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This is Not Your Father’s MFP

By Robert Covington

Toshiba just launched the new 65 PPM (page-per-minute) e-STUDIO6525AC Multifunction Printer (MFP). It’s part of a family of 10 MFPs introduced with another seven more on the way. These represent the latest Toshiba has to offer.

It got me thinking about how far we’ve come. To leverage an ad campaign from General Motors, “This is not your father’s MFP. “

I started at Toshiba quite a few years ago (actually, it was at the latter part of last century -geez!) and helped usher in the first digital connected copier – the 24PPM DP2460 with SC1 controller. DP stands for Digital Product, and SC stands for System Controller. It was the tower computer that sat next to the copier and made it into a printer or what we now call today an MFP. Prior to this, copiers made copies and printers made prints. The logic behind connecting a copier was to effectively capture that click revenue on the original, not just the copies, and do it all on one device.

EARLY PHOTOCOPIERS
Before the advent of Digital Copiers, there were photocopiers. These literally took a picture of the original each time a copy was made. If you wanted 10 copies of a printed document the original recirculated through the document feeder 10 times. These “light-lens” devices were mechanical marvels.

I’m sure Rube Goldberg worked in the copier industry at some time. Frankly it was amazing that a copier worked at all, never mind that things didn’t always go right. In fact, the earlier models had a string (aka a fuse) that held a door open inside the copier. If a misfeed occurred and a fire started (a reasonable scenario) the fuse would burn, and the door would slam shut cutting off the oxygen feeding the flames.

The DP2460/SC1 represented a significant breakthrough in technology (and fire safety). It was quite an honor to be associated with pioneering the digital revolution. From here on out we’d be riding the ‘Digital Wave.’

DIGITAL TAKES HOLD
Looking at the e-STUDIO6525AC against the DP2460 the advances in technology are not immediately apparent. Sure, the e-STUDIO6525AC is a lot more aesthetically pleasing, but all the pieces are in the same spots. There’s nothing dramatically different. But really there’s so much to appreciate.

Walk up to the e-STUDIO6525AC and it’s like it knew you were coming. Actually, it did. It features an optical sensor enabling it to pop out of standby mode as you approach. I like to call this the “Walk-up – Wake-up” feature.

FEEDERS, FINISHERS & DRAWERS
Back to the DP2460. It did usher in a lot of new technology. The Document Feeder was the first of its kind for Toshiba – a 50-sheet Reversing Automatic Document Feeder (RADF) – Basic technology that’s still in use today – which enabled originals to be automatically “reversed” so that the backside could be copied too. The analog predecessors had an RADF too, but those were Recirculating Automatic Document Feeders – enabling single-sided originals to be fed multiple times so you could produce multiple copies. Digital technology rendered this a limitation of the past. “Scan Once, Print Many” was the new vernacular.

e-STUDIO6525AC users that want to get the most out of their MFP will opt for the Dual Scan Document Feeder (DSDF). The DSDF holds 300 originals and scans both sides at an amazing speed of up to 240 originals per minute. There’s even a version with Double Feed Detection that can sense if two originals have stuck together and will stop the feeder to enable the user to refeed the second original and not have to start again.

The digital technology of the DP2460 also meant the end of the line for sorting bins. Analog copiers could produce as many copies as you wanted but collated sets were limited to the number of bins in the exit tray (typically 10). Collation on the new DP2460 would be done electronically. 12MB of RAM paved the way. Keep in mind if you were duplexing, the limit was 50 letter-size sets – less if you were using legal or ledger. The e-STUDIO6525AC has none of these bottlenecks.

Now, with the DP2460 instead of sorting bins you had finishers – with stapling. Up to 20 sheets could be stapled. The e-STUDIO6525AC builds on this, offering up to 65-sheet stapling. There’s even saddle stitch finishing. With this, the MFP does the layout and imposition work to produce booklets of up to 60 pages, stapled down the middle and folded. Quite an advancement.

The e-STUDIO6525AC features a lot of other advancements, which might be taken for granted because Toshiba makes it look so easy. It features soft closing drawers. Pull open a paper drawer to add paper. As you close the drawer, the MFP takes over and pulls the drawer closed – softly. Need more paper, but have limited space? The base of the MFP can take either a stand, an extra drawer or two, or a unique tandem large capacity feeder that holds 2,000 sheets of Letter-size paper – without increasing the MFP footprint.

I hope some of these features get you excited as we continue to keep business productivity top of mind. Consider checking out this blog again in the coming weeks as I will discuss the digital capabilities and remote management features of our next-gen MFPs. In the meantime if you would like to learn more contact your local Toshiba representative.

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