Colour Printers - ISO Yield Standards Revised
Although formal ratification of a new ISO standard for testing colour printer consumables has not yet been completed, manufacturers have started to quote yield figures based on the new system - a sure indicator that the new agreed test methods will not change. Here Jimi St. Pieere outines the advantages of the new standard.
Although formal ratification of a new ISO standard for testing colour printer consumables has not yet been completed, manufacturers have started to quote yield figures based on the new system - a sure indicator that the new agreed test methods will not change. Amongst manufacturers adopting the new system are Epson and Hewlett Packard, both of whom implementing it for their inkjet printer ranges.
What is the new Colour Printer Yield Standard System?
Essentially, the new ISO system does away with the old "5% coverage" (ink on paper) maxim, and the lack of standards on testing and consumables quoting methods. These methods that consumers have been faced with the need for a great deal of guidance when attempting to calculate the Total Cost Of Ownership equation when specifying new printer installations. The ISO system is designed to ensure that yield figures quoted by printer manufacturers for the number of pages per cartridge can now be compared for machines from different manufacturers, whereas until now the figures were only really meaningful for comparisons between different printer models from the same manufacturer.
The main lines of approach with the new ISO system has been to eliminate discrepancies due to
1. Different test pages used, with differing page coverage
2. No uniform testing method
3. Yields quoted in different statistical standards
Colour Printer Yield Standards- Going Forward
So now the situation has changed to some extent. The ISO 19752 standard for testing and quoting of yield for mono printing on mono laser printers already exists, and now we are on the cusp of this latest ISO standard for colour printing on colour printers (ISO 24712).
It is easy to see how the ISO standards offer a big improvement - standard test pages, standard test methodology and standard way of calculating and quoting the yield.
However, even at this stage there is the view that perhaps the new standards do not go far enough, in that the standard does not address all the issues surrounding printing of monochrome pages on colour systems.
In essence, the test programme specifies a five-page document to be printed as continuously as the paper feed of the printer allows. The 5 pages are mono letter, two data presentation pages and a block and line test pattern. The yield is quoted as the number of pages printed when the cartridge runs out.
The difficulty is that in the real-world environment, the mix between colour and monochrome printing varies according to workgroup and individual. Thus it seems more useful to test to two standards, for mono and for colour, separately on the same machine. Having such data would further assist in addressing any decision to upgrade to colour printers - and indeed make realistic comparisons with the yield on Multifunction, All-in-One systems which add a further major dimension to the cost equation.
Upgrading Your Approach to Office Printing
If you are planning to add to your set of office printers, or have a need to increase workgroup efficiency and productivity, it would be wise to use an office equipment supplier with the credentials to guide you through the issues surrounding your Total Cost Of Ownership equation. If your monthy print output is under 500 pages/month, the Total Cost Of Ownership equation urges your attention. If your current print volume is in excess of 500 pages/month and you have not sought an appraisal of your current costs, this is the time to focus on your colour printer needs, preferably via an accredited , major brand independent equipment supplier.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jimi St. Pierre writes for several Office Equipment suppliers and Travel Companies in the UK, including photocopier supplier Officemagic, the Car Parking Group and Country Connect Tourist Office Directory, the latter being a publisher of a daily news feed to the UK travel industry via the Virgin Media Traveleye extranet. The Officemagic range of photocopiers can be found at http://www.officemagic.co.uk/