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Product Use Stage — Environment-Consciousness of Products

Energy-Saving Design

Most of the electricity consumption of MFPs (multifunctional products) and printers during operation by the customer is comprised of standby power which enables the device to fax and maintain a LAN connection, and power consumed during printing operation to melt toner and fix the image on paper. In order to minimize these types of power consumption, we are developing various new technologies and equipping our products with them.

Reduction of Environmental Impact by New Eco-friendly Toner

The new eco-friendly toner has been developed by a unique production method and is structured with a thin shell around the sharp melting core.
This toner can fuse at 30℃ less than that of the conventional products. As a result, the TEC value* of MFPs and printers can be reduced up to fifty percent with this toner, compared to the previous systems. It is also important to note that no organic solvent is required for the new production method, which also lowers the environmental impact of this new toner.

New eco-friendly toner

New eco-friendly toner

Change in fixing range and viscosity

Change in fixing range and viscosity

*The TEC value is the electricity consumption (TEC electricity consumption) for a typical week (5 days of repeated operation and sleep/off + 2 days of sleep/off) (kWh).

Realization of Significant Reduction of Electricity Consumption by adopting New Fixing System

Low Thermal Mass Fixing System

The A4 monochrome printer, ECOSYS P2040dw, put on the market in 2017, is fitted with a newly developed low thermal mass fixing system. This new system greatly reduces electricity consumption.
To be specific, the low thermal mass fixing system reduces the heat capacity of the heating element that thermally fuses the toner by 42% by replacing the heating roller used in conventional models with a metallic belt and pressure pad. It also achieves a reduction in the fixing temperature, which is a factor that determines electricity consumption.

Comparison of Power Consumption (TEC value)

Previous model New model Effect
ECOSYS LS-2100DN ECOSYS P2040dn 37% reduction
2.46 (kWh per week) 1.55 (kWh per week)

Newly Developed IH fixing system

The A3 color MFPs, the TASKalfa 6052ci Series and the A3 monochrome MFPs, the TASKalfa 6002ci Series, which were put on the market in July 2016, were fitted with the newly developed IH fixing system, which fixes the toner on the paper by means of thermal fusion. This new feature achieves a reduction of electricity consumption and shortens the time required when reset from the electricity-saving mode.
The newly developed IH fixing system uses a fixed pad, instead of the sponge roller with a high thermal mass used in the conventional IH fixing system, to achieve a reduction in heating time. As a result, the new fixing system promotes both energy-saving and convenience, with the reduction of electricity consumption and the reset time compared to the previous model.

Development of Controller to Dramatically Reduce Electricity Consumption during Standby Operation

Development based on our own technology of a controller for standby electricity of 0.5 watt or less

Newly developed energy-saving controller
Newly developed energy-saving controller

While reductions in electricity consumption and CO2 emissions are very much in demand by society, how to reduce the stand-by electricity used by printers and MFPs in the office has become a major issue. In addition, when the equipment starts printing from sleep mode, smooth printing with great convenience must be ensured to avoid compromising the operability of the equipment or the productivity of the customer.
As a solution, we came up with new features for the A3 color MFP, TASKalfa 2470ci and the A3 monochrome MFP, TASKalfa 2520i, which were put on the market in January 2018. The features are the capability to reduce the stand-by electricity used during sleep mode to the necessary minimum, and the inclusion of a newly developed energy-saving controller that further reduces the time required to return from sleep mode.
Installation of this newly developed energy-saving controller now provides stand-by electricity during sleep mode of not more than 0.5W, one of the best in the industry, without compromising the operability of the equipment or the productivity of the customer.

Resource-saving Design

Re-using Empty Toner Containers as Used Toner Recovery Tanks

The A3 color MFPs, the TASKalfa 6052ci Series, which were put on the market in July 2016, feature the capability of re-using empty black toner containers as used toner recovery tanks. Conventionally, a recovery tank is necessary to recover used toners and when a tank is filled with used toners, the tank must be replaced with an empty one. However, reusing used toner containers as recovery tanks can reduce the number of parts used and eventually lead to a reduction in resource consumption and costs.
This feature and others received a high evaluation from an US independent survey association, Buyers Laboratory LLC. As a result, we were awarded the 2016 BLI Outstanding Achievement in Innovation Award.

Recycling of Used Toner Containers as Toner Recovery Tanks

Press Release about receiving the Award:

Reduction in Sheet Metal Consumption by Structural Analysis

The frame of the A3 color MFP, the ECOSYS M6535cidn is composed of sheet metal parts.
We conducted a structural analysis with CAE* to find the optimal shape of the sheet metal so that sufficient strength can be provided with thinner sheets. As a result, this machine is now approximately 20% lighter than the previous model.
The following two diagrams show an example of the resource-saving design as a result of a change in shape based the structural analysis with CAE.
The arrow shows the direction of torsion. The deeper the red, the greater the stress applied to the sheet metal. Conversely, the deeper the blue, the less the stress. The left diagram shows greater stress being applied to the right top part. By using a thicker metal for the red area, reinforcing the strength of the left side surface by adding sheet metals and minimizing the thickness of the metal in other parts, the amount of sheet metal used is reduced.

*CAE: Computer Aided Engineering, which is a computer system to support design and development process of the industrial products

Reduction in Sheet Metal Consumption by Structural Analysis

Long-Life Design

In our ECOSYS product concept, the aim is to reduce the number of parts which become waste. This is achieved by taking thorough measures to extend the life of mechanical parts involved in creating the printed image, thereby reducing the frequency of part replacement. Since running costs are also reduced, there are both economic and environmental advantages.
Our various unique technologies for extending service life are making this concept a reality.

