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The origin of Sharp’s document business
Sharpfax SF-201, released in 1972, certified as a Copying Machine Heritage

SHARP copier

Sharp Corporation’s first-generation copier, the 1972 released Sharpfax SF-201, was recently certified as a Copying Machine Heritage by the Imaging Society of Japan (ISJ)*1.

The ISJ started the Copying Machine Heritage program in 2018 to cite the technological and societal achievements of the first copiers that propelled Japan’s copier industry, and to ensure that these copiers are remembered as a cultural heritage by future generations.

The foundation of Sharp’s office equipment business was laid in 1964 with the release of the world’s first all-transistor electronic desktop calculator. The 1972 launch of the Sharpfax marked the company’s entry into the document business. Since then, Sharp has worked to create products and solutions that contribute to operational efficiency and productivity.

The SF-201 measured only 50 cm wide and 41.5 cm deep—small enough to be placed on a desk. Despite this small size, the SF-201 boasted a copy speed of 10 ppm, the fastest*2 in its price class at the time. It also placed the controls, such as the power switch and copy button, status lamp, and page counter all on the front of the machine. Thanks to this ease of installation, functionality, and user friendliness, the SF-201 became widely used by not only large corporations but also small-and-medium-size companies, retail stores, schools, and a range of other industries. People were now able to easily make copies of documents, sales slips, teaching materials, and more, which previously they often had to transcribe by hand. It made work processes dramatically more efficient. These benefits earned the SF-201 accolades and certification as a Copying Machine Heritage.


Best heavy duty printer copier


*1 The ISJ is an organization of engineers and researchers who strive for progress and growth of imaging technology through exchange of information concerning the basics of imaging and its applications. The ISJ provides various opportunities to study and exchange information in the field of imaging science and its relevant technologies. For more information, visit the ISJ website.(

*2 As of 1972; for copiers in the 300,000–350,000-yen price range. Based on Sharp findings.
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en_events insights

Behind-the-scene interview with the developers of digital full-color MFPs ‘BP Series’ sold globally

[Sharp Corporation Japan - November 8, 2023]

Sharp started its documents business in 1972 to meet the demands for copying at offices, and last year it celebrated its 50th anniversary in business. Over that time, MFPs have evolved from analog to digital, monochrome to color, and telephone lines to Ethernet and cloud / external collaboration.

Based on the technology and know-how accumulated over these 50 years, Sharp newly introduced the BP-70C/60C/50C series digital full-color MFPs. The BP in the series name stands for “Business Partner” and expresses the concept of becoming a partner to support customers’ businesses.

Today, we interviewed Mr. Furusawa of Product Planning, Mr. Hirano and Taguchi of Technology, Mr. Tsutsui of Design, who were in charge of the development of the product.

Best Office printer copier BP series MFP
Digital full-color MFP and
From left: Tsutsui in charge of design, Furusawa in charge of product planning, Taguchi and Hirano in charge of technology


■ What is the market environment surrounding the digital full-color MFP business?

SHARP printers
Mr. Furusawa discusses market trends.

(Furusawa) There is a global shift in environmental awareness, as seen in observing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) perspectives, and circular economy seen especially in Europe. In Japan, there is also a movement toward environmental impact reduction requirements such as green procurement conducted by the Environment Agency.

The world is changing in such a way that more environmentally caring products for daily use are preferred.

In the midst of such changes, office workers are becoming more conscious of the office environment they want to work in, and their desire to work in a more comfortable environment is also changing.

Meanwhile, the impact of the novel virus that broke out at the end of 2019 has brought about changes in the way people work. For example, the concept of remote work without coming to the office has become widespread, creating a need for MFPs to support remote work as well. Thus we are developing products that respond to these changes.


■ How have you reduced environmental impact?

Hirano) In recent years, energy conservation has become an important issue due to growing environmental awareness. In response, MFP toner and hardware technology development for energy-saving has been a focus of our company as well.

Mr. Hirano discusses toner technology development
Mr. Hirano discusses toner technology development

■ What kind of toner-related energy-saving technologies have you developed?

(Hirano)The toner fusing process consumes the most power in MFPs. Lowering the fusing temperature is important for energy saving in MFPs.

Toner improvement is made to realize toner particle size reduction, optimization for a new fusing method, and a review of toner material design to achieve both low-temperature fusing and heat-resistant storage stability of toner.

In addition to saving energy by reducing the fusing temperature, the smaller particle size of the toner also plays a role in improving image quality, enabling the printing of clearer images.


Upon development, it was extremely difficult to balance the toner’s low-temperature fixability while maintaining heat-resistant storage stability.

