All-in-one printer/scanners should have put paid to the need for photocopiers years ago you would think, but they have stood the test of time and necessity and still have a major role to play in the office. They have also evolved along the way. When I first had an office job they had to be kept in a separate room due to the noxious fumes and the mess that surrounded them every time the toners were changed.
Changing toner was the work of the expert technician back then. Open the doors and you were faced with trays of powder that if spilled could make you look like a coal miner in a moment. I worked as a field service manager for computer companies and toner spillages were a nightmare for the repair shop or anyone who had to deal with them. We had special static free vacuum cleaners and one poor engineer whose job it would be to go clean up any mess left by the toner. The customer paid heavily for such cleanups.
Onsite repair technicians would spot the tell-tale puff of toner around the edges of the lid and openings of a laser printer or copier and would know never to open the unit. Instead they would just take it back to the repair shop and let someone else face potentially having their ethnicity changed for a few days. Now you can change the toner in a copier in a moment and its easy enough for anyone to do – child’s play. Probably best leave it to an adult still though.
Copier/printers are not particularly cheap devices but they cover the needs of many and end up being very affordable when costs are considered. They are expensive because the need to shift large volumes of paper requires hardware that can sustain constant use. Your average printer/scanner would collapse under the strain of printing all day!
Because they are a larger investment it pays to lease a printer / photocopier combination so you get the latest gear, they are looked after by proper technicians and have a fixed monthly cost. You won’t need to buy desktop printers any more either – a wireless printer/photocopier can receive print jobs from anywhere and print them with superb quality at a fraction of the consumables cost.
So back to the initial comment about the all-in-one desktop printer taking over from the photocopier; what really happened was the photcopier turned tables and took over from the desktop. They took over big style too – the features available on the latest copier/printers are stunning to say the least. Who could have imagined that the most hated piece of machinery in the office has become the most-liked. Copier karma?