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Glossary of Copier Terms

Learn the Key Words, Phrases and Terms for the Copier Industry.

Here are the key words you may encounter in your copier search:

  • All In Ones

  • All-in-Ones are also known as multifunctional devices (MFDs). An All-in-One system performs multiple functions in a in a single machine. Therefore, copying, faxing, printing and scanning become centralized, offering greater control and efficiency.
  • Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)

  • An ADF enables you to make copies without lifting the platen. You load the set of original documents into the feeder, press start, and let the copier move each sheet on and off the platen. Thus instead of placing each sheet one-by-one onto the glass, the ADF reduces time and effort. A typical ADF can hold between 1 and 20 sheets at a time.
  • Bypass Tray

  • A bypass tray reduces the risk of a paper jam by offering an alternative short, straight-paper path. It enables you to copy straight onto originals - such as colored paper, odd-sized paper, or card stock i.e. materials which cannot be fed (or are inconvenient or impossible to feed) from the regular copy paper tray inside the copier. Bypass trays can handle anywhere from 1 to 100 sheets. A popular use is in color copiers for printing onto stiff covers or transparencies. Bypass trays that can hold more than one sheet are called stackable bypass trays.
  • Catch Tray

  • A catch tray collects the completed copies which emerge from the copy machine.
  • Consumables

  • Items that often need to be replaced are known as consumables. These include the toner, paper, fuser oil, developer, or any other materials or parts that must be regularly replaced.
  • Control Panel

  • The control panel is the area where you find all the control functions for the photocopier. Today, the control panel is a sophisticated LCD display with easy-to-follow instructions. These guide the user through such variables as number of copies required, paper size, copy reduction, or copy enlargement.
  • Convenience Copying

  • "Convenience copying" is simply the act of using the scanning function in a fax machine to make a quick copy.
  • Copier Counter

  • A useful management tool, the Copier Counter keep a numerical record of the number of copies produced. Sometimes they are not easy to find, but a quick look under the plate glass can usually reveal it.
  • Copies Per Minute (CPM)

  • Copies Per Minute is a value expressed by the number of 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages a digital copier can produce per minute. These days, color copiers list four CPM speeds. These are for black and white, one-color, two-color, and four-color copies. Naturally, four-color speeds are the slowest, with speeds ranging from 3 to 10 CPM. More expensive, high specification copiers can operate at 40 CPM).
  • Cost of Ownership

  • Consumables such as paper and toner, as well as service contracts are all part of the price equation when considering a new digital copier. This is called the Cost of Ownership, and it determines the actual cost to budget for when buying copy machines.
  • Desktop Copier

  • Still a popular choice especially in the small business environment, or where space is at a premium, a Desktop Copier easily sits on a desktop or table. No stand required, these are often Segment 1 and 2 copiers.
  • Digital Copying

  • All color photocopiers currently available on the market use digital technology. This is a copying technology which works in the same way as a scanner, by breaking up the image into dots and rows. This is in total contrast to analog copiers which work in the same way as a camera, taking a picture of the document to be copied via a lens.
  • Duplex Copying

  • Duplex is another word for automatically copying on both sides of a page. Duplex copying is best achieved by adding a the copier with a document feeder called a recirculating automatic document feeder (RADF), which can handle two-sided originals. This is the best way to avoid the paper jams often associated with two-sided copying.
  • Editing Features

  • These days, many color copiers have a wide range of editing features, which enable the user to move the image, change the colors, or adjust colors to match the original after creating the copy.
  • Electronic Recirculating Document Handler (ERDH)

  • An EDRH is a copy machine which is able to do the following: copy two-sided original documents, handle originals only once when making copies, and autmatically sort output copies. Also called a duplex digital document scanner.
  • Electronic Sorting

  • This method of sorting means that copies can be collated without the use of sorting bins. This is achieved by outputting cache collated set horizontally, then vertically in alternate sequence.
  • First-Copy Speed

  • This is the indicator which defines how quickly a photocopier can print the initial page of a document. This is useful to know if your business is using the copier on a walk-up-and-use basis, since most people only copy one or two sheets at a time, and are keen to complete the job in quick time.
  • Four-Color Printing

  • Most copiers these days use four-color printing. Four color printing uses cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to create all colors of the spectrum. Four color printing is also referred to as CMYK printing.
  • Full Bleed

  • An image that covers right to the edge of a sheet with no borders or margins. Typically you must print on a larger sheet and then trim the page.
  • Large Format Copier

  • Photocopiers and MFDs categorised as Large Format include those designed for A2 media and larger.
  • Ledger-Sized Paper

  • Paper sheets measuring 11 x 17 inches.
  • Legal-Sized Paper

  • Paper sheets measuring 8 1/2 x 14 inches.
  • Letter-Sized Paper

  • Paper sheets measuring 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
  • Maximum Monthly Volume

