What exactly is duplex printing?
The term may sound complex, but it is actually very simple. Duplex printing is basically the process of printing on both sides of the paper. It's a standard feature on most office printers and multifunction printers (MFPs).
Home and low-to-medium volume office printers are equipped with a duplexing unit. This component is responsible for reversing a sheet of paper after the first side has printed. On the other hand, MFPs that support duplex scanning and printing have a reversing automatic document feeder (RADF).
Higher-volume printers are entirely different. Some of them may have two print engines in a single piece of equipment. This allows for duplex printing to occur in one go as opposed to a two-step process.
It was back in 2009 when the idea of duplex printing began to materialise. The printer industry has made a voluntary commitment to help in the campaign to save energy and other resources (Energy-Related Products Directive).
A major concern about the environment and the economy is what led to the concept of duplex printing.
Duplex printing has a lot of benefits which mostly revolve around the environment and the economy.
The most notable of these benefits is the reduced amount of paper used in printing, resulting in lower printing costs. Less paper used also means a lower carbon footprint for your business, an important benefit in today's society.
The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper annually. We don't need to do the maths to know that a vast amount of money is spent on paper. On top of that, report was based on only a single office worker's usage.
The bottom line is, duplex printing can cut paper expenditure in half.
Did you know that to produce around 6,000,000 sheets of paper, roughly 590,000 gallons of water is needed? The campaign to save water has always been a hot topic, and duplex printing is a great way to start contributing.
Going back to the report from the Environmental Protection Agency, over 40% of wood pulps go towards the production of paper every year. Because of duplex printing, half of those trees would be preserved.
Different chemicals are also used in paper manufacturing. Dyes, inks, bleach, and sizing -- all of these chemicals are harmful to the environment. When released into water supplies and nearby land, they pose a threat Mother Nature who's already suffering.
By printing on both sides of a sheet of paper, you reduce paper consumption by 50%. Along with that, the energy used to manufacture paper is also cut in half. Ultimately, the carbon dioxide that's generated during the process of making the paper is also significantly reduced.
Are all printers capable of duplex printing? The answer is yes.
But for a more accurate answer, not all printers can do it automatically. Not all printers are equipped with the component to do double-sided printing by themselves. So if your printer doesn't have this feature, you'd have to do it on your own.
It is a simple process especially if you're just printing personal documents. However, it becomes a tedious process if you're in a business environment. It can be tiring to print hundreds or even thousands of documents manually, all while making sure you're doing it correctly.
This is mostly applicable if you only have around 3 to 7 pages that you need to print. You load a single sheet of paper and print the first page. Once done, put the paper back into the tray in the correct orientation then print the next page. Rinse and repeat.
The second method is a bit complex since it involves a lot of papers. Assuming you already know how to feed the papers correctly, here are the steps:
Tip: If your goal, for example, is to have 500 pages printed front and back. Always start by printing only the first 5 (front or back). Once you're sure that everything is setup correctly, you can proceed with printing the rest of them. The last thing you want is 500 pages of documents printed incorrectly.
This is simply the opposite of the manual variation. When you have a printer that can auto duplex, all you have to do is feed the papers, and you're good to go. It's advantageous in a way that you don't have to monitor everything. Thus, you have more time to focus on other tasks.
So is automatic duplex printing better than its manual counterpart? Not necessarily. It depends on what you're doing and where you're doing it (home, office, or business). Of course, it also depends on the printer that you're using whether or not it can do automatic duplexing.
So how do you know if your printer is capable of automatic duplex printing? If you're familiar with the model number of your printer, it's pretty easy to tell. Take a RICOH SP C840DN Color Laser Printer as an example. Notice the letter D in its model name?
As you might have guessed, it stands for duplex printing. Most manufacturers follow the same rule in naming their printers so you shouldn't have a hard time. If you don't know what the model number is, it's best to check the specs sheet or contact the company where you got the printer from.
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