Companies typically buy printers and keep them in use until they break (we know some of you who still have Optra S devices from 1997!). This process can take ten years or more. Despite this, the same businesses lease other output devices like copiers and fax machines and replace them every three years. So why do technologies that seem so comparable have such different life-cycle approaches?
Is it because photocopiers have a bad rap for being disposable and unreliable? On the contrary, the shift to digital printing engines has brought traditional copiers considerably closer to printers, essentially printers with scanning mechanisms added on. For instance, the trusted engines powering Lexmark's award-winning printers are also found in the company's multifunction printers (MFPs), capable of functioning as digital photocopiers. Hence, the MFP's mechanical dependability is on par with that of printers, and both may be expected to last for years. Therefore, it is advised that MFPs and printers have the same amount of life in them.
Lexmark conducted research with a major company several years ago to find out how often the company should update its printers. We analysed its increasing device failure rates due to intensive use and worn mechanisms. We compared them to the anticipated enhanced dependability of new devices made possible by both new parts and much more reliable designs. We also analysed the effect of decreased consumables costs due to new, higher-yield cartridges and the softer costs of user interactions brought on by device failures.
We calculated that a payback period of 48 months was necessary before investing in the new office and multifunction printers (MFPs) was justified. However, the recommended lifetime would be closer to 60 months if it were operating at lower quantities. In a nutshell, the results of the study indicated that it was prudent to replace their printers more frequently than is customary in the market but less frequently than is ideally desirable for multifunction printers.
Your office's MFP (multifunction printer scanner copier) probably sees heavy use daily, if it's like most. There will always be a need to print, copy, scan, and occasionally fax papers in the workplace.
It's only natural to want to get the most out of your multifunction printer (MFP), especially an all-in-one model with fax, scanning, copying, and printing features that may cost several thousand dollars.
The average life span of a multifunction printer is one of the most often requested questions. Unfortunately, like so many other questions in life, this one has no clear-cut answer. The lifespan of a machine is affected by many factors, including the manufacturer, model, and design, the frequency of usage, and the quality of maintenance. There is no universally agreed-upon average lifespan for multifunction printers and copiers. Still, a midrange MFP or high-end model's five years of regular use seems right.
Top-tier multifunction (MFPs) and standalone printers typically last seven to ten years. Yet, this is likewise dependent on several variables.
If you're a business owner on a tight budget, you probably want to squeeze every last drop of productivity out of your office's laser printer. The printer's lifespan is conditional on factors such as the printer's model, how often it is used, and how it is maintained. The average lifespan of a desktop laser printer is five years. If your laser printer has user-replaceable parts, you can keep it running well past its warranty period.
How Long Does a Printer Last?
As was previously indicated, every product is accompanied by a predicted service life. Manufacturers often recommend replacing products after seven years (more on that in a bit). However, in the business world, the number of "clicks," or single-page prints or copies, a machine is capable of every month is used as a proxy for its expected lifespan.
Larger and more powerful devices can usually withstand more clicks, much like a car's engine becomes more reliable the larger it becomes. As a result, a more robust printer or copier can easily handle more input than a less robust one. On the other hand, excessive wear and tear might result from making a cheap item perform tasks beyond what it was intended for.
Let's pretend your organisation purchased a printer rated for 2,000 monthly prints, but you're sending it 3,000. The printer can handle those tasks temporarily. Yet, the machine's lifespan will be drastically shortened in the long run, and unnecessary extra maintenance costs will be added.
What Signs Indicate Your Printer's Lifespan?
Outdated safety measures
About half of all cyberattacks aim at small businesses, and just as many fail to take the necessary security precautions, making printers a prime entry point for cybercriminals. Therefore, office printers should be replaced with a newer models with better security features, including password-protected scanning, authentication, and print encryption.
An excessive amount of money is being spent.
If you spend much money on printer repairs, it is time to upgrade. Older printers "burn through ink plus toner faster than many modern versions," so buying a new one is more economical.
More than a printer of yours is required for your needs.
If your company has outgrown the capabilities of your current printer, it may be time to update to a multifunction printer (MFP) or another type manufactured after 2013.
The "initial indicator your printer should be replaced" is "deteriorating print quality." While printing issues can be caused by low ink or a dirty print head, the device is liable if neither is true.
Your printer is slowing down due to age.
Some people say that if your printer is taking its time printing, it may soon die. With typical printer speeds ranging from 1 to 50 ppm, "with considerably slower printing, usually needing to update or replace" is an accurate statement.
