A printer enclosure contributes to the relative quiet of a typical business office, allowing employees to converse and concentrate without distraction from noise. Most office applications do not require an enclosure for inkjet and laser printers because they are already sufficiently quiet. However, impact printers have mechanisms that produce relatively loud, harsh sounds, necessitating noise reduction for office use.

Printer enclosures are classified into two types: freestanding cabinets and acoustical covers. The printer is completely enclosed by the cabinet, which has shelves for the printer, a paper supply, and accessories. The printer and paper are accessible through doors on the front of the enclosure. In many designs, the top lid pivots up and back, allowing you to operate the printer and remove completed reports. The cabinet has a quiet built-in fan that circulates cooling air throughout the otherwise closed-off interior, preventing the printer from overheating. An acoustical cover only houses the printer. Paper is fed into the printer through the bottom or one of two narrow slots in the back of the enclosure; the other slot allows finished reports to stack behind the printer.

Impact Printers
Dot-matrix and other types of impact printers create characters on paper by striking an inked ribbon with a mechanism. Dot-matrix printers, while less common than laser and inkjet models, are tough and have very low operating costs; however, they produce a high-pitched buzz that is unsuitable for quiet offices. A column of seven to nine thin wire pins inside a print head produces text and graphics as the head scans across the page.

Soundproofing Materials and Construction
As a sound-deadening material, the interior surfaces of printer enclosures are covered with plastic foam. The foam is flexible and elastic, absorbing the printer mechanism’s shrill, high-frequency mechanical vibrations. The cabinet’s main body is made of particleboard, a low-density wood product that is also a poor sound conductor. The enclosure is fairly tightly sealed, with overlapping access doors that prevent sound from escaping the interior.

Noise Reduction
Noise reduction is relative, not absolute; you cannot completely eliminate it. Scientists measure noise level and noise reduction in decibels, or dBs, with a 3 dB increase doubling the acoustical power of noise and a 20 dB increase representing 100 times the power, or four times the subjective loudness. The noise levels of various impact printers vary; better models will include some sound-deadening material. A typical dot matrix printer measures around 82 dB, which is much louder than the average office, which is closer to 60 dB. A printer enclosure reduces noise levels to less than 45 decibels.

MPC3503 ( rent & purchase ) (5)
MPC3503 ( rent & purchase ) (6)
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