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Epson PaperLab is like a tiny recycling plant in your office

Epson PaperLab is like a tiny recycling plant in your office
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Seiko Epson Corporation (SEC) has developed what it says is the world’s first in-office papermaking system. The Epson PaperLab is a new recycling machine that is capable of producing new paper from securely shredded waste paper without the use of water.

Traditionally, recycling of papers require shipping of waste paper materials to identified paper manufacturing facilities. But with Epson’s PaperLab, transforming discarded paper into usable, clean paper resource can be done on-site and without water.


Traditional paper recycling vs paperLab
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Traditional paper recycling process vs. PaperLab’s office-based recycling process


The PaperLab utilizes Epson’s Dry Fiber Technology, which is a new group of technologies developed by the company for this papermaking system. The Dry Fiber Technology consists of three separate technologies: fiberizing, which transforms waste paper into long, thin, and cottony fibers; binding, where different substances are added to to change the paper’s properties such as binding strength or whiteness of the paper; and forming, where the fibers are pressed to produce sheets of A4 or A3 office paper.


Epson's Dry Fiber Technology
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Epson’s Dry Fiber Technology


Aside from the benefit of shortening and localizing the recycling process, this machine ensures the safe disposal of confidential documents without the need to hire third-party contractors. The system also aims to increase operational efficiency by providing high-speed production of various types of paper. And since making the paper undergoes a dry process, the PaperLab conserves water resource, reduces transport CO₂ emissions, and lessens the need to purchase new paper.

This is a promising innovation, especially for businesses and government offices. Installing the PaperLab system in their backyard area will allow them to produce paper of various sizes, thicknesses, and types, ranging from office and business card paper to paper that is colored and scented.

Epson first showcased the developmental prototype of the PaperLab during the Eco-Products 2015 environmental exhibition last December 10 to 12 at the Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center).

The company plans to put the new PaperLab into commercial production in Japan this 2016, with sales in other regions to be decided at a later date.

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