How Long Does a Typical Printer Last?
Several things can affect how long your printer lasts. How long your printer lasts depends on a million different factors, including the printer's design, the manufacturer, the frequency with which it is used, the types of materials printed on, the conditions under which it operates, and the frequency with which it is serviced.
Most laser printers will survive at least five years, while inkjets should last at least three. Of course, a professional, high-quality inkjet printer will generally live much longer than a low-priced laser printer. However, these estimates are still useful for home users as a general rule of thumb.
You may always contact the manufacturer to know how long your multifunction printer or photocopier will last. Typically, the duty cycle (the maximum number of pages that may be printed each month at the rated print quality of a machine) plus recommended manufacturers use monthly volumes to establish the expected lifespan of a printer or copier. Remember that duty cycles are sometimes excessive numbers of the machine's actual limitation, and it's a good idea to select a machine with a duty cycle significantly greater than your anticipated print volumes. It may die considerably sooner than expected if you don't care for your machine.
Varying component ages
Remember that your printer can malfunction even if it is significantly younger than its stated retirement age. Machines don't break down in one big heap of brokenness because their many sections and pieces wear out or run out of juice at different periods. Instead, your printer requires regular maintenance, like your automobile, to achieve optimal print quality. This includes weekly fueling, oil changes every six months, and filter swaps once a year.
Consider the ink cartridges for your printer. Most people know you need to replace them after a specific number of pages, but they may need to realise they can go bad while sitting on the printer or in storage. You run the danger of having your printer cartridges expire if you only use them rarely and don't replace them every two years. Liquid ink in an inkjet cartridge can dry out, but other parts in a toner cartridge are more likely to wear out before the toner itself does. So as you install each cartridge, check the date to see whether you need to go out and get more before it expires.
Furthermore, laser printer parts like the fuser can become exhausted after printing hundreds of thousands of pages. Inquire directly with the maker to determine if spare components are sold separately.
Know that assistance is close in the event of a malfunctioning device, such as a dry cartridge, a laser printer drum that has lost its photosensitivity, or any other similar problem.
What Factors Affect Printer Lifespan?
Operating Conditions and Duty Cycle
The printer's lifespan is inversely proportional to how often it's used. Reports printed on a printer used constantly will wear out far faster than one used only once a month. The duty cycle, measured in the number of printed pages each month, is a standard unit of measurement used by printer manufacturers. Unlike workgroup and enterprise-class versions, personal printers can only handle tens of thousands of pages each month at most. Invest in a printer that you know can handle your business's workload.
Some workplaces have fluctuating printing requirements that mirror seasonal activity patterns. Some businesses need a modest, steady output stream, but others can do so with far less. You'll want a setup that can handle your peak demands reliably and stay caught up at lower volumes of work. Printing jobs that are predominantly black-and-white vs those that require colour should be factored into your averages. If you rarely print anything but black and white, you can save money by switching to a monochrome laser printer rather than a colour printer, which may consume all four or more of its inks or toners whenever it prints, even if it's just black and white.
The duty cycle of a laser printer is a metric specified in the printer's specs, representing the maximum number of printed pages per month that that specific printer may produce. This specification is a helpful tool for comparing various printer models. More features and a higher price tag go hand in hand with increased duty cycles. If you want your equipment to last as long as possible, you should only use 10–25% of its rated duty cycle. Premature printer failure can arise from trying to meet this specification. If the model you're looking at doesn't list its duty cycle, you can safely presume it falls below the published value.
A printer's durability depends on external conditions like temperature, humidity, dust, and vibration. For the most part, a laser printer will have a longer lifespan in a cool office than in a noisy warehouse.
Which Printer Components Typically Need to Be Replaced?
The toner cartridges in a laser printer are the consumables that must be replaced the most frequently. As you replace the cartridge, you're refreshing high-wear things in the printing mechanism, and the toner utilised to print the pages. When you replace the toner cartridge, you ensure the printer will function reliably even after the other parts have worn out. The fuser is another regular component that needs replacing, despite lasting for years. Fusing occurs between two rollers, one of which heats up. Toner is fused to the paper by heat from the primary roller and pressure from the secondary roller. A laser printer uses a light-sensitive coating on a metal disc, but this coating fades away with time. The drum of a desktop printer must be changed every 6,000 pages, while the drum in a workgroup or big printer might endure for many more.
