Designing a Really Smart Office Printer

For years, the focus of office printer design was on reducing costs, footprint, weight, power requirements, noise levels, and on improving overall hardware quality/reliability, duty cycle, image quality and ergonomic design.  Today, with more and more printer fleets being managed under MPS provider contracts, it is important to understand the real total cost of ownership including the costs for supporting and maintaining these office printers and MFP’s, particularly the A3 MFP’s which are typically shared within an office and do not have user replaceable components and are typically under a service contract.  When these devices are down for one reason or another, office productivity goes down and the print service or MPS provider is losing money since the device is not printing and using consumables.

With the idea of designing printers which minimize the service and maintenance costs as a significant part of overall printer operating costs so why not design devices with the intent of minimizing downtime?  This is more than designing for reliability since the fact is that most components are going to fail at some point.  The ultimate goal would be to predict, with a high level of accuracy, what part will fail, when it will fail, and in what machine it will fail. Knowing this will result in reduced downtime, reduced service costs, and lower parts inventory costs.  Replacing a part before it is about to fail will reduce downtime and service costs considerably.

Sounds good, but how can this be done?  First, printer manufacturers need to design printers with the ultimate goal in mind.  A good start would be to add more and more sensors in devices to monitor the condition and life of components, not just the major ones like the photoconductor(s), fuser, developer, etc. but smaller components including paper feed gears.  HP has acknowledged recently that this is what they are doing and is a key differentiator of their MPS program moving forward as they push more and more into the A3 market with their newly acquired Samsung laser A3 MFP product line and their own A3 PageWide business inkjet devices.  Having all of these sensors is a great start but alone will not get us to the ultimate goal.

The use of Predictive Analytics such as the offering from Photizo, whereby huge amount of historical data, component MTBF data, device and component usage patterns, sensor data and other data can be collected, analyzed, and modeled such that very accurate predictions of failure an be made.  What kind of improvements can be expected?

  • Overall service/maintenance cost savings – 20%-30%
  • First Call Effectiveness (FCE) – from average of 70% today to 90%
  • Reduction in downtime by 35%-40%
  • Reduction in Call Back % (CB%) from 15% to <5%
  • Technician Effective Time (TET) – increase from 60% to >90%
  • Hold for parts (HP) reduction – from 15+% to <5%
  • Huge inventory cost reductions

For more information about Photizo’s Predictive Analytics program, please contact Scott Hornbuckle at, +1 (502) 664-0733.

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