Hardware Thread, The Cost of Colour Printing: How does your school go about colour printing? in Technical; I work in a large primary school with 600 pupils and like most primary schools we love printing in colour.
21st April 2010, 10:40 AM #1
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The Cost of Colour Printing: How does your school go about colour printing?
I work in a large primary school with 600 pupils and like most primary schools we love printing in colour.
We were on a lease contract with a company a few years back that supplied us with a colour Konica printer and toner at a reduced price, but they increased their toner costs after a year or so and we looked else where.
At the moment we have a Dell 3130cn which is 8 months old and worryingly the cost of printing from this printer is starting to rise and now is standing at £500 to replace all toner with 9k capacity cartridges. This seems like an alarming cost because in 2 months time I will have to reorder the toner all over again. Working it out is probably around £4000 a year we spend just on supplying toner to this one printer.
Would like some feedback on what you are using in your school for high usage colour printing with sensible running costs.
21st April 2010, 11:23 AM #2
Give the children a black laser as the default that they can print to. On the print server change the permissions so that only staff can print to it. You also need to allow staff access to the childrens areas with shortcuts for them. Then when child wants a colour print they have to ask the teacher who can open the document and print it for them.
We use a ES8430 colour laser print on contract and pay for about 15p per sheet.
Last edited by ricki; 21st April 2010 at 11:29 AM.
21st April 2010, 11:36 AM #3
We are just going through our printing costs for last year, we spent 65% on colour printer toner v's 35% on Mono toner printers. The plan this year will be to turn off our colour printers when not needed.
21st April 2010, 11:53 AM #4
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We have about 5 Dell 3130cn, the high capacity toners are pretty average pricing for a colour laser printer of that value. A large colour copier is going to produce cheaper prints but they are much more expensive beasts to buy.
As a Dell customer you should be able to access pricing on Dell toners through the Schools Premier portal which includes a discounted rate. Speak to your Dell account manager if you aren't aware of this. However, it's also worth asking around Dell resellers who will sometimes give you better prices on Dell toner than buying it direct from Dell.
Ultimately, I think the best way to save money is to use colour printing for best/final work and use mono for everything else.
21st April 2010, 11:56 AM #5
Pupils cannot print colour at all here. Staff get 20 sheets allowance per month. All staff print to 2 main copiers, which are leased. Colour prints come in at 3.9p per copy.
We have some other printers (admin office, head's office for example) which are colour also, but they are only really ever used for spot colour so are cheap to run.
21st April 2010, 12:00 PM #6
All our students and staff are restricted using printer credits:
All printers they are mapped to when they login depending on which room, the default is Mono and they have to actively select the colour printer.
Depending on the colour printer it has a cost factor of 5 for A4 and 10 for A3 as for Mono cost factor is 2 credits per print.
Yr7, Yr8 and Yr9 Students = 30 credits per week no carry over of unspent credits
Yr10 and Yr11 Students = 50 credits per week no carry over of unspent credits
Restricted Staff = 100 credits per week no carry over of unspent credits
Trusted Staff = Unlimited but if found to be abusing the system which is monitored they are moved to the restricted printer group.
8 years ago before I started at the school the printer budget stood at around 25k, with the new protocols which I have enforced with the backup of the SLT it is now down to below 6k for the laser printers around the school and the reprographics is a separately ran budget which is strictly enforced by administration staff.
We do all our leaflets and school pamphlets in house which also saves large amounts of money as opposed to outside printers charging us a fortune.
All this has taken time but if properly managed it works.
We are a Middle sized secondary school with approx 720 students.
21st April 2010, 12:16 PM #7
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I already have the mono set to default.. to be fair it is the staff doing the colour printing more than the pupils.
Interesting.. A couple of months ago I rang dell to order toner for our 3130cn and when I got to the printer consumables phone system I was greeted by a recorded telephone message redirecting me to a company called Leco Computer Supplies LTD and told me I can place orders from there.
Originally Posted by MrHoff
We have been approached by a company looking to sell us multi functional printers but to be honest I am not sure where we would put them if we decided on going down that route. How do you enforce the 20 page limit to staff?
Originally Posted by localzuk
21st April 2010, 12:26 PM #8
Colour photocopiers would be one option. Purchase price is pretty big - possibly out of the reach of a small primary - but it pays off in the long-run.
Another option is to look at cheaper colour printers; remember, purchase price has NOTHING to do with running costs. Count the number of pages you're printing, then work out cost-per-page based on consumable prices, finally calculating a total cost over say 4 years. THAT is what a printer costs. We have recently moved to Xerox solid ink printers, and everyone is seriously impressed with them. You might want to look at mono laser printers as well, as it is typically cheaper to print black pages on a mono than on a colour.
Print credits is the other thing you need to look at. We implemented these a few years ago, and our student printing has dropped to around 1/3 the level it was before!
You may not want to go down this road, but consider publishing your printing costs to staff, perhaps alongside a summary of other products of equivalent value. That might encourage people to print more responsibly.
On the subject of responsible printing, we give quick "lessons" in how to print, e.g. proof-read on screen, only print final copies, check page count in Print Preview first especially when printing from Excel or IE, only print the pages you need, and of course don't keep hitting Print - it won't clear a paper jam!
21st April 2010, 04:05 PM #9
Get a multi-function device (i.e. "photocopier") on a contract with a proper copier leasing company, one that charges per copy rather than for toner cartridges. If you don't want to do that (don't want to sign up for a three year contract, don't have room for the printer) then maybe try an inkjet with a bulk ink system. We buy HP Business Inkjet 1100s from eBay (around £50 - £100, varies somewhat), which seem to work well with the CIS systems from FotoRite (Cis Ink cartridge supply fits Business Inkjet 1100 on eBay (end time 12-May-10 23:47:34 BST)), also around £50 each. The ink seems to last for ages - our art department gets through a fair few prints, and they've only just needed a refill after a year. Bear in mind that an inkjet isn't going to be nearly as afast as a laser printer, though, which might be a good or bad thing (less stuff printed, more peopl getting impatient).
Originally Posted by SteveR
21st April 2010, 04:13 PM #10
We use PaperCut MF. The way I have it set up is a little odd, but it works. Mono copies are set to cost 1p each, Colour copies are set to cost £1000 each. This allows me to give a budget on a monthly basis of 20999.99 to each member of staff, so they get 20 colour copies and pretty much unlimited mono.
Originally Posted by SteveR
21st April 2010, 04:13 PM #11
One of my schools uses Danwood for the copiers so I asked about having a network card put in so we can print to it. The reply was that it would cost £675 I almost fell off my chair!
21st April 2010, 04:54 PM #12
But if you are starting from scratch, specifying network-capable copiers to begin with shouldn't cost much extra.
Originally Posted by Jobos
21st April 2010, 05:35 PM #13
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That sounds expensive. Do you know how many prints you are actually did for your 4K spend?
23rd April 2010, 11:35 AM #14
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We have just got 3 multifunction photocopiers (large) from a company called Arena, they supplied 2 of the biggest for nothing and one for our admin office for 176 per quarter all leased, cost per copies, black 0.4 pence per copy and colour 3.9 pence.
Got konica printers bought but with a three year contract fixed price, 4p per copy mono, 7.6 pence colour but the company leave a lot to be desired organisationa wise.
23rd April 2010, 11:43 AM #15
You may want to install the Papercut Print Logger so when you explain the situation to management you have all the evidence to hand. There's several threads on how to deal with the print logger to produce more useful information.
Papercut Print Logger Free edition - Log Distiller ASP page
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