Global – Printer giant Epson has developed what it claims to be the world’s first compact office papermaking system capable of producing new paper from securely-shredded waste paper without the use of water.
‘PaperLab promises to revolutionise office recycling by securely destroying documents and turning them into office paper using a dry process – in about three minutes,’ the company says. The new system can produce more than a dozen A4 sheets per minute and 6720 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, colour paper and even scented paper,’ Epson notes. The dry fibre approach consists of three separate technologies: ‘fibreising’; binding; and forming.
In the first step, the paper is transformed into long, thin, cottony fibres in a process that ‘immediately and completely’ destroys confidential documents. Next, 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. Lastly, the forming technology allows users to control the density, thickness and size of output.
Epson will put PaperLab into commercial production in Japan next year, with plans for other regions to be finalised at a later date. A prototype of the papermaking system was demonstrated last week at the Eco-Products 2015 conference in Tokyo.
A prototype of Epson’s new ‘PaperLab’.