When automatic document feeders were first incorporated into photocopiers it saved a lot of time compared to manually placing every sheet to be copied onto the platen glass (ADF’s were first patented in the mid 1970’s and are now incorporated into almost all office photocopiers and multifunctional devices). Since their inclusion, document feeders have allowed many other output options to be included, making the whole process of producing professional looking documents much easier. When sorters are used along side document feeders whole documents can be printed and placed in the correct order automatically, saving a lot of time compared to when this had to be done manually. There are several different types of sorters available and can be set to sort printed documents in different ways, for example printing the pages in a particular order or printing them portrait then landscape then portrait and so on, so that they can be easily separated.
Finishing options that are now available with most new photocopiers have also sped things up in terms of producing high quality documents with minimum manual input. Most photocopiers are capable of stapling and hole punching, with many devices being able to staple up to 50 sheets of paper together, which have automatically been sorted into the correct order. Along with stapling and whole punching, some photocopiers can also be capable of folding the document and producing professional looking booklets. This professional booklet making is not limited to the colour photocopier as some professional black and white machines have the option to incorporate a pre printed colour cover into the booklet. All these finishing options could save time and money, compared to hiring someone to complete all these tasks manually.
To help with the different output options available many photocopy machine have multiple output paper trays, meaning that printed copies do not have to be removed frequently to make room new copies being made. The multiple paper trays also help with sorting options as they make it possible for the photocopier to sort each copy into a stack automatically. Along with the multiple paper trays, the capacity of the cassettes found in photocopiers has also been improved in most machines. The cassettes would have had to be regularly replenished with more paper in old photocopiers, but many new devices have several cassettes, often being able to hold up to 5000 sheets of paper all together, meaning that the photocopier can be left to print without needing constant attention. Often photocopy machine also have the option of additional cassettes meaning more media types can be used, making the device capable of printing cards, labels and much more.
With a variety of output options available documents can be replicated and printed very easily and automatically, saving both time and effort. Hours wasted having to manually place each copy onto the platen glass and then sorting out prints into the correct order can be saved, not to mention all that time used to staple documents together.