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What is a Ricoh Digital Duplicator?

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What is a Ricoh Digital Duplicator?

A Ricoh digital duplicator is a copier / printer which uses mimeographic technology combined with modern electronics to produce copies or prints onto papeA Ricoh digital duplicator is a copier / printer which uses mimeographic technology combined with modern electronics to produce copies or prints onto paper, envelopes and light card.  Mimegraphic technology basically means using a stencil to produce copies or prints. A Ricoh Digital Duplicator stencil is a thin sheet of resin-coated paper which does not allow moisture to pass through it. Text or designs are created by the Ricoh digital duplicator automatically cutting through the stencil so that ink can then be forced through the openings onto the surface to be printed. Ricoh Digital duplicators combine the speed and reliability of an offset press with the ease of use of a conventional photocopier combined with the networking capabilities of a laser printer.

What is a Ricoh Digital Duplicator NOT?

A Ricoh digital duplicator is NOT the machine your primary school  teacher used to run off purple copies of the school song for use in assembly, copies that had a strange, all-pervasive chemical aroma that meant you would rather the teacher had chosen somewhere else to stand and not next to you, because teacher, having used the old-fashioned mechanical duplicator of your youth, smelt all day long of chemical just like the purple copies.

Today, you will NOT have to stand by a digital duplicator endlessly turning a handle .  Ricoh Digital duplicators are electrically powered.

How does a Ricoh digital duplicator work?

The copy / print stock to be printed upon is placed in the feed tray of the Ricoh digital duplicator.  A stencil is wrapped around a cylinder inside the Ricoh digital duplicator (not a photoreceptive drum, digital duplicators do not use them) and is easily secured at both ends.  An integral scanner then reads the original image. The Ricoh digital duplicator then creates perforations in the thin, resin-coated master or stencil.  As the cylinder rotates a pressure roller presses paper against this cylinder.  Ink is then forced through the newly cut openings of the master onto the paper, envelope or light card as a copy or print. Recent advances in print and copying technology have meant the ongoing development and successful uptake of these new high-speed Ricoh digital duplicators.  As mentioned above, Ricoh Digital duplicators do not use a photoreceptive drum like conventional photocopiers.  Nor do Ricoh digital duplicators use a heated fuser unit to produce copies or prints.  These factors contribute to the greater reliability of Ricoh digital duplicators when compared to conventional photocopiers and also to the low running cost of a Ricoh digital duplicator. There are also benefits for the environment in using a Ricoh digital duplicator in power savings since there is no heated fuser unit.  Ricoh Digital duplicators can go longer between preventative maintenance calls because there is no photoreceptive drum  or fuser unit in a Ricoh digital duplicator that need replacing.

Why use a Ricoh Digital Duplicator?

With a Ricoh digital duplicator, you can begin to make savings when compared with a conventional photocopier when you make as few as 25 copies or prints of a single document.  With a digital duplicator, if you are making more than 30 copies of a single document, each additional copy or print will show savings that increase exponentially because of the way a Ricoh digital duplicator works. A Ricoh digital duplicator recreates the image once on the stencil or master and then forces ink through the stencil or master  onto each sheet of paper or envelope or light card. The cost of the stencil or master used in a Ricoh digital duplicator is divided amongst all of the copies or prints of that particular document.  Digital duplicating is much more cost-effective for longer runs than a photocopier as well as being more environmentally friendly.

Digital duplicators occupy a unique position in the print-on-demand market-place.  Technological improvements have enabled Ricoh digital duplicators to print at speeds of up to 135 pages per minute, with 600dpi resolution for a fraction of the cost-per-copy of a conventional photocopier. This makes Ricoh digital duplicators invaluable for print-on-demand applications quite apart from the typical users of digital duplicators who have up to now been schools, colleges and churches.  Ricoh Digital duplicators are ideally suited for print shops or corporate graphics departments where digital duplicators can be used alongside conventional print-room photocopiers.

Another point to consider is that if you use a Ricoh digital duplicator for your long runs your expensive office copier will last that much longer.


Digital duplicators are not entirely new.  Since the late 80's duplicators have become virtually standard equipment for those, typically churches and schools, who require low cost copies or prints, with high volumes and a machine that is easy to use.

