Types of Photocopy Machines

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The photocopy machine is a staple of modern business.
The photocopy machine is a staple of modern business. (Image: copy machine image by Mat Hayward from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

The photocopy machine is an innovation that has simplified and modernized the way business gets done. By allowing mass replications of an original document, the photocopy machine enables members of a unit, office or entire company to be on the same page, literally. Photocopy machines have become so integral in business that many home printers now come with an photocopy option allowing business to be conducted and prepared for at home as it is at the office.

Standard Black and White

The original photocopy machine was designed to duplicate the image on a piece of paper and reprint it on another piece of paper. This is the standard concept of the traditional and standard black-and-white photocopy machine. This is the most common form of photocopier and is used for business, by schools and a variety of other offices as well. It takes one piece of paper with words and images on it and can mass produce the words and images on other pieces of paper. Standard black-and-white photocopiers are the least expensive,. but a large business machine can still cost upward of $15,000 depending on size and expected workload. Some common retailers and producers of these copiers are Xerox, Toshiba and Canon.

Multifunction Photocopiers

For the business world that involves anything stylish, creative or with just basic color, there are other types of photocopy machines that can satisfy any need. These photocopiers function in a way that is designed to make businesses more efficient by not wasting valuable employee time creating and recreating necessary materials such as pamphlets, packets and 3-hole punched binder material. Photocopiers have advanced to a place where they can photocopy color images, copy front and back, 3-hole punch documents and even staple sets of documents. For example, Xerox offers the WorkCentre 7655/7665/7675 line of multifunction photocopy machines that are able to copy color and black-and-white documents, serve as a fax machine, operate as printer with compatibility with most major operating systems, and staple, 3-hole punch and fold documents. These machines are highly advanced and can get quite costly. As a general rule of thumb, the larger it is and more functions it can do, the more the photocopy machine will cost.

Home Office

With the constant advances in technology the photocopy machine has transformed. Originally a machine only used by big corporations or office-specific speciality stores, the photocopy machine now can operate as part of a home office. Many computer printers sold for home use or for small business can be ordered with a photocopy feature. These photocopiers are often designed to do basic black-and-white or color copying. Most do not have finishing options such as stapling or 3-hole punching and they're often not designed to handle big jobs that need thousands of copies. A limitations on the amount of copies is mostly because of the amount of ink in the printer, not the photocopy functions. One advantage of these photocopy printers is that they too can operate as faxes and can even operate as scanners to scan paper documents and turn them into digital documents. For example, the HP Photosmart C4680 offers the functions of printing, scanning and copying in color as well as black and white. Home office photocopy machines and printers can vary in price depending on the brand and the functions.

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