Erasable toner reduces paper waste

Tuesday, 11 July, 2017 | Supplied by: Toshiba (Australia) Pty Ltd

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Pen manufacturer Pilot Pens Australia recently set out to improve its internal workflows to reduce costs and enhance overall efficiency through environmentally sustainable processes.

As explained by Paul Astbury, the company’s general manager of finance and administration, “One of the main problems we had was the amount of paper we were actually using in the organisation, particularly picking slips for instance.

“We print 500 picking slips a day, which turns into reams and reams of paper, so that was one of the issues that we faced,” Astbury said.

“Another challenge was the amount of filing we did. Lots of pieces of paper ended up in leaver-arch folders, on shelves which turned into archives, and then into boxes and boxes, which transform into pallets sitting on the shelf in the warehouse.”

After a thorough assessment, Pilot recruited Toshiba to install the e-STUDIO306LP, said to be the first multifunctional printer (MFP) in the world containing erasable toner. It allows users to print documents, erase them and then re-use the paper.

Pilot’s 306LP was set up so it could print up to 10 times on the one piece of paper before it would need to be discarded. On top of this, Toshiba set up a workflow allowing warehouse staff to automatically scan their documents before erasing them, therefore electronically archiving all their content to the server.

Pilot Pens Managing Director Scott Thornton says the company saw an immediate impact on paper wastage in the warehouse after implementing the MFP. “We saw paper savings of over 80% in the warehouse, which has had a positive effect on our CSR and environmental footprint,” he said.

Pilot has also seen a shift in staff attitudes to paper processes, with Astbury stating there has been a cultural change within the organisation.

“A lot of our processes have changed since implementing the Toshiba, particularly the scanning option available on the system. We’re now finding that we don’t feel guilty when we print anymore,” he said.

“It allows us to print our internal documents and then scan them, reprint them again if need be. So that’s been a great opportunity for us here.

“The MFP also allows us to electronically file all our documents, which eliminates the need for all those other archive boxes and extra palletisation.”

“Buying the first machine was a good opportunity to see how it really worked and I’ve got to say, the product does work,” said Thornton. “It works in our warehouse environment and it’s working right through our whole business.”

Image credit: © ODonnell

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