Ricoh Aficio 3224C
Part Number: 888479
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Ricoh Aficio 3224C
User reviews and opinions
|Tysjd6767||1:43pm on Monday, November 1st, 2010|
|Promising technology I was researching printers on the web and was intrigued by the Gelsprinter system from Ricoh.|
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Color at Work
100% Independent Analysis Ricoh Aficio 3224C
10 ppm Color, 24 ppm Monochrome Copier - Printer - Scanner- Fax
Key Buyer Benefits
Aggressively-priced compact workgroup MFP with a diverse range of document processing and handling capabilities Extensive distribution capabilities including sophisticated fax functionality and a diverse range of scanning delivery options Excellent range of security measures spanning all the major functions and document storage options Excellent image quality across a wide range of business document Versatile document management capabilities both from a walk up and desktop point of view Flexible desktop and network utilities via Web-based Web Image Monitor and PC-based SmartDeviceMonitor plus DeskTopBinder utilities delivering device monitoring, cluster and recovery printing capabilities, and much more Color dropout technology providing advanced forms processing capabilities unmatched by rivals at time of writing
BERTL 4-Star Award Winner
tel. (1) 732-761-2311 fax. (1) 732-761-2312 info@BERTL.com
Copyright 2006 MCA Internet, LLC. dba BERTL
All Rights Reserved. The license under which this document is made available and applicable law prohibit any reproduction or further transmission of any portion of this document. This document may only be viewed electronically through the www.BERTL.com Web site and may not be stored in electronic or hard copy format. Any reproduction of trademarks is strictly prohibited. BERTL accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions contained in this document.
Ricoh Aficio 3224C
(Click on an entry below to go to the page listed.)
Product Dynamics.... 4 Improved Cycling/Recalibration Processes... 4 PxP Toner.... 4 Embedded Software Architecture (ESA).. 5 Market Positioning... 5 Imaging Unit Design... 6 Four-Pass Drum Laser Technology... 6 Toner Refilling... 6 Drum Replenishment... 6 Paper Handling.... 7 Paper Capacity.... 7 Automatic Paper Selection... 7 Automatic Document Feeder... 8 Finishing and Output... 8 1,000-Sheet Finisher.. 8 500-Sheet Finisher... 8 Security.... 9 Print Security.... 9 Fax Security.... 9 Document Server Security.. 9 Access Permission... 10 Read-only.... 10 Edit.... 10 Edit/Delete... 10 Full Control... 10 Hard Drive Data Security.. 10 Restrict Access To The Device Itself.. 10 Security/Accessibility.... 11 Accessibility.... 11
Copyright 2006 MCA Internet, LLC dba BERTL.
Device Management... 12 Web Image Monitor... 12 Email Alert System... 13 SmartDeviceMonitor... 15 Copy.... 16 Job Build.... 16 Copy Concurrency.... 17 User Productivity... 17 Image Quality.... 18 Print on Demand... 19 Print.... 20 RPCS Driver Design... 20 Direct PDF Print... 22 Desktop Utilities... 23 DeskTopBinder Lite... 23 Scan.... 25 LDAP Integration... 25 Network Authentication... 25 Scan to Email.... 26 Scan to Folder... 27 Scan to FTP.... 27 Color Dropout Scanning Functionality.. 27 What Is Color Dropout?... 27 Who Uses Color Dropout?... 27 Does Color Dropout Affect Productivity?.. 28 How is Color Dropout Used?... 29 Fax..... 30 Automatic Fax Forwarding to Email... 30 Attach Stored Fax Files... 30 Delayed Transmission... 31 LAN Fax... 31 Internet Fax.... 31 Summing Up....32
The Aficio 3224C is the latest in a series of occasional workgroup color MFPs from Ricoh delivering 24 ppm monochrome, 10 ppm color and a wide range of multifunctional capabilities spanning copy, print, fax, and scan. Replacing the Aficio 1224C, the new Aficio 3224C brings a wealth of new functionality, higher speed, better image quality, improved calibration processes, greater processing power, and an equally aggressive price point for those looking to buy maximum flexibility within the smallest footprint and at the lowest price point. The most obvious physical advantages that the Aficio 3224C offers over its predecessor include: Max Color Speed Processor Power Printing Capability Scan Capability Std Copier Memory 10 ppm 466 MHz Standard Standard 768 MB vs vs vs vs vs 8 ppm 256 MHz Optional Optional 128 MB However, go beneath the surface and there are many more new advancements in technology that distinguish the Aficio 3224C. Improved Cycling/Recalibration Processes A major complaint aimed at the Ricoh Aficio 1224C/1232C predecessors was the seemingly endless stop and start cycling process that the device carried out to maintain consistent color quality. The device would literally stop every 50 to 200 pages, even in the middle of jobs to carry out a maintenance cycle that could take between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. This process, needless to say, had the effect of irritating a lot of users. The new Ricoh Aficio 3224C, while still carrying out routine recalibration processes on occasion, does not have the same cycling issues as found on the previous models waiting instead for jobs to finish before a cycling process can commence.
