How Long will my Printer Last?

26 Oct

We get asked the question of “How long will my printer last?” all of the time. The answer is, “it all depends”.

And although it sounds somewhat vague, it is more times than not the truth.  Believe it or not 5 years old is about the life of a copier/printer/plotter.  Today’s technology changes so fast that you are better off replacing it, if it is more than 5 years old and needs extensive repair.

Usually the manufacturer will issue an End of Life date which means that they will stop supporting it at that point.  This also means that some parts may not be available and that the manufacturer will discontinue tech support for the product.  If the local service technician gets into a severe problem they may not have anyone to call for support.

Inside most of these units is a controller, which interfaces with the print engine.  If newer software from Autodesk, Microsoft, or Adobe is released, the software on the controller may not be upgradeable.  If the Manufacturer stopped support for hardware, they may have stopped creating software releases for the newer desktop software you are using.

Then throw into the mix that you may have changed your printing needs.  Do you do more or less printing than you used to?  It may be more cost effective to change equipment than to spend a large capital investment in repairing an old piece of equipment that is underutilized.  If your needs grew it may be time to get a faster printer.  Either way, technology changes so fast or the machines keep getting better, faster, and less costly!  In most cases, it is better to replace that old equipment rather than to spend big dollars to repair something that is obsolete.

There are some things you should consider when determining the right piece of equipment to purchase.  Make sure you get the right piece of equipment for the job.  You have many choices and options, including laser, inkjet, LED, speed of printing, speed of scanning, operating costs.  These are all factors to consider, along with Duty Cycle and price.

The most important of these and the least talked about, is the Duty Cycle.  Simply explained, Duty Cycle is the amount of copies that the machine was designed to produce in a given month.  All equipment has a specification for the volume, and what it is intended to handle.  You should select a unit that is close to your volume or slightly higher.

It is truly important and beneficial to get the right machine for the job.  Finding the right fit is what you have to do and BPI is here to help!


One Response to “How Long will my Printer Last?”


  1. What Brand is Best « BPI Inc. - November 1, 2011

    […] discussed in a previous issue of our blog, How Long will my Printer Last?, it was determined that it can be for a variety of reasons.  Now that you have reached that […]

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