The number of pages supposedly produced by a single set of ink tanks or toner cartridges is listed as an output rating on printer consumables. The metrics are derived from an output test using standard pages to approximate "normal" output. The term "typical" is used in the same context as "average"—as a relative efficiency indicator. The comparatively limited coverage and few graphics on the test-suite pages may not accurately reflect your actual usage if, for example, you frequently print graphics-heavy pages with enormous amounts of type. If you want to know how much ink or toner you go through on average, you can do the same thing with paper: note the number of pages you print with each cartridge. Then, using the rated output of the consumables for the gear you already own, you can assess your printing needs about the printer's expected output. The averages will be higher if you print fewer pages than the specified output and lower if you print more.
How to Keep a Printer Running Smoothly.
A technician was brought in when the first laser printers started having issues. The number of pages produced, the amount of toner used, and other metrics are all recorded by modern machines. A consolidated report of these numbers can be printed with a few buttons on the control panel. An effective laser printer will warn on-screen when consumables such as toner, drum, and so on are running low.
Maintaining a desktop or workgroup laser printer is a breeze; you can swap out drums and other parts in less than 10 minutes if you read the manual carefully. However, when it comes to providing toner and other supplies, HP, Brother, and other major laser printer manufacturers do a great job, even years after they've discontinued a model. In addition, due to the widespread use of laser printers, many aftermarket suppliers have sprung up to provide maintenance and spares for older models.
A printer is a machine. They comprise numerous delicate components that often break under heat, humidity, dust, and regular use. Scheduling regular maintenance checks can keep the printer clean and in good working condition, reducing the likelihood of a breakdown.
The printer will last longer if you clean it often, use it carefully, and follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance procedures. User manuals for multifunction printers/photocopiers typically include instructions for routine maintenance, such as cleaning individual components and the frequency with which such maintenance is required.
Where Can I Take My Printer to Get It Fixed?
Most multifunction printers (MFPs), especially those intended for use in large businesses, will require maintenance regularly. As a result, issues with multifunction printers can negatively impact office productivity. For example, a paper jam, however little, can cause significant delays in productivity.
Leasing a copier with an MPS contract means you won't have to worry about on-site service, maintenance, or repairs. If your MFP ever has problems, you can be assured that with an MPS contract, you'll only have to deal with them for a short period and at a low cost. Choose a local dealer you can trust with all the necessary parts and supplies instead of calling a global service hotline, where you'll be another number.
If your multifunction printer/copier breaks and you don't have an MPS services contract, know you shouldn't try fixing it yourself. Contact an expert to ensure the repair is done properly and the machine lasts as long as possible. If there are newer, more efficient versions available, it may be more cost-effective to replace the copier rather than repair it. Consider these options' savings when deciding whether to repair or replace something.
How Do You Know When It's Time to Throw Away Your Printer?
It's important to talk about what happens to a gadget when its useful life is up, especially since recycling and reducing one's carbon footprint are popular topics. The improper disposal of office equipment is extremely harmful to the environment. The hard drive in your printer/copier may hold confidential company information, including a stored image of every document copied. Therefore, avoiding security or privacy breaches requires proper equipment disposal, including the hard disc.
How Can I Make My Printer Last Longer?
No machine can be set up once and left alone for the rest of its useful life. So if you stay within your monthly click limit, you must schedule frequent preventative maintenance with your managed print service provider. When that assistance is required, your smartphone will send you a notification.
Also, wherever possible, whether for routine upkeep or an unforeseen repair, it is recommended to use components and supplies made by and approved by the original manufacturer. OEM stands for "original equipment manufacturer" and refers to these components. OEM parts, created just for your printer, will greatly extend its lifespan.
Should You Invest in a New Printer or Copier?
Is a new printer or copier needed for the office? You should know the machine's expected lifespan before spending that much money. What other considerations should you make before buying to maximise the useful life of your gadget?
Manufacturers generally state that a printer has a seven-year lifespan (give or take for different models). Nevertheless, like with most things, there's more to it than meets the eye. That's because picking the right printer for your needs and taking proper care of it can greatly affect how long your printer lasts.
Several factors ultimately determine your device's lifespan. An infinite number of variables are at play, the vast majority of which are under your control, from the machine's general quality to your prioritisation of proper maintenance to crucial security measures.
A printer's lifespan will expire eventually, even with the most careful personnel caring for it.
