What to look for when choosing an office multifunction machine?

what to consider when choosing a multifunctional device for the office

Multifunctional devices for offices are offered in a huge variety of brands and types. The group known in English as Multi-Function Printer (MFP) includes cheap market equipment and machines that fully deserve the name of mobile centers for creating and managing company documents. We advise you on what to pay special attention to in order to choose the optimal MFP.

Before you start choosing multifunction devices for the office, find out what possibilities MFPs offer. Thanks to this, you will not only be able to choose the best one for your needs multifunctional photocopiers, but you will also not overpay for equipment that you may never use.

What are the possibilities of an office MFP?

Any contemporary An MFP is a machine that performs the tasks of printing, copying, scanning and faxing documents. It is also worth taking into account the specific functions of the device and the possibility of its expansion with additional paper trays and receiving trays. They significantly extend the capabilities of MFPs. For example, high-end multifunction copiers offer basic trays with a capacity of several hundred sheets - up to several thousand sheets when upgraded. Appropriate print receivers should be selected for the size of trays. 

An important section of any large multifunction copier are finishers, i.e. special modules that allow for document finishing. It can be punching, stapling or folding of finished prints. The MFPs can also arrange the pages of documents properly for booklet making, or separate (shift sorting) a batch of prints.

Another group of MFP functionalities is document management software. The main issue is the possibility of creating mailboxes for users. They allow, among others store specific documents for printing, scanning, copying and faxing. As a result, the processing of documents such as price lists or frequently used forms is significantly accelerated. The user box is also easy to send and share, as well as preview and mobile printing of documents from the level of a web browser or smartphone app.

MFPs have effective access control mechanisms. Identification of authorized users (authentication) can be done by means of a password, a special card or on the basis of fingerprint verification. Each of them has individual specific access rights.

They are an important issue eco functions of multifunction devices, i.e. controlling the sleep time in such a way as to adjust it to the actual working hours. Some MFPs can scan documents without warming up the printer or restrict the control panel backlight when it is not necessary.

These are only the most important groups of functionalities offered by MFP devices. Their practical usefulness depends on the quality, speed and reliability of performing individual tasks.

How to choose the parameters of a multifunction device?

There are significant differences that you need to take into account when buying multifunctional devices for your office are in the specific operating parameters. What you should pay attention to is advised by the company's representative DKS in Gdańsk, suppliers of office equipment: - For people who do not have technical knowledge and do not want to waste time studying specifications, the most important guideline when choosing an MFP is the monthly copy (print) volume. Manufacturers provide a minimum and maximum value. The discrepancy between them can be really significant, for example for the Konica Minolta Bizhub C658 it will be 33000 and 200000 pages per month, respectively. Assuming that the machine is available only during office hours, i.e. for about 160 hours a month, the optimal print coverage means printing over 3 pages, and the maximum over 20 pages per minute of work. It is enough to estimate the average monthly printing needs in the company and select a device with a similar value of the optimal monthly printing volume. If the value of the average demand is close to the maximum monthly print volume of a particular device, it may not be able to handle periodic increases in print load.

Defining the demand for printing allows you to narrow down the set of machines from which you can choose the optimal model for purchase, leasing or rental. However, this is not the only important indicator. Before making your final decision, consider the following variables:

  • supported paper sizes - the choice between A4 and A3 devices is key, which significantly affects the purchase price of the MFP - good-class devices support predefined (standard) formats, but also allow you to specify your own paper dimensions, and are often also equipped with the banner printing option,
  • paper weight - before buying, it is worth checking what paper weight the device supports, also taking into account the maximum weight of paper suitable for duplex printing (automatic two-sided printing),
  • color of printing - although it may seem obvious, the purchase of a color printing device is not obvious: if you can eliminate or minimize color printing, and at the same time you want maximum efficiency, then the optimal choice will be an efficient black and white business class MFP,
  • scan / print resolution - a resolution of 300 dpi is sufficient to handle documents, while printing photos or graphic designs requires a minimum resolution of 600 × 600 dpi, preferably 1200 × 1200 dpi and higher, 
  • supported file formats - applies to file formats to which the device can save scanned documents and file formats that it can print, including direct printing, without opening them in an appropriate editing program.

We have covered only the most important, most obvious criteria for selecting an office multifunction device. There are many more variables that may turn out to be important. It all depends on what your needs are. Therefore, the basis for the optimal selection of MFPs is the accurate determination of the needs for printing, scanning and copying in your company.

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