Customers are becoming increasingly aware of the cost of owning and operating their printers and multifunction products (MFPs). The cost of consumable supplies such as toner cartridges or solid ink sticks is a major component of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for a printer or MFP. The per-page cost of printing is driving many printer and MFP purchase decisions today, as these costs can be combined with print volume and print coverage assumptions to give companies a reasonable estimate of the monthly and annual TCO for a specific printer or MFP.
In the past, printer and MFP original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) used different, proprietary methods for testing and reporting consumable yields. This made factual and accurate comparisons of products from differing OEMs impossible. Reporting was traditionally done using “5% area coverage,” but that did not guarantee comparableresults because many other testing variables affect the stated yield, including:-Page size and margin settings-Image types used to create 5% area coverage-Number of cartridges used during testing process-Number of printers/MFPs used during testing process-Environmental testing conditions (humidity, temperature, and so on)-Lack of stated confidence level for published consumable yieldAny variation in these factors during the testing process can cause nontrivial differences in reported yields. The development of an industry standard methodology for testing and reporting consumables yields has helped alleviate these inconsistencies, and givescustomers the reliable information they need to make their technology decisions.