Improving the toner’s low-temperature fixability also means that the toner melts at a lower temperature, so it is necessary to take measures to prevent it from melting during transportation and storage. For this reason, we repeatedly worked with related departments to design toner materials, select additive materials, and consider appropriate evaluation methods, and through trial and error, we were able to establish the current toner formulation and commercialize it.


■ How about the development of energy-saving technology from the hardware side?

Mr. Taguchi talks about the development of energy-saving technology related to hardware.
Mr. Taguchi talks about the development of energy-saving technology related to hardware.

Taguchi) We have been working to reduce power consumption with toner fixing, which consumes a lot of power, and now we have achieved further reductions by using a pad fixing method, which is a technology that we adopted for the first time.

In the conventional fixing method, heat was transferred indirectly through the heater lamp, heating roller, and fusing belt.

The pad fixing method shortens the warm-up time by directly heating the fusing belt with the heater lamp, and by transmitting heat to the paper over a wide area using the fusing pad, it efficiently transfers toner to the paper with a low pressure. This will allow the toner to adhere to the paper.

SHARP printer heater lap fusing pad fusing belt
Mechanism image of the pad fixing method
(The paper passes between the fusing belt and the pressure roller.)

As a result, we were able to reduce the power consumption of the fusing unit by up to 30% compared to the previous model*, achieving industry-leading low power consumption and a longer fusing belt life that is approximately twice that of the previous model.


*  Comparing power consumption of the fusing unit of <MX-2661> and the fusing unit of <BP-70C26>.


At first, it was extremely difficult to apply the new pad fixing method while achieving long life of the fusing  belt, which is highly demanded in the market.

To improve energy savings, we selected a thin metal-based fusing belt that conducts heat easily and is durable, and changed the heat control technology to suit it. Additionally, if the positional relationship of the fusing belt and pressure roller becomes inconsistent due to variations in parts that occur during manufacturing, the fusing belt will meander from side to side during rotation, which will affect the durability of the fusing belt. For this reason, we have incorporated measures to extend the life of the fusing belt, including a mechanism and control that automatically corrects meandering.

This mechanism and control sometimes caused problems with image quality, but we were able to optimize it by adjusting the shape of the parts, adjusting the mechanism and control, and repeating life aging tests, and ultimately achieved a lifespan that was approximately twice as long as the previous model.

■ How did you respond to changes in work styles?

(Furusawa) The way people work has changed, not only due to the impact of the novel virus, where people in the same department split work places such as reporting to the office and working remotely.

More cases sharing information in ways such as videoconferencing and storing data on cloud servers are seen compared with the past.

This has been introduced from previous models, but with this model we enable MFPs networking directly with existing cloud services (such as Google DriveTM and DropboxTM) to make data sharing easier.

In addition, we have made it easy to link our ‘BP series’ with Microsoft TeamsTM, which is being used by an increasing number of users due to the increase in remote work. With the right settings, scanned paper documents can be saved directly from the MFP to a cloud server such as Teams for use in videoconferences, and meeting materials can be printed directly from the MFP without having to be downloaded to a PC.

Printer connect to Microsoft teams


The MFP connects to the cloud, and can also be easily connected to smartphones and mobile devices. Meanwhile, as the number of devices and networks that can be linked is increasing, the level of security requirements is also increasing.

Therefore, we have prepared an optional virus detection kit. The MFP will detect any data containing a virus or malware and take measures to protect the office data from spreading to other office equipment connected to the it.

■ While such environmental efforts from a technical perspective are impressing, the chic gray body color that matches the office scene also catches the eye. What kind of philosophy supports this product design?

Mr. Tsutsui talks about design.

TsutsuiTo express our commitment to care for the environment, we have made two major design changes.

The first is the use of a gray color on the exterior of the MFPs (housing) to fit in with a variety of office spaces, in response to the shift in the colors required for office spaces from white/black to more subdued, neutral tones.


The second is a renewal of the badge design (leaf badge). Since 2005, our MFPs show a leaf badge as their emblem to express our efforts to reduce environmental impact, such as energy consumption reduction. In recent years, amidst the growing interest in reducing environmental impact, we have changed the design of the leaf badge to express our various environmentally conscious efforts.

Specifically, there were a total of four different badge designs, one for color, one for monochrome, one for models up to A3 paper and one for up to A4 paper, but in order further emphasize our environmental consciousness, we unified the badge color design to a single turquoise blue, and we eliminated the base to create a simple yet impactful design.


New badge design embodied on the gray-colored MFP
New badge design embodied on the gray-colored MFP


■ Please give us a closing message to our customers.

