Epson has developed a machine that can recycle shredded copy paper into new paper suitable for office use. The PaperLab is a reasonably compact machine that’s meant to sit in an office and will give companies the ability to securely destroy old documents and turn them into new paper, without having to send the papers away or employ a specialist service provider.
It’s able to produce paper in A4 and A3 sizes, in various thicknesses and types, from office paper and business card paper to paper that is coloured and scented. It takes roughly three minutes from loading the waste paper to produce the first new sheet of paper and can produce about 14 A4 sheets per minute or around 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour day.
Epson has developed Dry Fiber Technology, which consists of fiberizing, binding, and forming and means that the PaperLab doesn’t require any water for papermaking, although it does use a small amount of water to maintain humidity within the system.
Instead it uses a variety of different binders to increase the binding strength or whiteness of the paper or to add color, fragrance, flame resistance, or other properties needed for a given application. The paper is transformed into long, thin cottony, fibres to which the binders are added and then it’s formed into sheets.
It will be demonstrated at the Eco-Products show in Tokyo later this week. The PaperLab is due to go into commercial production in Japan in 2016, with sales in other regions to be decided at a later date.