Posted by Richerd Wilson | Posted in choosing printer, Printer Duty Cycle | Posted on 2:03 AM
Duty cycle is a printer related specification that is generally used to define the printing workload that a printer can handle. It's usually measured in months and can be a surprisingly high number.
Before you start comparing duty cycles as you are shopping, it's important to understand where the duty cycle rating comes from. The duty cycle is usually based on stress testing that is conducted by the printer manufacturer. As each manufacturer defines "stress test" differently, each duty cycle rating tends to be different. As such, you will see significant differences in the duty cycle ratings between manufacturers.
Why is there so much difference in cycle ratings? In part you can thank Hewlett Packard, who as the industry leader in business printers, tends to shoot high in terms of duty cycle ratings. Most other printer manufacturers follow in the footsteps of HP so they also tend to mirror their duty cycle ratings. In reality, most businesses and home office users print 5 to 8 percent of a printer's stated duty cycle.
When shopping for a new printer, you are better off removing the duty cycle figure from the equation as it's really not an accurate number. Instead consider focusing on factors like:
Paper tray capacity - This defines how much paper the tray can hold in between refills. If the tray only holds 100 pages and your office prints over 100 pages a day, the tray will have to be refilled at least once a day.
Printing volume - Estimated printing volume should be one of the major factors you consider when choosing a printer. The printing volume should dictate the type and quality of the printing machine that will be needed. This estimate will also play a role in long term printing costs. The simplest way to estimate printing volume is keep count of the number of pages printed in a month, or speak with the person in charge of purchasing paper. Based on the amount of paper that is purchased each month, he or she should be able to provide a figure for the total printing volume.
By basing your purchase on printing volume versus duty cycle ratings, you'll be far more accurate in matching a printer to your true needs.
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