You need more evidence than just the printer breaking down to determine if your equipment has reached the end of its useful life. It's related to the seven-year time frame, which is about more than just the printer still being functional. The accessibility of malfunctioning but crucial original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components is also an issue.
Manufacturers can legally stop making components for obsolete devices seven years after they've been taken off the market. So, as these components are no longer available, it is time to replace your ageing machinery.
Additionally, a device's security and firmware update features might be removed after seven years, like the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. The security of your network, business, and customers' personal information is paramount in today's interconnected world. Therefore it's important to keep up with the latest recommendations for securing these resources.
Choosing and caring for the right printer for your business will extend its useful life considerably.
While printers are typically purchased and used until they break, other output devices such as copiers and fax machines are typically leased and replaced every three years. The introduction of digital printing engines has lowered the price of traditional copiers, making them more competitive with printers. Lexmark surveyed an industry giant to determine how frequently printers should be updated. Based on the findings, it was wise for them to replace their printers more frequently than is commonplace in the market, but less frequently than is ideally desirable for multifunction printers. A 48-month payback period was required before purchasing the new office and multifunction printers (MFPs).
If it were being used in smaller quantities, the suggested lifespan would be closer to 60 months. We get lots of enquiries about how long a multifunction printer typically lasts. It depends on a wide variety of elements, including but not limited to the manufacturer, model, and design, the level of use, and the quality of maintenance. Desktop laser printers typically last for around five years, while high-end MFPs and standalone printers can last for up to ten years. Due to their often-outdated security features, printers can be a major vector for cybercriminals.
Spending too much time and money fixing printers is wasteful; get a multifunction printer (MFP) or one made after 2013. An early sign of declining print quality is poor print reproduction, and the claim that print speed is decreasing with age is true. What factors into how long a printer lasts are things like the printer's design, the printer's manufacturer, the printer's frequency of use, the materials printed on, the printer's operating environment, and how often the printer is serviced. The average life expectancy of a laser printer is five years, while an inkjet printer should last three years. Get in touch with the maker if you want to know how long their multifunction printer or photocopier will last.
Even if your printer is much younger than its retirement age, it still may break down on you. Print quality can only be kept at its highest with consistent servicing like weekly oil and filter changes and refuelling. Laser printer components, such as the fuser, can become exhausted after printing tens of thousands of pages, and ink cartridges can go bad if left in the printer or in storage. The duty cycle, expressed in terms of pages printed per month, is inversely proportional to the printer's frequency of use and thus, its lifespan. Purchase a printer that is adequate for your company's needs.
The duty cycle of a laser printer is a maximum number of printed pages per month that is stated in the printer's specifications. Equipment with more features and a higher price tag also has a higher duty cycle, but if you want it to last as long as possible, you should only use it at 10–25% of its rated duty cycle. A laser printer will last much longer in a quiet office than in a noisy warehouse because durability is affected by the surrounding environment. A laser printer's toner cartridges are the consumables that need to be replaced most frequently because they contain the toner used to print the pages and replenish high-wear parts of the printing mechanism. The fuser is another common part that wears out and needs replacing, and the output rating on ink tanks and toner cartridges indicates the number of pages they are supposed to print before they need to be replaced.
Modern machines keep track of the number of printed pages, the amount of toner used, and other metrics, and a good laser printer will issue an on-screen warning when supplies like toner, drum, and so on are running low. If you read the manual thoroughly, maintaining a laser printer for your desk or office should be a breeze. Manufacturers like HP and Brother do a fantastic job, and a thriving aftermarket has sprung up to support their products with service and replacement parts. Most MFPs need regular maintenance, and problems with them can have a significant impact on office efficiency. Clean the printer frequently, use it carefully, and perform any other maintenance tasks as directed by the manufacturer to extend its life.
Without a managed print services contract, replacing a broken multifunction printer/copier could be less expensive in the long run than repairing it. With the growing interest in recycling and lowering one's carbon footprint, it's time to have a conversation about what happens to electronics after their useful life ends. To prevent security or privacy breaches, it is important to properly dispose of office equipment and to only use components and supplies made by and approved by the original manufacturer. In most cases, a printer will last you for seven years, as stated by the manufacturer. The longevity of your printer will be greatly influenced by the care you give it and the printer you choose.
The longevity of a printer is influenced by a number of different factors, including its quality, ease of upkeep and repair, security measures, and firmware, and the availability of replacement parts from the original manufacturer. Keep up with the most recent advice on how to best secure these resources to ensure they last as long as possible.
