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'[OT] Percentage cover on printed pages.. .'
2006\03\30@061935 by Russell McMahon

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Text printing devices (Laser printers, photocopiers, inkjet printers,
...) necessarily specify  the life of toner or ink in terms of
percentage page cover. eg 3000 pages at 5% cover. This makes sense as
pages with text may have 5% - 10% cover whereas a colour picture may
have 100% (or even more) ink coverage.

My question is, does anyone have *real world* figures for typical
percentage cover of typical printed pages. This is obviously highly
variable with application, but the very commonly quoted 5% figures
seems to be low.

Typically laser printer and inkjet makers specify 5% cover.
I have found a few on web who spec at 10% cover.

The key reason for asking is because of a claim by a salesman (always
risky) that the 5% figure is far far too low on average and that the
cost of consumables will be far higher than expected. I was
considering buying a B______ high end all on one laser copier.
Duplexing, dual trays, network connection, scan to PC, print from PC,
sort, fax, ... . Fast enough. A4 maximum. A very nice spec and about
$NZ1700 all up including a 5 year on site repair contract.

BUT someone sent the salesman from T______ my way yesterday. The
"special deal for churches" new copies, while in some ways far
superior to the B... was in other areas lacking. Print from LAN for
quite a few $ more. No scan to PC. No fax. Better paper options and A3
and faster. But horrendously more $.

HOWEVER he also offered a secondhand machine at about 50% more than
the B with OK specs (LAN printing included, A3, no fax, ..).
The pivotal point is his claim about consumable costs. They offer a 5
year service arrangement at NZ 1.6c / copy (about $US0.01/copy) that
covers EVERYTHING except paper. Toner, fusers, drums, maintenance,
repairs. Stunning. Add paper and that's maybe 3 cents NZ/copy.
AND he claims that the B.... consumables cost is going to be far far
higher as the cover % on average is > 5%. 5% he says is 'postage stamp
size". While he's not quite right, it is small. For a ~298mm long
sheet of A4 that's a full width black strip 15 mm tall.

The consumables cost of the B... could be many times that of the T ...
and greatly affect the overall economics.

First thought was that it would be easy to measure a few pages. A
little trying rapidly had me trying Monte Carlo methods and they,
while they will work, are annoyingly hard to get OK results.  [[[I
folded a sheet multiple times and drove a fine spike through it - aim
was to measure % of times text was touched. Assessment has problems
:-) ]] [ darts?]. Photometry. Weigh ink cartridge b4 and after a run.
... .

Assessment 'by eye' is harder than might be expected.

An easier than some monte carloish: Using a finish pen, freehand draw
lines across a sheet spaced at say 10mm spacings (or 1" or whatever).
Draw another set at 90 degrees to the first. At all cross points
assess whether pixel at crosspoint is black or white. Some judgement
needed.
Looks like it may actually be useful.

But, some "real data" would be useful.




       Russell McMahon

2006\03\30@072536 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

Could you scan a typical page and write a small program to calculate (number of black pixels) / total?  It would be quite easy to do this in VB etc.

Regards

Mike

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2006\03\30@074437 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:25 PM 3/30/2006 +0100, you wrote:


>Could you scan a typical page and write a small program to calculate
>(number of black pixels) / total?  It would be quite easy to do this in VB etc.

;-) That was my first thought. Another idea might be scan one of *your*
typical pages and use an image manipulation program to do a Gaussian blur.
Either blur it completely or blur it enough that your Monte Carlo
methods work easily. You could calibrate it by creating, printing and
blurring a few patterns that are 5%/10%/25% etc. black. You'd want to
scan it (converting if necessary) to a 0/1 bitmap first, then convert
to gray scale. Programs like Photoshop (and I think Irfanview) have
an eyedropper that samples the RGB values at any given point.

It would be interesting to hear the results-- I've wondered about the
'5%' figure they typically use (also note that sometimes these things are
supplied with 'starter' cartridges that are not full, so your time to first
cartridge replacement is not as you'd expect. I know that with color
brochures the 5% figure is probably way low and color toner cartridges
are $$$ each times four. At least they don't dry out like #$#$# inkjets.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\03\30@074709 by Chris Levin

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Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

>
> Could you scan a typical page and write a small program to calculate (number of black pixels) / total?  It would be quite easy to do this in VB etc.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike
>

That's exactly what I was thinking. Also think about this: Can either of
these printers accept third party supplies? Personally, I find that is
the *KEY* indicator of cost of ownership. I have been burned a few times
by proprietary (expensive) systems and will always go for generic now.

My worst issue was with an HP All-in-one scan/fax/print ink jet system.
I discovered that the ink cartridges EXPIRE after a fixed time whether
you use them or not. I only went with the HP ink jet because I liked the
 photo print quality and having the all-in-one ability was nice.

I don't print color (or anything on the ink jet) very often so I did not
care about cartridge costs. Then I discovered the "for your protection
and to get the best quality" mandatory expiration (the quoted text is
exactly what the idiot at tech support told me.) I had a 90% unused $60
cartridge  do this to me. Anyone want to buy a cheap HP printer :)



-Chris


2006\03\30@074840 by William Chops Westfield

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On Mar 30, 2006, at 3:19 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> My question is, does anyone have *real world* figures for typical
> percentage cover of typical printed pages. This is obviously highly
> variable with application, but the very commonly quoted 5% figures
> seems to be low.

My HP 2600N color laser printer actually claims to be keeping
track of this.  Browse over to it or print a status page and
it will tell you how many pages have used each cartridge, how
much of the cartridge it thinks it's used, what the "historical"
coverage for each cartridge is, and how many pages it thinks are
left if you continue at that usage rate.  Pretty cool.  I'm not
sure I trust it entirely....

