Description of MFP technical terms

When your engineer visits to service your MFP, he will communicate the issue in easy to understand English with no fancy jargon, however it is handy to know what the meaning of some copier terms you may hear them use.


A brief description of some MFP related terminology

AC (alternating  current): Current that flows repeatedly back-and-forth through a circuit at a constantly  varying voltage level.

Additive colour method: The method of mixing colour, using coloured lights. Used in monitors and other display devices.

ADF (automatic document feeder): A mechanical component that allows you to feed a multi-page document automatically into a multifunction device one sheet at a time.

Amps: A count of electrons passing a given point per second. (Also called Amperes.)

Armature: A moveable component inside a solenoid or motor that transmits motion when the device is electrified.

Beam detector: Tracks the position of the laser beam in laser printers.

Bearing: A friction-reducing device between two contacting surfaces. Typically small steel balls enclosed in a ring­ shaped sleeve.

Belt: A mechanical device made of a flexible material that transmits rotation between nonadjacent rotating shafts.

Brightness: A paper’s brightness indicates the amount of light reflected from its surface, on a scale of 1 to 100. General use printer paper has brightness in the upper 80s or lower 90s.

Bushing: A disposable material used to support rotating shafts and reduce friction in place of bearings.

CCD (Charge-coupled device): A type of image sensor in scanners.

Charge roller: Component in some printers that applies an electrical charge to the photoconductive drum. Used in place of a primary corona.

CIS (Contact Image Sensor): A type of image sensor in some scanners, especially in expensive units.

Clutch: An electromechanical component that transmits rotation to aligned shafts. It can be engaged or disengaged as necessary.

CMOS (Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor): A type of image sensor in some scanners. Consumes less power than CCD image sensors.

CMYK: The colours cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, used in most printers to create colour output.

Colour depth: Specifies how many bits are used to describe the colour of a single pixel.

Colour gamut: A term that describes the entire range of colours a device can produce.

Cover stock: Heavyweight paper, generally 120 to 300 gsm.

Developer: The unit in an MFP that contains the toner.

Doctor blade: Flat, blade-like component that scrapes toner into a thin, uniform layer on the magnetic roller that transfers toner from the Developer Unit to the drum.

Drum: Cylinder coated with a photoconductive material used in MFP's to apply toner to paper.

Duplex printing: The process of printing on both sides of a sheet of paper (double-sided printing).

EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory): Non-volatile memory chip.

EEPROM (Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory): Non-volatile memory chip.

EP (Electro-photographic): A printing method that uses light (laser or LED) to discharge a photoconductive drum. The discharged areas of the drum attract toner particles, which are then applied to paper.

Firmware: Software written permanently or semi-permanently to a computer chip. Printer firmware controls printer functions.

Flat cable: Cable in which the signal wires are side by side in a flat ribbon.

Fuse: A disposable, single-use electrical component that protects an electrical circuit from overload by opening the circuit if the flow of electricity exceeds the fuse's rating.

Fuser: Assembly in an MFP that fuses the toner to the paper using heat and pressure.

Gear: A mechanical device used to transfer rotation from one rotating shaft to another.

Gear train: A device with multiple gears.

Grounding components: Components that protect technicians and sensitive electrical components from electrical charges by dissipating electricity.

Heated roller: Hot roller used to melt toner and fuse it to paper.

HVPS (High-voltage power supply): Converts 24 Volts D.C. into high­ voltage electricity to power the primary corona/charger in an MFP.

Lamp: An electrical device that converts electricity into light. Used to illuminate documents or other objects in scanners.

Memory: The hardware component that stores data as the CPU works with it.

Monochrome: Black-and-white printed pages or image files.

Motor: An electromechanical device that converts electricity into a rotating mechanical force.

Multimeter: A meter that can be used to measure multiple electrical properties.

Non-volatile memory: Memory that retains its contents when power is removed.

Ozone: Gas produced as a byproduct of the Laser print process when the primary corona/charger charges the drum.

Paper grain: The direction in which most of a paper's fibre’s lie.

Paper path: The path the paper takes through an MFP.

Paper weight: The weight in gsm (grammes per square metre) of an uncut basis ream of paper.

Pawls: Claw-like components that help guide paper to ensure that it doesn't wrap around the drum or the heated roller in the fuser.

Photo-interrupter: A sensor that uses a direct beam of light from the source to the transistor.

Photo-reflective sensor: A sensor that uses a continuous wavelength of light reflected off a target and onto a transistor.

Pickup roller: Roller that removes a sheet of paper from the paper tray or cassette and feeds it into the MFP.

Pixel: The smallest addressable unit of a picture.

Pixel depth: The bits per pixel devoted to each shade.

Pressure roller: Roller in the fuser assembly of an MFP that, along with the heated roller, fuses the toner to the paper.

Primary corona/charger: Component in MFP's that applies an electrical charge to the photoconductive drum.

Pulley: A motor-driven shaft that transmits rotation to another shaft, usually called an idler. The pulley and idler are connected by a cable.

Registration assembly: Series of rollers that keep paper flat and ensure that the paper is properly positioned to receive the image during the laser print process.

Relay: An electromechanical component that either opens or closes when energised by an electromagnetic field.

Resolution: The number of pixels across and down that an adapter can create on a monitor.

RGB: A colour system that uses red, green, and blue in various combinations to create the full range of colours produced on display devices such as monitors.

Roller: A smooth, axle-fitted cylinder typically used to move paper through a printer.

Scanner: A computer input device for converting pictures or documents to image data for storage and/or manipulation.

SD (Secure Digital) card: A nonvolatile, removable storage card.

Sensor: A device that transmits real-time information to a printer.

Separation roller/pad: Component that works with the pickup roller to ensure that just one sheet of paper is fed into the MFP.

Solenoid: An electromechanical device that uses electromagnetic force to create a plunging motion using an armature.

Spring: A metal coil used to provide tension between components.

Static electricity: A phenomenon in which the charges on separate objects are unequal--one object has an excess positive or negative charge when compared to the other.

Stepper motor: A motor with toothed electromagnets around a central gear that allows the motor to turn at precise angles ("steps").

Subtractive colour method: Method used in printing where color is created using toner.

Switch: An electromechanical device used to change the flow of an electrical current.

Thermal fuse: A single-use electrical component that protects devices from excessive heat by cutting electrical power to the device when heat reaches a specific temperature.

Thermal switch: An electrical component that protects devices from excessive heat by temporarily cutting electrical power when heat reaches a specific temperature. When the temperature falls, the switch restores electrical power to the device.

Thermistor: An electrical device used to monitor temperature and regulate electrical current to a heated device.

Toner: Fine powder made of pigment and metallic particles, used to produce images on paper in an EP printer.

Torque limiter: A component in the separation roller that provides back-feed pressure to help keep paper straight in the paper path.

Transfer corona: A component in an MFP that charges paper so that it attracts toner from the drum.

USB (Universal Serial Bus): A standardised peripheral specification that defines a serial architecture for buses, allowing connection of one or more peripherals, including printers and scanners.


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