22 February 2005

Printer Toner Cartridges

A change in the way printer toner cartridges are managed in the Division is under discussion.

Recently there have been suggestions that spare toner cartridges be issued to staff around the Division so that printers running low on toner can be replaced in a more timely manner. The TSU feels this would be a backward step for the Division in looking after the printers to ensure the Division gets the most efficient use from this significant resource.

There are 44 printers in the Division looked after by the TSU. To provide a spare toner cartridge for each printer would cost around $6,500 (at our bulk buying discount price). Some printers go through more than one cartridge a month at peak periods, although over the year the bigger printers go through an average of just under 5 cartridges per year. Last year the Division spent over $15,000 on toner cartridges to print 950,000 impressions on these printers.

Experience has shown us that the printers indicate that the toner is low when there is still 20% of the toner available. If the cartridges were replaced with 20% of their capacity still available, it would cost the Division an additional $4,000 per year in toner.

Training non-technical staff in servicing the printers would be a significant and on-going task (with the mobility of the administration staff in the Division).

The Technical Services Unit staff have discussed the support of printers and will try to ensure that when a printer really does run out of toner it is replenished as soon as possible. In the meantime staff can print to alternative printers or to Multifunction devices anywhere in the Division if work is critical. To set up alternative printers staff should email a request to the comedu helpdesk.