Canon is one of the world's largest makers of scanners, printers, fax machines, photocopiers, and other devices that create digital images from paper documents. A document feeder is available on the vast majority of Canon products. Let's see what a Canon document feeder is like.
In general, a document feeder is an electromechanical device which holds multiple documents in its bin or tray until the device it feeds is ready for a new document. That device sends a signal to the document feeder to feed a new document, and it does so. How fast and reliably a document is fed is the key question in considering the merits of a document feeder.
The speed at which documents are fed is measured in pages per minute (ppm). The faster a document feeder's speed the more it costs to make. Therefore, less expensive devices tend to have slower document feeder speeds. Canon makes document feeders of various speeds to match with devices of various prices and uses.
It should be noted that a Canon document feeder's speed is the less important of two concerns in buying a document processing device. The feeder will always take much less time to feed a document than the fed device will take to process it, so variations in the document feeder's speed have little impact on overall document processing time. The speed noted in a device's specs is the total document processing time in ppm, not just that of the document feeder.
The reliability of a device is represented by its Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) in hours of "power on" condition. This is an average (mean) of the time that a large number of Canon document feeders worked before each failed to process a document properly. A typical MTBF of 10,000 power-on hours is about five years of 40-hour work weeks (with two weeks off for vacation and holidays per year). The MTBF is not a guarantee that your Canon document feeder will go so many hours without failing. Some will last longer, others not as long before failing. But it's a good predictor of a device's reliability.
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