What are drums?
Drums play a very important part in laser printing on paper. They are called ‘photoconductor drums’ and have a smooth and shiny surface that is very sensitive to even the slightest scratch.
Broadly, the mechanism of laser printing is as follows. First, data sent from a computer is memorized, then a laser projects an image on the drum and electricity is generated. It is then printed on the paper. Since the toner is just particles of powder, the mere act of printing will not allow for it to stay put on the paper. Heat is applied to the toner so that it melts and bonds to the paper. (Which explains why laser printers get very hot inside.)
The problem is that those drums won’t last forever as their surface gradually wears thin each time something is printed which results in lower printing quality. This can be explained by the fact that friction causes the surface of the drum - made of many thin layers of coating - to wears off each time something is printed.
As a result, the printing quality deteriorates, causing cracks or lines to be formed. Most of the time, such deteriorations are due to flaws on the photoconductor drum or to friction. In such cases, there is nothing left to do but change the drum which can be very costly and, of course, the damaged drum would end up being disposed of without being recycled.
‘Samurai’ – The machine that gives a new life to drums
We kept thinking whether there wasn’t a way to re-use those drums and that is how ‘Samurai’ came to being. What it does is apply a new coating on drums whose surface has started peeling off so that they can be used again. It is the first eco-friendly photoconductor drum coating machine in the world.