Ricohs standard 50-sheet reversing automatic document feeder
Finishing and Output The Ricoh Aficio 3224C comes with two finishing options, the 1,000-Sheet finisher and the 500-Sheet finisher. The 1,000-sheet finisher obviously stacks up to 1,000 sheets in the main tray and also staples up to 50 (letter/A4) sheets and 30 (legal/8.5 x 14 or larger) sheets. Users
MFP devices are now an established part of the enterprise LAN infrastructure. And like other network devices, they are subject to the demands of IT managers for improved security. Manufacturers have been introducing sophisticated features that go beyond the security of the device itself (i.e., protecting the hard drive and console), addressing the key issues of network privacy and authentication. Print Security Many users have expressed concern with document confidentiality while printing. They worry about printing private documents to the copier/printer, and what happens in the time it takes them to walk from the desktop to the exit tray of the copier. Users fear these documents can be mixed in with other user jobs, looked at by other users, taken by mistake, or even forgotten about, leaving those documents for all to see. This is an important consideration for any company subject to the HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, FSMA ,or other data privacy acts. The new Ricoh Aficio 3224C prevents others from reading or removing private documents. This is done by suspending output until the user enters an authorization PIN at the systems control panel. The Locked Print Job function enables users to print with confidence, knowing they will be the only ones viewing and retrieving their personal papers. Using the Locked Print Job function is simple. To do so, users open the print driver dialog box and set the job type to locked print. After clicking details, users enter a user ID and password this ID and password will later be used at the control panel to release the print job. A confirmation message will appear asking users to confirm the password by reentering it. Once this is done, users click ok as if it were a normal print job, sending the job to wait in the machine. With the Locked Print Job now stored in memory, retrieving it from the machine is equally as straightforward as sending it. After the user has logged in, the Printer key is pressed on the touch screen. This is followed by Locked & Sample Print Job List, also on the touch screen. The logged-in users print jobs will now appear. After selecting the desired jobs, users simply input the password from earlier, and press yes. Only then will that file print securely into the original users hands. Fax Security The same lockdown capability can be used for fax, with the Ricoh supporting fax-touser box through the use of sub-address fax numbering. To do this, each user requiring a secure fax delivery mechanism sets up a fax number complete with a subaddress (like an extension). When faxes come in with the sub-address number, they get routed directly into the fax box rather than get printed for all to see. This fax box can be password protected to guarantee security. Users can also set up the fax box to automatically reroute the faxes to an email address or Windows folder, or they can simply view and delete the faxes directly from the desktop using the included DeskTopBinder utility. Document Server Security Print on demand documents stored on the Aficio 3224C can also be made secure. Files stored on the device hard drive are specified as to who can view and print them and who cannot. The printing of stored files by unauthorized users is very preventable.
