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Standalone Scanner or MFD/Copier?

office copier

Prefer to listen to this piece?

"Isn't the scanner on my copier good enough?"

Organizations today are often forced to choose between two kinds of imaging equipment for their scanning needs — standalone network scanners or multifunction devices (MFDs, also known as "copiers") with scanning capabilities.

MFDs offer a high level of usability. In addition to a scanner, they also provide copy and print functionality. In the past, MFDs were mainly used for copying and printing. Now, more and more businesses are using the scanning function on their MFDs to increase productivity while having fewer devices to obtain and maintain.

Stand-alone scanners, on the other hand, are singularly focused on the scanning process and cater to the needs of a variety of applications. So the question is, standalone scanner or MFD?

The Benefits of Using a Standalone Scanner

  • Most scanner models can work with a wide range of document types—including various paper thicknesses, and very small documents, such as business cards.
  • Scanner hardware and software are often optimized for scan quality to capture difficult documents, automatically adjust for skew or page orientation, and remove blank pages from the file.
  • Scanners usually experience a lower incidence of downtime than MFDs, as their usage does not conflict with those using the machine for copying and printing. Their reduced usage results in a lack of workflow interruptions, especially during large jobs. 
  • Dedicated scanner devices may also be able to scan a large volume of documents in a relatively short span of time.

The Benefits of Scanning with an MFD "Copier"

  • MFDs offer a convenient "one-stop-shop" for all printing, copying, and scanning needs.
  • Utilizing a copier-style MFD for scanning needs allows you to reduce the number of devices covered by your service contract.
  • Employees only have to learn how to operate one device when companies opt for an MFD.

Who should have a dedicated scanner device? 

For organizations in industries that require frequent scanning jobs in large quantities, a dedicated scanner is likely a wise investment. Not only are most dedicated scanner devices designed for speed, volume, quality, and size variation, but having a standalone scanning device will keep a company's MFD-style copiers open for other employee use. 

Who should use their copier-style MFD for their scanning needs? 

For most non-document-dependant industries, the scanning capabilities of a copier-style MFD should suffice. The scanning units on these machines are becoming increasingly impressive with quite high standards for even the most basic copier models. 


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