Toner, the coloured powder used in digital/laser printers, is one of the major costs that needs to be factored in when purchasing a multifunction copier. Toner cartridges can be pricey, and can significantly add to the total cost of owning office technology.
Traditionally there was no standard or well defined methodology used to determine the yield of a particular toner cartridge. Instead, it was taken as the number of printer pages at 5% coverage. However, more recently this has been standardised in quality assurance protocols. Methods have been worked out that determine toner cartridge yield for black and white and colour devices under a defined set of conditions, allowing consumers to compare these values for different machines. In order to work out the cost per page of printing it divide the cost of the toner by the yield. E.g.: R500 ÷ 2000 pages = 25c per page
There are some tricks that can be used to make toner last longer and cut costs.
Ensure that the nozzle isn’t clogged
Faded or stuttering print jobs may not be due to a toner shortage, but rather a clogged nozzle. Remove the cartridge and wipe the nozzle gently with a damp paper towel, then dry and replace.
Switch to printing only in grayscale (which prints slightly lighter) or black and white, unless colour is absolutely necessary. Draft mode will also give a slightly lower print quality (due to a lower dot per inch resolution) but saves on toner – so this can be used for drafts or less important documents.
Be strategic about printing
Use a managed print solution and implement office policies regarding printing. Requesting that employees only print when absolutely necessary saves toner and paper, reducing waste and unnecessary costs. Help staff to become aware of what they are printing: dense graphics waste toner, for example. Encourage people to print only the pages they need within a particular document.
Software such as Papercut helps to control office printing in a simple and automated way by preventing colour printing unless authorised, print tracking that can analyse which users are printing the most and which printers are being over and under used, user tools that remind staff to print responsibly with pop-up reminders and other features that help to prevent wasteful printing.
Maintain your machines
Keeping your multifunction copiers well maintained and in good running order prevents errors that could waste toner and cost money in the long run. Have a system where multifunction printers and other office equipment is regularly serviced. Fleet Manager, which is a software application available free from Seartec conveniently does this for you. It works with any brand of copier and tracks toner levels – notifying you when toner levels are low and can also order it automatically. The software will track the services needs of all office copiers, logging maintenance requirements so that any issues can be attended to.
Contact Seartec to find out more about how we can assist you with print management solutions such as PaperCut or Seartec Fleet Manager.