The electronics giant Toshiba has unveiled a breakthrough printer system that allows the reuse of printouts for another 5 rounds of copying or printing. This helps prevent wastage and minimizes spending on printing paper. Said technology utilizes an erasable type of toner developed by Toshiba and runs on a compatible copier as well.
What is an erasable toner? It is the kind of toner that loses its color when exposed to heat. This in effect weakens the hue of existing prints on paper €“ close to fading, so that a faint impression remains. Nevertheless, the paper’s surface is clear enough to overwrite after feeding it to a compatible Toshiba copier. Paper can now be reused at least five times, or ten times if the flipside is considered.
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How can the Toshiba printer erase toner on paper? The concept is comparable to what is employed with Pilot’s erasable gel ink pens. The fine point Frixion ball renders the ink marks translucent. In the case of Toshiba’s erasable toner, high temperature is applied to make the print marks sort of disappear. For the moment, erasable toner is available only in blue. But Toshiba hopes to distribute other hues as well.
Is there a way to recover erased documents using the Toshiba printer? Erased documents cannot be recovered. But as a work around, the device is equipped with a scanning device that allows the user to save the printed data before overwriting it. The copier prompts the user of the scan option before erasure commences. This option is really important to avoid the possibility of wiping out a document by mistake. Moreover, the printer system automatically sorts erased paper into what can and cannot be reused.
Why was it developed? Office printing and photocopying is a major expense item of most organizations. Printing expenses typically include consumable purchases for inkjets, laser printers and copiers, and of course the reams of paper that are fed to these devices. Paper products make up the bulk of office printing expenses. In a 2005 DTI report, it was revealed that a single office employee prints at least a thousand pages per month. And considering that there are millions of personnel employed in offices across North America, the consumption of paper is staggering. Toshiba hopes that the development of erasable toner will significantly reduce dependence on paper.
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So, if paper consumption is an issue, the erasable toner from Toshiba is one recommendable option, at least for the printout of non confidential drafts and intra office documents.”
Photo by Piotr Lewandowski