Reducing Environmental Impact by Extending the Lives of Photoreceptor Drums

Development of new long-life a-Si photoreceptor drum

Long-life photoreceptor drum
Long-life photoreceptor drum

Starting with the MFPs and printers released in 2012, longer life has been achieved through the use of a newly developed photoreceptor drum. The service life of the new drum is 600,000 pages, which is twice the 300,000 page service life of the drum in the previous MFPs. Longer service life is achieved by using a harder and more durable a-C (amorphous carbon) type coating, with hardness close to that of diamond, to protect the surface of the previous a-Si (amorphous silicon) photoreceptor drum.

• Long-Life Photoreceptor Drum Structure

Long-Life Photoreceptor Drum Structure

Development of Long-Life PSLP Drum

For a number of photoreceptor drums used in MFPs and printers, we have commercialized the Positive-charged Single Layer OPC Drum: PSLP* that is different from standard organic photoreceptors (OPCs) in that it can be used with a positive charge.
Unlike standard negative charge OPC drums that cause deterioration in the photoreceptor's special balance due to wear and tear to the surface layer of the multi-layered structure, a single layer structure enables the PSLP drum to sustain stability over a long period without deterioration in the special photoreceptor balance even if it suffers wear and tear. Building on that idea, we were able to create a drum that has over 10 times the lifespan of a standard OPC by incorporating our own original service life extension technology into the drum.
Also, because the manufacturing process for PSLP drums is extremely simple compared to standard OPC drums, the amount of manufacturing energy needed for PSLP drums is 1/3 that of the manufacturing process for standard OPC drums of the same scale. This contributes considerably to cutting CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process.

*PSLP: Positive-charged Single Layer Photoconductor

• PSLP Drum Structure

PSLP Drum Structure

Consideration for the Office Environment

In addition to global environmental issues such as resource and energy conservation, our customers are also interested in improving their business environment. Our MFPs and printers are equipped with the features in demand in actual business contexts, such as reduction of equipment footprint, quiet design which prevents discomfort for people working nearby, quiet-mode setting which is useful when quiet office environment is especially necessary, and simple ease-of-operation.

Quiet Design

The A4 color MFPs, ECOSYS M5526cdw and the A4 color printer ECOSYS P5026cdw, launched in October 2016, are designed to generate less noise when operated; the design assumes that they are in use directly next to users.
We have proposed various ideas and implemented them in our products to dramatically reduce noise.

Reduction in Cooling Fans

Designing an arrangement that reduces heat source impacts can reduce the number of cooling fans, which ultimately reduced the fan noise.

Cooling fans in the product

Reduction in Cooling Fans

Reduction in the Number of Driving Motors in the Product

We significantly reduced the torque of the process and paper feeding units to successfully drive the machine with only two motors, one image forming motor and one feeding motor, thereby reducing the operational noise.

Reduction in the Number of Driving Motors in the Product

Comparison of noise levels

  Previous model
New product
ECOSYS M5526cdw
Sound Pressure Level 50.0dB 49.0dB 0.89
Sound Power Level 61.7dB 60.1dB 0.69

Compact Design

The A4 color MFPs, ECOSYS M5526cdw and the A4 color printer, ECOSYS P5026cdw, launched in October 2016, are fitted with the following features to realize the industry's smallest class size:

  1. 1Direct connection of the toner container integrated with a disposal bottle to the process unit to shorten the toner feeding route.
  2. 2A small-diameter photoreceptor drum/small-diameter charging roller and a two-component development method resulted in the downsizing of the process unit.
  3. 3Arrangement of a compact process unit shortened the distance between color stations.
  4. 4Use of a single-focus fθ lens, i.e., the lens used to scan laser light, in the LSU (laser scanner unit, a device that writes image data to the drum in the laser printer), shortened the optical path length.
  5. 5Placing the polygon mirror and fθ lens in two layers to create a double-stage optical path/facing scanning method facilitated using one polygon motor for four colors.
  6. 6Reduction in the number of rollers in the paper feeder or switchback part shortened the feeding route.

This allows the operator to use the product without feeling overcrowded. Therefore, the product can be placed in various places - even in smaller areas, such as retail stores, receptions, or small-scale offices. These products won the Good Design Award in 2016 for their compact and easy-to-use design.

Comparison of the size of the products

  Previous Model
New Product
ECOSYS M5526cdw
Height[mm] 603 495 18% Reduction
Installation area[mm²] 204,000 168,100 18% Reduction
Volume[L] 170.47 88.55 48% Reduction
Weight[kg] 38.7 26.0 33% Reduction

Comparison of the size of the products

Optional Silent Mode

The following five models of A4 color printer and MFPs can be operated with less operating noise than the standard level. The user may choose to set constant silent mode, turn off silent mode, or set silent mode for each job, thereby reducing the noise to between 45 and 47 decibels.
(*The decibel level guideline is 40 dB for city areas at midnight or the inside of a library and 50 dB for the inside of a silent office.)

Comparison of noise levels

Model Noise level
Ordinary mode Silent mode
ECOSYS M6530cdn/P6130cdn 49.5 dB 45.0 dB
ECOSYS M6535cidn/P6035cdn 52.0 dB 47.0 dB
ECOSYS P7040cdn 53.5 dB 47.0 dB

Ozone-Free Design

Traditionally, our products use a positively charged photosensitive system, such as an a-Si drum or PSLP Organic Photoconductor drum that can curb the generation of ozone.
Through the combined use of such a positively charged photosensitive system and a roller charging system, we have further reduced the amount of ozone generated by the machine to an almost undetectable level compared to that of the previous charging system.
We have been using this ozone-free design since 2010.

Ozone-Free Design

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