Our 2600 is pretty new.  792 pages total, of which about 200 were
black only (if I'm interpreting the status correctly.)  We've
printed text, party invitations, kids artwork and school projects,
and a fair number of photographs.  A mix I would have been pretty
sure would have exceeded that 5% average coverage number...
However, all the cartridges are claiming to have a historical
coverage of right around 5%.  The colors are mostly 4%.  I guess
the occasional google map with only a bit of color helps things
average out.  But it does appear that 5% coverage is not such
a bad estimate as I originally thought.  If the data is trustable.

BillW

2006\03\30@085011 by Russell McMahon

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> Also think about this: Can either of these printers accept third
> party supplies?

It's utterly not an issue with the T... (OK, that's onbviously Toshiba
:-) ).
The ALL UP cost of service, repair, toner, drums, etc etc is 1.6 cents
per copy made. And they'll do that for 5 years. That means the
guaranteed cost of ownership is  1.6c + paper per copy = under 3 cents
NZ a copy - whether you do few or many. And regardless of whether the
machine breaks or doesn't. I've never heard of such a bargain before.
Unless there's something evil in the fine print that's very
compelling. They say they get longevity and low toner cost due to
using high volume copier tecnology. Whatever that means.

The B... (must be a Brother :-) ) is a more normal "printer
technilogy" all in one copier.

Bear in mind that the main task here is as a copier. The printer
function is a bonus. But a very welcome one. When I started looking I
was looking just at copiers.

I don't mind the Brother consumables cost AS LONG AS the averge page
coverage is around 5% and as long as it gets the copies they claim for
the cost.

> the *KEY* indicator of cost of ownership. I have been burned a few
> times
> by proprietary (expensive) systems and will always go for generic
> now.

Inkjets I refill :-)

> My worst issue was with an HP.

That's because you made the fundamental error of buying HP. Sooner or
later everyone will learn that HP are out to get you in every way
possible and will buy something else. Everyone else tries (variably)
hard, but HP have become truly agilent in the dark side of marketing.



       Russell McMahon

2006\03\30@104228 by William Chops Westfield

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On Mar 30, 2006, at 5:19 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

> The ALL UP cost of service, repair, toner, drums, etc etc is 1.6 cents
> per copy made. And they'll do that for 5 years. That means the
> guaranteed cost of ownership is  1.6c + paper per copy = under 3 cents
> NZ a copy - ... Unless there's something evil in the fine print that's
> very compelling.

Is there a MINIMUM page count or monthly fee?  Sometimes the printers
with the cheap per-page costs get that way because you're charged for
a rather high number of pages per month whether you print them or not.

BillW

2006\03\30@115645 by Gerhard Fiedler

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William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> On Mar 30, 2006, at 3:19 AM, Russell McMahon wrote:
>
>> My question is, does anyone have *real world* figures for typical
>> percentage cover of typical printed pages. This is obviously highly
>> variable with application, but the very commonly quoted 5% figures
>> seems to be low.

> However, all the cartridges are claiming to have a historical
> coverage of right around 5%.  

I printed a plain text document (reasonably full page) to a printer driver
with image writer function (FinePrint) and looked at the result with Paint
Shop Pro's histogram function. About 3.5% black pixels.

I can easily repeat this, if you want to send me a few sample pages (e.g.
some PDFs).

Gerhard

2006\03\30@122716 by Peter Gelsi

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I'm a photocopier / printer tech from way back.  About 15 years.  I have
worked on most high end brands in excess of 100 to 140 pages per
minute.  The ones you say, I would exclude (B...) as I have found them
to be not easily repaired.  If you can stay away from (X...), only
because you will have to deal only with them, parts are expensive as
well.  The best advice I can offer is to look at (K... ) there costs are
low, image quality exceptional and they rarely breakdown.  I had one
customer who's factory (huge in size, outlets Australia wide) had
something like 200+ high end (K...) mix of digital black and colour as
well as their printers.  One machine I am thinking of, did just short of
900,000 on one maintenance kit.  By this time the prints were still in
good shape.  The maintenance kit was installed as a preventative
maintenance measure.  And that's a point too, the maintenance kits,
change everything, needed in the machines about every 300,000.  So what
I'm saying is they are worth a look into. Tone cost are also very low.
I'm am not in that industry any more as my day job.  But when I was we
had an application program that could tell you the page coverage.  So
customers could be shown on their own printing/copying what the real
world %... coverage was.  I had a look but can't seem to locate the
application.  It worked on both black and colour.
http://global.kyocera.com/
http://www.kyocera.com.au/copiers.asp

Well that's my %5 percents worth anyway. :-)

Peter


Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\03\30@123127 by Peter Gelsi

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I also forgot to add that, the 5% is based on an international standard
letter document.  That is where that comes from.  I would say from my
experiences as a high end copier / printer technician, 5% is not that
far out.  It is an estimated average.  Now having said that, your own
printing, maybe 10%.  I would also suggest looking at the black pixel
coverage for a known sheet size.

Peter

William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2006\03\30@150544 by Peter

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You don't need to print anything imho. 'Print' a blank page and a page
with representative graphics which you wish to use, both to lossless
image files (I would use pbm). Then evaluate their densities. The
density is simply the sum of the values of all pixels, for each. This
can be broken down by RGB and/or black (depending whenther the images
are BW or color). Then divide. That's it. Since no printer is involved
someone else could do it for you and email the results. Of course this
does not account for the 'blackness' of the print.

hope this helps,
Peter

2006\03\30@221359 by Robert Ammerman

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Scan typical pages.

Use photoshop or equiv:

Set mode to bitmap, do not dither.

Set mode to grayscale.

Look at 'histogram' to determine %age black vs. white.

Bob Ammerman

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