Access Permission To ensure this, Ricoh created four types of Access Permission. The first is Read-only, where users can print and send files as well as check the content of and information about stored files. This function is set for users with limited access who will just print and distribute the files. The second type, Edit, gives users permission to view files and change the print settings for stored files. This is also a limited function for users; they may only change the way that file is set to print. The third is Edit/Delete. Users may view, edit or delete files. This is for more advanced users, giving them the ability to control what is available to other users. Full Control, the last type, gives users the most access possible. In addition to being able to view, edit, and edit/delete, a user with Full Control rights can assign access permissions to other users. This is administrator's function allows control of exactly who specific types access. Hard Drive Data Security As jobs are printed, copied, faxed, and scanned, they are not deleted from memory on the hard disk drive, even after the job is finished. Instead, they remain in a passive area of the drive until finally overwritten. When you consider the size of these drives (40 GB in this instance) it could be months or years before the segment of the drive containing the passive data is overwritten. This poses a big security risk as the data can be retrieved if the hard drive is stolen. This has raised many questions as users may print classified documents and do not feel comfortable with them sitting on the hard Restrict Access To the Device Itself As soon as the MFP gets placed onto the network it becomes a potential gateway to other areas of the company infrastructure. To keep this gateway tight Ricoh includes a selection of security measures designed to keep non-authorized users away. User authentication is the most popular method of restraint, with users having to enter their username and password before entry is granted. Page 10 disk drive. To put users at ease, Ricoh has created ways to ensure secure documents are deleted from the hard disk drive on the Aficio 3224C with the introduction of its Data Overwrite Security System (DOSS). With DOSS and the Auto Erase Memory Setting, overwriting starts automatically once the job is completed. Priority is given to the Copier, Fax, and Printer functions for the Auto Erase Memory function. When a copy, fax, or print job is in progress, overwriting will only be done after the job is completed. Erase All Memory will write over all data on the hard disk drive. (Ricoh notes this is important when machines are relocated or disposed of.) This is a one-time event that is done by an administrator to ensure the machine is cleared of any and all documentation. We would like to see Ricohs removable hard drive and VMSS (Volatile Memory Security System) hard drive security solutions offered for the Aficio 3224C in the future. These additions would allow for the same stringency of hard drive security but still allow the full functionality benefits of the hard drive to be utilized by users.
This process involves the device checking the security information to the central company directory, be it Windows Active Directory or LDAP. This authentication also allows activity to be tracked and controlled through other tools such as the scan-to-email forced sender function or via the PCSM cost and job accounting system. Access to devices across the network can be limited through the use of IP filtering and SNMP v3 support. IP filtering allows IT administrators to limit only those devices within the IP parameters previously set to access the device. We would like to have seen MAC filtering, a more secure filtering approach that only grants access to network devices within the MAC series stipulated. As the MAC address can not be changed this is a much tighter lockdown compared to the IP filter, which, if the hacker discovers the IP range, can be mirrored. SNMP is the protocol by which data is communicated between the device and other units across the network, including the directory system by which authentication is achieved. IT managers in security conscious environments are demanding SNMP v3 which offers data encryption and additional security measures, thus preventing a hacker from monitoring the very security messages that are designed to keep them out. The Ricoh Aficio 3224C supports the most current version 3 of SNMP, which includes sophisticated security measures not found in versions 1 and 2. Accessibility Competitors offer tilt screens that allow wheelchair users access to the control panel. The Aficio 3224C lacks paper drawer access from both the top and bottom. Ricoh users must open the paper drawers from the bottom reaching up, making it difficult for handicapped users. Some competitors have the option to pull from the top or bottom.
Paper drawer handles must be pulled from underneath.
At the present time there is no remote access capability where the traditional touch screen operations could be handled directly by a desktop PC offered for the Ricoh Aficio 3224C. This is a feature that some rival manufacturers have implemented, some going as far as including voice navigation to assist the blind and visually-impaired. In the future it, would be nice to see some added features to allow this unit to be more section 508 compliant. A tilting touch screen, a display that enlarges, and paper drawers that open from the top and bottom would help. Other Ricoh models from this Aficio series offer a detachable scanner that rests on a table for easier wheelchair access. Page 11
These factors are all going to play a larger part in the overall time a walk-up user needs to spend at the device before they can return to work with their single page
The Ricoh Aficio 3224C includes extensive paper handling options, including front and back cover selection and chapter sheet capabilities.
copy job or leave the device to run when larger copy jobs are required. In the monochrome mode, the Ricoh Aficio 3224C stands out as being a device to beat. The 10 ppm color engine felt slow when doing color tasks. However, remember that the devices role is primarily that of a monochrome workgroup device with color more of an added bonus rather than a principal factor in the devices value for money proposition. Image Quality The image quality from the Ricoh Aficio 3224C was among the best we have seen from a front office color MFP. Fine lines and fonts were well reproduced with no areas of concern. Grayscales were reproduced well with none of the stepping that we have seen on some devices. Skin tones had a natural look and feel, while at the same time solid areas of color had the vibrancy that office users producing presentations need.
