In today’s changing financial conditions, organizations are struggling to meet growing business demands with limited resources. A multi-function copier optimizes your operational expenses by combining a printer, scanner, copier and fax machine into a single device. While occupying a small footprint and centralizing document solutions, business procedures can be quickly and efficiently processed.
Multi-function copiers are categorized into different groups to suit office requirements of businesses of all sizes. There are three major categories, namely personal groups, small workgroups and large workgroups. Copiers are classified into these groups based on the print speed and the size of the machine. For instance, MFCs with a ppm of 5-20 would suit the tasks of a personal or home office. Machines with a ppm of 20-50 would serve a good purpose for a small workgroup. Large workgroups deal with high volume printing. So printers with a ppm of 50 and above would do a good job. The monthly duty cycle and other features vary with the ppm.
Top Multifunction Copier Specs
Color Multifunction Copiers
|Model||HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553n||Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5690||Color imageRUNNER C5235||MFC-9130CW||Lexmark CS510de||WorkCentre™ 6505|
|Print Speed (color)||40 ppm||20 ppm||30PPM||19 ppm||32PPM||24PPM|
|Print Speed (Black)||40 ppm||20 ppm||35 PPM||19 ppm||32PPM||24PPM|
|Monthly Duty Cycle||80,000||45,000||30,000||30,000||85,000||40,000|
Monochrome Multifunction copiers
|Model||HP Color LaserJet Pro 400 MFP M425dn||Epson WorkForce WF-M1560 Monochrome Multifunction Printer||imageRUNNER Advance 6255||DCP-L2540DW||Lexmark MX511de||WorkCentre™ 3225|
|Print Speed (color)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Print Speed (Black)||35 ppm||34 ppm||55 ppm||30 ppm||45 ppm||29 ppm|
|Monthly Duty Cycle||50,000||75,000||200,000||10,000||120,000||30,000|
Top MFC brands
HP offers a range of multi-function copiers for businesses of all sizes. HP MFCs are efficient, provide innovative features and are cost-effective. For home and personal use, HP offers MFCs under the Officejet series. Medium and large workgroups can browse the LaserJet series. HP MFCs are offered as low as $159 and go up as the features increase.
Epson multi-function copiersare available under the Workforce WF 2000/3000/4000/7000 series. The striking feature of Epson MFCs is the small footprint, which optimizes office space. Moreover, they come at a significantly lower price when compared with other brands.
Multi-function printers from Canon are available under the imageRUNNER Advance 2000/3000/4000/5000/7000/8000/9000 series. While the 3000 series offers a print speed of around 25 ppm, the 8000/9000 series are designed for high-volume workflow where the print speed is 100 and above. The striking feature of Canon MFCs is the workflow solutions, which optimize your office productivity tasks.
Lexmark offers multi-function printers under the MX 310/410/510/710/910 series. 925/950 series machines come with a higher configuration to suit large workgroups. For instance, Lexmark MX912dxe offers a print speed of 75 ppm.
Xerox offers a range of multi-function copiers for different office tasks under the WorkCentre series. The WorkCentre 3000 series copiers are designed for home and small offices where the ppm is below 30. The WorkCentre 5000 series machines deliver a ppm of around 90 to suit large volume printing jobs.
Brother is one of the few brands that offer a range of printers at a significantly low price. For the home office, Brother MFCs start at as low as $99. Even MFCs that are designed for larger workgroups come at a price of below $800. The company offers a large catalog to provide you with the flexibility to hand-pick a machine that best suits your office environment.
Modern multi-function copiers come with a range of features.
The first thing to look at is the print speed. This is measured in pages per minute (ppm). The print speed of the machine determines the productivity levels of your office. Depending on the volume of your print jobs, you can choose the ppm. In addition, the monthly duty cycle is considered (the amount of copiers recommended per month).
The output resolution is another important aspect to consider. Especially with a color copier, the image quality makes a difference. This value is measured in dots per inch (dpi). The greater the dpi, the higher is the image quality. For regular documents, 600x600 dpi is enough. For images and color marketing material, you need a higher dpi of 1200-2400.
Ease of use
While the MFC offers several innovative features, it is of no use if you experience difficulty in navigating through various options. Modern MFCs come with an intuitive touch screen control panel that lets you easily operate the machine. This easy-to-use interface provides quick access to all important functions. Using this panel, you can perform office tasks with a couple of clicks.
Regarding the copier features, copy speed is an important aspect. This is measured in copies per minute (cpm). For instance, the HP Laserjet 500 series MFCs come with a copy speed of 42 cpm. This machine allows you to enlarge or reduce the copy from 25-400%.
Paper input/output options are another important aspect to consider in an MFC. For input, normal MFCs come with a regular capacity of 3,500 sheets. For businesses that involve large volume copying, these machines automatically input sheets so that the work is not interrupted. MFCs come with multiple input trays for different types of media such as letter and legal size. The output trays are normally 250-paper capacity.
The scanner technology used in most MFCs is charged couple device (CCD). While looking at scanning options, scanning size should be considered. Most flatbed scanners come with a maximum scan size of 8.5”x 14”. This size would allow you to scan legal documents as well.
Scan speed is measured in images per minute (ipm). You can choose a machine that meets your scanning volumes.
Modern office environments involve a range of devices. When you scan a document, you should be able to quickly send it to various destinations. Modern MFCs allow you to scan to email, mobile devices, PC or to the cloud. You can store them or print them when required.
With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) networks being implementing in most office settings, employees need to be able to access the MFC from a mobile device. Thanks to innovation in the printing technology, you can now print from your mobile device. There are several apps, such as MobilePrint, that allow you to print from a range of smartphones. You can even scan to any mobile device. Similarly, you can print documents that are stored in the cloud. With this feature, you can access your MFC from anywhere, anytime and from any device.
Automatic email forwarding
While most MFCs offer advanced fax features, look for the feature “Automatic Email Forwarding for Incoming Faxes.”This feature forwards the incoming fax to the assigned email address. You can check the email at your convenience and then decide to print it or forward it to anyone. While this option saves paper, it provides an additional layer of security. When you are not at the fax machine, other people are not be able to read the fax message.
Data overwrite security system (DOSS)
Data security is an important aspect that cannot be taken lightly. Modern MFCs come with high secure features that let you securely process documents. Data is encrypted before getting stored on the hard drive of the MFC. Similarly, data is overwritten multiple times so that unauthorized people cannot get access to it. For instance, data overwrite security system is a new module that overwrites data temporarily stored on a hard drive. Not only can the scanned data, files and settings of the MFC be overwritten with this module, in addition, passwords can be set to securely process documents. When the MFC is connected to a network, IP/MAC filtering can be set as well.
Recommended multi-function copier
Canon imageRUNNER Advance C5235 is an excellent printer for mid-size offices but serves well for small workgroups and large enterprisesas well. This machine comes in a compact design to save office space. With a print speed of 35 black and 30 color, this machine offer a decent productivity level. The print resolution of 1200x1200 delivers high quality image output. The maximum paper capacity of 5,000 sheets allows you to seamlessly work on large projects. This machine offers a maximum paper size of 12x18” where you can use a range of media types. The scan speed of 51 ipm and automatic duplexing make it a highly productive machine. The intuitive 8.4” SVGA full-color TFT screen brings all important functions at one place so you can quickly access everything. You can connect to this machine from your laptop, smart-phone or a tablet and print or scan documents. You can print from or scan to the cloud. It comes with multi-layered security to safeguard confidential information and comply with government regulations. The price is around $6,539.