PRINTER YIELDS — AN INCONVENIENT THRUTH

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PRINTER YIELDS — AN INCONVENIENT THRUTH

 user 2007-02-20 at 11:02:00 am Views: 80
  • #17594

    Printer yields – an inconvenient truth
    Standards for comparing page yields are often sidelined, lest they reveal the scale of vendors’ fibsYou may have heard of the cliché about there being lies, damned lies, and printer page yield figures. It is bad enough that cartridges for inkjets are ludicrously overpriced, but to compound these sins, manufacturers’ quoted page yields for these rip-off cartridge refills are simply outrageous.So it ought to be good news that HP, Canon and Kodak have announced their support for ISO/IEC 24711:2006, a standard method for calculating how many pages can be produced from an inkjet cartridge.Call me dour but I’m unimpressed. In terms of industry significance, it comes down to a generally worded message of support – not one of adoption – by two of the biggest printer manufacturers: HP and Canon.The inkjet market is bigger than just these two, however, and the rest of the pack are not exactly running through a field of daffodils to embrace standard number 24711.Having a universal standard for calculating inkjet page yield provides a level playing field for all manufacturers. So why are only two of them voicing their support? Well, it’s obvious: the page yield figures quoted by much of the industry have been falsified to flatter their products. We’re not talking little fibs here, but premier league porkies. I have been testing printers for over 15 years and have come to the conclusion that vendor ink cartridge yields are calculated by counting the number of pages you can print and then multiplying the result by some random number.
    Any adoption of a fair standard is likely to see manufacturers’ quoted figures plummet, and no one wants to be first to downgrade their already published specifications.Besides, we’ve been here before. A few years ago, HP was one of the companies expounding another standard known as ISO/IEC 19752:2004 that provides a method for calculating the page yield of mono laser printer toner cartridges. A quick check of the specifications for laser printers on the market today reveals that only Kyocera publicly lists this standard as the basis for its toner page yield projections. If HP and others are using this standard – and I would like to believe that HP is – they are being very coy about it.This is unfortunate, because if buyers don’t know whether or not a manufacturer is using a specific standard testing method for calculating their toner or ink yields, then you can’t compare like for like, and the whole effort of having a standard is worthless. The cynic in me wonders whether this is not the intention: by not quoting the standard, you effectively devalue it, and soon enough buyers will have forgotten about it.Printer consumable costs won’t break your organisation but they often account for a non-trivial portion of workgroup budgets. So terrorise your suppliers by asking for cartridge yield quotations based on these ISO standards. And remind them of ISO/IEC 19798:2006, the page yield calculation standard for toner in colour lasers.