The one area of weakness surrounded grayscale reproduction in full-color mode, with several sub 50 percent grayscales having a colored appearance due to an imbalance during CMYK mixing.
Printed image copied in text photo mode in monochrome and color, scanned at 600 dpi and expanded for publication.
The only area of image quality concern was in the reproduction of grayscales when produced using CMYK. The problem is not one unique to Ricoh. When producing grayscale shades on a page containing color data, the Auto Color Mode has to reproduce the grayscales using a mix of CMYK toner. This can result, as in the case of the Ricoh Aficio 3224C and virtually all other devices in a slight hint of one color within the grey. In the case of the Ricoh Aficio 3224C it was a slight hint of cyan giving the 25 percent grayscale shade a slightly bluish tint.
Print on Demand
The 40 GB hard drive on the Ricoh Aficio 3224C serves two main purposes: 1. Provides extra page spool memory for copy, print, scan, and fax functions 2. Document storage (called Document Server by Ricoh) which allows copy, print, fax, and scan users to store and retrieve commonly-used documents quickly, without having to re-scan, reprocess, or generate network bandwidth. Each stored job can be categorized by user name, document name and date stored. The images here illustrate a series of jobs that have been stored. Once stored, jobs can be retrieved and reprinted from either the copy control panel or via a choice of two desktop utilities (DeskTopBinder or Web Image Monitor). In addition to providing a reprint-ondemand function, the Document Server also allows users to send emails and faxes using attached documents that are stored on the hard drive, rather than having to scan them in during the transmission. For example, say a user has to send a handwritten order to a customer via email. The customer also wants product brochure information. The product brochures are already stored in memory for daily use. The user can attach the stored file when the email is set up. This saves the user from having to scan the entire brochure. Note: Only files stored within the Store File facility within the scan function can be attached to emails. The same is true with only documents stored within the fax function being attachable to fax transmissions. The reason for this is the format in which the files are saved. Copy jobs stored using the Document Server function on the copy control panel are stored in proprietary format, print files are stored post-RIP, and scan and fax files are stored in industry standard TIFF or PDF format.
Documents also can be protected with a password to prevent unauthorized printing/distribution.
Documents can be saved for print on demand use.
Documents can be saved with user name and document name for easy retrieval.
Multiple documents can be printed as a single finished print job using Document Server.
Network printing is standard on the Ricoh 3224C. This is a trend that is commonplace in the office, color-MFP market. The controller is powered by a 466 MHz processor, with 768 MB of RAM and a 40 GB hard drive. Standard connectivity includes 10/100BaseT Ethernet and USB 2.0. Optional connectivity includes IEEE 802.11b Wireless LAN Interface Unit Type H, IEEE 1394 Interface Board Type B, IEEE 1284 Interface Board Type A, and Bluetooth Interface Board Type 3245. PCL 5c, PCL 6 and RPCS printer drivers are all included as standard. Genuine Adobe PostScript 3 with Direct PDF printing is an available option. Each supports 600 x 600 dpi. While readers will be accustomed to seeing PCL and PostScript PDLs, Ricohs RPCS may be less familiar to those considering Ricoh for the first time. RPCS (Refined Printer Command Stream) is the companys own proprietary driver software utilizing the power of the desktop CPU while taking much of its printing technology from PCL. This best of both worlds offers, according to Ricoh, a speedier driver. RPCS Driver Design The RPCS driver has a very different look and feel compared to the PCL and PostScript drivers. This in itself has its pros and cons. RPCS fans will say that the icon-based driver offers greater ease of use and a higher level of functionality. The downside is that the driver takes some getting used to, and for those who switch between drivers depending upon the workload, it requires more thought than the more conventional PCL to PostScript switching. BERTL analysts liked the custom setting facility on the RPCS driver. This allows users to save common device settings under a one-touch template. The setting is stored prominently on the opening tab of the driver, with users able to view a description of the template settings by moving their mouse cursor over the icon. While this is not a unique function to the RPCS driver, it feels more like a backbone feature of the driver rather than an aside that must be sought. To add or change a custom setting, users go into a secondary level of the driver. Here, users are presented with four tabs. Within the setup tab, users can choose paper input and output features including cover stock options.
