Monday, March 3, 2014

The Average Photocopier For Dummies

Okay, so it's your first day on the job. New office. New coworkers. New position. You're pretty excited to get to work, but you may not be as technically adept as your fellow workers. You need to make a copy of a document. You never did like copiers or printers cause you could never work them, but there is hope for you yet. They say that knowing your enemy is half the battle, but the copier doesn't have to be your enemy. Just by learning what makes them tick, and what goes on when you copy something, working the copier won't be nearly as difficult.

So what exactly is going on when you decide to hit "start" on the copy machine? Well, oddly enough, it has a lot to do with static electricity. It may seem nearly impossible for that to be the case but think about this. When you photocopy something, you are typically using toner. Well toner isn't ink. It is actually an extremely fine black powder that can be charged with static electricity. There is a drum inside of every copier that allows the toner to gain charge and stick to the drum. Now, obviously, not every picture is going to be completely black, so there has to be a way to keeps of the paper white. This is where the drums ability to use selective charge really comes in handy. The drum selectively charge certain sections of itself in order to attract toner on the specific parts that have charge. It's selective charge is all thanks to the power of light! See how the name "PHOTOcopier" works now? When the paper finally comes through, it is statically charged so the toner becomes attracted to the paper. The toner is then fused to the paper through the use of heat, since the toner particles themselves are very sensitive to heat.

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Another thing to remember; Toner is NOT ink! It can be referred to as dry ink, but again, it's not ink at all. The toner itself is actually stuck to slightly larger beads that have a positive charge inside the toner cartridge. Once the toner beads are rolled over by the drum, the particles of the toner are more attracted to the positively charged areas on the drum. This cause them to stick to the drum (again with the static electricity). Once the statically charged paper rolls on through, the particles jump to the paper, but since the toner particles still contain charge, they could still fly off the paper. In order to make sure the particles stay, the toner particles are made with plastic in them that become melted to the paper once the toner is heat. Static problem solved.

Simply by knowing whats going on inside that photocopier can greatly help when trying to figure out what is wrong with it. Not every copier is going to have problems so don't let that fool you. Maybe you aren't really looking for a full time purchase. Maybe you are just looking to rent to get the feel of a new photocopier. If you are business just starting up, you need as much info on all of the office equipment you are going to get. Also remember that renting can help make things a lot easier for you. Instead of your company having to spend money on repairs, let the rental company take care of that "toner cartridge probelm", or nasty "paper jam".