March 14, 2014
Canon Solutions America has released a document outlining important purchasing considerations for companies looking for new or used wide-format printers. The company has published a paper called “Buying Used Wide Format Printers - What You Should Know.”
With the price of used printers often 50% to 60% of the original manufacturer’s suggested retail price, the perceived savings can be quite attractive. However, latent hidden costs associated with used large format printers can prevent users from converting these into actual savings, the company cautions. According to Canon, users should consider these eight key factors when looking for a new wide-format printer:
Security: To be optimally network and security compatible with many of the latest IT requirements, a large format printer’s controller should run a Windows 7 operating system or higher. While older printer controllers will not meet these requirements, some may have compatible upgrades. Additionally, older printers often do not provide advanced security features, which may be required for some printing environments.
Software Licenses: Some software licenses are non-transferable. If that is the case, the cost savings from purchasing used equipment may be offset by the cost of additional software license fees or claims of infringement.
File Processing Speeds: Some older printers have slower processing speeds and smaller memories than newer models. This means files will take longer to process before printing, especially when printing today’s larger multi-page PDF, GIS or BIM files.
Printer Drivers: Manufacturers typically do not update print drivers for discontinued equipment. As a result, drivers for older systems can be a major challenge or may not work at all when operating systems are updated at individual workstations. This means that printing from CAD or Windows applications may not be fully supported, resulting in prints that are missing important fonts, layers, line weights, etc.
Print Quality and Color Output: Older used printers may print at a lower resolution, making it more difficult to render the quality required with complex black and white and color files. Additionally, older models may be monochrome only and cannot, therefore, meet your color printing needs.
Service and Parts: If you do not buy a used printer from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer, service support and parts availability may be an issue. Older equipment may require more parts replacement and hardware support leading to more downtime and a higher frequency of service calls. Additionally, since older equipment may be closer to obsolescence, parts availability may diminish over time.
Financing: Leasing used large format printers usually carries higher financing rates. This can spread the cost of your investment over several years, but it also locks you into already old technology for the term of the lease, exacerbating obsolescence issues.
Total Operating Cost: In addition to the purchase price of a printer, daily operating costs must be considered. For example, if your print volume is low, the printer will likely be in stand-by mode most of the day. Older equipment is often not as energy efficient as comparable new models, which can result in needless energy costs over time. Additionally, many of the considerations already described have cost implications, either directly or as a result of lost time.
For more information, visit Canon Solutions America.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.