*NEWS*ISO ENDS INKJET CTG CONFUSION

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*NEWS*ISO ENDS INKJET CTG CONFUSION

 user 2007-02-06 at 10:29:00 am Views: 63
  • #17560

    ISO ends inkjet cartridge confusion
    Printer manufacturers finally agree new standard
    Consumers
    will be better able to judge the costs of printing thanks to a new
    international standard for cartridge performance.Until now, printer
    manufacturers have used a variety of ways to measure how many pages a
    cartridge will print.This means that although it has been incredibly
    cheap to buy some printers, estimating the true expenditure on
    cartridges during a printer’s lifespan has been nigh-on impossible.Not
    knowing has also made it difficult for consumers to decide which
    printer is appropriate to their needs.In December 2002, the Office of
    Fair Trading (OFT) criticised the four major manufacturers, Epson,
    Canon, HP and Lexmark, over the lack of information available to
    consumers about the longevity of inkjet cartridges and the true cost of
    ownership.In its report it said this lack of transparency regarding the
    price and performance of inkjet printer cartridges was unfair to
    consumers.It said 78 per cent of consumers use only the cartridges
    recommended by the manufacturer, which means expenditure on these
    consumables over the lifetime of a printer can amount to more than
    double the original cost of the printer.The OFT called on the industry
    to devise a standard testing method for page yield and for these
    results to be made available by retailers to consumers at the point of
    sale and in promotional literature.It also said the cartridge
    manufacturers should set up webpages where consumers can compare page
    yield and estimate the overall costs.This standard was meant to be in
    place by the end of 2003 but the OFT gave the industry additional
    time.Finally, in December 2006, the International Organisation for
    Standardisation (ISO), in conjunction with a consortium of printer
    manufactures including HP, Canon, Epson and Lexmark, approved new
    standards for accurately measuring how many pages inkjet cartridges
    would print.HP explained to Computeractive how it meets the new
    standard. The company takes three printers of each model and nine
    cartridges per cartridge model for each document yield test.Three
    different document types, representative of consumer documents, are
    used to determine three different yields: black text and graphics,
    colour graphics and photo suite.Generally, all three document types are
    tested on current printers, unless there are product limitations. These
    test files are sent from a computer to the printer for testing.The
    tests are carried out in controlled conditions. Printing during tests
    is nearly continuous, with normal breaks for changing paper, and
    temperature and humidity are controlled to reflect ambient home or
    office conditions.OEMs were anxious to point out that using printers
    differently can affect page yield.”Stop-start printing can affect yield
    as the print heads use some ink in between printing jobs to clean the
    heads,” explained Andy Forsyth, a spokesman for HP.But it still gives
    the consumer an easier way to compare page yields, pointed out Chris
    Law, for Lexmark.Lexmark told Computeractive the necessary information
    will be available for printers released this year. HP said it planned
    to provide this information for some printers already on the
    market.There was no comment from Epson or Canon as we went to press,
    however HP and Epson have set up an area on their respective websites
    where consumers are be able to compare costs; Lexmark said its page
    would be ready later this month.Also, when consumers buy an OEM
    cartridge or printer, the box and cartridge packaging will give the
    print yields so they can estimate costs they may have to pay for
    printing over the lifetime of the printer