Ricohs RPCS icon-driven RPCS driver
Within the Edit tab, users have the ability to choose duplex functionality, including a booklet imposition layout mode. They also have the ability to split an image onto multiple page printouts using the Poster mode. This is a useful function for those environments such as schools, charities, or retail establishments that need large format printing but cannot afford the high cost of the equipment or the outsourcing fees. The Edit tab also includes an image overlay function. This allows users to store commonly-used background elements as a ripped image which is incorporated into the print file at the device. This saves processing time and reduces bandwidth, two important considerations when dealing with large color files. We were also impressed by the range of header and footer information features available on the driver. The options included the addition of date and time stamps, page numbering and free text. These features become valuable when documents are produced in applications without advanced document production capabilities. Image quality adjustments were as userfriendly as other features within RPCS, with a selection of well-defined preset image settings, plus the added ability to define user-specific settings. We were pleased to see an elementary visual guide which showed the user how adjusting a color setting would change the overall appearance of the output. This can take the mystery out of some color adjustment options and allows novice users to get the best quality output without the time- and cost-consuming process of trial and error. The PCL and PostScript drivers had a more familiar look and feel, a factor that will be appreciated by users unaccustomed to RPCS. All three drivers shared much of the same functionality with a few features specific to one driver or
Poster setting could be useful in education sector placements where large display materials are produced on a regular basis.
another. This could be confusing with users having to switch between drivers to get the full functionality out of the device. For Example: While all three drivers included a watermark facility, only the RPCS driver includes an overlay function. While all three drivers include N-up capability, only the RPCS driver includes Poster mode. While all three drivers allow users to choose a separate paper source for the front cover, only the PCL driver goes to the next level and permits paper selection on a page-by-page basis throughout the document Direct PDF Print PostScript also brings with it Direct PDF capability. This time-saving feature allows users to direct PDF jobs straight to the device without having to open Acrobat and submit them to print. The process of opening large PDF documents, such as manuals or graphically intensive files, before the user can even submit the job to print can be irritating.
The Ricoh Aficio 3224Cs optional PostScript driver looks and feels similar to other PostScript drivers. Operation is very straightforward, with the ability to manage color (via Image Color Management), choose paper size and print quality, resolution (up to 1800 x 600 dpi), and select Toner Saver Mode all handled in the Advanced functions area.
Page numbering, watermarks, date and time stamps can be added.
DeskTopBinder Lite Bundled in with the Ricoh Aficio 3224C, the DeskTopBinder Lite is a capable document management system, going well beyond the typical bundled software fare. Users are able to view, manage, and download files stored within folders on the MFP hard drive in the same way as described earlier with Web Image Monitor.
However, once the document has been added to the DeskTopBinder library either by a dragand-drop from Windows, direct scanning, or pulling back from the Document Server hard drive on a Ricoh MFP, there is far more functionality available to the desktop user than that found with the Web Image Monitor.
Files stored at the Ricoh Aficio 3224C Document Server can be viewed using DeskTopBinder.
Like Web Image Monitor, documents can be searched, annotated with notes, combined to create larger jobs, converted to image formats, and of course printed. While there are a fairly extensive set of features, it does come with some limitations. For example, searching is limited to document name, date information, and a single document properties field, rather than on a full-text basis.
There are many areas that BERTL likes about the DeskTopBinder Lite. The ability to include colorcoded notes to documents is a useful feature that can provide entry-level project task management. The ability to merge multiple documents together, add extensive finishing and preflight features such as page numbering, watermarking, date stamp, etc., can be invaluable to administrators compiling documents with multiple authors/contributors.
A document stored in a shared DeskTopBinder folder contains tasks for each member of the project team.
DeskTopBinder Lite also supports a function palette icon, which lets users directly print PDF files. Easy print uses the RPCS driver to print other documents. The palette menu floats on the desktop, giving users convenient access to these print functions as well as the ability to add documents to the library through a speedy drag-and-drop. Finally, DeskTopBinder Lite includes AutoLink. This software assumes Ricohs ScanRouter network scanning software has been already installed. AutoLink monitors the in-trays, automatically importing the scanned document into the DeskTopBinder Lites libraries, allowing users to creating a basic workflow solution.
Once the multiple documents have been compiled, final print settings such as page numbering etc can be added before committing to print.
