By Courtney Saba
While standalone wide format scanners have their place in the industry, today’s multifunction—copy, scan, and print—printers (MFPs) are gaining in popularity. The technical market in particular finds MFPs provide many standalone features with benefits. These multi-purpose devices offer a range of functionalities with one footprint, helpful for areas like construction sites or engineering firms where space is at a premium.
New releases focus on production speed, while simultaneously offering high-quality image capture. In recent years this has evolved. John Fulena, VP production printing business group, Ricoh Americas Corp., explains the many reasons for the scanning evolution including archiving, easy editing, mobility, and digitizing documents to accelerate collaboration.
Archiving tools allow ease of use in accessing digital files at any time. Easy editing provides a quick review and finalization process by scanning marked-up documents and submitting them electronically for immediate review. Scanning also allows any size document to be mobile. Digitized documents speed up collaboration with the option of scanning to email, USB drive, folder, or FTP site. Information is distributed electronically to make it accessible for all of those who need it.
The Technical Market
The technical market comprises of architect, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals. Looking for rugged products, these users are in busy environments where printing is secondary to the planning the job at hand.
AECs still rely on paper to mark up and collaborate on plans, according to Reed Hecht, product manager, professional imaging, Epson. Technical products and technical end users still have a manual action in their workflow, which is why wide format scanning is still such a large part of this market.
“The workflow requires the ability to mark up, make changes, and then transport back to a designer or architect the adjusted drawing. Because of the environments that these technical drawings are used—construction sites, power plants, or mines—digital means of displaying does not work, so a physical drawing is required,” continues Hecht.
Despite the graphics in the AEC field commonly being more basic like line drawings and blueprints, there is still a need for a high-end device. “High-end devices are more efficient and help to ensure that all mid-volume wide format workloads are handled with speed, accuracy, and accountability,” says Fulena.
Output Goes Beyond
With the quality of output advancing, multifunction devices are used for other purposes, such as point of purchase, display, and signage printing. Although MFPs are designed to serve the needs of the technical, engineering, and scientific markets, they offer key benefits to others because of their small, compact footprint.
“It has been found that the high level of image quality that these products are capable of producing are exceeding the expectations of other customers and the devices are being adopted for use in those applications as well,” admits Hecht.
Fulena also believes that MFPs are becoming more attractive in uses beyond the technical market. “Especially with full-color printing as it gives businesses the capability to output color graphics, which opens up many opportunities,” he says.
Here we list some of the newest wide format MFPs.
Canon Solutions America
The Océ ColorWave 500 printing system is a compact large format printing system that serves as both a color and B&W printer, copier, and scanner. It offers printing speeds of up to 225 D size prints per hour. Scanning speeds include B&W up to 47.9 feet per minute (fpm) and for color up to 15.7 fpm. With tablet-like functionality, it’s designed to help people work as efficiently and effectively as possible in today’s fast-paced business world.
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon’s newest scan-to-copy/file systems arethe imagePROGRAF iPF770 MFP L36 and the imagePROGRAF iPF670 MFP L24. The new L-series complements the current iPF MFP M40 imaging systems, which provide more advanced functionality for higher volume scanning and editing capabilities. Equipped with a 36-inch scanner and printer, the imagePROGRAF iPF770 MFP L36 MFP is a reliable large format copying solution for low-volume AEC businesses. The imagePROGRAF iPF670 MFP L24 MFP features a 24-inch scanner and printer to provide small businesses and educators with the tools to easily scan, copy, and print documents.
Epson provides a complete line of color printers that utilize Epson PrecisionCore TFP printhead and UltraChrome XD ink technology to deliver fast, reliable, high-quality printing. Printers are compatible with plain and photo papers that feature water, smudge, and fade resistance for challenging weather. The product line allows for components to be added as needed, like optional MFPs.
The SureColor T5270 is a 36-inch, single roll printer with optional MFP. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $8,495. The SureColor T7270 is a 44-inch, single roll printer with optional MFP for $9,495 MSRP. The SureColor T5270D is also 36 inches, but is a dual roll printer with optional MFP for $10,495 MSRP. The last of this line is the SureColor T7270D. This is a 44-inch printer with dual roll and also optional MFP at $11,495 MSRP. All prices are reflective of models with the MFP options.
HP’s large format printing technology allows AEC and manufacturing professionals to move from idea to creation with ease. Each device recognizes wide format scanning as an essential function in the technical market.
The HP DesignJet T830 MFP is a 36-inch wide compact device that is affordable and easily transportable. It features a built-in scanner and offers a damage-resistant design to withstand challenging weather and construction sites. Of note is the optional HP DesignJet Rugged Case, which offers enhanced damage and dust protection.
The HP DesignJet T2530 MFP provides A1/D size prints in 21 seconds and 2.5 inches per second (in/s) color scanning. It features an intuitive control panel for print, scan, and copy functions.
The HP PageWide XL 5000 MFP provides production speeds up to 14 A1/D size pages per minute (ppm). It also allows up to 30 percent savings in total production costs.
The MP CW2200SP MFP combines full-color output with versatility to enable a wider range of wide format workflow demands. It offers print, copy, and scan functionality to ensure essential large documents can be captured, saved, and shared with ease. This device features a maximum scan size of 36×590 inches and a paper width of 36 inches. It offers a scanning speed of 3.14 in/s for B&W and 1.05 in/s for color. The printing speed for B&W is 3.2 ppm and 1.1 ppm in color.
The Aficio MP W3601 is designed to help share information, make changes, and move projects to completion. It provides a maximum scan size of 36×590-inches and a printing width of 36 inches. It scans at a speed of 3.14 in/s in B&W and 1.05 in/s in color. The printing speed is 6.4 ppm D size LEF and 3.4 ppm E size SEF.
The MP W7100/W8140 MFPs allow for a hands-on, up-close look at key details and critical information. The MP W8140 has a scan size of up to 36×1,180 inches. The MP W7100 scans sizes up to 36×590 inches. The scanning speed in color is 1.97 to 7.87 in/s and monochrome is 1.67 to 13.13 in/s. The printing speed for the MP W8140 is 14 ppm D size LEF and seven ppm E size SEF. The MP W7100 printing speed is ten ppm D size LEF and five ppm E size SEF.
Print providers look to do more with less. MFPs with advanced printing, copying, and scanning capabilities help achieve this, whether in the technical market or beyond. Multi-purpose devices are ideal for environments where space is limited, as they offer more than one function in a small footprint. Today’s MFPs combine their size with higher quality functionality than ever before, opening the door to markets beyond technical print. dps
Apr2016, DPS Magazine