Finding the Right Copier Speed for Large Offices

copier speed

How do you know if the copier you purchased will meet your company’s needs? To find the perfect copier, you need to understand what all the features and terminology really mean. Furthermore, you need to see how the different criteria will affect the price and performance of the unit.

The engine is where the toner goes onto the paper. This part’s speed is rated in copies per minute (cpm). It’s also responsible for a few other things, such as: determining if the device supports black and white or color, what sizes and weights of paper can be used to print and copy on, and whether the machine can print double sided.

The industry separates different speed engines into different segments:

  • Personal Copiers (1-10 cpm)
  • Segment 1 (11-20 cpm)
  • Segment 2 (21-30 cpm)
  • Segment 3 (31-45 cpm)
  • Segment 4 (46-69 cpm)
  • Segment 5 (70-90 cpm)
  • Segment 6 (91+ cpm)

The speed of the machine will affect productivity in a few ways. First, if you do a large volume of printing and need to run 10,000 copies a day, then a 10 cpm engine can’t handle that kind of workload. Besides the fact that you’d burn the machine up if you run it constantly for 8 hours a day, you just can’t get 10,000 pages out of it. Basically, the speed of the engine determines how many copies or prints you can turn out in a given time.

The second thing to consider is peak volume; how much work do you need to get done during peak times like at the end of the month or during tax season? Your company might average 28,000 copies per month, but if 75% of those copies happen during the last week of the month, you’ll need the ability to do quite a few pages a day.

A few questions you should ask when comparing copiers:

  • Can the speed of this engine handle my average copies per minute?
  • Can the speed of this engine handle the peak volume times?
  • Do we need a color copier in-house or can we outsource any color printing?
  • Would printing or copying on both sides of the paper save us money?
  • Is our average monthly or annual volume higher than the recommended volume for this engine?