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The speed of Printers and copiers is rated by pages per minute or PPM. This is usually given as a best case scenario. The stated speed in PPM will usually be based on using regular letter sized copy paper. The PPM will be lower when printing on different paper sizes, using special features like duplexing, and when using different types of paper or media such as transparencies, labels etc. The higher the PPM rating the faster the machine will print out pages.

Warm Up Time And First Copy Out Time

Just as important as PPM is how long the machine takes to warm up. Due to energy saving requirements printers and copiers will go into a sleep mode after a period of not being used. Before the first print can come out the machine must warm up and be ready. This warm up period can be anywhere from a few seconds to over a minute. If you plan to use your printer or copier sporadically throughout the day, a long warm up period will be frustrating. First copy out is similar to warm up time but it is different. The first copy out time is a  measurement of the time it takes for the first page to print out on a warmed up machine. This can also vary a lot depending on the machine and the manufacturer.

Monthly Duty Cycle And Recommended Monthly Volume

Another factor related to understanding the speed of printers and copiers is the monthly duty cycle. The monthly duty cycle is the amount of printed pages the equipment can print in a month as stated by the manufacturer. The intention is for consumers to be able to compare monthly duty cycles between machines to see which one is best suited for them. Unfortunately this number is so often grossly overstated that it’s useless. Do you really think you can run 100,000 pages a month on a $200 printer that puts out 98 pages per $40 ink cartridge. A more useful number is the recommended monthly volume. Printers and copiers are designed to handle a certain workload. And it is reflected in the recommend monthly volume or usage rating. However you won’t be able to find it for all machines. Some manufactures publish it for some models and not others. This is where a professional is your best source of information.

Printers and Copiers Understanding Speed Summary

Most offices do fine with machines rated between 25 – 50 pages per minute. Your budget will dictate to a large degree what makes sense for your office. If you have very large jobs to run than you will need more speed to get them completed. Warm up and first copy out times are important and can have a big impact on how happy you are with your machines performance. Monthly Duty Cycle is misleading, find out what the recommended monthly usage (or volume) is instead.

  • 25-50 PPM is fine for most offices
  • 50+ PPM if you have very large jobs to run
  • Warm up time can vary from a few seconds to over a minute – Less is better
  • First copy out time can vary a lot between manufactures and machines – Less is better
  • Monthly Duty Cycle is grossly overstated so ignore it – Look for the recommended monthly volume instead

Our friendly and professional staff are available 8 AM – 5 PM Mon-Fri to answer questions and schedule appointments.

Call us at: 877-852-0044

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Consulting with a knowledgeable professional can lower your overall printing costs. At SOS we perform document workflow evaluations for our customers and help them discover the true cost of handling their documents. Typically we can save our customers 20%-40% while introducing new solutions that make document handling easier. Feel free to contact our friendly and courteous staff. In just a few minutes we can let you know if you can realize these same savings.

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