The Ricoh 3224C ships with a wide range of network scanning utilities. These include scan to email (including LDAP), scan to folder using SMB, and scan to FTP. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration is included along with server-less scan to folder and SMTP plus POP standard features. LDAP Integration LDAP allows the Ricoh 3224Cs scan to email utility to integrate with central corporate contact databases. Previous Ricoh devices with scan to email were Network Authentication IT managers are always concerned with the possible threat of viruses. Most damaging viruses are often spread through email. Viruses often search for unprotected email servers, from where they can distribute themselves using the organizations entire contact database in matter of seconds. To protect the company and its clients from this type of attack, many IT managers are now protecting any gateway to the central email server via authentication. The basic level of protection is SMTP
Users choose destinations from the stored address book, via manual entry using the QWERTY keypad or via a search through the LDAP central contact database.
restricted to storing email addresses as a pre-defined template, or manually typing the entire email address using the touch screen QWERTY keypad. With LDAP, users can enter the first few letters of an address, and the search engine will show all matching names on the central contact list. Users can still enter names which are not stored on the central database using the QWERTY touch screen interface.
authentication, which sets up a single password for the email server. The second, and more secure level of security is POP before SMTP authentication, where every device around the network requires its own POP authentication code before it is allowed to communicate with the email server. By having both forms of authentication available, the Ricoh Aficio 3224C will be more acceptable to securityconscious IT managers. Page 25
Scan to Email The scan-to-email feature on the Ricoh Aficio has a good level of functionality. Users can add cc and bcc addresses, plus include the senders email address (if stored on the system). Choosing the senders own email address means the email arrives at the recipient under the senders address, rather than as a generic email from a Ricoh Aficio 3224C. This allows the recipient to auto-reply directly to the original senders email address. BERTL also liked the added ability to include a receipt request with the email and a message asking them to confirm that they have received the message. This confirmation is delivered to the sender. Users can also include a subject line (up to 64 characters) or choose between 12 preset messages (urgent, confidential, etc.) and a message (up to 80 characters x five lines) to identify the email information. This feature is not available with some competitors. It proves to be important in preventing the spread of email viruses. The Ricoh Aficio 3224C also includes the ability to rename file attachments. The file name can be up to 64 characters long.
Emails can be entered ad hoc using the QWERTY keypad utility within the touch screen.
Extensive capabilities are provided, including the ability to attach a previously stored file, saving valuable user time.
Users are also able to attach files previously stored on the hard drive (Document Server). Scan settings include the option to choose between color or monochrome, PDF, JPEG, TIFF, and multi-page TIFF. Users can choose to scan the documents from 600 dpi down to 100 dpi. The 100 dpi option is lower than most competitive
devices (which commonly offer resolutions down to 200 dpi). This lower scanning resolution gives the Ricoh Aficio 3224C an advantage for document archiving due to the lower file sizes created. Scan to Folder The Ricoh Aficio 3224C offers server-less scan-to-folder capability utilizing SMB protocol, a feature missing from some of the not-so-recent Aficio models. BERTL analysts liked the ability to browse directly to a folder on a PC around the network directly from the touch screen panel. This is a facility missing from some rival devices, allowing on the fly scan-to-folder destinations to be created without the user having to enter complex network path information. Previous Ricoh MFPs have required a separate server-based application to run in conjunction with the Ricoh MFPs scan-to-folder function. The Aficio 3224C does not need this because it operates directly across SMTP networks (Windows-based operating platforms.) Scan to FTP While scan to folder provides a method of sending documents to other Windows PCs it does not allows for sharing across Unix or Macintosh platforms. For this, Ricoh includes scan to FTP to send files using the FTP protocol, which can be accessed by a much wider range of operating platforms. FTP templates can be set up in advance using the management utilities or directly from the copier QWERTY keypad. Color Dropout Scanning Functionality In addition to the now customary resolution, file type, and other scanning options, the Ricoh Aficio 3224C also comes with an additional scanning feature called color dropout that sets it apart from rival color MFPs. What Is Color Dropout? Color dropout is a scanning feature that, as the name suggests, removes a specific color from a scanned image. Color dropout can be carried out either at the hardware before data transmission or on the desktop using software after data transmission. The benefit of performing color dropout at the device stage is that the bandwidth associated with the file now decreases dramatically due to the removal of much of the image data. This bandwidth reduction puts less strain on the network and can have a marked effect on the data transmission speed and time to file availability. Who Uses Color Dropout? In short, anyone who processes forms will probably benefit from color dropout technology: financial institutions processing loan applications, insurance companies processing insurance claims, government departments processing tax rebates, immigration requests, grant submissions, schools processing bubblesheet test sheets, and others. Forms often incorporate a background color within their design to allow for easier navigation and improved completion accuracy. While the use of color makes forms easier to read and complete, it adds an additional burden when scanning the results into the business process automation system used to analyze the completed forms. The data found within the forms only needs to be collected in black and white through processing by OCR (optical character recognition) or ICR (intelligent character recognition) software. From that point on, the form is converted into binary data and routed to a database or document management system where it becomes part of the electronic workflow.
