Department of Engineering

IT Services

Uniflow Printing and Photocopying


The Canon Uniflow system provides accounting of printing and copying on all the general access Canon printer/copiers around the Department so that the cost of using these can be properly attributed either to a cost centre or personal account.

Users logon at a copier, normally using their University Card, and they can then copy or scan documents or release (or delete) print jobs. Users submit print jobs to a single network print queue, where the jobs are held until the user releases them to be printed. A print job can be released on any of the printer/copiers, but only by the user who submitted it. In general therefore, print jobs must be submitted from a personal account for which there is an associated University Card and PIN and not from a role account.

You can view a YouTube video, "Over View Of Uniflow". The video is under two minutes long and gives more information about the uniflow system.

Logon and Basic Use

Users can logon at a copier using either their University Card or their Departmental user id (normally the same as their CRSid/Raven ID/Hermes email ID) and PIN. Most of the interaction with the copier is via a touch sensitive screen on which the item to be selected can be tapped with a finger. After a period of not being used, this screen switches itself off. To turn it on again, press the power button to the top-right of the screen.

Using the Card to login simply involves placing it temporarily on the reader (much as for building access). To use user id and PIN, first tap the box at the lower right of the screen to open up the pin login dialogue, then follow the instructions to open up a keyboard and enter userid/PIN (e.g. if your user id is spqr1 and PIN is K1234 then enter spqr1/K1234 - note that the initial letter of the PIN is upper case and must be entered as such).

If this first step is successful, a screen then appears listing the cost centres available to the user (see below under Cost Centres) with the user's default cost centre (if any) first, then the others in order of their most recent use. The list normally includes a Personal cost centre (see below under Personal Accounts) for jobs which the user pays for themselves. Tap to select the appropriate cost centre and then tap the login button.

The next screen presents three options: Copy; Scan and Send; and Secure Print. These are covered in the next sections. The physical buttons round the sides of the screen provide various screen independent functions: the home button returns to this menu; the on/off button switches on the display, there is a logout button, etc. The screens indicate the user's current personal balance even if a cost centre is being used (these do not have budgets set in Uniflow).

Remember to logout when you have finished!


The copying functionality follows the normal pattern for a reasonably high end copier. The copy button is a physical button situated outside the screen.

Scan and Send

Documents may be scanned in various resolutions and formats and sent by email either to the logged in user or a recipient email address may be entered. Emails have the from field set to the logged in user. After any options have been set via the menus, scanning is initiated using the copy button.

Error reporting from scan and send is fairly minimal so there will not necessarily be an indication to the user if a problem occurs, e.g.: the recipient address is mistyped; or the scan is too big for the email system to deliver. In general it is probably best to send the scan to oneself (and then forward it if necessary) and to select a lower than maximum resolution.


A list of the user's print jobs is presented from which jobs can be selected and then printed and deleted or just deleted. Note that there is no mechanism for seeing and selecting jobs other than those submitted by the user identifier of the person logged in so this must be correctly set when the job is submitted (see below under Setting up Computers).

The listing indicates whether the job will be printed in black and white or colour and, given the difference in cost (the total cost is also shown), it is sensible to check that this is correct and that the job as a whole is affordable. If it is not, the job must be deleted and resubmitted with the correct options chosen.

Cost Centres

It is important that the correct cost centre is chosen so that the costs of printing can be properly attributed. Staff and Research Students can set up the list which is presented to them on the copier by using the web application at (Undergraduates will normally only have access to their Personal cost centre.) Divisional policy varies on what cost centres should be included in this list and you should check with your Divisional Administrator before adding cost centres (some administrators prefer to maintain these lists themselves). If you add a cost centre outside your own Division, the administrator for that Division will be automatically alerted.

All users are free to add their Personal cost centre if it is not already automatically listed and to change their default cost centre to a different one on their list. Choosing a cost centre as the default does not mean that everything should be charged to it: personal copying obviously should not; but printing costs, like all others, should wherever appropriate be passed on to research grants and other external sources of funding.

Users must only use those cost centres which they are authorised to use. All usage is recorded.

You can view a YouTube tutorial on how to set up default cost centres

Personal Accounts

Any member of the Department may pay into their Personal Budget via the Department's EPOS system. Undergraduates and some others on taught courses are given an initial quota in their personal account sufficient for the printing associated with their course. The personal account should be used for all personal copying and printing. This account must contain sufficient credit to print a job before it is selected (including implicitly as the default cost centre), otherwise the job may be automatically deleted.

Default Cost Centre

The default cost centre is the one which appears at the top of the selection list on the printer/copiers. More importantly in many ways it is the one selected by default (i.e. unless an alternative is explicitly provided in the print job) by Uniflow when printing and against which Uniflow will therefore initially check the job for sufficient funds, dropping it if there are not. Note that this all happens before the user has the opportunity to select a different cost centre when releasing the job.

Setting up Computers to Print to Uniflow

Printing to the printers controlled by Uniflow is much the same as to any other printer except that:

  • There is only the single queue (uniflow), the choice of printer being made by logging on to it and selecting the job to be printed;
  • Because the jobs are accounted it is essential that the owner of job is correctly set to the user id of the person submitting it. Any jobs submitted with an id which is not a valid departmental id known to the Uniflow system will be dropped without any error being reported.

A client computer may be set up to print to the uniflow printer on the Departmental Print Server ( just like any other printer. Alternatively computers which can use the Windows printing protocol can print directly to the Uniflow server. This provides some extra functionality such as notification of job completion. A separate page provides details of how to set this up on various types of client computer.

Requests, Problems, Questions, etc

If you have a problem, please see the FAQ to check whether it is a commonly encountered problem and what the solution is. For other problems, requests or questions, please email copier-admin.