Multifunctional Devices come in all shapes and sizes, how to select the right system is a matter of addressing a simple set of issues
Here are the main areas to consider.
- Buying a Multifunctional Device
Converging technologies in recent years have established the norm of a single unit - a Multifunctional Device - to deal with important data collation and delivery functions in today's dynamic office environment.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.
- Scan, Fax and Copy
Depending on what other office systems you have, you can select from a range of Multifunctional Devices which also offer scan, fax and copy functions. Many brands offer a modular system, whereby you can pick which elements you want.
How much space is available to you? What equipment will your new Multifunctional Device replace, and how much space will this free up? Systems can fit on a desk, or be free-standing. The footprint is simply the amount of space your new printer takes up, and it is obviously important that the system you choose is right for the available space. For smaller offices, combined machines are highly economical and have a neater footprint.
You might need to print only a few pages daily, or you might be producing multi-page company brochures or project reports. You may not need a system which can produce 40-plus pages per minute in high volume. However you will certainly be frustrated by delays caused by selecting a system which operates at a pace suitable only for the occasional user. Different Multifunctional Devices and print technologies work at different speeds. It is important to consider the workload expected of your new purchase, and make the right choice for page per minute speed specification.
- Colour or black and white
Where simple functionality is more important that creating an impression, it is good to know that there is a choice to stay with black and white copying and printing. But with the price of colour printing falling dramatically in recent years, it may be less than you think to specify colour in your printing specification. You might spend more in toner and other consumables, but these days the differences are not what they were.
- Toner consumption
Advances in toner consumption technologies mean the latest machines are highly economical, meaning longer intervals between toner cartridge replacements. Many factors are involved in the calculation of running costs - including the volume of best quality results compared with the day-to-day print needs.
Sorting, stacking, stapling and punching are automated in larger Multifunctional Devices, and thus the investment in bigger machines can save a great deal on labour costs.
More savings and efficiencies can be gained through networking your Multifunctional Device so that several users have access. When networking your system, is it important to include sufficient memory to handle multiple jobs.
- Multifunctional Devices: Maintenance and Usability
Some Multifunctional Devices contain simple cartridges which are very easy to use and maintain yourself. Larger machines for departmental or industrial use are offered with maintenance agreements, which is always the best option for peace of mind and continued, trouble-free use without the need for in-house maintenance training and knowledge.