Ricoh Digital duplicators are just as easy to use as an office photocopier.  Ricoh Digital duplicators provide far greater flexibility to print onto a variety of stocks such as envelopes, and light card.  Digital duplicators are cost-effective being less expensive to run than a conventional photocopier given the right circumstances.  Digital duplicators offer additional savings because of their greater productivity and versatility. A normal, conventional office copier may have a copy speed of anything from 20 to 60 A4 copies per minute. Ricoh Digital duplicators however, are capable of printing at speeds of up to 135 A4 pages per minute and an impressive 120 A3 pages per minute  This is because digital duplicators use an ink process that reprints each sheet of paper on contact.  The additional cost savings are to be made by taking less than half the time to produce a print or copy job because of the increased speed of digital duplicators compared to office copiers of a similar price.  The ink used in digital duplicators is quick-drying and will be touch-dry virtually on contact depending on the print resolution of between 300 dpi to 600 dpi. Gone are the days when duplicators produced smudged copies because the previous copy had not dried. The copy quality compares favourably with conventional copying / printing.

Ricoh digital duplicators provide a "job separator" mechanism that offsets the top sheet of each job.  Most digital duplicators send output into a single receive tray and do NOT collate.

Further savings are made by using Digital Duplicators in that they can print on a wider variety of stocks including  carbonless forms (NCR), envelopes of virtually any size and file folders.  Digital duplicators are able to print in practically any colour you like.  Ricoh Digital duplicators have a straight paper path and do not use a fusing unit. This means virtually any size and type of stock can be used with Ricoh digital duplicators.

A Ricoh digital duplicator looks like a multifunctional copier printer.  Do NOT be put off by the fact that digital duplicators use ink rather than toner. After all, toner becomes ink when passing through the fuser unit of a conventional copier but the heat and pressure applied makes it readily absorbed into the throughput material.  Adding ink and stencils to a Ricoh digital duplicator is no more difficult than adding a new toner cartridge to a photocopier. The ink which is in boxes, are located inside the digital duplicator.  There is no danger of spillage.  Replacing the ink in a Ricoh digital duplicator is easier than installing inks into an inkjet printer.  All the inks for Ricoh digital duplicators come in boxes. Simply remove the cap, put on a holder and then slide them in.  Colour cylinders are available for each individual ink, and will last for the life of the digital duplicator.  Ricoh inks are competitively priced with one bottle lasting from between 5,000 to 30,000 copies depending on coverage.  Apart from basic colours, Ricoh digital duplicators can be supplied with Pantone colour inks. Ink changes are clean and easy, taking about 15 seconds to change a colour.  Ricoh's microprocessor-controlled, vacuum-drawn ink system ensures that Ricoh digital duplicators use every last drop of ink paid for.

Ricoh Digital duplicators are no noisier than conventional office photocopiers, with noise levels of between 65 - 75 decibels.  Because of the greater copying and printing speeds of a digital duplicator the noise will be for shorter periods too.

The first copy from a Ricoh digital duplicator will be slower than from a photocopier but at speeds of up to 130 A4 pages per minute, and, remember, you will be printing at least 30 copies or prints at a time, the digital duplicator should in most cases be a lot quicker.

Ricoh Digital Duplicators are environmentally friendly compared to photocopiers.  They do NOT emit Ozone, unlike photocopiers.  Since they do not use toner and do not use cooling fans (no fuser unit remember, so not necessary) , they will NOT circulate toner dust when a filter becomes clogged. They do NOT use a fuser unit so are totally dormant when not in use with no fuser unit to keep hot.  On top of this all Ricoh digital duplicators have an inbuilt "energy save" function which reduces by as much as 85% the already negligible power used when in standby mode.  Ricoh Digital duplicators are so environmentally friendly when it comes to power saving, they "fly below the radar" of Energy Star classification.  The power consumption of a digital duplicator over its expected lifetime is reckoned to be up to 700% lower than a conventional photocopier producing equivalent number of copies.  The inks and master stencils for digital duplicators are usually biodegradable.

Ricoh digital duplicators can be linked up to a PC, Mac or network and used as a high-speed printer.  Ricoh controllers enable users to send print jobs straight from a PC or Mac WITHOUT proprietary software.  A driver that is provided with the controller is loaded onto the PC, Mac or Network.

Points to note.

Digital duplicators do not provide automatic duplexing.  However, copies can easily be run through the digital duplicator a second time for double-sided requirements and with the high speeds of digital duplicators, this need not necessarily be a problem.

Digital duplicators do not staple or punch.

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