Mono Photocopiers – 2020 Overview

By Dan Barraclough

What is a Mono Photocopier?

The term ‘mono' used for photocopiers refers to the monochrome image produced by black and white copiers. Monochrome means different shades of the same colour but usually refers to black and white machines even though strictly speaking, an image that is various shades of blue would still be monochrome.

Mono photocopiers have come down in price considerably over the last decade due to the introduction of colour laser copiers and their subsequent price drop. Where you used to pay tens of thousands of pounds for a business grade mono photocopier, you can now pay less than a few thousands of pounds for a business machine.

What type of copies do you need?

Mono Copiers – Features

Thanks to the on-going march of technology, mono photocopiers now come with more advanced features as standard than they ever have done before, which includes capabilities such as ‘network scan and print’, which is often now bundled in with machines as default.

Photocopier manufacturers now concentrate on speed and durability to differentiate between low, mid and high volume machines. Low volume black and white copiers can be seen as those photocopiers with speeds of up to around 35ppm (pages per minute) and anything above this, but below 50ppm is classed as a mid-volume machine. High volume black and white photocopiers typically range between 60 and 100 pages a minute with anything faster being considered as true print production speeds.

So, whilst all machines may have a ‘scan to file and email’ ability, they will often differ in terms of monthly volume capabilities. This means that when you buy a mono photocopier you shouldn't focus solely on price and features alone – you should ensure that the machine is fit for purpose in terms of durability and can cope with the loads you'll expect of it.

All colour and mono photocopiers are designed for a specific size of office and buying a machine just because it has advanced features may give you no end of service issues down the line. If you need to print 50,000 copies every month do not buy a machine capable of copying 50,000 a month. Look for a machine with a duty cycle of around 75,000 or more each month because your work load may increase or there may be months when you are extra busy.

Document Feeders – Simplex or Duplex?

A key feature to consider on black & white photocopiers is what kind of automatic document feeder – or ADF – you need. An ADF sits on top of a photocopier and feeds each original through or across the scanning device. In fact, the ADF often houses part of the scanner inside it so it can manage double sided (duplex) scanning without having to turn over the document, which saves time and reduces machine wear.

Simplex document feeders only feed one side at a time and are designed to handle a specific number of documents automatically. If you feed in more than the ADF was designed to handle then this can cause document jams that damage your originals and the machine.

Duplex ADFs are capable of scanning and photocopying both sides of an original at once, saving you time. Consider which is more relevant for your business – do you require two-sided printing or not? If you don't, then a duplex ADF photocopier might not be right you.

Mono Photocopier Servicing

Photocopier servicing is crucial to extending and maximising the life of your machine, and so regular maintenance should not be overlooked. As photocopiers have a whole host of serviceable parts, it is essential to change and clean them as necessary otherwise they could cause major and expensive damage. You should always refer to the operating manual if you intend to undertake this weekly/monthly service clean yourself.

Most business photocopiers should be put under a maintenance contract. This is usually charged on a copy-cost basis and is available for less than 1p per copy. Some service contracts include toner while others do not. You can pay less for a labour only maintenance contract, but photocopier parts can be very expensive so this option is not recommended if you depend heavily on your machine.

Choosing a Mono Photocopier Supplier

Buying a photocopier is not the same as buying a radio or a TV. There are many more concerns, such as reliability and supplies, to consider. Buying mono photocopiers should only be done through an authorised dealer, regardless of whether you are buying a Canon, Sharp, Kyocera, Ricoh or Konica Minolta. Authorised dealers will be able to properly support your machine in case of technical issues thanks to the professional training and support they receive from the manufacturers.

Unauthorised dealers have no direct access to manufacturers in terms of dealing with warranties and are less likely to have a full complement of spare parts should you need them. In addition, authorised dealers have a lot to lose if a customer lodges a serious complaint to the manufacturer and so will do more to keep their customers happy.

Next Steps

If your office needs a new mono photocopier, then you’ve come to the right place. Just fill in the form at the top of the page with your business requirements and Expert Market will match you with leading UK photocopier suppliers best suited your unique needs.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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