  • Maximum Monthly Volume is maximum number of pages copy machines designed to produce each month. This figure tends to err on the high side in manufacturers specifications, with few photocopiers ever hitting their monthly maximum in the real-world environment. Similar to MPG figures on cars, the Maximum Monthly Volume is useful as a comparison figure rather than an absolute.
  • Memory

  • In the same way as a PC uses memeory, so also does a photocopier machine. Memory is simply a hardware component that stores data . A digital copier needs memory to perform things such as scanning documents, using scan once/print many, or faxing. The required amount of memory depends on which function is used.
  • Monochrome

  • Another term for Black and white.
  • Moving Platen

  • The lower-priced desktop copiers often have moving platen, meaning the top of the copier moves backwards and forwards across the document placed in the machine to be copied.
  • Multifunctional Device (MFD)

  • You no longer need to think in terms of separate devices for fax, scanning and copying. You can now think in terms of which Multifunctional Device (or MFD) best suits your office and business requirements. An MFD is defined as a machine which can perform one other function in addition to faxing and convenience copying - often copying or scanning, or printing. An MFD is also referred to as an all-in-one.
  • OHC Mode

  • OHC mode enables color photocopiers to copy onto transparencies. This mode runs more slowly than usual color copying to ensure the toner has time to fuse into the plastic trasparency sheets.
  • Paper Supply

  • Paper supply defines the set of trays and holders which enable a copier to work with different sizes or types of paper automatically.
  • PC Copier Segment

  • This defines the range of low-end copiers. Includes copiers with speeds between one and 12 copies per minute and Maximum Monthly Volume of up to 1,000 copies.
  • Platen

  • The glass area on which original documents are placed to be copied. Sometimes the word is also used to refer to the cover that moves back and forth over the plate glass.
  • Proportional Zoom

  • The Proportional Zoom function shrinks or enlarges the length and width of a page, each independently of the other. This reduces the white space that can surround copies of reduced pages. Also referred to as independent x and y axis zoom or anamorphic zoom.
  • Raster Image Processor (RIP)

  • Another word for a Print Controller. The RIP is used to attach a copier to a computer network to convert color files into printing instructions for the copier. Also known as a color server or print controller.
  • Recirculating Automatic Document Feeder (RADF)

  • The RADF is an automatic document feeder that can automatically turn the document over to copy on its reverse side. If you only have an automatic document feeder (ADF), you can copy a two-sided document, but the copies will be on two different sheets of paper. Copiers must have a duplex unit installed for the RADF to work properly.
  • Reduction/Enlargement

  • Many lower-specifcation photocopiers have simple preset settings for reduction and enlargement of copies. Higher-spec machines enable you to zoom in as closely or as far out as you need.
  • Remote Diagnostics

  • This is a system that links to your phone and can call the dealer's technical support team if a problem arises. This means that problems can be anaysed and understood in detail, and so improve repair time and ensure that maintenance schedules are followed correctly and recorded properly.
  • Scan Once/Print Many
  • By holding a scanned image of the original document in its memory, a copier can then produce additional copies without the need to handle the original again. Users can leave the copier, taking the originals away while the job is being completed.
  • Segment 1 Copiers

  • Copiers with speeds between 13-20 copies per minute and copy volumes of up to 10,000-12,000 copies per month.
  • Segment 2 Copiers

  • Copiers with speeds between 21-30 copies per minute and copy volumes of up to 25,000-30,000 copies per month.
  • Service Contract

  • The signed agreement between you and a dealer selling you a copier, that specifies the arrangements for repair, service and maintenance for the copier.
  • Single In-Line Memory Module (SIMM)

  • SIMM is a standard memory design, and as such comes less expensive than proprietary designs.
  • Sorter

  • The Sorter is a set of horizontal bins near the output tray of a photocopier which enable the collation of pages in the order that they emerge from the machine. Some sorters, called sorter/staplers, can also automatically staple the collated sets of documents.
  • Stackless Duplexing

  • A type of duplex copying that keeps the original document as an image in memory and not physically in a tray. Thus, rather than keeping a stack of one-sided copies until the copier is ready to copy on to the second sides, stackless duplexing allows you to make as many double-sided copies as you need, without being limited to the number of sheets a duplexing tray can hold at a time. Also referred to as trayless duplexing.
  • Stationary Platen

  • These days, all but the most basic PC-segment copiers are equipped with a stationary platen. The top of the copier does not move back and forth across the document to be copied.
  • Warm-Up Time

  • The larger the model, the longer the warm-up time. The warm up time is defined as the amount of time between when a copier machine is switched on and when it can begin the first job.
  • Yield

  • The Yield is defined as the number of copies a particular consumable (toner, developer) can support. The Yield for toner for example, can be calculated by estimating the number of copies made per month and the amount used per page.
  • Zoom

  • The Zoom function enables you to reduce or enlarge copies within a certain percentage range. These days, digital copiers can zoom as high 800 percent and reduce as low as 25 percent.

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