Copier/Printer Duty Cycle; What Is It, And Is It Important?

Are you in the market for a copier or printer? What’s on your checklist; brand, price, guarantee, right? Well, for most buyers, they mark all the dots, except one, yet it holds considerable weight. We are talking about the duty cycle. Let’s take a quick dive at the duty cycle, learn what it is and why it is essential while shopping for an ideal copier/printer.

What is the copier/printer duty cycle?

Simply put, the duty cycle is the maximum print/copies your machine can produce, usually noted per month by the manufacturer. During the manufacturing process, printers/photocopiers are subjected to stress tests. The tests push the machines to their limits, helping the manufacturer to establish the capacity they can comfortably handle per the designed use. While the tests also consider the environment the copier/printer is used in, our takeaway here is the duty cycle.

The duty cycle is established and assigned not from notion or guesswork but the stress tests. This means that if you ignore it and subject your photocopier/printer to higher volumes, you won’t have anyone to blame but yourself. The duty cycle tells you the volume the machine can handle under normal conditions, delivering quality and at a desirable speed without frustrations such as paper jams. If your printer/copier is rates 30000 pages per month, that’s the duty cycle. It is recommendable to keep the volume 10% lower instead of pushing the printer/copier to the last page.

Why is the duty cycle important?

Knowing what the duty cycle is, answering the “why” is quite easy. You want a printer/copier that can comfortably handle your needs. Here is where it comes in handy; most shoppers only consider the brand and price. While your budget is an essential consideration, going for the cheapest option could prove costly in the long run. For instance, if your print/copy volume is approximately 50000 pages, and you invest in a copier/printer with 30000 pages duty cycle, you’ll be frustrated.

No, your printer/copier won’t automatically shut down and stop working at 30000 pages in this case. It’ll keep going, but before you can go far, you’ll notice deterioration in quality. As you continue pushing it, it’ll be slower, frustrating your operation. Keep pushing it, and more problems, including paper jams, keeps coming.  That’s just the visible part; behind the scenes, you’re doing more damages that’ll come back to haunt you. You’re shortening the copier/printer’s lifespan. This means that you’ll have to fork out significant amounts in repairs, maintenance, and replacements. It is just like your car; you can drive at 150kph, but that means that you have to visit the auto garage more often.

What’s your monthly copy/print volume? As you hit the market, you now have another box to check as you choose an ideal copier/printer. The last thing you want is to invest in a photocopier/printer that won’t work well and last long enough to deliver the value of your investment. That can easily be addressed by opting for the top brands and ensuring that you pick a printer/photocopier whose duty cycle matches your workload.

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