Major Office Activities: Types of Machines and Equipment and Typewriter

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Types of Machines and Equipment

A wide variety of machines are in use in the modern offices. There are machines which give print-like impression and can write many times faster than the most expert penman. There are machines which can produce multiple copies of a document. Machines are available for accounting, calculating and counting cash. Electronic computers can read, store, analyse and interpret information quickly. In mail room, letters can be opened, sealed, folded, franked, weighed and addressed automatically with the help of mailing machines. Messages can be sent from one place to another within no time through teleprinter, fax, telephone, internet. Some of the important machines in use are outlined below.


A typewriter is the most popular and commonly used machine in Government and private offices for typing official letters and documents. Although use of computer has reduced the importance of typewriter, but it is still used in many offices. Typewriters are available in English, Hindi and other Indian languages. It is simple to operate and requires very little maintenance. It is very much popular in remote areas where there is no electric power available. The typewriters are available in different sizes and shapes. The more important among them are as follows:

Image of Typewriter

Image of Typewriter

Image of Typewriter

Standard Office Typewriter

This is a manually operated machine mainly used for typing letters, statements and reports.

Portable Typewriter

This is a small light-weight machine specially meant for use by travelling agents, journalists and executives.

Noiseless Typewriter

Though this machine is not very popular, but being noiseless, it is considered to be better than noisy typewriter. It is most useful where the typists are required to work in the same room along with the executive and other office staff.

Electronic Typewriter

This machine operates with electric power. It is faster, less tiring and gives uniform impression. It is operated with very light touch on the keyboard. It improves the quality of work and reduces the fatigue.


Duplicating is a process whereby a number of copies are obtained with the help of a master copy. When multiple copies of a letter or document have to be prepared, it is necessary to make use of the duplicating machine. A wide range of duplicators are available like Gelatine Duplicator, Spirit Duplicator, Stencil Duplicator, etc. The most commonly used method of duplicating in the office is the stencil duplicating process. It is also known as cyclostyle or mimeograph. It needs

  • Stencil,

  • Duplicating ink,

  • Duplicating paper and

  • Duplicating machine.

Stencil paper is a fibrous tissue which is coated with a wax like substance. The stencil is cut by the type face or stylus pushing aside the stencil coating to permit the ink to flow through the fibrous tissue. This stencil is inserted in the duplicator and fixed over the drum. The duplicating paper is fed in the machine manually or automatically by rotation of the drum. The paper receives the ink through the cuts in the stencil. Nearly 1,000 to 5,000 copies can be prepared through this process.


A photocopier is a machine that makes paper copies of documents and other printed images quickly and cheaply. This machine was introduced for the first time in 1960. It is run by electric current. It is simple to operate. It gives best quality of image both in black and white and colour. It runs at a faster rate and can produce more than 90 copies of a single page in a minute. It can print both the side of the page.

Image photocopier machine

Image Photocopier Machine

Image photocopier machine


These days the computer is the most commonly used machine in offices. A computer is a machine that can perform a variety of operations such as: arithmetical calculations, comparison of data, storage of information, analysis of data and preparation of diagrams and charts etc. It can be defined as ‘an electronic data processing machine which processes raw data into meaningful information’. The main component of computer is the ‘memory’ unit. The input data and ‘programmes’ are fed and remain available for reproduction. With the help of Word Processing Programme one can compose letters, memos, reports etc.

Electronic Time Keeping Machine

In big organisations the arrival and departure of staff members are recorded electronically. They are provided with a particular card having a magnetic stripe on it. By swiping it through the time recording machines, the arrival and departure times are recorded.


Now-a-days, it is impossible to imagine the office without a telephone. It is the most convenient means of oral communication. It is widely used for internal as well as external communication. Mobile phones are also very much popular now a days. In comparison with fixed line phones, mobiles are more convenient to contact the persons at any time. It is also very convenient to send SMS through mobile phones.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX) System

Under this system the internal telephone extensions are brought together on a private switchboard. An operator helps in providing connection to various callers. All the internal and external calls are handled by the operator. This system has been quite popular in big organisations.

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