Monthly Archives: March 2011

Difference Between Analogue and Digital Photocopiers

Originally photocopiers were all analogue. They worked by reflecting light onto a photosensitive surface. This surface (plate later to become the drum) reacted to light. Where the surface was charged the resistance of the drum lowered when exposed to light. This produced a latent image where only dark areas remained charged. The plate or drum then had toner projected at it that was oppositely charged and held attraction to the photosensitive surface.

Early photocopiers used liquid toner and were extremely messy but dry toner was introduced to combat these problems. Now the image could be clearly seen on the drum or plate. Transference pulled the toner from the drum onto the paper via transfer charge that was again charged opposite to toner but of a much higher capacity in voltage than the drum or plate. After Transfer the copy is then fused to the paper using heated rollers coated in silicon oil.

Analogue copiers relied on light being reflected onto the photosensitive surface through a lens. Because the light had to be a very high intensity they required fans to keep the machine cool during copying. These fans attracted dust and the copier mirrors often became coated with a film of dust often resulting in poor copy quality. In addition the machine had no memory and required a scan for every copy made.

Digital Copiers were to replace the analogue counterparts. Although they still reflected light it no longer needed to be so intense so cooling was minimal meaning the photocopier attracted less dust into the optics. The light now was reflected into a unit that converted light and dark into a binary signal. The copy then is projected onto the drum via a laser or an LED array and stored onto a hard drive allowing it to recalled. This allowed for scan once print many on modern photocopiers. However storing data on the hard drive caused security risks and manufacturers had to introduce secure data encryption of hard drives to prevent data being stolen from the photocopier.

As copiers seek to be more environmentally friendly charge rollers have largely replaced corona wires leading to reduced or zero ozone emissions on modern copiers. Silicon Oils have been vastly reduced as the modern copier offers superior toner technology.

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Photocopy Your Business

As the downturn continues many people have turned to their photocopiers as a cheap form of advertising. As advertising budgets have been cut, business are turning back to traditional advertising with direct mail shots. The copier offers a convenient way to target small area’s of local business and now with most office photocopier machines offering colour, it is fairly straightforward to mock up a professional mail shot in Photoshop and post it to potential customers in your area.

Mail shots used to be hampered by expensive printing cost but computer design and superior printing and copying has relegated the need for screen printing. What’s more mail shots can be more targeted, segmenting local market place to areas such as schools, solicitors and estate agents. The copier can be the marketers friend allowing small campaigns to be launched at minimal cost.

Direct Marketing has long been proven as a successful way to promote your business and is one of the earliest forms of advertising. By publishing newsletters and mail shots directly to the customer the business offers a unique way to stay in touch with local clientele. With so many companies using digital media for advertising competition is high. Online advertising has increased massively in recent years but pay per click and email marketing has no longevity.

By publishing locally through direct marketing you are able to offer vouchers that can be kept and used. A local newsletter may contain a useful list contacts that the customer keeps. A successful newsletter may attract its own advertising and become self funding for the business. Some of the most successful mail shots team up a group of local companies that provide alternative services and the cost of advertising is reduced, whilst the value to the customer increases and with a range of discounts available to them on the mail shot or newsletter that they are not likely not to throw it away.

So next time you look at the photocopier in the office think of it not just as an expense but potentially your own personal printing press. Put your copier to work for you creating exciting business opportunities in your local area.