- So why do technologies that seem so comparable have such different life-cycle approaches?
- Is it because photocopiers have a bad rap for being disposable and unreliable?
- On the contrary, the shift to digital printing engines has brought traditional copiers considerably closer to printers, essentially printers with scanning mechanisms added on.
- For instance, the trusted engines powering Lexmark's award-winning printers are also found in the company's multifunction printers (MFPs), capable of functioning as digital photocopiers.
- Therefore, it is advised that MFPs and printers have the same amount of life in them.
- The average life span of a multifunction printer is one of the most often requested questions.
- The lifespan of a machine is affected by many factors, including the manufacturer, model, and design, the frequency of usage, and the quality of maintenance.
- The printer's lifespan is conditional on factors such as the printer's model, how often it is used, and how it is maintained.
- The average lifespan of a desktop laser printer is five years.
- If you spend much money on printer repairs, it is time to upgrade.
- More than a printer of yours is required for your needs.
- Some people say that if your printer is taking its time printing, it may soon die.
- Several things can affect how long your printer lasts.
- You may always contact the manufacturer to know how long your multifunction printer or photocopier will last.
- Instead, your printer requires regular maintenance, like your automobile, to achieve optimal print quality.
- Consider the ink cartridges for your printer.
- The printer's lifespan is inversely proportional to how often it's used.
- Invest in a printer that you know can handle your business's workload.
- Some workplaces have fluctuating printing requirements that mirror seasonal activity patterns.
- The duty cycle of a laser printer is a metric specified in the printer's specs, representing the maximum number of printed pages per month that that specific printer may produce.
- More features and a higher price tag go hand in hand with increased duty cycles.
- If you want your equipment to last as long as possible, you should only use 10–25% of its rated duty cycle.
- For the most part, a laser printer will have a longer lifespan in a cool office than in a noisy warehouse.
- The toner cartridges in a laser printer are the consumables that must be replaced the most frequently.
- The number of pages supposedly produced by a single set of ink tanks or toner cartridges is listed as an output rating on printer consumables.
- If you want to know how much ink or toner you go through on average, you can do the same thing with paper: note the number of pages you print with each cartridge.
- Then, using the rated output of the consumables for the gear you already own, you can assess your printing needs about the printer's expected output.
- The number of pages produced, the amount of toner used, and other metrics are all recorded by modern machines.
- Leasing a copier with an MPS contract means you won't have to worry about on-site service, maintenance, or repairs.
- If your multifunction printer/copier breaks and you don't have an MPS services contract, know you shouldn't try fixing it yourself.
- The improper disposal of office equipment is extremely harmful to the environment.
- Therefore, avoiding security or privacy breaches requires proper equipment disposal, including the hard disc.
- Also, wherever possible, whether for routine upkeep or an unforeseen repair, it is recommended to use components and supplies made by and approved by the original manufacturer.
- OEM stands for "original equipment manufacturer" and refers to these components.
- OEM parts, created just for your printer, will greatly extend its lifespan.
- You should know the machine's expected lifespan before spending that much money.
- Manufacturers generally state that a printer has a seven-year lifespan (give or take for different models).
- That's because picking the right printer for your needs and taking proper care of it can greatly affect how long your printer lasts.
- Several factors ultimately determine your device's lifespan.
- Choosing and caring for the right printer for your business will extend its useful life considerably.
FAQs About Printer
No, the printer should be left plugged into a live outlet. There are a couple of reasons: If the printer is unplugged before the printheads have had a chance to properly park the printhead may dry out. This could result in permanent damage.
All inkjet printers have semiconductor print heads. ... For healthier print heads and more efficient ink consumption, however, it's better to leave your printer on. Constantly switching your printer off and on will decrease your printer's lifespan, so try to keep the off/on to a minimum.
You might not believe it because it sounds like an urban myth, but every time you turn your printer on, it consumes ink before you even print anything. ... By leaving your printer running at all times, you will bypass this routine maintenance cycle and not waste any printer ink.
If it suddenly won't print or has glitches in the print quality, those are pretty clear signs that the wear and tear of printing life may have gotten the best of it. If it now can't hold the paper capacity that you want, or it can't print as many pages as you'd like, those are also signs you might want a new one.
Personal printers typically used in a home office/desktop will handle up to a few thousand pages/month, whereas work group and larger models for business may easily handle upwards of 100,000 pages/month. Among those who participated in our TonerBuzz survey: Over 50% expect their printer to last between 3-10 years.