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Fuji Xerox’s new MFP takes inspiration from the washroom

Jack Loo | March 22, 2012
Fuji Xerox demonstrates how a sensor found in lavatories can be an eco-friendly feature in printers.

An infrared-based sensor commonly used in washrooms has become part of an eco-friendly function used in one of Fuji Xerox's newest multi-function printers (MFPs).

Also known as a reflection sensor, it is being used in tandem with another infrared sensor to detect users approaching the MFP, the ApeosPort-IV/DocuCentre-IV C5575, and will alert the machine to wake up from a sleep mode, according to lead designer Motofumi Baba.

This automatic sensing feature, called SmartWelcomEyes, helps user avoid the hassle of having to press the sleep mode button to activate the MFP. It also prompts the machine to be in an active mode by the time the user arrives at the printer.

Baba is system engineer, product development & program management III, product development group based out of Fuji Xerox's R&D centre in Yokohama, Japan. He was speaking at the document management and print specialist's user conference DocuWorld yesterday.

The latter sensor, known as a pyroelectric sensor, covers a fan-shaped area of about one metre from the front of the MFP. Once a user is detected in the zone, pyroelectric sensor turns on the reflection sensor. The reflection sensor then prompts the printer to switch on by the time the user touches the control panel.

"This is a technology built in line with the Japanese concept of 'omotenashi' or hospitality spirit," said Baba.

The sensors' coverage areas of about 270 degrees are designed so that they would not activate unnecessarily when users approach from corners to collect their print-outs, he added.

The feature is part of a trio of RealGreen functions that enable the MFP to start up almost instantaneously or just two seconds. RealGreen is Fuji Xerox's umbrella of environmentally-friendly products and services.

Smart Energy Management Technology improves energy usage by using the scanner, control panel, output device or controller modules when necessary. For instance, by powering up the scanner and fax components and not the output device, the MFP achieves a 54 percent energy saving.

The final feature, High Speed Reactivation from Sleep Mode, enables the device to take two seconds to wake up from a sleep mode. The previous generation MFP takes 10 seconds to wake up.

Baba estimates that 500,000 ApeosPort-IV/DocuCentre-IV C5575 in sleep mode can save 380 million kg of carbon dioxide over five years, equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide that 27 million cedar trees absorb in a year. 


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