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About Us Blog What Is Duty Cycle For Printers?

The Duty Cycle For Your Houston Commercial Printer

Why Your Printer Suddenly Died

If you search around the internet you can easily find numerous complaints regarding printers dying only a couple of months after it was purchased. Usually, there is a good reason for the sudden death - the owner was asking the Houston commercial printer to do more than it had been designed to be able to handle. When you choose a lightweight tool that isn't sturdy enough for the job, then blaming the tool really isn't fair. However, most of the blame really should go to the manufacturers for not making it clear the number of pages that each printer model has been designed to be able to print over its lifetime.

Printer Specification Sheet

The monthly duty cycle is one of the important specifications that can be found on the spec sheets of a majority of laser printers. That tells you the maximum amount of pages that can be printed in one month without the printer being at risk of being damaged. Unfortunately, a majority of inkjet specification sheets do not provide this information. Even worse, knowing the number by itself isn't very useful. It doesn't tell you anything about the amount you can print to help ensure that your Houston commercial printer lasts for more than just a couple of months.

Life Expectancy Of A Houston Commercial Printer

For example, there are two laser printers that I know of that have maximum duty cycles that are significantly different - 5,000 pages and 20,000 pages - but basically, have the same lifetime design of around 50,000 pages. If the maximum duty cycle is hit every month for both, the first printer would have a tenth-month life expectancy while the second one would last fewer than three months. A majority of Houston commercial printers fall in the three to ten-month life expectancy range at their maximum duty cycle. However, you need to have both the design lifetime and maximum duty cycle in order to determine where a printer falls within the range.

How Much Can You Print On A Commercial Printer

It is much more useful to what the recommended average maximum amount of pages you can print on a monthly basis than the maximum duty cycle. A rule of thumb that is widely accepted is that you should choose a printer that has a maximum duty cycle three times at least the number of pages that you need to print per month. Obviously, that will extend the lifespan of a print, but maybe not as much as you want it to. As in the first printer's case, if every month you print one-third of its rated duty cycle, then the Houston commercial printer's life expectancy is still going to be less than one year.

Houston Commercial Printers That Are Long-Lasting

There are three numbers that you need to know: the design lifetime specified in pages (this tells you given how many pages you print, how long the printer is expected to last), recommended maximum pages to print per month (this tells you whether or not the printer will be able to survive over the long term, based on how many pages you print), maximum monthly duty cycle (this tells you whether or not the Houston commercial printer will be able to survive during your busiest month of the year). Whenever I am reviewing a printer, I request all three of those number. All three of them are made available by a couple of manufacturers. However, others unbelievably consider all or some of those numbers to be proprietary - especially for inkjets. What is even worse is the answer on inkjets will frequently be not rated. So if you literally take that as an answer, you may assume that manufacturers don't know how pages their printers are able to the printer. It usually means that assume you won't print enough pages for this information to matter. Unfortunately, based on the complaints that I have seen, there are some people who definitely do enough printing for the issue to matter to them.

Monthly Duty Cycle Of A Houston Commercial Printer

I believe that all three of these important numbers - design lifetime specified in pages, recommended maximum pages per month, and maximum duty cycle - should be listed on all spec sheets. Also, they should be listed in large type on the outside of all of the printer boxes, in addition to ratings for other selling points like paper per minute (ppm) and dots per inch (dpi). If the information is not provided, contact the manufacturer and request it. You might not be provided with an answer but if there are enough people who ask for them, maybe some companies will change their policies eventually and begin to publish these numbers. One thing is for certain: this information is treated as proprietary by manufacturers is like a dealer selling a car to you but not informing you how often the oil should be changed. I definitely wouldn't purchase a car if I wasn't given instructions for maintaining it. So I shouldn't have to purchase a printer without knowing the number of pages I can print. For more information regarding Advanced Business Copiers & the commercial printers we sell in Houston, contact us today by giving us a call. If you would like to read our blog click here.