Kyocera Mita, the pioneering document imaging company, has welcomed the publication of an ISO standard for determining toner cartridge yields. The standard will lead to greater accuracy and transparency for purchasers carrying out cost of ownership calculations.

Kyocera Mita has campaigned for greater awareness of the lifetime costs of printing for more than twelve years and has built its reputation on the unbeatably low cost of ownership of its flagship range of ECOSYS laser printers. Tracey Rawling Church, Head of Marketing at Kyocera Mita, explains why the ISO standard is so important for customers. "In our experience, organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of consumables costs but find it difficult to make realistic calculations because there is little consistency in the data available from manufacturers. Indeed, we believe many manufacturers deliberately play up the discrepancies to deter customers from making comparisons which might show their products in a poor light. The existence of an independent standard will provide a solid basis for comparison and allow customers to be more confident in challenging vendor assertions on toner yield."

The basic consumable cost per page can be made by dividing the price of the toner cartridge by its yield in pages. Although the total cost of owning a printer includes other factors such as power, it is widely accepted that there is much smaller variation in these costs and that they contribute relatively little to the total. In contrast, consumable costs constitute typically 75% of the lifetime cost of owning a mono workgroup printer, and consumables costs can vary by as much as 250% for similar printers from different manufacturers. Therefore the new standard will eliminate uncertainty in calculating the value of the largest single contributor to printer lifetime costs.

Tracey Rawling Church adds: "Recent publicity highlighting the often extortionate toner prices charged by some vendors* has raised awareness of the need to understand the lifetime cost of a printer before purchase. Armed with reliable yield data, it will be much easier for customers to compare the consumables cost per page of the various printers they are considering. Although these calculations will be made using a standard test page, which might not match the customer's own typical output, it will accurately portray the percentage variation in cost per page between the different products. Although the standard currently covers only mono printers, both the proportion of lifetime cost and the actual cost of consumables increases dramatically for colour printers, so the planned colour version of the standard is clearly essential."

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