FurusawaMany people were involved in the development of the BP Series introduced here, and the product is the result of ingenuity and creativity from a variety of perspectives. As the environment surrounding the office and global trends change, the requirements for MFPs also change. Under such circumstances, we are proposing products that meet customer needs not only in terms of technology, but also in terms of ease of use and design.

We have prepared a full lineup of digital full-color MFPs and digital monochrome MFPs, from low-speed machines to high-speed machines to meet diversifying needs, so we hope our users could try our products to actually experience their features.


Thank you very much.


As it is called a multifunctional printer, this device is packed with many functions, including scanner, copy, printer, fax, data storage, and wireless networking.

Through this interview, I was impressed by how such a complex machine is able to operate properly and repeatedly day by day. Looking back, I realize that I have been using MFPs every day for several decades since I started to work, but in recent years I don’t experience much malfunctioning of the device anymore. I realized once again that this is probably the result of the developer’s efforts to evolve the machine day by day, including areas that are not visible to the user.

As businesses around the world are recovering from the pandemic, we hope that you will consider installing our MFPs, whether to replace your existing machines or to introduce new ones to meet the needs of your expanding business.

(C from PR)

<Product info>


  • Google Drive is a trademark of Google LLC.
  • Dropbox is a trademark or registered trademark of Dropbox, Inc.
  • Microsoft and Microsoft Teams are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
en_events insights


Company-first independent large-scale technology exhibition and special website launched
Sharp Corporation will hold its first independent large-scale technology exhibition “SHARP Tech-Day” from November 10 to 12 at Tokyo Big Sight (Koto-Ku, Tokyo). The event will be held to commemorate its 111th anniversary since its founding on September 15, 1912. A special website on this event has also launched today. Further information on the event will be updated accordingly .

Under the theme of "Be a Game Changer - Game-changing technologies transforming our future -", Sharp will introduce innovative technologies that will be the driving force of its mid to long term sustainable growth. At the venue, four zones of "Smart Living," "Smart Industry," "Smart Cities," and "Sustainability" will be set up in collaboration with technology partner companies, where visitors can experience products and services that lead to innovation in the world. In addition, various stage programs such as speeches and talk sessions by leading figures are planned, and communication opportunities for startup companies and job seeking students etc. are to be set to make the event open for a wide range of people, starting with business persons to the general public, students, and family members.

Sharp will continue to realize unique innovations in a variety of fields, including how people live and work. Through these actions, Sharp aims to establish its image as a strong brand company that stands close by to people and society while constantly delivering new values to the world.



  • November 10(Fri) 13:00 - 18:00
  • November 11(Sat) 10:00 - 18:00
  • November 12(Sun) 10:00 - 16:00

Venue: Tokyo Big Sight East Hall 8 (3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan)

Entry method: Please register from the website below.

Access SHARP Tech-Day special site for more information and registration


About SHARP Tech-Day

Since its founding in 1912, based on its business creed "Sincerity and Creativity," Sharp has delivered many world-first and Japan-first products to the world. Its driving force behind these innovations is technology. Sharp aims to continue to evolve its innovative technologies, create game changing developments, and realize our growth together with contributing to the development of the world. Based on this idea and to create an opportunity to experience the potential of Sharp technologies for the future, Sharp Tech-Day will be held for three days on November 10, 11 and 12 as an event commemorating its 111th anniversary.


SHARP TECT DAY event exhibition
Exhibition area

Planned Exhibits

  1. Exhibition Area
Zone Outline
The Future of Smart Living Theme: Less is More
Technologies to reduce various worries at home and make lives richer and more comfortable with AI and XR*1 can be experienced.
The Future of Smart Industry Theme: Better Efficiency
Ideas to provide speed and efficiency to industries with RX*2 for smart support of diverse work styles will be proposed.
The Future of Smart Cities Theme: Better Safety
Technologies that will deliver safety and security to people’s living such as AI driving assistance and technologies useful in the event of a disaster can be experienced.
The Future of Sustainability Theme: Greener Energy
Technologies to produce renewable energies of the future and address environmental issues by improving power efficiency will be exhibited.

*1 Extended Reality / Cross Reality. A technology which produces a new experience by fusing real and virtual worlds

*2 Robotics Transformation. Digital transformation by utilizing robotics.



  1. Other Areas
Stage A main stage equipped with an ultra-large display will be set to deliver programs including plans of speeches, talk sessions, and special live performances by leading people from each field.


An open space that can be utilized freely for various communication purposes will be set.


-Details in this release are subject to change.


