Glossary Of Photocopier Terms
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A Glossary of Photocopier Terms and Definitions – To Make It Clear

Do you know how many parts there are in a photocopier? Probably many more than you think. And they all have names. If you saw a parts list, you’d probably be at a loss as to what’s what. That’s why we’ve compiled this glossary of photocopier terms and definitions. Of course, it’s more than just parts. So have a look at this simple glossary; and while you’re reading it, keep in mind that many of these terms can also refer to printers and/or fax machines – the technology is very similar.

  • ADF (Automatic Document Feeder)
    ADF refers to the most simple type of feeder that’s able to process only single-sided originals. ADFs on analogue copiers require sorter bins in order to produce multiple sets of multi-page documents. ADFs on digital copiers don’t need sorter bins if the machine operates with scan-once/print-many technology.
  • Analogue
    Analogue is the traditional copier technology, using the “light lens” method to reproduce originals.
  • Bypass (Tray)
    The bypass tray allows you to feed non-standard paper without having to put it in one of the main paper trays.
  • Catch tray
    The catch tray is simply the output tray that receives copied pages.
  • Corona wire
    A corona wire is a charged wire that draws the toner off the drum onto the paper.
  • CPM (Copies per Minute)
    CPM, otherwise known as PPM – pages per minute, is the measure of a machine’s engine speed when making copies.
  • Digital
    Digital is the state-of-the-art copier technology widely used today. Digital copiers scan and digitize originals before reproducing them, essentially converting images to computerized data. And here’s an interesting fact: All multifunctional copiers are digital, but not all digital copiers are multifunctional.
  • Duplex
    Duplex refers to the process of double-sided copying.
  • Electron
    An electron is a negatively-charged particle that consists of ordinary matter. Atoms consist of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons.
  • Fluorescent
    Fluorescent means having the ability to emit light when struck by electrons or another form of radiation.
  • Fuser
    The fuser is the part that melts the toner onto the paper. After the toner is transferred on the paper, the fuser applies heat and pressure to ensure that the toner stays on the paper permanently.
  • Image shift
    Image shift is a common feature that allows you to shift the image of your original a little way across the page to leave a margin for binding.
  • Incandescent
    Incandescent light is white, glowing, or luminous with intense heat.
  • LCT (Large-Capacity Tray)
    LCT, also known as LCB – large capacity bin, generally refers to a paper tray holding 1,000 sheets or more.
  • Multifunctional
    Multifunctional digital copiers can also serve as computer printers and, in some cases, fax machines and scanners.
  • OCT (Offset catch tray)
    An OCT is a device that receives and mechanically offsets each copied page.
  • Paper drawers/trays
    Paper drawers, or trays (either term can be used), simply hold the paper waiting to be copied. They’re almost always frontloading, but large-capacity trays holding 1,000 sheets of more may be attached to the side of the copier.
  • Photoconductive (material)
    Photoconductivity produces changes in the electrical conductivity of a substance as a result of absorbing electromagnetic radiation. Selenium is a photoconductive material.
  • Photon
    A photon is a distinct “chunk” or particle of electromagnetic radiation.
  • Photosensitive
    Something that’s photosensitive has an increased reaction to the stimulus of light.
  • Platen
    The platen is the glass surface on which originals are placed for copying.
  • PPM (Pages per Minute)
    PPM is a measure of a machine’s engine speed when making copies.
  • Preselection
    Preselection refers to the number of copies you can tell your copier to make in one run.
  • RADF (Reversing Automatic Document Feeder)
    An RADF can handle double as well as single sided originals. RADFs on analogue copiers need bins in order to produce multiple sets of multi-page documents. RADFs on digital copiers don’t need sorter bins, providing the machine operates with scan-once/print-many technology.
  • Reduction/Enlargement
    The reduction/enlargement feature allows you to either reduce or enlarge an image when producing copies.
  • Resolution
    Resolution is a measure of how a digital copier scans and prints copies, generally 400 dpi (dots per inch) or 600 dpi. 600 dpi means that the scanned image consists of 600 x 600, or 36,000 dots per square inch.
  • Scan-once/print-many
    Scan-once/print-many is the reproduction method of digital machines that scan in a copy of the original image once, digitize the image and store it, and use this to reproduce many copies.
  • Simplex
    Simplex refers to single-sided copying.
  • Sorter
    The sorter is a multi-bin device for collating pages as you make multiple copies of multi-page originals.
  • Toner
    Toner is a dry ink powder which has been electrically charged. Toner cartridges are used in copiers, laser printers, and fax machines.
  • Zoom
    Zoom is part of the reduction/enlargement feature that allows you to select the amount of magnification you want, typically in 1% increments. Most analogue copiers have a zoom range of somewhere between 60-140% and 50-200%. Digital models have ranges of 25-400% and wider.

These are the basic terms associated with photocopiers, printers and fax machines. Now you can apply your new-found knowledge to your use of any of these machines. And you don’t have to be intimidated by the technology – we’ve made it simple for you.

About The Author

Gareth Marples is a successful freelance writer providing valuable tips and advice for consumers purchasing printer ink cartridges, searching for replacement cellular phone batteries as well as automotive light bulbs. His numerous articles offer moneysaving tips and valuable insight on typically confusing topics.

This "Glossary of Photocopier Terms & Definitions" reprinted with permission.

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