend to produce grainy or even smudged duplications. Although analog copiers may be less expensive upon initial purchase, their digital counterparts cost less in the long run. Long-term maintenance costs are substantially less for a digital copier , as there are less moving parts of better quality tending to break down and wear out to a lesser degree.  Ink is also less expense for digitals, as a single ink cartridge produces more copies in a digital machine than an analog.



We've heard a lot about document imaging and we were wondering the different ways a copier scanner can image and store a document?

There are two ways a copier scanner can store, archive or forward a document. But first we need to explain the term copier scanner. This is a term used when a copier can perform a scanning function in order to facilitate document imaging. This feature on a copier is becoming more popular since studies have shown that 90% of an organizations' information is still inaccessible by their computer systems. Document imaging provides reliable long-term storage for all kinds of documents including text documents, scanned images & graphics, CAD drawings, web files, and business records. Typically 15,000 pages and/or images can be stored on a single CD-ROM so you can eliminate the cost of onsite/offsite document storage. If your business is still residing on bulky paper (which is easy to misplace or lose) document imaging may be right for you. You might want to consider purchasing a copier scanner from us! With a copier scanner you can retrieve a single document among thousands in seconds on any PC in your office. The cost to add the scanning function to any or our copiers will normally range from $300 to $600 per copier. Less than the cost of a good file cabinet!
The first way you can send (store) a document from a copier to a PC is to PULL the document from the copier scanner to your PC. In this process, you put the document on the copiers' feeder and then go to the PC on which you want the document to come to. This method is also referred to as “scan to file.” Using an off-the-shelf imaging program from Adobe (cost around $200) on your PC you can then pull the document to a designated folder and archive it, forward it to email, etc. The second way you can send (store) a document from a copier scanner to a PC is to PUSH the document from the copiers' feeder to an email address or folder on your network. Using this method the copier scanner usually has the scanning software residing on the copiers' hard drive. Both types of document imaging can work well depending on your business requirements. If you goal is to efficiently archive and store documents, then using the PULL process seems to work the best if you are only scanning to one destination. If you normally like the flexibility to scan to email, or scan to multiple folders, then you'll want to purchase a copier scanner with PUSH technology.


I have been thinking about consolidating my office equipment and purchasing a copier printer. What are the benefits of having an all in one copier printer versus a single copier and printer?

The quality of output on a copier printer is the same as a standalone laser printer and your cost of toner is much lower on a copier printer. To see the substantial savings you can achieve by getting a copier printer from us let's compare a Konica 7022 22 PPM copier printer versus an HP stand alone 22 PPM printer. From a capital standpoint you can purchase the copier printer accessory (better known as a network print card) from us for $400. To buy the HP 1320- 22 PPM laser personal monochrome printer – the retail price on this printer with shipping is also around $400.
So there is no difference in the capital costs. However let's look at the toner price of each model. The toner on a Konica 7022 copier printer yields 30K pages and has a price of $95. This comes out to .0031 cents per page for toner. If you intend to make 10K pages per month and want to keep your copier printer for 4 years then you will spend about $1,519 in toner costs. Does this sound like a lot? On the HP model 1320 the toner yields 6K pages for $105. This comes out to .0175 cents per page for toner. Again taking this rate times 10K pages per month over 4 years you will spend $8400 in toner costs! Although some comparisons are a little less exaggerated then this one, in all cases you will save a substantial amount of dollars by going with a copier printer versus two stand alone units.
Using your copier as a network printer allows your staff to print, collate, and staple right from their PC. Printing to a copier is faster than most laser printers, and as I mentioned above the cost savings can be dramatic. You can talk with our professional sales staff to make sure the copier printer you choose will be compatible with your network or desktop operating system. Most of our copier printers are compatible with Microsoft Windows, Microsoft XP, Novell and Apple operating systems, although inform your rep if you are using Apple products! Another nice benefit of a copier printer is that you will only need one set of toner instead of two! By eliminating the stand alone printer you will have one less item to dust and take up space in your office. Not to mention one less piece of office equipment to pay service calls on.



Can you give me some buying tips on how to get the best copier for my investment? Wow, I don't know where to start!

There are definitely some dos and don'ts to consider when purchasing a copier. You can spend from $150 to $50,000 on a copier, but in most cases a typical (properly remanufactured) Black and White office copier will cost from $2,500 to $7,000. Of course this depends on the accessories and speed your office requires. Though tempting, don't buy the low-end all-in-one copier that costs around $300. The cheap copier may seem like a great deal at the time, but their cost per page is 5 to 10 times greater than a larger office copier. The ink alone in one year can add up to more than $1,000 if you use the all in one copier too much. These cheap copiers are made for home use and do not belong in a paper intensive office environment. So my first tip is to buy a slightly used copier versus a new copier and save the 80% depreciation without giving up any performance or reliability. My second buying tip is to stay away from the attraction of a cheap copier as they will cost more in the long run.
My third buying tip is to seriously consider the service costs of a color copier. I am not suggesting that there is no place for a color copier in the office, but what I am seeing is that offices are buying multiple color copiers in replace of black and white copiers. The fact is a color copier will cost you 8 times more for color output versus a black and white copier. If you want to save money, discipline your staff to use the black and white copier for 90% of all copy and printing jobs, and use the color copier for correspondence that requires color detail. The reality is that 90% of all imaging output is for “in house” correspondence, so why are color copiers becoming so predominant? In one word- revenue! The dealer market is pushing color copiers to consumers everywhere in order to increase their revenues and profits on service contracts. So even though the initial price of a color copier may be similar to a black and white copier, think twice about the copier service contract before buying it. Of course Bellingham Office Equipment offers state of the art color digital machines, but be sure it is needed.
My last buying tip is regarding copier service contracts. You can and should buy your copier without reference to a service contract. The service contract on a copier is a very profitable part of the purchase process and should be negotiated as heavily as the copier itself. So negotiate both! Many times the service contracts are a bigger part of the purchase then the copier! For example, let's say you buy a slightly used copier from us at $4,500 and then we help coordinate a service contract for you by having a local partner from our nationwide network of certified tech automatically come to your facility as part of our delivery process. That tech will then inspect your machine to be sure that it meets the high standards that we adhere to guaranteeing all copiers we sell will pass contract inspection as a brand new machine. If you don't want to continue to use the tech for a service contract we give you three dealers to choose from in your local area. If you make 10K pages per month at a penny per page for service you will be negotiating a service contract that is worth $3,600 over the next three years. So by all means, interview all three copier dealers and choose the most competitive one! The service contract is a profitable and many times bigger part of the procurement process and is competitively sought after- regardless of where you purchase your copier. So buy your copier from us and save! Then negotiate with your local service dealers and get a competitive rate on a local service contract, or choose the provider we send to install your machine. Typically the provider we choose for your installation will be your best option. Included with all of our machines is full service delivery. This means a local certified tech from your area that has the ability to provide at least 4 hour response time on service calls will come to your location. Install, inspect, and train you on the basic operations of your machine. The tech will also go over available service contract options and pricing. This is all included with your purchase from Bellingham Office Equipment.


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