The Real Truth About Toner Coverage

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One of the print industry’s best kept secrets is the formula used to calculate toner coverage, which all print cartridge manufacturer’s use to entice their customers into buying their product. The truth is, in carefully controlled manufacturer’s testing conditions, cartridge yields are often grossly inflated, in comparison to real world conditions.

Whose Side Are They On?

Printer manufacturer’s base cartridge yield estimates on the best case scenario, in order to maximize the number of pages which can be printed from a single unit. While test conditions can certainly be replicated in your office environment to produce the same results, the chances of them occurring naturally are slim to none. One common tactic involves running the test printer non-stop (with the exception of the time it takes to add more paper), using a series of three cartridges; in a more realistic environment, toner waste would naturally occur as the printer warms and cools between jobs.

Testers may also remove each of the three cartridges twice, and shake them up, in order to utilize every drop of toner. Consumers tend to believe what they see advertised, expecting to receive what’s promised, but consideration must be given to the conditions and environment under which the testing is performed, to estimate actual results.

Truth Be Told

A scant five percent of page coverage is used in the calculation of toner yield: an unrealistic number when you consider the average page is closer to between 10 and 15 percent in black and white, and 15 to 30 percent in color.

Real World Print Costs

Certain industries utilize more graphics, or text than others, such as: retail, education, finance, and graphic arts. Common causes of a higher cost per page include:

  • Charts
  • Email signatures
  • Graphics
  • Logos
  • Photos
  • Shading

The Solution

There’s no point in guessing what your actual costs are, when they can be easily determined with print assessment software deployed by a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider. If you’re currently paying a variable cost-per-page (CPP) rate, you’ll likely want to move to a fixed cost-per-page rate, to start saving instantly.

Knowing what you’re spending, is the first step towards saving, and an MPS provider can help.

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