World's First Office Papermaking System comes to Europe

PaperLab revolutionises office recycling by turning waste paper into printable office paper using a dry process

World's First Office Papermaking System comes to Europe

Epson, the global technology leader and innovator, will showcase PaperLab in Europe for the first time next year. PaperLab is the world’s first1 compact office papermaking system capable of producing new paper from securely shredded waste paper2 without the use of water3.

PaperLab will be shown for the first time in Europe at CeBIT (Hannover, 20 -24 March) as part of a major demonstration of Epson’s latest innovative compact, eco-efficient and high precision workplace technology. Epson’s global president, Mr Minoru Usui, will attend CeBIT to present PaperLab and to unveil Epson’s latest range of innovative technology for the workplace.

Mr Minoru Usui, President of Epson, commented, “With the launch of PaperLab Epson is committed to developing truly innovative eco-efficient technology designed to transform work place behaviours and practices. PaperLab can recycle waste paper in the office using a dry process, therefore creating an office ‘eco-system’ that reduces CO2 emissions, increases savings on collection, disposal and logistics; and saves water, which is used in huge volumes in traditional recycling processes.”

PaperLab will be commercially available in Japan in 2017. Organisations will be able to use PaperLab to produce paper of various sizes, thicknesses and types, from office paper and business card paper, to paper that is coloured and scented.

“As part of its drive for sustainability Epson has outlined its Environmental Vision 2050, targeting a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions across the life cycle of all our products and services by 2050” continued Mr Usui. “In the meantime, Epson’s SE25 Mid-Term Environmental Policy is in progress, helping to implement a long-term strategic focus on sustainability, with four areas of focus covering new perspectives, products, production and environmental community. As part of its shift from a “business company” to a “societal company”, Epson’s goal is to provide its customers with compact, energy-saving, high-precision technologies.”

Epson has already taken big strides towards reducing environmental impact across its products and manufacturing processes. According to its FY2015 sustainability performance it has so far achieved a 43% reduction in CO2, a 33% reduction in waste emissions and a 55% reduction in water consumption.

PaperLab Features

1.    Office-based recycling process

Ordinarily, paper is recycled in an extensive process that typically involves transporting waste paper from the office to a papermaking (recycling) facility. With PaperLab, Epson is looking to shorten and localise a new recycling process in the office.

2.    Secure destruction of confidential documents

Until now organisations have had to hire contractors to handle the disposal of confidential documents or has shredded them themselves. With PaperLab, however, organisations will be able to safely dispose of documents onsite instead of handing them over to a contractor. PaperLab breaks documents down into paper fibers, so the information on them is completely destroyed.

 

3.    High-speed production of various types of paper

PaperLab produces the first new sheet of paper in about three minutes of having loaded it with waste paper and pressing the Start button. The system can produce about 14 A4 sheets per minute and 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour day.

Users can produce a variety of types of paper to meet their needs, from A4 and A3 office paper of various thicknesses to paper for business cards, coloured paper and even scented paper.

 

4.    Environmental performance

PaperLab makes paper without the use of water. Ordinarily it takes about a cup of water to make a single A4 sheet of paper. Given that water is a precious global resource, Epson felt a dry process was needed.

In addition, recycling paper onsite in the office shrinks and simplifies the recycling loop. Users can expect to purchase less new paper and reduce their transport CO2 emissions.

 

PaperLab technology

Epson's foundation of compact, energy-saving and high-precision technologies enables the company to achieve small, energy-efficient products that offer outstanding accuracy and performance. With printer business operations spanning the consumer, office, commercial and industrial sectors, Epson has extensive ink and media expertise, as well as the ability to produce reliable, durable systems that will operate stably.

In addition to these, Epson has developed Dry Fiber Technology without water, a new group of technologies for the PaperLab.

Dry Fiber Technology consists of three separate technologies: fiberizing, binding and forming.

 

Fiberising

Using an original mechanism, waste paper is transformed into long, thin cottony, fibers. This process immediately and completely destroys confidential documents. Since the PaperLab does not use water, it does not require plumbing facilities. That, plus its compact size, makes it easy to install in the back office or facilities area.

 

Binding

A variety of different binders can be added to the fiberised material to increase the binding strength or whiteness of the paper or to add colour, fragrance, flame resistance, or other properties needed for a given application.

 

Forming

Users can produce sheets of A4 or A3 office paper and even paper for business cards thanks to forming technology that allows them to control the density, thickness, and size of paper.

Epson aims to help customers increase operational efficiency by providing high-speed, low-power business inkjet printers with low costs per page. And by employing PaperLab to convert used paper into new, the company believes that offices of all types will fundamentally change the way they think about paper.

Clink here to view the product concept movie.

 

Main Specifications of the Prototype Product

NOTE: These specifications are for a product that is still in development and are subject to change without notice.

NameThe PaperLab office papermaking system
Dimensions (w x d x h) 2.6 x 1.2 x 1.8 meters (excluding projecting parts)
Paper production speed14 sheets per minute (A4 sheets)
Paper sizesA4 & A3
Paper typesOffice paper, business card paper, and other paper of various thicknesses
Paper coloursCyan, magenta, yellow, and colors formed by mixing these colors
Paper that can be recycled Ordinary copy paper (A4 & A3)
Commercial availability2016
1 This is the world's first paper production system to use a dry process.
2 The system can use ordinary A3- and A4-sized copy paper as raw material.
3 A small amount of water is used to maintain a certain level of humidity inside the system.