An MFP (Multi Function Product/ Printer/ Peripheral), or all-in-one (AIO), or Multifunction Device (MFD), is an office machine which has the functionality of multiple devices in one, so as to have a smaller footprint in a home or small business setting, or to provide centralized document management in a large-office setting. Usually it acts as a combination of some or all of a Printer, Scanner, Photocopier, Fax and E-mail. It is divided according to their speed in pages per minute (ppm) and duty cycle. Most use Laser Printer technology, while in some, Inkjet Printer technology has been used. They are generally connected by USB or Parallel.
It is useful to consider the features and functions of an MFP before integrating it in office and which are described as.
- Network, USB, Parallel or other connection types
- Printing speed (typically given in pages per minute or ppm)
- Printer technology (e.g. Inkjet/Laser/Color Laser)
- Paper formats (what kind of paper sizes and stocks the MFP can output)
- Resolution DPI – important for both printing and scanning quality.
- Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) – multiple sheets to input.
- Scan transfer methods available (e.g. FTP, Email )
- Scan file formats available (e.g. PDF, TIFF, JPEG, etc.)
- Answering machine
- Color Fax capability
- TCP/IP Fax methods such as Network Fax (via SMTP), Internet Fax and so on
- Duplex output
They are capable of functioning without PC. They have memory, one or more processors, and often some kind of storage, such as a hard disk drive or flash memory. They run a set of instructions from their internal storage, which is comparable to a computer’s operating system. Many large MFPs run Linux or VxWorks. Utility software gives functionality to PC like administration and configuration, monitoring of toner/ink levels, document type/paper input mode selection and document management and conversion from text to PDF, OCR, etc.