Access SHARP Tech-Day special site for more information and registration
en_events insights

Sustainable Green Printer - BP 70C60 50M25 BP-50C25 BP-50C30

A Sustainable Document Solution with SHARP’s A3 Multifunctional Printers – BP Series

In an era where environmental consciousness and technological innovation converge, the role of sustainability in the corporate landscape has never been more crucial. SHARP is leading the way with a groundbreaking line of sustainable multifunctional printers (MFPs) that redefine the office printing landscape. Our commitment to a greener tomorrow is evident in every aspect of these cutting-edge devices, from design and functionality to the positive impact they bring to businesses and the planet. Here are the features of SHARP's BP-series multifunctional printers that promote sustainability.


Up to 27% lesser power consumption

SHARP's sustainable multifunctional printers are engineered to minimize environmental impact without compromising on performance. Through advanced energy-efficient technologies, these MFPs significantly reduce energy consumption*, contributing to lower carbon emissions and a smaller carbon footprint.

*𝘔𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘗-𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 27% 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘴.


Significantly reduce paper usage and wastage

SHARP's future-workplace MFPs offer double-sided (duplex) printing, which literally cuts paper usage by half. Printing on both sides of a sheet means you use less paper which positively impacts the environment. This feature can be configured as default on the MFPs.

Equipped with serverless 'Print-Release*' functionality, the all-new SHARP MFPs ensure the confidentiality of the print job is maintained and reduces paper wastage and related costs. Under the function, the user gets to hold the print job on the MFP and release the same at his chosen timing and setting. Alternatively, the IT administrators can implement a pin-based 'Print-Release' policy to add a layer of security.

In addition, the new MFPs can be configured to enable automatic paper size detection and skew adjustment, which ensures well-oriented print job execution and thereby reduces reprint requirements due to human error and substantially reduces the high cost of erroneous printing.

*𝘖𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 '𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵-𝘙𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦' 𝘢𝘳𝘦: 𝘍𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘔𝘦 𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 / 𝘗𝘶𝘭𝘭-𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 / 𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘙𝘰𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨.


Up to 68% lesser ozone emission

Our commitment to environmental stewardship and cutting-edge innovation has led to a remarkable achievement. Our latest line of multifunctional printers boasts an impressive reduction* in ozone emission.

*𝘔𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘗-𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 68% 𝘳𝘦𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘻𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘭𝘴.


Energy Star 3.0 Compliant

SHARP's BP-Series Multifunctional Printers are Energy Star version 3.0 certified. Energy Star certification ensures that products maintain a high level of performance and reliability while using less energy. Consumers can trust that they are getting efficient products without sacrificing functionality.


SHARP's dedication to eco-friendly practices places us at the forefront of responsible printing technology. Elevate your workspace with SHARP and commit to a greener, more responsible future. Discover SHARP's newest A3 multifunctional Printers, the BP-Series:



About Sharp Business Solutions MEA

Sharp Business Solutions MEA is a division of Sharp Middle East and Africa FZE that specializes in delivering innovative Document Solutions. The constant aim of Sharp is to provide Multi-function Printers that increase collaboration and efficiency within the workplace, wherever that may be. We continuously analyze the needs of our customers and work tirelessly to provide them with practical and innovative technologies at the very cutting-edge of science.

en_events insights

Sharp Announces to Hold Sharp Technology Day on November 11, 2023 in Commemoration of its 111th Anniversary


Makuhari, Chiba, Japan - On April 17, Sharp Corporation (hereinafter “Sharp”) held an event inviting their stakeholders to commemorate its 111th anniversary.

In the event, Robert Wu, President and CEO of Sharp, announced it will hold Sharp Technology Day on November 11, 2023. Currently, under the slogan “Be a Game Changer”, Sharp is strengthening its own development resources along with accelerating open innovation by working in alliance with global companies and collaborating with startups to create innovative technology centering areas of AI, robotics, XR, 6G, food / water / air, green, and space industries that will change the world. At Sharp Technology Day, the company will introduce its technology strategy for the future, and also exhibit innovative products and solutions adopting its unique technology.

Sharp was founded by Tokuji Hayakawa, an entrepreneur and inventor who established a metalworking shop in Tokyo 111 years ago on September 15, 1912. Later he invented the “Ever Ready Sharp Pencil,” a twist-type mechanical pencil that would later become the origin of the corporate brand.
Ever since, based on its business creed “Sincerity and Creativity” and its founder’s ideal to "Make products that other companies want to imitate," Sharp has continued to introduce unique products and solutions including numerous Japan-firsts, industry-firsts, and world-firsts to contribute to the development of society. Sharp sets its target to become a true global company by developing into new areas including creating new businesses from local ideas, providing services close to the community, and developing start up solutions business.

SHARP 111th anniversary
SHARP CORPORATION - Middle East & Africa

By emphasizing ESG policy in its management, Sharp will continue to hold sincerity and its unique technology to contribute to society as global standing close by to people.