enterprise scanning workflow environments. Ricoh has yet again raised the bar in the area of MFP scanning, moving beyond the simplistic world of scan to email and scan to desktop, and now entering the realm of being a genuine scanning workflow solution provider.
The fax function has a dedicated 4 MB of memory for page memory, advertised as holding up to 320 pages. Automatic Fax Forwarding to Email or Folder The Ricoh Aficio 3224C is able to automatically route/forward inbound faxes to an email address or folder. This is a valuable feature and allows mobile or home office users to receive faxes whether they are in or away from the office. It can also be used to maintain higher security by preventing confidential fax documents from being viewed by unauthorized persons. Attach Stored Fax Files As with the scan-to-email function, users can attach stored files with a fax original. This could be a valuable time-saving feature. For example, a sales processing clerk has to send a signed confirmation of an order to head office with a copy of the contract. The contract is already stored on the document server when the contract was initially sent to the customer for approval. Using the fax file attachment feature, the sales order clerk now only has to send the cover sheet and signed order page plus attach the contract file stored on the Document Server. This saves the order processing clerk from having to wait until the entire document has been scanned into memory.
A stored fax file can be attached to a paper-based original.
Delayed Transmission Rather than send long distance or international faxes during peak daytime rates, the Ricoh Aficio 3224C includes a delayed transmission capability. This allows the user to choose the time at which the fax is sent. This can offer cost-saving opportunities. The feature can also be used to set up large fax transmissions to send outside normal business hours preventing the creation of fax bottlenecks. Some of the standard features include; 2,000 quick dials, broadcast capability, MH, MR, MMR, and JBIG compression, and 2-seconds-per-page transmission (with JBIG). Internet Fax The Ricoh Aficio 3224 also includes the Internet fax T.37 and T.38 protocols. These allow the device to utilize the lowcost data transmission medium of the Internet rather than the more costly PSTN phone network. T.37 is the more popular Internet fax transmission technology allowing data to be transferred to Internet fax and email addresses in the same way as a traditional email. T.38 is less frequently found on MFPs and fax products but is a valuable differentiator for those corporations that have standardized on T.38 for internal communications.
We would have liked the ability to convert files into PDF format directly from the included DeskTopBinder version included within the bundle, a feature offered with some competitive products, rather than having to buy the DeskTopBinder Pro upgrade. Offices with heavy fax usage will find that they probably have everything they need with the fax upgrade kit and even some features that are not found on expensive high-end, fax-dedicated production devices. These features include the ability to store commonly-used fax documents on the device ready for attaching to fax communications in a matter of seconds with no need for scanning. We would have liked a more comprehensive LAN fax driver for desktop users. We would also like, going forwards, the capability to direct documents stored on the document server directly to fax destinations using the Web Image Monitor or DeskTopBinder utilities. This would be especially useful when multiple documents need to be sent at once to a fax destination. While the LAN fax allows users to send a single electronic format document via fax, it precludes multiple documents from being sent as a single transmission without first combining the various documents together using an application such as Acrobat. Scan functionality is also at a high level. The ability to attach pre-scanned files with hard copy originals may, in the right workflow environment, offer significant time efficiency advantages versus competitors. The advanced security measure will satisfy those looking to safeguard the network and the information held on it. With its color dropout scanning functionality, Ricoh has yet again laid down the gauntlet to other MFR manufacturers and raised the bar in the area of MFP scanning, moving beyond the simplistic world of scan to email and scan to desktop and now entering the realm of being a genuine scanning workflow solution provider. All in all, the Ricoh Aficio 3224C will be a tough device to beat in the right situation and is well deserving of its Highly Recommended status.
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