Revolutionary Copier Prints Using Erasable Toner
Toshiba Tec is developing a revolutionary copier system that can erase printed text from regular copy paper.
The printer uses a special erasable toner, and when the printed page is passed through the color erasing device, the printing disappears and the paper can be used again. This toner can only be used with compatible copiers, but any regular copy paper can be used.
"This is a special kind of toner that loses its color when heated, so this technology makes it look as if the printing has disappeared. With this system, one sheet of photocopy paper can be used at least five times, so this product combines economy with ecology."
The FriXion Ball line of erasable ball-point pens and highlighters from Pilot, are based on the same principals as used in this system. Although the ink becomes invisible, it is still there, and the imprint from the printing process is also slightly visible, so the recycling of sensitive documents is not recommended.
"With FriXion Ball, the writing disappears through the heat of friction. With this toner, the printing disappears through heating to a high temperature. When we first release this product, the toner will be blue, but we plan to develop other colors as well."
The color erasing device also has a scanning capability, so it can be used to save the data as it erases the printing. This system also automatically sorts the paper into sheets that can be reused and sheets that can't, and places them in separate trays.
"There's no need to sort the paper between usable and unusable, which is something you'd have to do if you were just printing on the reverse sides of paper. So this system minimizes the workload on customers."
Toshiba Tec is currently developing this system, with the aim of releasing it this winter. In the future, the company plans to work on a color version of this copier too.
"We haven't yet decided how to price this system. But we'd like to make sure it doesn't increase customers' printing costs much compared with the systems they currently use. Reusing paper makes the cost per sheet substantially lower, so we'd like to make this system as inexpensive as possible."
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