Printing can be hectic and time-consuming, especially if it involves manual handling and feeding large documents to top-tier printers, fax machines, scanners, and photocopiers. Professionals who work in such environments need an ADF or automatic document feeder.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The ADF feature in a printer allows the machine to take multiple document pages feeding them one after the other to be scanned by the device.
  • Ideally, the ADF is not prone to error. However, there are certain practices users can adopt to prevent common errors such as jams and misalignment.
  • Depending on a printer, it can have an ADF included in the design or come as an extension that allows users to attach it later when needed.

An ADF or automatic document feeder is a feature in multi-functional printers, photocopiers, faxes, and scanners. This feature can take several pages feeding the paper one after the other into a scanner or photocopier. With an ADF, users can scan, print, copy, or fax several-paged documents without manually switching out each page.

Companies that manufacture multi-functional devices such as scanners, faxes, and copiers include an automatic document feeder into their device designs or have accessories that allow users to add an ADF to their devices later.

What are the Benefits of an Automatic Document Feeder?

It doesn’t take a lot to explain the benefits of an automatic document feeder. Manually feeding large volumes of documents into a device can be straining and time-consuming. Suppose you are okay with black and white or monochrome reproductions. In that case, a monochrome laser printer with an automatic document feeder will help save a lot of time to improve workplace productivity. So, what other benefits do ADFs offer to users?

Duplex scanning: ADFs can flip documents in case users need to copy back-to-back. There are two types of duplex scanning, RADF (Reverse Document Feeders), which flip papers to the underside after printing the front side, and DADF (Duplexing Automatic Document Feeders) scan both sides when a document is fed into the device.

Quick operation: ADFs are pretty fast in operation and can help users lighten up their printing load in a fast-paced manner. Considering that a printer’s speed is measured in either pages per minute (ppm) or images per minute (IPM), ADF will increase your printer’s speed.

Supports multiple paper sizes: Automatic Document Feeders or ADFs can support up to five paper dimensions, including; Letter, Legal Paper, B5, A4, and checks.

Using an Automatic Document Feeder

When appropriately used, the ADF is a useful printing feature. Users can feed several pages into a multifunctional copier, scanner, or printer to print copies and scan multiple pages at a go without manually inserting each document.

Ideally, the ADF is not prone to error. However, there are certain practices users can adopt to prevent common errors such as jams and misalignment.

  • Before feeding documents into your device, check the papers for clips, staples, or pins. Inserting documents with clips or pins can potentially cause jams and misalignment.
  • Ensure you are inserting the right amount of paper into the feeder. Depending on your device model, the amount might vary. However, a rule of thumb is to feed no more than 15 to 20 sheets of paper at a time.
  • Avoid using photographs since they can potentially get damaged. Instead, use your standard copier or scanner for this task.
  • Ensure the paper you insert into your feeder isn’t torn, spiraled, frayed, or come from a binder. The edges on the paper need always to be straight.
  • When inserting the paper, ensure they fit snugly in alignment with the paper width guides. Check that the document is not bending.

F.A.Q.

What is the use of ADF in a printer?

The ADF feature in a printer allows the machine to take multiple document pages feeding them one after the other to be scanned by the device.


Why are ADFs (Automatic Document Feeders) better than Manual Simplex Document feeders?

Manual simplex document feeders require users to feed pages into the device manually. An Automatic Document Feeder, on the other hand, can complete large scanning, printing, and copying tasks in a fraction of the time.


Can I use photos on Automatic Document Feeders?

It is not advisable to use photos since they can potentially get damaged. Instead, use your standard copier or scanner for this task.


Is ADF required in Printers?

Yes and No. If you work in a large corporation and handle large volumes of paper, you need an ADF. However, if your printer is for domestic use with small printing tasks, you might not need an ADF.


STAT: The US Printing industry by revenue is valued at $75.3 billion in 2021. It is expected to make a 3.1% decline per year between 2016 and 2021. The US printing industry is ranked 13th by market size in the manufacturing industry and 143rd in the US (source)

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