Epson Introduces First Office Papermaking System

Document Security Provides Paper Recyclability



Lisa Reider

During an environmental exhibition in Tokyo last December, Seiko Epson Corporation demonstrated possibly the world’s first in-office papermaking system: PaperLab. The device securely shreds waste paper, then transforms it into paper fibers that can then be bound and formed into new clean paper without the use of water.

According to the company, the device is best suited for financial institutions and insurance companies that handle high volumes of confidential documents. The device has the dual benefit of reducing the need to outsource confidential documents to paper shredding services and reducing the procurement of new paper. PaperLab can create paper in various sizes, thickness and types, including business cards and colored or scented paper. The company says it can create 14 A4 sheets per minute and 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour day. Although still in development, the ratio of waste paper to recycled paper will be as close to 1:1 as possible. And as with paper that is recycled using conventional methods, the paper will be able to be recycled more than once, although not indefinitely.

The system has been built with the environment in mind. According to the company, it typically takes one cup of water to create a single A4 sheet of paper. But due to the rising need to conserve water globally, Epson designed Dry Fiber Technology that could be used without water. The system can recycle most office paper types, regardless of the standard toner or ink used during the printing process. And thanks to the Dry Fiber system, there is very little waste produced, helping to reduce routine maintenance. 

As mentioned, PaperLab is still under development, but Epson expects shipping to begin in Japan by the end of 2016, and eventually expand to additional markets. Specific pricing, reseller and ROI information has yet to be determined. For additional information, check out the Epson PaperLab concept video.